Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lincecum Wins NL Cy Young

San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum has won the 2008 NL Cy Young Award. Lincecum, in his first full season in the bigs, went 18-5 with a 2.62 ERA and 265 strikeouts. Although Brandon Webb of the Arizona Diamondbacks led the NL in wins with 22, Lincecum's ERA and strikeout totals led the NL.

I saw Lincecum's major league debut on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball on May 6, 2007 when he faced the Philadelphia Phillies. He only lasted four and a third innings giving up five runs including homeruns to Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino. Lincecum got away with a no decision. But you could see why the Giants selected him as their first round draft pick in 2006.

Lincecum is only the second Giant to win the NL Cy Young. Mike McCormick won it for the Giants in 1967. At 24, Lincecum is also the second youngest pitcher to win the NL Cy Young. Dwight Gooden won the NL Cy Young in 1985 as a 20-year-old for the New York Mets.

I enjoy watching Lincecum pitch with his wild delivery. The Giants are a team to watch in 2009 with a starting rotation of Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Barry Zito. Yes, Zito has been a dissapointment with the Giants so far but he did pitch better in the second half of the season. If the Giants get a bat or two they can contend in a relatively weak NL West Division.

As for Lincecum the sky is the limit. The only worry here is that his wild delivery may cause him to be suspectible to arm and back injuries. But barring injury I think Lincecum will emerge as baseball's best pitcher over the next five to ten years with a couple more Cy Youngs under his belt.

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