Before I post this, I want to make it perfectly clear that I think Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim closer Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez is a great closer, and that he is certainly in the discussion of the top 5 closers in the game. However, a few people (John Kruk, for one) have insisted that K-Rod should win the Cy Young, because he is on pace to have 64 saves, which would shatter the previous record of 57 set by Bobby Thigpen in 1990. That, however, doesn’t tell the whole story.
Pitcher A has a 1.84 ERA, 62 K in 53.2 IP, a 0.86 WHIP, with 4 blown saves
Pitcher B has a 1.64 ERA, 64 K in 55 IP, a 0.75 WHIP, with 1 blown save
Pitcher C has a 0.98 ERA, 61 K in 55 IP, a 0.89 WHIP, with 3 blown saves
Pitcher D has a 2.70 ERA, 58 K in 53.2 IP, a 1.28 WHIP, with 5 blown saves
Pitchers A, B, and C are having phenomenal seasons, while Pitcher D, while having a nice season, is clearly a notch below those three.
Pitcher A is Red Sox closer Jonathon Papelbon. Pitcher B is Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. Pitcher C is Twins closer Joe Nathan. Pitcher D…you guessed it, Francisco Rodriguez. This is not to take away from the guy, but he’s clearly not even the best closer in the American League, certainly not the best pitcher, and most definitely not the Most Valuable Player of the American League, either.