With the postseason stuck in that lull between the Division Series and the League Championship Series, we here at Walkoff Walk thought it would be a good time to assault our readers' eyes and brains with some award posts. We proudly present The First Annual Walkoff Walk Dot Com Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence sponsored in part by nobody because we don't get paid a damn thing to do this website. It's a labor of love.
We've split up our choices into two sections, one for each of us. We've spent minutes and minutes research stats and whatnot to make these important decisions. Please consider our opinions and then feel free to express your own in the comment section.
Next up, the National League Cy Young Award:
Camp Tiger Claw:
Also, closer than you might think. WHIP, ERA, CG, OBA were all neck and neck, but Timmy struck out 60 more guys in 7 less innings. Efficiency is key here. Brad Lidge gets third place, mainly because the vaunted Diamondback 1-2 shit the bed and I don't want to reward Dusty Baker's use of pitchers by voting for Volquez.
Also, Screw K-Rod.
Please ignore win-loss records for starting pitchers. They are not really that important when judging the ability of a pitcher. Teams sometimes play bad defense, have problems fielding, or employ bullpens that explode on contact. None of these three gentlemen approached the win total of Brandon Webb yet they all threw more innings and struck out more batters while allowing fewer hits.
Wins do have some meaning, though, as Santana singlehandedly kept the Mets in the conversation for the second half of the year. Throw out the offensive contributions of Carloses Delgado and Beltran; without Santana, the Mets would just be another also-ran like the Braves. How good was Santana? His last bad start came on July 17th, after which he didn't lose a single game. The other three pitchers I mentioned lost ten games combined after that point, while Santana won eight games by himself.
Lincecum led the league in innings and beat the Dodgers in his only two starts against them, his first and his last of the season. He deserves mention for simply doing what Giants fans want out of him. Hamels had a rough stretch where he didn't win a game for 45 straight days but collected two complete game shutouts while fronting the rotation for a division winner. Honorable mention goes to Brad Lidge for being perfect.