Friday, September 02, 2005

Cy... Silva?

The American League Cy Young race is without definitive studs. While the National League is sporting some of the top pitchers in the game (which, in fairness, may relate to the lack of a DH) in Dontrelle Willis, Roger Clemens, and Chris Carpenter, among others, the AL has a lot of great but flawed pitchers. Mark Buehrle has been good, but inconsistent in the second half. Jon Garland has a lot of wins, but unspectacular peripherals; the same goes for Bartolo Colon. Roy Halladay had phenomenal numbers through the first few months of the season, but he's out for the year. Johan Santana sports some impressive numbers, but might not get enough wins to gain significant consideration due to his paltry run support and a good but not great first half. The question I will pose is this: if the Twins' offense were actually competent, would Carlos Silva be in this discussion as well?

Silva is 9-6 with a 3.34 ERA this year. He has started 25 games this year. In those games, he has thrown NINE in which he has allowed 2 or fewer earned runs and received either a no decision or a loss. A decent offense should be winning almost every time their starter gives them a performance like that. If the Twins had given him decent run support and allowed him to win 7 of those starts (which I think is quite reasonable), he would have 16 wins and probably fewer than 6 losses. That would tie him with Garland at second in the AL in wins, one behind Colon.

Now, granted, a few of Silva's peripheral numbers aren't necessarily eye-popping. Opponent's are hitting .288 against him. Also, he has only 68 strikeouts on the year (Garland has only 86, so he's not as far behind everyone as one might think).

Still, he has the best control of any pitcher in the Majors, as he's walked just 8 men in 180 innings, and he's on his way to setting a record for the best BB/9 rate in baseball history. He's been a workhorse, as he should easily reach 200 innings pitched for the second straight year despite missing a couple starts in April.

With the way he's pitched this year, Silva should be on a 20-win pace. Unfortunately, it's September and still has yet to reach double-digits in wins. With a 3.34 ERA and 16 games in which he has gone at least 6 innings and allowed 3 or fewer runs (quality starts), that is just ridiculous. It is unfortunate that Silva's fantastic season will fly under the national radar because the Twins' offense is just so damn bad.