Felix Hernandez wasn't apologizing, and he really didn't have any reason to, for capturing the Cy Young award, despite winning just 13 games. CC Sabathia, the AL's only 20-game winner (21-7), finished third, behind Hernandez and David Price.
“I think the Cy Young has to be for the [most] dominant pitcher in the league,” Hernandez said. “You see what happened last year, I had great numbers and didn’t get it. I had better numbers than last year. I think I deserve it.”
Hernandez was 13-12 but with a baseball-best 2.27 ERA. Hernandez also led the league in innings (249 2/3) and finished second in strikeouts with 232, one behind Angels righthander Jered Weaver. Hernandez held opponents to a league-low .212 batting average and was second in WHIP (1.06) to Cliff Lee (1.00) of the Mariners and Rangers. He had the lowest run support average in the AL (3.10), with the Mariners scoring one run or less in 10 or his starts and two or fewer in 15.
Hernandez was asked if at season’s end he thought he had a chance.
“I don’t have the wins but if you look at all the number I thought, wow, I have a chance,” he said. “I’m just so happy.”
Hernandez, last year’s runner-up to the Royals Zack Greinke, won in an unexpected rout, receiving 21 first-place votes and finishing with 167 points.
“When I heard I won the Cy Young, I just asked one more time, I won the Cy Young? And I started crying” the 24-year-old righthander said in a conference call from his home in Valencia, Venezuela. “It was a great, great, great, great, amazing thing.”
Price, who went 19-8 with a 2.72 ERA for the AL East champion Rays, finished second with four first-place votes and 111 points.
Sabathia, the AL’s only 20-game winner (21-7, 3.18), earned three first-place votes and finished with 102 points. He and Hernandez were the only pitchers named on every ballot.