Seattle Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez was rightfully awarded the American League Cy Young Award on Thursday afternoon, a proud moment not only for him but for all those that argued against wins being an important category in the voting process. The Red Sox, meanwhile, can take pride for their representation among the elite hurlers.
Jon Lester finished fourth in the voting and Clay Buchholz finished sixth, both of them picking up at least one third-place vote. It marks the fourth time in the award’s 55-year history that two Red Sox pitchers were in the top six in Cy Young voting.
Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez finished second and fourth, respectively, in 2004. Martinez and Derek Lowe were 2-3 in 2002. In 1988, Bruce Hurst was fifth and Roger Clemens sixth.
The only other time two Boston pitchers received votes came in 1978, when Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley was fourth and Bob Stanley was tied with several others for seventh.
Lester was 19-9 with a 3.25 ERA. He led the AL with 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings and was an All-Star for the first time. Buchholz was 17-7 with a 2.33 ERA, which ranked just behind Hernandez, the league-leader with a 2.27 mark. Buchholz had a chance to catch Hernandez but was scratched from his final start.
Tampa Bay’s David Price finished second to Hernandez, who received 21 of a possible 28 first-place votes despite his 13-12 record with the lowly Mariners. CC Sabathia of New York was third and Jered Weaver of Anaheim was slotted between Lester and Buchholz.