- Hernandez is now 12-12 despite a league-best 2.31 ERA in a league-high 242 innings. Clearly he just doesn't "know how to win."
After all, if Mariners catcher Adam Moore had hit a double with two runners on base in the eighth inning instead of taking a called third strike right down the middle of the plate, clearly that would make Felix Hernandez a better pitcher and more deserving of the Cy Young award. Or something
Or if the Mariners' hitters could have rallied in the ninth inning off Blue Jays closer Kevin Gregg, that would have turned Hernandez's "loss" into a "no-decision" or even a "win." You know, because things that happen after a pitcher throws his final pitch are crucial to evaluating his performance. Or something.
I'm right there with you, buddy.
It's a funny thing, though ... I think this "loss" might help Hernandez's Cy Young candidacy as much as it hurts.
Granted, he's now 12-12, which means there's roughly 1-in-3 chance he finishes the season with a losing record. And there are probably at least a few voters, however sympathetic to the cause, simply can't place a starter with a losing record at the top of their ballot.
But the real problem -- in the minds of some voters, I mean -- is that Hernandez doesn't have enough wins. And some of those voters will attribute that lack of wins to some deficiency in Hernandez's performance. Or his character. Or something.
I wonder, though, if a game like today's -- with everyone thinking about the American League's two strongest Cy Young candidates -- might actually go a fair piece toward convincing a few holdouts that "wins" and "losses" sometimes tell us very little about how well a pitcher actually pitched.
I'm not bold enough to suggest that this particular game was a tipping point. But whether you like it or not, it's definitely coming. Which won't be the worst thing.