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11/17/08 4:27 PM EST
Lincecum no factor in NL MVP race
Cy Young Award winner 23rd in voting, behind three pitchers
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Lincecum had no chance of matching his Cy Young success in the National League's Most Valuable Player balloting announced Monday. Still, the Giants right-hander appeared on the list of players receiving MVP votes, further reflecting the quality of his season. Lincecum finished 23rd in the MVP race, a far cry from his decisive win in the NL Cy Young Award voting released last Tuesday. He received one sixth-place vote, a ninth-place vote and two 10th-place votes as one of five pitchers among the 27 players to appear in the balloting. Interestingly, Lincecum finished behind three pitchers he outdistanced in the Cy Young vote: Philadelphia's Brad Lidge, who finished eighth in the MVP voting; the New York Mets' Johan Santana (14th) and Arizona's Brandon Webb (17th). Lidge converted all 41 of his regular-season save opportunities, Santana's 2.53 ERA led the NL and Webb won a league-high 22 games. Lincecum, the second Giants pitcher to win the Cy Young Award, finished 18-5 to lead the NL with a .783 winning percentage. He also topped the Major Leagues with 265 strikeouts, making him the first Giants pitcher in baseball's modern era (since 1900) to earn that distinction. Against Lincecum, opponents hit .221 overall and .167 with runners in scoring position while averaging 7.22 hits per nine innings -- all league lows. And his 2.62 ERA was the NL's second-best.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.