Harold Reynolds’ NL Cy Young Analysis Is Terrible
Now, there are valid reasons to consider Scherzer (or even the not oft discussed Aaron Nola) for the award this season.
With respect to Scherzer, he’s clearly established himself as the best pitcher in the National League over the past few years – even better than Clayton Kershaw. He’s also having another Cy Young caliber season.
Right now, Scherzer is 15-5 with a 2.28 ERA, 161.2 IP, 216 K, 0.897 WHIP, 12.0 K/9, and a 5.54 K/BB ratio. Overall, that’s good for a 6.5 pitching WAR.
Scherzer leads the league in wins, WHIP, strikeouts, innings, K/9, and K/BB ratio. He also leads the entire National League with a 7.2 WAR.
In many ways, Scherzer deserves the National League MVP because he does lead the league in WAR, and he almost single-handedly keeping the Nationals alive in the postseason race.
In games he pitches, the Nationals are 17-7, and when he doesn’t pitch they are 42-50.
Similar to the Nationals, the Mets are 39-51 on the days deGrom doesn’t pitch. On the days he does pitch, the Mets are 9-14.
Yes, the Mets are well under .500 when deGrom pitches.
They are under .500 despite deGrom having a Major League leading 1.77 ERA. He leads the National League in HR/9, ERA+, and FIP.
So, how is he 6-7 with his team having a losing record when he pitches? The answer is simple. His team is terrible.
There have been seven times this season he’s allowed no earned runs in a game. He’s only 2-0 in those starts.
He’s had 13 different starts where he’s gone at least seven innings while allowing two runs or fewer. In those starts, he’s 3-4. Yes, he has a losing record in games where he pitches deep into games allowing two runs or fewer.
For his part, Scherzer has 11 of those types of starts. He’s 7-2 in those starts. That’s a huge difference.
And despite all of this, Harold Reynolds is going to get up there and use wins as the reason Scherzer is better than deGrom. Not just their wins, but team wins.
In some warped and deluded thought process, Reynolds actually believes Scherzer pitching in front of a better and not a worse team makes him a better pitcher.
Overall, there are cogent arguments to be made on Scherzer over deGrom. Innings, strikeouts, and WHIP do matter. Yes, to a certain extent wins should matter.
That said, when you’re using wins as the crux of your argument while completely ignoring how the respective teams played behind each pitcher, you’ve effectively announced to the world you aren’t putting the time in to do the research required to effectively do your job.
No one is saying Reynolds should be fired over this. That’s silly. However, we do have to question why MLB holds him out as their lead commentator on their own network.
I guess that’s another thing Rob Manfred will blame Mike Trout for happening.