Archive for September, 2008
Tim Lincecum threw an absolute gem today, beating the Dodgers 3-1, striking out 13, (including the first 9 outs of the game!). He finished with 18 wins, behind only Brandon Webb’s 22, just 4 wins back, which can be directly attributable to the support (or lack thereof) each pitcher’s bullpen provided, and gives Cy Young Award voters something to think about as they decide who was the best pitcher in the league this season.
I’ve stated my case repeatedly, it’s Lincecum all the way, but there’s certainly reason to argue for Webb, Santana or Sabathia.
Lincecum becomes the first Giants to lead the league in strikeouts, and finished with league-leading totals in almost all of the major categories.
Lincecum saw one of his last opportunities to lock up the Cy Young Award go by last night, as he was unable to control his awesome array of pitches in a demoralizing 9-4 loss to the Rockies.
“To be honest, I couldn’t care less right now,” Lincecum said. “Everybody makes a big deal out of it. … I’m not pitching for the Cy Young or any award. I’m pitching for myself. I’m pitching for my team.”
At least he’s sounding all the right notes. Nonetheless, Webb has gotten to 22 wins, and most –if not the majority– of sportswriters rarely see beyond the player who leads the league in wins. If Lincecum had managed to get himself to 18 or 19 wins, I think it would have been enough to push him to the award. Now, he’s looking at the very real chance that Webb wins 23 games, and he’s finished with a 17-5 record.
Regardless of whether you think he’s been the best pitcher in the league all season long, 6 more wins than the number two guy will make it very easy for the voters to ignore the domination he’s shown across the stats page.
It’s been two weeks since I last wrote about Lincecum and the Cy Young Award, and I’d say he’s in better shape now than he was then.
Last night’s shutout took an eye-opening 138 pitches, something Bochy seems to think isn’t a problem, (although I sure worry), and nailed down his 17th win.
Lincecum’s record is now standing at a stellar 17-3 to Brandon Webb’s 20-8, and overall, our boy has to be the front-runner right now. The fact that a number of voters will simply look at Webb’s 20 wins cannot be ignored, but, come on.
Lincecum’s allowed 20 fewer earned runs, 20 fewer hits, and has 60 more strikeouts than Webb, leads the majors in strikeouts (237) and is second in ERA to only the AL’s phenom, Cliff Lee (2.43 to 2.36). Really, Lincecum’s only real flaw this season has been his walks allowed, (77). He’s held the opposition to a ridiculous .219/.295/.309 .604 OPS, allowing only 10 home runs, 50 RBI, and 232 total bases, all of which lead the majors. He’s far and away the best strikeout pitcher in the game, with 10.27 K/9IP, and has been overpowering all season long.
Again, he’s lost something like 4 wins to the bullpen or the offense, and we should be beyond won-loss records to decide who’s been the best pitcher in each league. It’s his Cy Young to lose right now, Brandon Webb has faltered down the stretch (allowing 6, 6, and 7 earned runs in his three tries at twenty wins before finally getting there last night), and Lincecum just threw his first career shutout.