The 26 year old right-hander became the third Royal Pitcher to take home the honor. The others were Bret Saberhagen in '85 and '89 and David Cone in '94. The most amazing statistic might not be Greinke's outstanding, MLB leading 2.16 ERA, his 242 strikeouts, his 29 consecutive innings pitched without an earned run to start the season, or his 6-1 record with a 1.75 ERA over is last 11 starts. The most amazing statistic of Zack Greinke's season is the fact that he certainly pitched well enough to win more than the 16 W's that he recorded.
Had Greinke pitched for almost any other team in the majors, he probably would have won at least 20 games. Think about this...his bullpen blew four leads after he left games in line for the win. In the 17 starts in which he either took the loss or received a no-decision, the Royals scored a total of 37 runs. This includes only 15 runs TOTAL in his 8 losses.
Greinke was so dominant that although he only won 16 games (he is only the second starter in AL history to win the Cy Young Award with only 16 victories, David Cone won his in '94 with 16 wins and that was the strike year), he received 25 or 28 possible first place votes and finished with 134 points.
Others receiving votes were Seattle's Felix Hernandez (2 first place votes 80 points), Justin Verlander, Detroit, (1 first place vote, 14 points), CC Sabathia, New York Yankees (13 points), Roy Halladay, Toronto (11 points). Hernandez and Verlander both won 19 games, and Verlander led the Major League with 269 strikeouts. Sabathia won a world series and Halladay was arguably more dominating throughout the first half of the season than any other pitcher in the game. In the end there was one factor that made Zack Greinke the 2009 AL Cy Young Award recipient. This separated Greinke from the rest of the field.