San Francisco Giants Tim Lincecum Wins National League Cy Young Award
Tim Lincecum the right-handed stoner of the of the San Francisco Giants repeated as the National League Cy Young Award winner, besting St. Louis right-handers Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright in the vote conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
“The Freak” became the first pitcher ever to win the Cy Young in his first two full seasons in the big leagues and the first repeat winner since Randy Johnson who won four in a row for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1999-2002. Lincecum (15-7, 2.48 ERA, 261 strikeouts) received 11 first-place votes and 100 points. Carpenter (17-4, 2.24 ERA, 144 strikeouts) finished second with nine first-place votes and 94 points, followed by Wainwright (19-8, 2.63 ERA, 212 strikeouts), who had 12 first-place votes and 90 points.
The six-point margin between Lincecum and Carpenter equaled the third-closest NL Cy Young election since the ballot was expanded from one to three pitchers in 1970. The closest vote occurred in 1987, when the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian beat the Cubs’ Rick Sutcliffe, 57-55.
Although “The Freak” was fourth in wins he clearly improved overall. The 25-year-old trimmed his ERA by 0.14. Opponents hit .206 off him this season, compared to .221 in 2008. After walking 84 in 227 innings a year ago, he improved to 68 walks in 225 1/3 innings this season as well as leading the NL in strikeouts for the second year in a row, the first Giant to do so since Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson (1907-08). Lincecum also ranked second in ERA and tied teammate Matt Cain for the league lead with four complete games.
“The Freak’s” season was highlighted by four complete games, two shutouts and eight double-digit strikeout performances, due in large part to that ridiculous curve-ball and near unhittable changeup and a mid-90s fastball isn’t too bad either. July 27 also highlighted his season by striking out 15 against Pittsburgh.
Lincecum topped Wainwright and Carpenter in several other statistical categories, including opponents’ batting average, strikeouts per nine innings and strikeout-to-walk ratio.