The National League Cy Young award will be announced Tuesday and, in honor of that, we have been asked to compile a list of our fantasy NL pitching staff.
Surprisingly, this list really wasn't that hard to put together.
CC Sabathia, Milwaukee Brewers
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
Johan Santana, New York Mets
Brandon Webb, Arizona Diamondbacks
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies
The Brewers certainly got what they asked for when they gave up one of the game's best prospects for big CC. He finished almost half of his starts, completing seven of 17, recording a 11-2 record and 1.65 ERA in the process.
He was the definition of a horse down the stretch for the Brew Crew, leading them into the playoffs after making three-straight starts on three days rest. And because he was such a beast after the trade from the Indians, CC will be seeing dollar signs as long as the eye can see this off season.
It's hard to believe that with less-than a years worth of experience coming into this season, "The Franchise" put up ridiculous numbers. Add to the fact that he did it on a team that only won 72 games, and his numbers should be even more mind boggling.
My choice for the 2008 National League Cy Young Award, the future of the San Francisco Giants made it clear that he is also the present star of the club, going 18-5 with a 2.62 ERA, third in all of Major League Baseball, and 1.17 WHIP. He also led the world with 265 strikeouts, almost 60 more than his closest competitor.
He struck out more than 10 batters nine times in his 33 starts, and was one short of double digits in five other starts.
The righty-lefty trend continues with the Mets' ace. Going to the Big Apple didn't hurt one the game's best pitchers, although a horrible bullpen certainly did.
Despite the numerous no decisions, Santana recorded the best ERA (2.53) in all of baseball and his 16-7 record and 206 strikeouts are nothing to laugh at either. However, you have to think that if the Mets bullpen, most notably their middle relief, was somewhat close to respectable, Johan would certainly be the top contender from the Cy Young.
With already one Cy Young under his belt, he is certainly Lincecum's main competition for the league's top pitcher award Tuesday.
If he does win it, he will certainly have earned it. Webb was tied with Cliff Lee for the Major League lead in wins with 22 and also was fourth in the NL with 226.2 innings pitched.
The thing that might get him Tuesday is that his ERA, 3.30, is almost a full run higher than Lincecum's and had 82 fewer strikeouts than the Giants ace.
The best young left hander in the game certainly showed what he can do in the playoffs, winning the National League Championship and World Series MVP awards, posting a 4-0 record and 1.80 ERA in five postseason starts.
His 14-10 record isn't too impressive, but his 3.09 ERA and 1.08 WHIP certainly are, especially considering where he plays his home games. Hamels was also second in the National League with 227.1 innings pitched, trailing only Santana in that category. He also finished sixth in the NL with 196 strikeouts.
Honorable mentions: Edison Volquez, RHP, Cincinnati Reds; Ryan Dempster, RHP, Chicago Cubs; Chad Billingsley, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers; Dan Haren, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Brad Lidge, Philadelphia Phillies (closer)
Billy Wagner, New York Mets
Jose Valverde,Houston Astros
Kerry Wood, Chicago Cubs
The team's closer certainly had a season to remember, not blowing a save all year and leading the Phils to the Promise Land.
His 1.95 ERA was the lowest of any National League closer in 2008, and his 41 saves ranked him only behind Jose Valverde in that column. His 92 strikeouts in just 69.1 innings is just another thing that catches your eye when you look at what Lidge did this season.
The only lefty in the pen certainly had a disappointing end to his 2008 season, missing the final two months of the season, which a large part of the Mets missing the postseason for the second-straight year.
When he was on the mound, Billy Wags, although he blew seven saves, still racked up 27 successful outings, ranking him tenth in the NL, but would've certainly been towards the top of the list if had not missed the final two months of the year.
The man who took over for Lidge in Houston certainly did quite a good job in his first season in the Lone Star State.
He led the National League in saves with 44, racked up 83 strikeouts in 72 innings and was a main reason why the Astros were able to stay in the conversation for a playoff spot until the final weeks of the season.
Coming into the year, we weren't really sure who would close for the lovable Cubbies. Looking back on it, there wasn't much to debate about at all.
Wood, while he did have to battle injuries like he has done throughout his career, had one heck of a season. He recorded 34 saves in 65 appearances, striking out 84 in 66.2 innings while only walking 18, one of the best ratios in all of baseball.
Honorable mentions: Brian Wilson, CL, San Francisco Giants; Francisco Cordero, CL, Cincinnati Reds; Brian Fuentes, CL, Colorado Rockies
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