Lincecum Earns Cy Young Consideration

Sept. 30, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Giants went young and knew it would take a while for the inexperienced players to find their way in the big leagues during the club's first season without home run king Barry Bonds.

Still, everybody involved figured things would be better than they were. Especially for Barry Zito. Especially in their home ballpark.

Tim Lincecum, on the other hand, couldn't have been much better and might wind up with the NL Cy Young Award after a dominant first full season pitching in the majors. The former Washington Husky was the major bright spot and led the big leagues in strikeouts.

'He took the ball with a lot of heart and desire to win,' said catcher Bengie Molina, one of several key veterans signed through next season.

The hard-throwing Lincecum finished with a 2.62 ERA in 33 starts and 34 appearances spanning 227 innings.

At all of 24 years old, the right-hander struck out 13 Dodgers in his final start Sunday to win his 18th game and finish as the majors' strikeout leader at 265--boosting his case for the postseason award.

'Whatever happens, he's our choice,' general manager Brian Sabean said Monday. 'Like this kid showed yesterday, he's pretty special. Anybody who faced him would admit that. Just from the pure stuff alone and really the numbers. The numbers to me don't lie.'

Lincecum (18-5), had the most strikeouts in the majors since Randy Johnson's 290 in 2004 for Arizona. Johan Santana, then with Minnesota, had 265 that year. Lincecum also became the first pitcher in franchise history to lead the majors in strikeouts for a single season.

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