Corey Kluber and Chris Sale Have Been Dominant This Season, but Who's the AL Cy Young Favorite?

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jserraglio
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Corey Kluber and Chris Sale Have Been Dominant This Season, but Who's the AL Cy Young Favorite?

Post by jserraglio » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:19 am

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.timeinc. ... source=dam

Corey Kluber (Cleveland Indians) and Chris Sale (Boston Red Sox) both put up impressive performances Tuesday, but who has the better chance at the Cy Young?

Sports Illustrated
Jay Jaffe
Wednesday August 9th, 2017

Tuesday night (August 8] was a big one for two of the AL's top Cy Young contenders. In Tampa Bay, the Red Sox's Chris Sale matched his season high with 13 strikeouts in eight innings of two-hit shutout ball against the Rays, and in Cleveland, the Indians' Corey Kluber three-hit the Rockies with 11 strikeouts, while his teammates rallied for a walk-off win. Both aces furthered significant strikeout streaks in the process.

After allowing a season-high seven runs in his last start against the Indians on Aug. 1, Sale was absolutely stifling in this one. The 28-year-old southpaw held the Rays hitless through 4 1/3 innings, never allowed a runner to reach second base and allowed just four on base all night: Trevor Plouffe reached on a throwing error by third baseman Rafael Devers with one out in the fourth, Wilson Ramos singled up the middle with one out in the fifth, Peter Bourjos singled with one out in the sixth and Logan Morrison walked to start the seventh.

Sale struck out every member of the Rays lineup at least once; Bourjos whiffed three times. He consistently got ahead in the count, throwing first-pitch strikes to 20 of 28 Rays. He netted 15 swings and misses, six via his slider and seven via his four-seam fastball, which Brooks Baseball calculated averaged 96.0 mph and went as high as 98.0; nine of his strikeouts were swinging, four against the slider and five against the fastball. He needed more than 12 pitches in an inning only in the third (16 pitches) fifth and sixth (22 pitches apiece). He finished the latter frame with a six-pitch strikeout of Plouffe and an eight-pitch strikeout of Evan Longoria.
Sale was absolutely stifling in this one. The 28-year-old southpaw held the Rays hitless through 4 1/3 innings, never allowed a runner to reach second base and allowed just four on base all night
It was a dominant performance, albeit against a team that came into the night with the AL's highest strikeout rate (25.1% of all plate appearances) and struck out 12 times in each of their previous three meetings with Sale this year, on April 15, May 13 and July 6. Via ESPN Stats and Info, Sale became the fourth pitcher to notch four straight games with at least 12 whiffs against a single opponent in a season. My own Baseball-Reference Play Index sleuthing reveals that the others are the Indians' Sam McDowell (1968 versus the A's), the Angels' Nolan Ryan (1973 versus the Twins) and Randy Johnson twice, first with the Mariners (1993 versus the A's) and again with the Diamondbacks (2001 versus the Padres).

Sale's 90 game score was his highest since April 15, 2016, when he put up a 92, also against the Rays, via a two-hit, no-walk, nine-strikeout complete game shutout. This time, with his pitch count at 112 through eight innings, Sale yielded to Craig Kimbrel to protect what had been a 1-0 lead since the fourth inning, when Boston scratched out a run via a walk, a single and a pair of fielder's choices against Rays starter Austin Pruitt. The Red Sox gave Kimbrel some breathing room in the top of the ninth when a trio of singles, the last by Jackie Bradley Jr., added a second run before Kimbrel struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth.

The outing kept Sale in position to win the majors' first Pitching Triple Crown since 2011, when Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw both did so. Sale leads the AL in wins (14), ERA (2.57) and strikeouts (229), not to mention innings (161 1/3), walk and strikeout rates (1.6 and 12.8 per per nine, respectively) and WAR (4.7 coming into the night, and obviously a few clicks higher after that).

