Originally created 11/15/00

Johnson earns third career Cy Young

ATLANTA -- Randy Johnson is king, again.

Although Atlanta Braves left-hander Tom Glavine led the National League with 21 wins, Johnson's dominant strikeout total, his league-leading winning percentage, complete games and shutout totals carried the Cy Young vote.

Glavine's hopes for a third Cy Young were dashed Tuesday when the 37-year-old Johnson won a second straight Cy Young in a landslide, receiving 22 of 32 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The Arizona Diamondbacks' lefty also got seven second-place votes and two thirds for 133 points, easily outdistancing Glavine, who received four first-place votes and finished with 64 points.

Glavine's teammate, Greg Maddux, a four-time Cy Young winner, finished third with 59 points, followed by San Francisco's Robb Nen (20), St. Louis' Darryl Kile (8) and Los Angeles' Kevin Brown (4).

"There was a lot of competition this year," said Johnson, who joined Maddux and Sandy Koufax as the only back-to-back winners in NL history. "Every year as I get older, it is harder to put the numbers up. The biggest gratification I get is doing it at an age when a lot of people thought I might be over the hill."

Glavine, a two-time Cy Young winner, led the league in wins and finished eighth with a 3.40 ERA. But his win total wasn't enough to sway voters, who went for Johnson despite a mediocre 5-5 record and 3.81 ERA after the All-Star break.

Johnson, who became the eighth pitcher to win three Cy Youngs (he won with Seattle in 1995), posted a 19-7 record and 2.64 ERA, second only to Brown's 2.58 ERA. He had 347 strikeouts, joining Nolan Ryan as the only pitcher to record 300 strikeouts in three consecutive seasons, and became the 12th pitcher to reach the 3,000-strikeout plateau.

The wins by Johnson and Boston's Pedro Martinez in this year's Cy Young voting marked the first time in baseball history that pitchers from each league won back-to-back honors in the same year. Johnson joins Martinez and Hall of Famers Tom Seaver, Jim Palmer and Koufax as three-time winners. Only Roger Clemens (5), Maddux (4) and Steve Carlton (4) have won more.

"Having my name mentioned with those pitchers is obviously a great honor, but I don't have time to get caught up in that stuff," Johnson said. "It's nice and I'm aware of it, but I really can't get caught up in it. I'm just grateful to be healthy."

Johnson had the best winning percentage (.731) among NL pitchers and tied for the league lead with three shutouts and eight complete games. He also held opposing hitters to a .224 average, fourth best in the league.

Reach Bill Zack at bzack30143@aol.com.


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