The Otter's 2009 MLB Awards: Cy Young

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The Otter's 2009 MLB Awards: Cy Young

"They"—which I can only loosely define as the people who said things many years ago that we bring up as clichés to this day—say that strong pitching determines postseason success. I am not a member of "they," but I certainly agree a team can climb the back of a strong pitcher in their pursuit of baseball's biggest prize. In anticipation of those postseason pitching gems, here's a review of the 2009 Cy Young race.

Cleveland Indians Pitcher Cliff Lee became one of the most unlikely Cy Young Award winners in 2008, one year after a terrible season that saw him shuttled to the minors and left off the team's playoff roster. He recovered beyond expectations, posting a 22-3 win-loss record with a 2.54 ERA. Midway through 2009 it appeared as though Lee's 2008 success was a fluke as he came back to earth with a loud thud, managing a 7-9 record, a 3.14 ERA, and a ghastly 1.303 WHIP.

Following a mid-season trade to the Philadelphia Phillies, Lee clearly benefited from the change of scenery and served to stir the controversy that the National League talent pales in comparison to the American League. He proved effective, if not dominating, for the Phillies in the second half, going 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA and posting a 1.130 WHIP.

Warming Up.....American League Cy Young Winner

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