Yu Darvish for AL Cy Young?

Detroit’s Max Scherzer is the favorite, but should he stumble Yu Darvish is ready to surge ahead for pitching’s top honor—the Cy Young Award.

When your pitcher ‘only’ strikes out seven in a game and it’s a disappointment either your nuts or you have someone special on your hands. For the Texas Ranger and pitcher Yu Darvish it is definitely the latter.  

Against the Seattle Mariners Sunday Darvish struck out seven over 7 1/3 innings of work while giving up seven hits, four walks, and three earned runs. With the exception of the walks the outing would be considered a good one.

That is, it would be a good one for most pitchers, but Darvish has the Rangers and their fans kind of spoiled. In his last outing he struck out 15 and allowed a single hit and run. True the time before that he gave up eight hits and three runs while striking out just six, but in the two games prior to that he struck out a total of 25 while allowing just a single run.

After his last start against Houston—when he stuck out fifteen and had a no-hitter into the eighth inning—manager Ron Washington had this to say about his ace:

"He moved it around, kept them off-balance. When they were looking for breaking balls he was throwing fastballs and cutters and when they were looking for cutters he was throwing breaking balls.''  

His strikeout prowess is not a new development. Over the course of the season he has had nine games of 10 or more strikeouts and five with 14 or more. Needless to say he is leading the league in strikeouts.

As well as he is playing the question has to be asked—why should he win the Cy Young over Scherzer? Along with leading the league in strikeouts his ERA is better than Scherzer’s (2.64 to 2.82) and has held batters to a lower batting average against (.186 to .192).

However, Scherzer does have more wins (18 to 12), fewer losses (one to five), fewer walks (38 to 51), and a better WHIP (.91 to 1.0). Voters do not necessarily give it to the guy with the most wins or even the best stat line. So what could/should push them to vote for Darvish over Scherzer?

Both players have pitched some masterful games, but Scherzer has had the help of a better line up (Tigers are batting .280 while the Rangers are hitting .261) The Tigers also have a better fielding percentage all be it a slight one (.987 to .986).  

Is it fair to punish Scherzer for having the league’s best offense and better fielding? No, but since the award is an individual one Darvish could very well end up winning since his play has had a greater impact on the team.

And that is fair.

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