BBA General Chapter Announces Vote for NL Walter Johnson Award
Each year the Baseball Bloggers Alliance votes on and chooses our own winners for each of the year’s major awards. As President of the General Chapter, it is my privilege to announce the Chapter’s choice for each award winner. Today we’ll look at the Walter Johnson Award, given to the top pitcher for each league. We’ve tackled the American League, so let’s look at the race in the National League.
First place votes were awarded 7 points. Second place votes were awarded 4 points. Third place votes were awarded 3 points. Fourth place votes were awarded 2 points. Fifth place votes were awarded 1 point. Each blog within the General Chapter of the BBA was invited to submit a ballot for the award. Ballots were subsequently submitted by the following members: TG Sports Thoughts, Wezen-Ball, The Straw That Stirs The Drink, Jason’s Baseball Blog, Going Yard, Flagrant Fan, Diamond Hoggers, 85% Sports, Rhino Rant, The Golden Sombrero, Off Base Percentage, and Blogging From The Bleachers.
Much of last offseason was spent discussion and speculating where Roy Halladay would end up once the Toronto Blue Jays completed a trade of their longtime ace. Nearly everyone knew that no matter where he’d land he would have a massive impact on that team. Most even speculated how dominant he would be should he go to a National League team. Once it was announced that he was going to the Philadelphia Phillies he was instantly the most common choice as an early favorite for the NL Cy Young Award.
Halladay didn’t disappoint in his first season in the NL, finishing with a 21-10 record and 2.44 ERA that was good enough for third in the league. He also threw 9 complete games, including 4 shutouts and a perfect game. He led the Phillies to an NL East title and followed up his remarkable season performance by pitching a no-hitter in his post season debut. To be fair, the no-hitter was not taken into consideration for this award as it is based solely on regular season performance. It is still worth mentioning though.
To little surprise, Halladay unanimously wins the NL Walter Johnson Award after being named first on all ballots submitted by the Chapter.
The two other starters who received serious consideration for the award did have solid seasons in their own right. St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright had yet another strong season, finishing with a 20-11 record and 2.42 ERA, showing that he’s emerged as one of the league’s best. Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez started the year hot, throwing a no-hitter in April and winning 15 games before the All Star Break, but cooled dramatically in the second half to finish the year 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA.
Florida’s Josh Johnson paced the league in ERA with a 2.30 mark to go along with his 11-6 record before having his season end early. Atlanta’s Tim Hudson (17-9, 2.83) returned from injury to win Comeback Player of the Year. San Diego’s Mat Latos (14-10, 2.92) emerged as a viable #1 in his first full season in the league.
Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw (13-10, 2.91) developed into a leader in the Dodger clubhouse. San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum (16-10, 3.43) finally will be dethroned as reigning Cy Young Award winner. Roy Oswalt (13-13, 2.76) even received some consideration after splitting his season between Houston and Philadelphia.