Did Clay Buchholz cost Felix Hernandez the Cy Young Award tonight?
Buchholz allowed one run in eight innings against the White Sox to drop his earned run average to 2.33. King Felix has the lowest ERA in the AL at 2.31 and faces the hard-hitting Texas Rangers tomorrow night.
At 12-12, the key to Hernandez's Cy Young campaign is to have such great peripheral stats that his record becomes secondary. If he's first in ERA, his case is compelling. If he's second, it's a little less compelling. A voter could then justify voting for David Price or CC Sabathia.
I think whatever the outcome, the AL Cy Young voting in 2010 will one day be looked back upon as a key point in baseball's statistical revolution. A lot of people are becoming educated about the many different ways a pitcher can (and should) be evaluated.
As for Buchholz, he should get some votes now that voting goes five deep. The Red Sox are 19-9 on the days he starts and his WHIP is 1.20. Buchholz is not a strikeout pitcher (120 in 173.2 innings), but he has learned how to manage games and much like the great Roy Halladay, he gets the hitter to swing at the pitch he wants and produces weak contact.
The Red Sox weren't talking at all about staying alive in the pennant race for at least another day. They know how long the odds are against them.
Tonight was a night for David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre to enjoy getting to 100 RBIs. For Beltre, it was the first time he has hit the mark since driving in 121 runs for the Dodgers in 2004.
"I was just waiting for Big Papi to get his so I could follow him," Beltre said. "It's always nice to get 100 RBIs. You are productive and you're helping your team. The big goal for me was to be healthy and be able to play every day."
Beltre said he was proud of what the team has accomplished despite its many injuries.
Beltre was eager to call his wife after the game. Sandra Beltre is at their home in California about to give birth to the couple's third child, a girl.
"I may have to go home tomorrow, I don't know," he said.
Beltre hopes the baby will be born after the season so he can avoid making two cross-country trips.