2013 BBA Awards: Walter Johnson (Cy Young) and Goose Gossage (Reliever)

The pitching in both leagues has continued to improve as we're seeing less and less ridiculous batting seasons.  In this post, we'll be examining and making our picks for the Walter Johnson Award (commonly known as the Cy Young) and the Goose Gossage Award (aka Rolaids Relief Award).  Once again we start with the top three in each league, and whittle it down to our winner.  Here we go (winners *).

AL Cy Young
Hisashi Iwakuma
Yu Darvish
*Max Scherzer

In his second year, Iwakuma put together solid numbers for a poor Mariners team going 14-6, 2.66 ERA, with 185 K's.  That puts him 2nd in ERA and he was first in pitching WAR at 7 games.  Darvish also put together an impressive season with a 13-9 record, 2.83 ERA and a league leading 277 K's.  Although we don't totally base decisions on win totals, it's impossible to ignore the league leader in wins, Max Scherzer.  He was the only 20 game winner in either league, and also held a sub 3 ERA (2.90) and had a dominating 240 K's. 

NL Cy Young
*Clayton Kershaw
Adam Wainwright
Zach Greinke 

For the third time in 5 years, Adam Wainwright has won at least 19 games, with a sub 3 ERA and 200+ strikeouts.  Normally, that would be good enough to take this award.  Were it not for Kershaw's dominance, Wainwright probably would have won too.  Kershaw put together a ridiculous 1.83 ERA this year proving he baffled hitters the entire season.  He gave up 1 run or fewer in 6 no decisions this year, so a little more run support, and he may have flirted with 20 wins.  For his part, Greinke had a tremendous season going 15-4 which lead the league in win percentage.  He had an ERA of 2.48 with 148 K's.  Don't forget he missed a month of the season compliments of Carlos Quentin separating his shoulder. 

AL Reliever Award
Mariano Rivera
Greg Holland
*Jim Johnson

These finalists had the top 3 most saves in the AL, with Johnson leading the way at 50.  An ERA of 2.94 and 56 K's in 70.1 innings rounds out his power stats.  Mariano, in what could be his last season, had another Mariano-esque season with 44 saves, a 2.11 ERA and 54 K's in 64 innings.  It would be easy to just give him the award again for his swan song season.  Holland transitioned from a set-up man to the closer after Jonathan Broxton was traded from the Royals in 2012.  He seemingly came out of nowhere this year to save 47 games along with a blistering 103 K's in 67 innings.  Add to that a phenomenal 1.21 ERA, and it's easy to see how be bowls over the competition for this year's award.

NL Reliever Award
*Craig Kimbrel
Aroldis Chapman
Rafael Soriano

Chapman continues to plow through hitters with his 100+ MPH fastballs.  The ERA ticked up nearly a run per game this year to 2.54, but the K's were still there at 112 in 63.2 innings.  In his first year in Washington, Soriano was 2nd in the league in saves.  He's not the power pitcher he once was, and his ERA was over 3, however.  Truly, the race wasn't really even close as Kimbrell is far and away the best closer in the National League.  His 50 saves led the league, and in fact, he's been the league leader three years running.  98 K's in 67 innings makes him a dominant power pitcher, and his 1.21 ERA left hitters scratching their heads all year. 


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