King Felix was given his crown today. 24 year old Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners was named the American League Cy Young award winner for 2010. I'm very happy for him, but at the same I'm also very surprised. Don't get me wrong, I believe that Felix should have won the award hands down over his competition. I was just impressed that the members of the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) who vote for the AL winner, were able to look past his win loss record and reward him for an outstanding performance this season despite the lack of support he received from his teammates. In his 12 losses this year, Hernandez received only 7 runs of support from his team while he was on the mound. I'm sure Blue Jays fans will remember that Jose Bautista's 50th home run of the season was hit off of Felix Hernandez on September 23 of this year. But do you remember Felix's line that day? He went the distance, allowing just that one run on only 2 hits. The Mariners had seven hits that day off of five Blue Jays pitchers. But they couldn't manage to score a single run for him.
With a record of just 13 wins and 12 losses, I thought Hernandez would be overlooked for either CC Sabathia (21-7, 3.18 ERA) of the New York Yankees, or David Price (19-6, 2.72 ERA) of the Tampa Bay Rays. But he wasn't. Hernandez led the American League in ERA (2.27) and in innings pitched (249 2/3). He also struck out 232 batters, one behind the Angel's Jared Weaver for most in the league. King Felix received 21 of a possible 28 first-place votes and finished with 167 voting points. Price finished a distant second, receiving 4 first-place votes and finishing with 111 voting points. Sabathia had 102 voting points with 3 first place votes.
The 13 wins by Hernandez is the fewest for a Cy Young winner in a full season. The previous record was set by Tim Lincecum last year when he won the award with just 15 wins last year in San Francisco.