For all of that, Sale isn't running away with the AL Cy Young just yet, because Kluber remains in the picture. The 31-year-old righty, who won the award in 2014, didn't hurt his chances Tuesday night despite serving up a solo homer to Charlie Blackmon on the second pitch of the game and a single to DJ LeMahieu on the fourth. Kluber retired the next 14 hitters he faced, and LeMahieu was thrown out stealing second; Raimel Tapia's leadoff single to start the sixth was the only other baserunner he allowed.

Via a season-high 26 swings and misses—including 13 with his curveball and eight with his cutter—from among his 106 pitches, Kluber struck out 11, including all three batters in the ninth. Seven of those 11 went down swinging at a curve. He victimized every Rockies player in the lineup except Tapia, the DH, and finished with an 88 game score, matching his second-best outing of the season; he posted a 92 against the Orioles on June 21.
Via the outing—his fourth complete game of the season, matching a career high—Kluber ranks second in ERA (2.65) and WAR (4.5 coming into the start) and third in strikeouts (183), all despite missing four weeks in May due to a lower back strain.
Despite Kluber’s strong work against the Rockies, he and the Indians trailed 1–0 going into the bottom of the ninth, but Cleveland's offense rallied against Colorado closer Greg Holland via a pair of walks, a game-tying RBI single by Austin Jackson and a three-run homer by Yan Gomes.

Tuesday's outing was the fifth straight in which Kluber struck out at least 11, which puts him in some pretty cool company. Johnson did it three times in 1998 with the Mariners and in 2000 and '02 with the Diamondbacks; all of those were actually six-game streaks. Pedro Martinez had a five-game streak for the Expos in 1997 and a record eight-game streak for the Red Sox in '99. Ryan (1977 for the Angels), J.R. Richard (1979 for the Astros) and Sale (2015 for the White Sox) round out the list.

Via the outing—his fourth complete game of the season, matching a career high—Kluber ranks second in ERA (2.65) and WAR (4.5 coming into the start) and third in strikeouts (183), all despite missing four weeks in May due to a lower back strain. He had a 5.06 ERA at the time of the injury, and had reached double digits in strikeouts just once in six starts. In 13 turns since returning, he's posted a 1.70 ERA with 13.4 strikeouts per nine, reaching double digits 11 times, and failing to deliver a quality start just once. For the season, Kluber's 12 double-digit strikeout games are tied with the Nationals' Max Scherzer for second behind Sale's 15.

Obviously, there's still more baseball to be played before the Cy Young is decided, and other pitchers, such as the Blue Jays' Marcus Stroman and the Yankees' Luis Severino, are on the fringes of the race. But it's worth pondering the collision course that these two hurlers are on: If the season ended today, not only would the second-seeded Red Sox meet the third-seeded Indians in a rematch of last year’s Division Series, but Sale would likely oppose Kluber. Clear space on your calendar for Oct. 5.

jbuck919
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Re: Corey Kluber and Chris Sale Have Been Dominant This Season, but Who's the AL Cy Young Favorite?

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:37 am

Once, if I followed any sport at all, it was baseball. Now I am so far out of it that I saw those two androgynous names before I saw "Cy Young" and assumed they were female vocal "artists." :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
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Re: Corey Kluber and Chris Sale Have Been Dominant This Season, but Who's the AL Cy Young Favorite?

Post by lennygoran » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:42 am

I`m out of sports too, John B-where`s whitey ford when I need him! Len :lol:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitey_Ford

jserraglio
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Re: Corey Kluber and Chris Sale Have Been Dominant This Season, but Who's the AL Cy Young Favorite?

Post by jserraglio » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:51 am

Whitey? You are missing a lot of fine young players in the post-doping era. E.g., Mike Trout of the Angels, headed to HoF and still only in his twenties. Saw him in person July 25. 3 grand slams hit in that 10-inning game. Who is he compared to at this point in his career? The Mick.

lennygoran
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Re: Corey Kluber and Chris Sale Have Been Dominant This Season, but Who's the AL Cy Young Favorite?

