Handing Out the Hardware, Part VI: N.L. Cy Young

Joel KochSenior Analyst ISeptember 10, 2008

Part VI is here and ready to roll. It’s time to look at the National League Cy Young award. This will be a dogfight to the end between Tim Lincecum and Brandon Webb, but in the end, only this one will survive:

Time Lincecum RHP, San Francisco Giants

Remember what I said with the American League Cy Young? Being on a winning team shouldn’t matter. The Cy Young should be given to the best pitcher, and Lincecum just nudges Webb. First, he leads the NL in earned run average and is second to Cliff Lee of the Cleveland Indians by only .26.

Lincecum has also thrown 199 innings, one more than Webb, so not much difference there. The real differences come in ERA (2.54 compared to 3.41), quality starts (Lincecum’s 23 to Webb’s 21), and walks plus hits over innings pitched (1.18 for Lincecum compared to 1.19 for Webb).

It is true that Webb has allowed 17 less walks than Lincecum, but we can negate that with the fact that Lincecum is tied with CC Sabathia (with the Indians and the Milwaukee Brewers) for first in the Majors with 225 strikeouts (first overall among NL pitchers).

Now, let’s consider the pitcher’s teams. Lincecum pitches for the Giants, who have a 65-80 record, and owns only 3 losses (versus 16 wins). Webb? He plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are 71-74, and owns a 19-7 record. So yeah, he leads the league in wins, but he also owns seven losses.


Honorable Mentions:

Brandon Webb RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Well, we’ve already discussed both pitchers. This is about as close of a race that the NL has seen in Cy Young balloting for awhile. Webb should be just nudged out, but only be a slight margin. He’ll get strong consideration if he picks up the Diamondbacks and leads them to a NL West title, and for his 6-0 record in April.

Johan Santana LHP, New York Mets

Santana has already won a Cy Young in the AL, but he should be strongly considered for the NL as well. He suffered from the early season struggles of the Mets, but he has been nothing short of amazing like always. He’s currently 13-7 with a 2.70 ERA. Let’s not forget his great pitching has settled an uncertain rotation, which is now leading the way (with Carlos Delgado) in the NL East.

CC Sabathia LHP, Milwaukee Brewers

This is to not discount Sabathia, but he shouldn’t get any consideration for the NL Cy Young. He too is a great pitcher, but just for the mere fact that he’ll finish the year with only three months in the NL should disqualify him. Yes, he’s been amazing for the Brewers, but he’s just not been in the league long enough, in my opinion, to be considered.


Well, parts seven and eight come tomorrow, and they should be fun. A heated battle for the AL Most Valuable Player is coming first, followed by the even hotter battle for the NL award. Should be some fun debates. Hope you have enjoyed Parts I-VI, because I have enjoyed giving them to you.