A Giant step for pitcher

NEW YORK --- Tim Lincecum won the National League Cy Young Award by a comfortable margin Tuesday, taking home pitching's highest honor in his second major league season.

The slender kid with the whirling windup joined Mike McCormick (1967) as the only San Francisco Giants pitchers to win a Cy Young.

Lincecum received 23 of 32 first-place votes and 137 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Brandon Webb, of the Arizona Diamondbacks, got four first-place votes and finished second with 73 points.

"I was definitely surprised. I thought it was going to be a lot closer," Lincecum said on a conference call.

Listed at 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds, tiny by today's standards for a big league pitcher, Lincecum defied detractors -- and the laws of physics -- by firing 97 mph fastballs past one hulking slugger after another.

The 24-year-old right-hander was 18-5 with a 2.62 ERA and a major league-best 265 strikeouts, remarkable numbers for a fourth-place team that finished 72-90.

"People have been doubting me my whole life," he said. "I don't let them bring me down."

Lincecum led the NL in winning percentage (.783), ranked second in ERA and was third with 227 innings. He made his first All-Star squad, but an illness prevented him from appearing in the July 15 game at Yankee Stadium.

New York Mets ace Johan Santana, who led the league in ERA (2.53) and innings (234 1/3), also garnered four first-place votes and came in third.

The other first-place vote went to Milwaukee lefty CC Sabathia, last year's AL winner who was traded by Cleveland into the National League on July 7.

THE VOTING

First-, second- and third-place votes and total points on a 5-3-1 basis:


PLAYER1ST2ND3RDTOTAL
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco2371137
Brandon Webb, Arizona415873
Johan Santana, New York481155
Brad Lidge, Philadelphia-1710
CC Sabathia, Milwaukee1119
Ryan Dempster, Chicago--44

NL CY YOUNG AWARD WINNER

NAME: Tim Lincecum

TEAM: San Francisco Giants

POS.: RHP

AGE: 24

HEIGHT: 5-11

WEIGHT: 160

2008 STATS

Innings 227.0

W-L 18-5

Walks 84

Strikeouts 265

ERA 2.62

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