Purple Row Awards: National League Cy Young Award

Continuing the trend of Purple Row staff handing imaginary hardware to those we feel are most deserving of it, today we reveal the winner of the Purple Row NL Cy Young Award.

The main-stream media had a dilemma between Tim Lincecum of the Giants and the pair of Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals. Proponents of Wainwright (most wins with 19 and innings pitched with 233), Carpenter (lowest ERA at 2.24, best record at 17-4, and best WHIP at 1.01), and Lincecum (most strikeouts at 261, best FIP at 2.34, a freakish windup, and long shaggy hair) all have good arguments.

See which pitcher captured the hearts and minds of PR writers after the jump.

As if RMN's hint yesterday wasn't enough, the winner of the 2009 PR NL Cy Young award is:

1st Place - Tim Lincecum

#55 / Pitcher / San Francisco Giants

5-11

170

L

R

Jun 15, 1984

 

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Tim Lincecum 15-7 33 32 4 2 0 0 225.1 168 69 62 10 68 261 2.48 1.05

Perhaps biased by the fact that they saw Timmay (he's livin' a lie) most often due to his position in the NL West, the esteemed voters voted for Lincecum by a pretty wide margin, four placing him in the top position.

And really, what is not to like about Lincecum this year? You know, besides his hippie hair cut and his position on a divisional rival? His record may not have compared favorably to Carpenter and Wainwright, but a lot of that is due to the awful offense supporting his efforts (five of his losses were classified as Tough Losses, or losses suffered in games he had a quality start in).

His sterling tRA (2.52) and FIP (2.34) bear out the fact that he did pitch as well if not a little better than his ERA indicates, plus his 8.2 WAR leads everybody but Albert Pujols in the NL and is 1.6 about the second place WAR pitching finisher (who comes in fourth on this ballot).

Lincecum had four complete games, two of them shutouts, led the league with 26 quality starts (which was 81% of his starts on the year), and had the best K/9 ratio of any starter in the NL (10.42). In other words, Timmay thoroughly deserves the 2009 NL Cy Young Award.

Here were the runners-up:


2nd Place - Chris Carpenter

#29 / Pitcher / St. Louis Cardinals

6-6

230

R

R

Apr 27, 1975

 

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Chris Carpenter 17-4 28 28 3 1 0 0 192.2 156 49 48 7 38 144 2.24 1.01



3rd Place - Adam Wainwright

#50 / Pitcher / St. Louis Cardinals

6-7

230

R

R

Aug 30, 1981

 

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Adam Wainwright 19-8 40 34 1 0 0 0 233.0 216 75 68 17 66 212 2.63 1.21

So why didn't Carpenter or Wainwright finish higher? Besides the fact that Lincecum truly was dominant for a poor offensive club this year, Carpenter and Wainwright both had FIPs that were well above their ERA totals (2.78 and 3.11 respectively), while Carpenter missed a month early on due to injury which allowed others to compile better counting stats. Meanwhile, Wainwright is a very good pitcher for a very good team who compiled a bunch of decisions, many of them wins.

Both Carpenter (5.6) and Wainwright (5.7) had WAR totals more comparable to Ubaldo Jimenez (5.7) than either Javier Vazquez or Lincecum, which is why they finished lower on my ballot at least (with Carpenter's excellent rate stats compelling me to place him second).

And with an honorary fourth place finish, because he really did have a great season and I am writing this recap:


4th Place - Javier Vazquez

#33 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-2

210

R

R

Jul 25, 1976

 

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Javier Vazquez 15-10 37 32 3 0 0 0 219.1 181 75 70 20 44 238 2.87 1.03


And you're now probably asking yourself, Javier Vazquez? Really? Yep. Vazquez put up some pretty impressive numbers in his own right this year, though he was overshadowed by the other three contenders due largely to his poor record. To be sure, Vazquez's 1.03 WHIP and 238 strikeouts (both second in the NL) are nothing to scoff at, and neither is his exceptional, league-leading K/BB ratio of 5.41 (Lincecum's was 3.84 for a reference point).

All this and the fact that Vazquez finished in second in NL pitching WAR with 6.6 and it's clear that Vazquez at the least belongs in the same company as Carpenter and Wainwright (and was good enough to earn him a spot on three ballots).

In any case, here were the final results (on a 30-20-10 scale):

Lincecum (150)
Carpenter (105)
Wainwright (35)
Vazquez (30)
Jimenez (20)
Street (10)

And here was each individual ballot:

NL Cy RMN PF togb Russ Silverblood Jabbs
1 Lincecum Lincecum Carpenter Lincecum Carpenter (T-1) Lincecum
2 Carpenter Carpenter Lincecum Jimenez Wainwright (T-1) Carpenter
3 Vazquez Vazquez Street Wainwright Lincecum Vazquez

Silverblood voted for Carpenter and Wainwright as a first place tie (a total cop out), which meant that each pitcher received 25 points. Meanwhile, RMN, PF, and I entered the same ballot while Russ and togb had a Rockies pitcher in the mix for the Cy Young.

Tomorrow PF will reveal the winner of the PR AL MVP award.

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