Now I know I’m a total homer Padre fan, but I was looking at the list for the “Fan Vote” for the final slot on the N.L. All-Star team today and I don’t understand why this is even a competition. At last count, San Diego’s Chris Young was barely holding the lead over the Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano and I don’t get why it’s close. Without the obvious fan bias involved, Zambrano would have no chance. If he – or any of the other candidates – wins, Young will have been robbed a spot on the roster, plain and simple. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the stats shall we?
The five players up for the final vote in the N.L. are Pittsburgh’s Tom Gorzelanny, Houston’s Roy Oswalt, Arizona’s Brandon Webb, Young and Zambrano.
Young is currently 8-3 and will start against the Marlins tonight. Gorzelanny is 8-4, Oswalt is 7-5, Webb is 8-6 and Zambrano is 9-6.
Young is currently third in the Majors with a 2.14 ERA. Gorzelanny is 12th at 3.05, Webb is 24th at 3.27, Oswalt is 31st at 3.52 and Zambrano 47th at 4.04.
Opponents are hitting just .197 off of Young, the lowest of any starting pitcher in baseball who qualified. Hitters are batting .245 against Zambrano, .247 against Webb, .255 against Gorzelanny and .264 against Oswalt. Translation: Young has been dominant this year. How is this even a contest? More importantly, how did he get left off the roster to begin with?
Sure, Webb (104) and Zambrano (94) have more strikeouts than Young (90), but I’ve always thought that, for pitchers, strikeouts are the most overrated statistic in baseball. Even so, Young has a better K/9 innings ratio than both, his is 8.38, while Zambrano’s is 7.60 and Webb’s is 7.55.
Seriously, how is this guy not a lock to be on the team? It’s ridiculous. We all know baseball’s All-Star game is terminally flawed, but this is one place where we, the fans, can do something about it. Vote for the right guy people. And if all these stats didn’t convince you, just remember Zambrano threw a punch at his catcher in the dugout, then had a good cry with him about it. You want that guy around your team’s best player for a few days? Didn’t think so.
*UPDATE: Young tossed seven shutout innings Wednesday night, giving up just five hits, striking out nine and lowering his ERA to 2.00, tying him with Brad Penny for tops in the Major Leagues.