Final Weekend in the Sphere

Our final MLBlogger of the Week at 10:15 ET tonight on MLB Radio will be Carl the Cabbie, who is back for a third go-round on MLB Radio‘s "Under the Lights" with host Pete McCarthy. We welcome Carl to our studios here tonight, and thanks to all the MLBloggers who participated this year. The show moves to postseason and then offseason format for subsequent Fridays. . . .

My only official award vote this year will be the Hall of Fame ballot in early December as a lifetime BBWAA member, and I have a pretty good idea about that one already.

One that I am actually glad I do not have a say on is the NL Cy Young.

I have always waited until the last possible day of a season to vote for such individual awards before, and if I had that one, I would wait until the last possible hour. But I think I’ve found what I’ve been waiting to see emerge in that race. There are no obvious choices no matter how much arcane data is presented, so I’d be looking for the difference-maker.

Right now I’d give it to Roy Oswalt.

Oswalt (15-8, 2.92) has won six consecutive decisions since August 23 and is 5-0 in six September starts…he has also won nine of his last 10 decisions since July 23…in the last four seasons, Oswalt is 17-2 in September games, making him the first pitcher since Tom Browning from 1985-88 to win as many as 17 September games over a four-year span…Oswalt, the winning pitcher in the clinching Game 6 of the 2005 NLCS for Houston at St. Louis, ranks second in the NL with a 2.98 ERA and tied for fifth with 15 wins…he is tied with Derek Lowe and John Smoltz for NL lead with nine wins since the All-Star Break…Oswalt, who posted back-to-back, 20-win seasons in 2004-05, is tied with Johan Santana for the Major League lead in wins over the last three seasons from 2004-06 wtih
55…Oswalt has recorded 10 consecutive quality starts since August 9 and ranks second in the NL with a 1.55 walks-per-nine innings ratio…Oswalt and Chris Capuano are tied for the Major League lead in quality starts this season with 25.

In other words, he is the NL’s closest thing to Santana these days as the down-the-stretch dominator and you can see what his contributions have done to the general blood pressure in St. Louis. Three days to go and I wouldn’t decide till then, but he’d be my pick so far over Webb/Hoffman/Carpenter/Lowe/Penny/anyone else who is sorta deserving. If offense mattered I’d go with the Z-man in Chicago. Six homers! . . .

I’ve mentioned a couple times here that you’re going to be seeing a lot of our first-ever MLBlogger, Tommy Lasorda. Check out the panel on the homepage all day, with his commercials, outtakes, link to my fan story, Tommy’s e-card, printable bracket . . . and then be on the lookout as his MLBlog will take on the same look and feel shortly. . . .

Jason at The Boogie Down Bronx blogged about Daniel Cabrera’s near-no-hitter to beat the Yanks last night, and my only reaction was that if it had been a no-hitter, it should have counted for something more because of the futile gloves behind and in front of him. I can’t ever remember a pitcher battling his own fielding quite that way. It make his outing even more impressive.

Tonight probably will go a long way to deciding whether next week is going to be a normal off day followed by the postseason — or whether absolute scheduling pandemonium will ensue. If the Phils, Astros and Reds win, then it just keeps making you shake your head more. One thing I just noticed is that the Astros would have to beat Smoltzie at Turner Field in their season finale — they’ll need vintage Andy Pettitte that day, assuming it still matters then.

I’ve got a Spheroid on the way as soon as I can get some breathing room to throw it on here. Happy blogging this weekend.


On Sept 20, the Cards were 8 up in the loss column and the Astros trailed half a dozen teams in the Wild Card hunt. Oswalt pitched well up to that point, but it was hardly under duress. When the race finally tightened, he faced the Cards on 9/23, 7IP 3ER no decision, and he threw 7IP 0 Runs vs Pirates on Thursday. Herculean next to Chris Carpenter’s flame out – but compared to Webb’s September(.156 BA, 0.64WHIP 2.23 ERA), it’s really nothing special.

One pitcher hasn’t been better down the stretch than the other; the collapse of the Cardinals(& Carpenter) just makes it seem that way. At the end of the day, I suspect, both guys will have pitched very well and missed the playoffs.

Perhaps cherrypicking wasnt the right word, as I dont question your intentions in showcasing September. I’m just leery of highlighting any month in that it’s rarely representative of the entire season.


“Cherrypicked” is way out of place for the record. When I used to cover the NBA, Magic Johnson had my favorite phrase for it: “Winnin’ time.” That’s what I’m referring to, when the heat is on and the cream rises. Means a lot to ye olde voters amongst us.

Unlike Carpenter, Oswalt is a very worthy adversary to Webb in the CY race, but that’s based on his Quality Starts and miserable run support all year long, not last year’s news or a cherrypicked month’s worth of stats.

Webb leads all contenders in Wins, ERA and IP. It’s extremely rare for a candidacy based on such broad-based superlatives to not win the trophy in a walk. No one among the top contenders pitched better, pitched more, or won more in 2006. What else does the guy have to do to get some respect, lead the league in Winning %?

Oh, I forgot. He did that too.

It is amazing how Houston and San Diego have emerged in September. I think that the Padres have a strong chance to win the NL because of their strong rotation and bullpen, and their offensive display on the road. New York is stumbling into the playoffs.

I do think that Oswalt deserves Cy Young consideration. The Astros have to feel like they will win the game when he is on the mound.

As a Sox fan, this weekend is not as exciting as I thought it would be a few months ago. However, I am pulling for the Padres since they have a plethora of former Sox players. I would like to see a San Diego-Minnesota World Series. Though it would not draw high TV ratings, it would be good for baseball – two underdogs who overcame obstacles. If Houston overtakes St. Louis, that would be a great story as well.

Jeff Louderback

BoSox Banter

Glad to see you giving Roy-O some love. If the Astros had any type of offense for the first part of the season, he’d be a 20 game winner again this season. It would be nice to see him win an individual award.

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