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Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

September 9, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Is Feldman joining the Cy Young conversation?

martyfeldman.jpg

No, not Marty Feldman.

coreyfeldman.jpg

No, not Corey Feldman.

This guy down below us: Scott Feldman of the Texas Rangers.

scottfeldman.jpg

Feldman hurled seven shutout innings against the Indians today as the Rangers won 10-0. This might have slipped right past you — it mostly slipped past me, as I’m not ashamed to admit — but Feldman now stands 16-4.

That’s right: Scott Feldman, 16-4.

Now, I fully realize that if you dig deeper into his numbers, Feldman doesn’t hang with Zack Greinke, Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander or Roy Halladay, four of the front-runners for the Cy Young — with Greinke as the man to beat, despite his highly deceptive 13-8 record. Geoff has an interesting Cy Young discussion going on his blog.

But Feldman (described on his Baseball Reference.com page as “The greatest Hawaiian-born Jewish baseball player to ever set foot on the mound”), has something going for him that always proves powerful with Cy Young voters: A lot of wins, and not many losses.


At 16-4, in fact, he has the best winning percentage of all the starters in the AL, and is tied for the lead in victories. Verlander and C.C. Sabathia are 16-7. Feldman also has seven straight victories for a Ranger team battling for a playoff berth, which also tends to resonate with voters. In his last four starts, Feldman has given up one run in 26 1/3 innings, a 0.34 ERA. That’s clutch pitching, by any standard.
Again, I fully realize that with a 3.46 ERA and just 95 strikeouts in 162 2/3 innings, Feldman is lagging behind the elite fireballers. And if you look at the more sophisticated statistics, such as FIP, found on FanGraphs, he’s also a notch (or two) below in most instances.
I think Cy Young voters are more sophisticated than they used to be. They realize now that win-loss record is not everything. Yet if Feldman can somehow run the table, win his final four starts and finish 20-4, with 11 wins in a row for a playoff contender, he’s going to get some votes. And who would have ever thought that was possible a month ago?
Maybe this guy.
(Photo by Associated Press)

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