Ian Kennedy should be a legitimate Cy Young candidate

Sep 9, 2011, 10:13 PM | Updated: 11:35 pm

There are a lot of good pitchers in the National League this season.

Need any proof? Take a look at the Cy Young Watch page.

That said, the D-backs’ Ian Kennedy is certainly in the conversation, right along with Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

At least, he should be.

“He may not win the award,” Arizona Sports 620’s John Gambadoro said. “But his ERA is fantastic, he pitches in a hitter’s ballpark.”

The problem, as Gambadoro noted, is in what stats voters may choose to judge by. Kennedy only leads the NL in wins, and he’s just two ahead of Kershaw in that category.

“If it’s all about ERA then don’t give him the award,” Gambadoro said. “But why can’t it be about wins…why can’t it be about losses.”

There really is no telling how much weight voters will give each statistic.

D-backs fans may remember the 2004 season when Randy Johnson topped Roger Clemens in ERA, WHIP, innings pitched and strikeouts. It didn’t matter, as the Big Unit still came in second to the Rocket in the voting. Why? Clemens went 18-4 that year while Johnson finished the year with a 16-14 record.

Is Ian Kennedy in line to become the third Diamondback to take home the award for being the NL’s best pitcher? Probably not.

But he’s in the conversation, and a strong finish combined with a rough start or two from the competition could prove to be the difference.

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Ian Kennedy should be a legitimate Cy Young candidate