The primary source of debate is how poorly Sabathia performed in the post-season, specifically his abysmal showing in the ALCS. Beckett, the series MVP, simply dominated the Indians. But the Cy Young Award is for the regular season only. On top of that, Beckett pitched 200.2 innings compared to Sabathia’s 241.0. But Beckett went 20-7, and Sabathia went 19-7. Despite pitching 40 few innings, Beckett garnered one more decision. That’s not necessarily Sabathia’s fault, though, and innings pitched are a large factor in Cy Young consideration. As Tim Kurkjian of ESPN also pointed out, those extra innings pitched might have caused some fatigue in Sabathia’s arm, which led to his poor ALCS performance.
I’m biased, so it’s obvious I would’ve awarded it to Beckett. It’s a close call, though. In this case, both pitchers had nearly identical records (though Beckett led the league in wins), and Sabathia had a lower ERA (by 0.06). The only difference is that Sabathia started four more games than Beckett, and, on average, pitched slightly over 7 innings per start, with four complete games. Beckett averaged about 6 2/3 innings per start, with only one complete game. Both were aces of their respective staffs. Both led teams to division titles. Both have hit home runs in inter-league play within the past few years (does that count?).
Though it was close, I don’t see why an unbiased voter wouldn’t vote for Sabathia. Despite the similarities, he did have a better regular season. I suppose Beckett will have to settle for the ALCS MVP Award and that little World Series ring. Poor guy.