Why not Rocket?

Why not Rocket?
By Ryne Sandberg, Yahoo Sports
November 10, 2005

Ryne Sandberg
Yahoo Sports
More postseason award analysis: Managers of the Year

In making my pick for the National League Cy Young Award, I felt the winner had to come from a playoff team.

This immediately took Dontrelle Willis (22-10, 2.63) out of the picture. Although Willis had an incredible season with the Florida Marlins, I felt that – to be considered the best pitcher in the league – the winner had to be able to win big games down the stretch and lead his team to the postseason.

I then looked at total number of victories. This took Roger Clemens (13-8, 1.87) out of the equation.

Although Clemens' ERA was amazing, his win total prevented him from capturing his eighth Cy Young Award. Obviously, you can't blame Clemens for not getting more run support on the Houston Astros, but his win-loss record put voters in a tough spot. How could you rationalize giving it to a guy who only had 13 wins?

If I could give the award to two players, Clemens would've been my second choice. My first was Chris Carpenter (21-5, 2.83).

Carpenter deserved this award. The St. Louis Cardinals right-hander was the ace on the NL's best team, and he threw a ton of innings (241-2/3, tied for second in the league). Carpenter also went 8-0 in July and August when the Cardinals needed him most.

The way I look at it, Carpenter carried his team the entire year.

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Updated on Thursday, Nov 10, 2005 6:32 pm, EST

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