ESPN insider leaves Kennedy off Cy Young ballot

Nov 17, 2011, 10:45 PM | Updated: Nov 18, 2011, 3:33 pm

Sure, few besides maybe the most die-hard Diamondbacks
fan thought Ian Kennedy deserved the NL Cy Young award
this year.

After all, Los Angeles Dodger Clayton Kershaw led the
league in ERA, strikeouts, WHIP and wins.

However, most would have figured the D-backs ace, who tied
Kershaw with 21 victories, had the best winning percentage
in the NL and had a very respectable 2.88 ERA, 1.09 WHIP
and 198 strikeouts, would be one of the top vote-getters.

And he was, finishing fourth. However, he was left
off one guy’s ballot altogether, and ESPN MLB insider
Keith Law had his reasons, and it’s worth hearing him out
before starting a petition to have his voting privileges
taken away.

“What is his case,” Law told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and
Wolf, “it’s the win column.”

Law, like many, doesn’t really like using wins as a gauge
for how effective a pitcher is, because sometimes a great
pitching performance can result in a loss due to poor
defense and/or a lack of offense.

“Even if you don’t want to look at the advanced metrics,
he wasn’t fourth in the league in ERA,” Law said of

No, Kennedy was seventh, behind the aforementioned Kershaw
as well as Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, who
were also on Law’s ballot. Matt Cain, who Law placed
fourth, had the same ERA as the D-backs righty.

But Law pointed to Arizona’s defensive outfield,
consisting of Gerardo Parra, Chris Young and Justin Upton
as a group that significantly helped Kennedy.

“They’re all rangy,” Law said of the trio. “They all
covered a tremendous amount of ground.”

So, while the team — and Kennedy — won a lot of games,
Law says it’s tough to give him all the credit.

“When you’re trying to parcel out credit to individual
players, some of what we would traditionally give to the
pitchers you take away from the pitchers and give to the
defense, because the defense actually made those outs,” he

So a good defense combined with good run support led to
Law leaving Kennedy — and his 21 wins — off his Cy Young

Right call? That’s subjective. Then again, so is the
actual voting for the award.


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