The Sawamura Award Selection Committee, made up of Tsuneo Horiuchi, Masaji Hiramatsu, Choji Murata, Manabu Kitabeppu (absent), and Kimiyasu Kudo, decided to give Chihiro Kaneko the 2014 Sawamura Award.
The Sawamura Award is presented to the best pitcher in the NPB that comes closest to fulfilling the following seven criteria:
- Twenty-five or more games (Kaneko = twenty-six)
- Ten or more complete games (Kaneko = four)
- Fifteen or more victories (Kaneko = sixteen)
- A winning percentage at or above .600 (Kaneko = .762)
- 200 or more innings (Kaneko = 191)
- 150 or more strikeouts (Kaneko = 199)
- An ERA at or below 2.50 (Kaneko = 1.98)
Kaneko fulfilled five of the seven criteria. The decision was unanimous.
[UPDATE 10/28 @ 9:50pm]
The selection committee unanimously selected Kaneko not only for the season he had this year, but also for the season he had last year. They also considered going without a winner.
The committee questioned the criteria for selecting Sawamura Award winners. They are no longer certain if gauging performance based on the number of complete games is the best way to determine eligibility.