Today’s post is serving as the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, Chicago Cubs chapter vote for the best pitcher in the National League. The BBA created the award to honor the top pitching talent in the game and named it after one of the greatest ever to take the mound.
Here are the BBA Chicago Cubs chapter votes for the Walter Johnson Award (our votes count towards the best pitcher in the National League seeing that our chapter is a National League chapter):
1. Clayton Kershaw, LAD: Made 33 starts, 233.1 IP, 2.28 ERA and won 21 games for a Dodgers team that struggled to score runs. Kershaw led the NL in strikeouts with 248 and notched 2 shut outs.
2. Cliff Lee, PHI: Allowed just 62 earned runs over 232.2 IP, struck out 238 batters and easily led all of baseball with 6 shutouts.
3. Ian Kennedy, ARZ: Quietly won 21 games with a 2.88 ERA to help lead Arizona to the NL West title. There is something to be said about the starting pitcher that performs the best on a team that outperforms expectations.
4. Roy Halladay, PHI: Virtually identical stats to Lee but sported a better ERA at 2.35. Halladay led the NL East winning Phillies with 19 wins. Hamels and Oswalt served Philly well, however it was Halladay that formed the second head of the Phillies dominant two-headed beast along with Lee.
5. Dillon Gee, NYM: Gee finished the season at 13-6 and 114 strikeouts in his rookie campaign. Without Santana and dealing with injuries all season, the Mets were desperate for someone to step up and perform well this season. Gee’s 6-0 start put him among the greatest rookie starts by Mets pitchers of all-time, tied for fourth in the franchise.
While the entire chapter generally submits for each award, this time around, these votes represent input from both myself and Brian at Bullpen Brian. More information about the BBA can be found here. Go Cubs Go!