Our Ballot for BBA’s Walter Johnson Award

In continuing the issuing of ballots for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance’s awards, we are now at the top pitcher. The top pitcher in each league will be the recipient of the Walter Johnson Award.

The voting was a little different as in the other BBA awards. The Johnson requires voting for the top five pitchers in the National League. Points awarded as follows: 10 for 1st, 7 for 2nd, 5 for 3rd, 3 for 4th and 1 for 5th.

In what can only be deemed as a non-surprise as our top choice, Blog Red Machine issues its top five pitchers…

First place: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
Told you it was no surprise. Hard to figure how anyone can go against Kershaw and the season he constructed. I imagine there will be a couple stating that other pitchers had better seasons. Kind of hard for those to argue against these numbers…

– Led all of baseball with an ERA of 2.28.
– Tied for NL lead in wins (21).
– Led NL in strikeouts (248).
– Led NL in batting average against (.207).
– Led all all NL “qualified” starters in WHIP (0.98). Only one other pitcher had a WHIP under 1.00.

Of the five ballots cast, Kershaw captured the top spot on all five. Yes, it was unanimous among the BRM staff.

Second place: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies
Last year’s winner “falls” to second in our 2011 ballot. Halladay firmly backed up his 2010 campaign with an equally impressive 2011. He ranked tops in the NL in SO/BB ratio (6.29) and complete games (8). Halladay also ranked second in the NL in ERA (2.35) and innings pitched (233.2). He was also third in whiffs (220).

Halladay was also named on all five ballots garnering two second-place votes to go along with three third-place votes.

Third place: Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies
Another Phillies arm. Lee led the NL in shutouts with 6. He also ranked second in SO/BB (5.67), strikeouts (238) and complete games (6). Lee finished at the third spot in WHIP (1.03).

Lee was the only other pitcher named on all five ballots claiming two votes for second, one for third and two for fifth.

Fourth Place: Ian Kennedy, Arizona Diamondbacks
From a pitching standpoint, Kennedy was as big as any for the emergence of the D-backs in 2011. He was tied with Kershaw for the NL lead in wins (21) while he also leading the NL in winning percentage (.840). Kennedy pulled a ranking of fifth in batting average against (.227) and innings pitched (222.0).

Kennedy was named on 4 of the 5 ballots gathering a second-place, a third-place and two fourth-place honors.

Fifth Place: Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies
The third Phillies “ace” to grace our ballot. While Hamels win-loss record may not look impressive, his secondary numbers are nothing to sneeze at though. Hamels was the only other starter to own a WHIP under 1.00 (0.99). He was second in the NL in batting average against (.214) ans H/9 (7.04). His 14.5 pitches per inning ranked first in the NL, too.

Hamels received three mentions on BRM ballots accounting a fourth and two fifths…votes, that is.

To recap:
1. Clayton Kershaw, LAD
2. Roy Halladay, PHI
3. Cliff Lee, PHI
4. Ian Kennedy, ARZ
5. Cole Hamels, PHI

Here’s a snapshot look at how the BRM staff voted.

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