Greinke Brings Back Memories of Blyleven's Forgotten Season in 1973
In his Monday Mendozas, Rob Neyer weighs in on Zack Greinke and the American League Cy Young Award on the heels of the 25-year-old righthander's back-to-back 15-strikeout and one-hit games last week.
• After yet another gem from Zack Greinke, Joe Posnanski tweeted thusly:
Well, Rob, while perhaps not quite Greinkesque, Bert Blyleven finished first in K/BB and SHO, second in ERA and SO, third in CG, and fourth in HR/9 in 1973, yet finished SEVENTH in the CYA voting. Blyleven was also first in ERA+ and second in WHIP. Despite a body of work that was similar to Greinke's this year, only one writer placed Blyleven on his ballot that season. Yes, you read that right. Only one writer voted for the guy who may have been "the best pitcher in the league." And that writer listed him third.
You see, on the same stats that are now being discussed to highlight Greinke's pitching prowess this season, Blyleven should have finished first in the CYA balloting in 1973.
Here is how Blyleven compared to the five starting pitchers who placed higher than him in the voting that season (John Hiller, a reliever, finished fourth):
This comparison isn't meant to take anything away from Greinke, who has had a fantastic season. Instead, it just goes to show what a great year Blyleven had in 1973. But he never got his due back then (nor in several other campaigns), and the failure on the part of the writers to properly acknowledge Bert's accomplishments during his playing days has continued to haunt him a dozen years into his Hall of Fame candidacy.
The writers only have three years to go to finally get it right.