One pitcher in the history of baseball has won more Cy Young Awards than Randy Johnson, and he widened his lead Tuesday.
Houston Astros ace Roger Clemens earned his record seventh Cy Young Award — his first in the National League — when voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America was announced Tuesday.
Clemens earned 23 of 32 firstplace votes and 140 points in the 5-3-1 tabulation system. Johnson, whose five Cy Young Awards include four with the Diamondbacks, was runner-up with eight first-place votes and 97 points.
Johnson is out of the country and was unavailable for comment. "It’s hard to fault the choice of Roger Clemens in anything that has to do with pitching," D-Backs general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. said, "but I really believe that if we had had anything approaching normal run support for Randy, his wins would have been way over 20, and it would make everything different.
Johnson’s case was clearly hurt by the lack of talent around him on the 51-111 D-Backs.
Even though Johnson led Clemens in ERA, inning pitched, strikeouts, opponents’ batting average, games started, complete games, strikeouts per nine innings and walks per nine innings, voters apparently gave more weight to win-loss records.
Clemens, who originally decided to retire after the 2003 season, went 18-4 for his hometown Astros. Johnson, who saw his teammates score two runs or fewer in 17 of his 35 starts, was 16-14.
"Randy had a fine year himself, and his support was down," Clemens said Tuesday via teleconference from Japan, where he participating in the series between major league All-Stars and Japanese all-stars. "Randy was right there."
"I’m disappointed for Randy."
Three voters left Johnson off their ballots: Pierre Ladouceur of La Presse in Montreal; Mike Kiley of the Chicago Sun-Times and Arnie Stapleton of the Milwaukee bureau of The Associated Press.
"That’s hard to reconcile," Garagiola said.
Johnson, who earned a $150,000 bonus for finishing second, was the first pitcher ever to have 10 or more victories and a winning record for a team that lost 110 or more games. He also pitched a perfect game, May 18 at Atlanta, and passed Steve Carlton for more career strikeouts by a left-hander.
Clemens, 42, is the oldest Cy Young Award winner and joins Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez and Johnson as winners in both leagues.
Clemens said Tuesday, as he did a year ago, he is "99.9 percent" certain he will retire. "I kind of have a feeling on what I intend to do and what my future holds," he said, "but now is not the time to (announce) that."