NL Cy Young Eludes Both Cardinals Contenders

In the 2009 National League Cy Young Award voting, Chris Carpenter finished second and Adam Wainwright third to winner Tim Lincecum from San Francisco.

On Thursday, the National League Cy Young Award voting results were announced. There was a huge level of disappointment among St. Louis fans as San Francisco's Tim Lincecum was declared the winner.

The Giants' ace, a repeat winner from 2008, finished with 100 points and 11 first-place votes. Cardinals Chris Carpenter (94 points, nine first-place mentions) and Adam Wainwright (90 points) were right behind.

Wainwright, considered the favorite in some parts, received the most first-place votes with 12, but fell short in support by other voters. This is only the second time that a pitcher won the award without receiving the most first-place votes. The other was in 1998.

Voting results:

1st  2nd  3rd  Points
Tim Lincecum  San Francisco Giants  11 12 9 100
Chris Carpenter  St. Louis Cardinals  9 14 7 94
Adam Wainwright  St. Louis Cardinals  12 5 15 90
Javier Vazquez  Atlanta Braves  1 3
Dan Haren  Arizona Diamondbacks  1 1

Carpenter, 34, could not quite close the gap after missing over a month due to a strained oblique muscle. He went 17-4 with a league-leading 2.24 ERA, 144 strikeouts and 38 walks in 192 2/3 innings. Carpenter's .810 winning percentage also led the NL.

Carp was trying to become the 15th pitcher to win the Cy Young Award a second time. Instead Lincecum took that mantle. His 15 wins are lowest victory total over a full season of any starting pitcher who won the award in either league.

Wainwright was bidding to become the third Cardinals pitcher to win the Cy Young Award along with Bob Gibson (1968, 1970) and teammate Carpenter, who won in 2005.

The 28-year-old Wainwright posted a league-best 19 wins and 233 innings pitched to go along with eight losses, a 2.63 ERA, 212 strikeouts and 66 walks. His strikeout total was fourth in the league and last week, he was voted his first Gold Glove Award.

Looking back

It has been 17 years since the last time two Cardinals pitchers received Cy Young Award votes in the same year. Even then, neither was a serious contender.

In 1992, Bob Tewksbury came in third in the voting with 22 points, followed by Lee Smith in fourth with three points. Winner Greg Maddux of the Cubs and second-place finisher Tom Glavine of the Braves collected most of the points.

When one thinks of dominant starting pitchers on the same club in recent times, the Atlanta Braves' big three of Maddux, Glavine and 2009 Cardinal John Smoltz come to mind. Interestingly, despite all their individual successes, the three as teammates never finished in the top two places in the Cy Young Award voting in the same year.

However, in both 1997 and 2000, a pair of Braves finished second and third. In the first year, Maddux and Denny Neagle placed behind Pedro Martinez and three years later, Glavine and Maddux ended up behind Randy Johnson.

The most recent example of teammates' individual success in the NL occurred earlier this decade. Arizona Diamondbacks starters Johnson and Curt Schilling not only came in 1-2 in the Cy Young Award voting in their World Series-winning 2001 season, they repeated the feat the next year, too.

Carpenter and Wainwright will have to try again in 2010 to shoot for that lofty target.

The following is a table summarizing the NL Cy Young Award voting over the last 20 years. You can see the number of pitchers receiving votes, the number of teammates of the winner receiving votes and on the far right, where the teammates placed in the voting that year.

NL CYA Winner Team # pitch # mates # same team
2008 Tim Lincecum SF 6 0 none
2007 Jake Peavy SD 9 0 ARI #2, 8
2006 Brandon Webb ARI 8 0 none
2005 Chris Carpenter STL 6 0 HOU #3, 4, 6
2004 Roger Clemens  HOU 9 2 HOU #1, 3, 8
2003 Eric Gagne LAD 4 0 none
2002 Randy Johnson ARI 6 1 ARI #1, 2
2001 Randy Johnson ARI 5 1 ARI #1, 2
2000 Randy Johnson ARI 6 0 ATL #2, 3
1999 Randy Johnson ARI 7 0 HOU #2, T4, T4
1998 Tom Glavine ATL 7 2 ATL #1, T4, T4
1997 Pedro Martinez MON 5 0 ATL #2, 3
1996 John Smoltz ATL 11 1 ATL #1, T5
1995 Greg Maddux ATL 5 1 ATL #1, 3
LAD #4, 5
1994 Greg Maddux ATL 8 0 NYM #3, 7
1993 Greg Maddux ATL 9 1 ATL #1, 3
SF #2, 4
1992 Greg Maddux CHC 5 0 STL #3, 4
1991 Tom Glavine ATL 8 1 ATL #1, T6
1990 Doug Drabek PIT 5 0 NYM #3, 4
1989 Mark Davis SD 10 0 LAD T4, T6
SF T6, 8
CHC T9, T9

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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