Last season, Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants won the National League Cy Young Award. This season, Lincecum has two very rough outing to his credit. On Sunday, he registered the loss as the Giants fell to the San Diego Padres by a final count of 6-1.
Against the Padres, Lincecum went 5.1 innings while allowing four earned runs, three walks and a career-high 10 hits. In his first start of the season, Lincecum gave up three earned runs in three innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. His ERA on the 2009 baseball season is now 7.56.
Last season, the 23-year-old had a 2.62 ERA as he went 18-5 with 265 strikeouts in 227 innings. His Cy Young Award came in his second season in the big leagues.
The hitting stars for San Diego were Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Headley. Gonzalez went 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI, while Headley went 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBI and a two run homer off of Lincecum in the third inning.
With the win, the Padres improved to 5-2. The Giants are now 2-4 on the season.
If the season ended today, is there a chance that Cliff Lee, ace of one of the worst teams in the American League, could win the Cy Young Award? Not only could this happen, but it should.
Lee, if you remember, had a horrible blow-up season with the Cleveland Indians in 2007. There was a time when Lee couldn’t find the strike zone and left games early enough to tire out the Indians bullpen with regularity. He was sent down to the minors and eventually left off Cleveland’s playoff roster. Yet, in 2008, Lee is totally different pitcher.
This season, Lee has been dominant. He started the year off with a 6-0 mark and a minuscule earned run average usually seen only in video games. By the time the All-Star break rolled around, Lee was 12-2 and named the starter for the American League in Yankee Stadium. Since then, Lee hasn’t lost. Sitting at 17-2, Lee is tops in the AL in wins and ERA (2.93). He’s also ninth in the AL with 134 strikeouts.
He could, and as of right now, should win AL Comeback Player of the Year, along with the Cy Young. You’ve seen several other teams taking the same approach with some of their pitchers as the Indians did with Lee, by sending them to the minors in order to regain what they once had.
Lee has yet to win a Cy Young award, although he did finish fourth in the voting following the 2005 season. By the end of this season, Lee should set career bests in wins, ERA, WHIP, innings pitched and runs allowed. It’s also possible that the former Arkansas Razorback could set a new career high in strikeouts (current career high is 161, set in 2004).
It’s an amazing story, but the only thing that could potentially hinder his chances at receiving some hardware very soon is the final standings of his club.
I’m sure everyone noticed that C.C. Sabathia won his first game with the Milwaukee Brewers this week, yet his former team - the Cleveland Indians - have dropped 10 consecutive contests. General Manager Mark Shapiro better hope that Matt LaPorta is on track to make the majors this season, otherwise his team could be falling well past the Seattle Mariners and the Washington Nationals with the worst record in the entire league.
You already know my feelings on the Sabathia trade. The Indians didn’t get enough in return for the former Cy Young Award winner. Shapiro jumped the gun and sold off Sabathia out of panic.
Believe it or not, there are a few diehard Indians’ fans left (no - this is isn’t a Major League movie). Check out this video of one fan’s attempt at a tribute to his favorite team.
I’m not sure why, but the Cleveland Indians haven’t figured it out yet. They have been robbed by the Milwaukee Brewers after trading away last year’s AL Cy Young Award winner C.C. Sabathia. The Brewers are only a few papers away from obtaining Sabathia and in exchange, they gave up a few minor leaguers. Sure, future slugger Matt LaPorta was included in the deal, but Cleveland could have received much, much more for C.C.
The deal is just about ready to be announced. With the acquisition of Sabathia, the Brewers could possibly have the best 1-2 punch in the National League, in Ben Sheets and C.C.
And lucky for Cleveland that they signed Jeff ‘Dream’ Weaver to a minor league deal! I can’t wait until he’s back in the bigs taking over for Sabathia! Hopefully the Indians’ General Manager Mark Shapiro will understand that he could have held out another week or so and picked up a huge package that could have kept his team in contention. Maybe next week the Indians will send Cliff Lee off to the Cardinals for some beer to go with the bratwursts they just received from Milwaukee.