All I heard this week was that this NL Cy Young Award could go to three different pitchers, but in the end most experts defaulted to St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright…they were wrong. Tim Lincecum of San Francisco won his second Cy Young Award in back to back years the first to do it since Randy Johnson in 2002.
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America gave Lincecum 100 pts, to Carpenter’s 94 and Wainwright’s 90. Of the 32 votes cast, Lincecum and Wainwright were on all the ballots, Carpenter all but two. As a matter of fact, Wainwright ended up with more first place votes (12) to Lincecum’s (11). It’s only the second time that has happened. Lincecum got more second place votes and that pushed him over the top. Lincecum had 12, Wainwright just five.
Lincecum led the NL with 261 K’s and ranked second with a 2.48 ERA while going 15-7 for the Giants. Really, he and Wainwright and Chris Carpenter all made strong cases. You could pick anyone of those three pitchers. They all had great years and Lincecum is no slouch of a pitcher either. In fact, he may have had the biggest uphill battle of all three.
He played on a lousy team and had to live up to higher expectations being the reigning Cy Young winner. Lincecum led the Major Leagues by making seven starts in which he worked at least eight innings and didn’t allow an earned run. Another key stat in his favor, Lincecum’s eight double-digit strikeout performances, highlighted by his 15-strikeout effort July 27 against Pittsburgh, were also Major League feats.