Tim Lincecum is now 15-3, and is leading the National League with 210 strikeouts, a 2.43 ERA, with 81% quality starts, 10.20 K/9IP, an .833 winning percentage, a 62.2 average game score, and a 2.80 defense independent ERA. He’s in the top ten in just about every other significant category, and really is only challenged for the Cy Young this year by Brandon Webb, who is also having a terrific season.
Webb is 19-5, is 6th in ERA at 2.85, and is also in the top ten in most important categories. The only thing Tim does significantly better than Webb is strike guys out, Webb’s got 157.
But Lincecum has allowed 12 fewer earned runs in just about the same number of innings, and with the Giants having only about 70 home runs, you’d think he’s not getting anywhere near the same kind of run support. For example, Lincecum has six games in which he gave up 2 or fewer runs and came away with a no-decision, including twice when he allowed no earned runs. Webb has only three such games, and that’s pretty much the difference between them.
Tim has been supported by 124 runs in 29 appearances, 4.27 runs per game.
Webb has been supported by 128 runs in 28 appearances, 4.57 runs per game.
It seems like Lincecum’s has pitched in more games in which the Giants offense has disappeared, but he’s had plenty of runs to work with overall. However…..
On May 15th, Lincecum threw 6 innings against the Astros, allowed 3 earned runs and got a no-decision that left his record at 5-1. Webb went 7.1 innings against the Rockies, also allowed 3 earned runs, and won, running his record to 9-0. Up to that point in the season, Webb had received 56 runs in his first 9 starts, 6.22 runs per game, and had allowed 18 earned runs in 63.1 innings, good for a 2.57 ERA. Lincecum had gotten just 38 runs in his first 9 starts, 4.22 per game, and had allowed only 12 earned runs in 56.1 innings, for an ERA of 1.92.
Since then, the two pitchers are essentially dead even, with Webb going 10-5 and Lincecum 10-2.
Bottom line, the race will come down to whether the voters can’t see past Webb winning something like 22 games, even though Lincecum has been the best pitcher in the NL all year long, regardless of Webb’s 9-0 start.