San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum capped off an All-Star sophomore season by winning the National League Cy Young Award yesterday. Despite his team’s 72-90 record and second-to-last-place finish in the NL West, Lincecum managed to piece together an 18-5 record, 2.62 ERA, and Major League-high 265 strikeouts while featuring a fastball that consistently topped out above 95 MPH to complement a vicious, “12-to-6” curveball.
Lincecum recorded 23 first-place votes, seven second-place votes, and one third-place vote in totaling 137 points in the race for the Cy Young. In a race that was expected to be decided by a much narrower margin, Lincecum blew away the competition, beating out second-place finisher Brandon Webb by 64 votes. Webb, the Arizona Diamondbacks ace, finished with a total 73 points, while Johan Santana of the New York Mets took home third place with 55 points.
The 2008 season began with Lincecum projected as the Giants third starter, behind Barry Zito and Matt Cain. Lincecum quickly emerged as the team’s ace, going 4-1 in April with a 1.73 ERA. He earned his first All-Star selection in July, but did not appear in the game after being hospitalized for flu-like symptoms prior to the first pitch.
The slender 5’11”, 160 pound righty is a native of Issaquah, WA and attended both Issaquah’s Liberty High School and the University of Washington before being selected 10th overall in the 2006 MLB June Amateur Draft by the Giants. At Liberty, Lincecum helped lead the Patriots to the 2003 Class 3A State Championship before taking his game to Montlake and the University of Washington. As a Husky, Lincecum capped off a stellar three-year career by taking home the Golden Spikes Award, presented annually to the nation’s best amateur player. In addition, his #14 jersey was retired by the university and its likeness is currently displayed on the right field fence at Husky Baseball Stadium.