Kris Johnson Wins Sawamura Award

Kris Johnson won the Sawamura award, the equivalent of the major league Cy Young award, despite meeting only four of the seven requirements needed to win the award. He met the minimum number of requirements for wins (15) with a 2.15 ERA (2.50) minimum with 26 starts (25 minimum) and a .682 winning percentage (above .600 minimum). The requirements he did not meet were strikeouts (141, needed 150 or more), innings (180.1, needed over 200) and complete games (3, needed 10 or more). The way pitchers are used now in Japan it is getting tougher in Japan to meet the innings pitched and complete game requirements. It was possible for the committee to make no selections since no pitcher in the NPB met more than four of the minimum requirements to win the Sawamura award. The NPB is considering modifying some of the minimum requirements to recognize the different way pitchers are now used in the NPB.

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