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Former Wildcat finishes second in Cy Young voting

NEW YORK (AP) - 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.
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.
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. He went 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA and seven complete
games in 17 starts for the Brewers, pitching them to their first
playoff berth since 1982.
Sabathia came in fifth. Brad Lidge, the star closer who had a
perfect season for the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies,
was fourth.
Webb, the NL winner in 2006, was runner-up for the second
consecutive season after going 22-7 with a 3.30 ERA in 226 2-3
innings.
The baby-faced Lincecum, nicknamed "Franchise," is an
aberration in almost every way. He eats junk food before starts and
doesn't ice his arm. When he was called up from the minors in May
2007, ballpark security workers in San Francisco thought he was a
bat boy.
Late this season, some teammates even asked for his autograph -
including veteran catcher Bengie Molina.
McCormick won in the first year the BBWAA honored a pitcher in
each league. From 1956-66, only one award was presented for both
leagues.
Santana, a two-time AL winner with Minnesota, received a $50,000
bonus for finishing third. Sabathia got $75,000 for coming in
fifth. Webb's second-place finish increased the buyout of his $8.5
million club option by $500,000 to $2 million.
---
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum and AP Sports Writer Janie
McCauley in San Francisco contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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