Post by lennygoran » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:16 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:51 am
Whitey? You are missing a lot of fine young players in the post-doping era. E.g., Mike Trout of the Angels, headed to HoF and still only in his twenties. Saw him in person July 25. 3 grand slams hit in that 10-inning game. Who is he compared to at this point in his career? The Mick.
Yes I`m sure I`m missing things-still I made my choice-gardening is now my sport of choice. Len :lol:

jbuck919
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Re: Corey Kluber and Chris Sale Have Been Dominant This Season, but Who's the AL Cy Young Favorite?

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:54 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:51 am
Whitey? You are missing a lot of fine young players in the post-doping era. E.g., Mike Trout of the Angels, headed to HoF and still only in his twenties. Saw him in person July 25. 3 grand slams hit in that 10-inning game. Who is he compared to at this point in his career? The Mick.
And exactly what makes you think that we are in the post-doping era? Or that we should be comparing players with Mantle, who by his own admission (and along with Whitey Ford) had a severely diminished career because of his abuse of the universal drug of choice of his time?(Yes, I know that I am referring on the one hand to performance enhancement and on the other to substance addiction based on the pursuit of pleasure. Like the poor in the gospel saying, they will both always be with us.)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Corey Kluber and Chris Sale Have Been Dominant This Season, but Who's the AL Cy Young Favorite?

Post by jserraglio » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:41 pm

It's really quite simple. Doping comes into play when thru your own fault others see an asterisk next to your homerun record a la Barry Bonds. Of course, Mantle was a substance abuser, so was Ruth. Were they not Yankees? Did alcohol enhance their performance? It may have done the opposite.

Boozing up is not the same thing as bulking up like Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco are accused of doing. Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts, Frankie Lindor, Mike Trout, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Ramirez, etc., etc. -- these kids are not dopers in that sense -- those who say otherwise without evidence are just blowing smoke.
Last edited by jserraglio on Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:13 pm, edited 12 times in total.

jbuck919
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Re: Corey Kluber and Chris Sale Have Been Dominant This Season, but Who's the AL Cy Young Favorite?

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:50 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:41 pm
Not doping is defined as not seeing an asterisk next to your homerun record a la Barry Bonds. Of course Mantle was a substance abuser as was Ruth. After all,they were NY Yankees! As such, they were carousers but there is no evidence that alcohol enhanced their performance, probably just the opposite.

But that is not the same thing as bulking up like Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire and A-Rod did. Aaron Judge, Frankie Lindor, Mike Trout, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Ramirez, etc., etc. -- these kids are not dopers. The rest of the country may be opiated, not they.
Delighted to hear it. Switching sports, I have two words for you: Lance Armstrong. No, switching back to baseball, two more: Darryl Strawberry. (I said in my previous post that I knew the difference between ruination because of performance-enhancing substances and because of addiction to pleasure-giving ones.)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Corey Kluber and Chris Sale Have Been Dominant This Season, but Who's the AL Cy Young Favorite?

Post by jserraglio » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:32 pm

I read in yr earlier post that you recognized the difference. But that difference should be taken into account. Alcohol is not a banned substance under MLB rules. Banned are steroids, cannabinoids (e.g., THC, hashish and marijuana), synthetic THC and cannabimimetics (e.g., K2 and Spice), cocaine, LSD, opiates (e.g., oxycodone, heroin, codeine, and morphine), MDMA (ecstasy), GHB and phencyclidine (PCP), and high levels of certain stimulants. All players are tested for steroids in spring training; other drugs are tested for when probable cause exists. {Wikipedia}

Strawberry, at age 55 no spring bear cub, retired from the game in 1999. Active at the height of the steroid doping era.

The game today is different from when Strawberry played. IMO, it's more like. though not as impressive as, the age of Williams, DiMaggio, Paige, Yaz, Doby, Mantle, Maris, Feller, Koufax, Nolan Ryan and Berra, godlike players. Hitters are not bulking up today but will hit more HRs this season than the doping years ever produced.

The Indians (World Series 2016) are a good example of this new style: small ball with an emphasis on speed and agility, base running, clutch hitting, pitching, and defense: Lindor, Ramirez, Kipnis, Brantley, Zimmer, Naquin, Gonzalez, Mejia, Urshela and Chisenhall: all are young, were developed by the organization and are reputed to be clean.



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