"Sammy" Saito Seventh in Cy Young Voting

Brandon Web of Arizona won the 2006 Cy Young Award, beating out Tremor Hoffman of San Diego and Christ Carpenter of St. Louis, but the surprise of the voting was the Dodgers Takashi Saito, rookie closer, who was the only Dodger to earn a vote and who finished eighth on the list.

Webb won the award with a 16-8 record, the same number of wins as Derek Lowe and Brad Penny, neither of whom received a vote. Webb bounced back from a 16-loss season in 2003 to earn the top pitching award in the National League.

Webb's 16 wins was the lowest for a starting pitcher who won the Cy Young Award in a full season. The previous low was 17 wins, by Pedro Martinez of the Montreal Expos in 1997 and Randy Johnson for Arizona in '99.

Fernando Valenzuela won the award -- along with the Rookie of the Year award -- with 13 wins in 1981 but the season was shortened by a strike.
  2006 voting
                       1st 2nd 3rd total
Brandon Webb, DBacks    15  7  7  103
Trevor Hoffman, Padres  12  3  8   77
Chris Carpenter, Cards   2 16  5   63
Roy Oswalt, Astros       3  3  7   31
Carlos Zambrano, Cubs    1  1  3   6
Billy Wagner, Mets       -  1  1   4
John Smoltz, Braves      -  1  -   3
Takashi Saito, Dodgers   -  -  1   1
Voters select their top three choices and points are tabulated on a 5-3-1 basis.

Saito is the first Dodger mentioned in the annual voting since Eric Gagne in 2004.

Gagne, the overwhelming winner in the 2003 Cy Young Award voting, finished in fourth place in 2002 and eighth place on the 2004 ballots, becoming the first relief pitcher in Dodger history to be given votes three years in succession.

Don Sutton received votes in five different seasons without every winning the big trophy. Sandy Koufax received votes in four seasons, 1963-66, winning the honor three times. Fernando Valenzuela also earned votes over four seasons and won in 1981. Orel Hershiser received votes in 1985, 1987-89, winning in 1988.

Gagné, at 27, became only the ninth relief pitcher in Major League history to win the award in 2003 and the second Dodger reliever, joining Mike Marshall in 1974.

Saito is the fourth Dodger reliever to gain votes. Gagne, Marshall and Todd Worrell preceded him.

Cy Young winners
Don Newcombe was the first winnier and Gagné was the ninth Dodger Cy Young winner. Sandy Koufax won three titles. The award was given to the best pitcher of both leagues from 1956 to 1966 and has been given to the best pitcher in each league since 1967.

Koufax could have won four years in a row. He finished third in the 1964 voting and would have been the N.L. winner had they honored a player from each league that season.

Dodger winners:
1956—Don Newcombe
1962—Don Drysdale
1963—Sandy Koufax
1965—Sandy Koufax
1966—Sandy Koufax
1974—Mike Marshall
1981—Fernando Valenzuela
1988—Orel Hershiser
2003—Eric Gagné

All-time Dodger leader
Using the same voting method used by the Baseball Writers Association of America for MVP totals, counting first place votes 14, second nine and third eight on down the line, Koufax has a 50 point total and leads Fernando Valenzuela who has 37 and Orel Hershiser with 36. Don Sutton, with five top 10 finishes has 33, Gagné 21. Ramon Martinez and Andy Messersmith have 15 points and lead four Cy Young winners Newcombe, Drysdale, Marshall and Hideo Nomo who are all tied for seventh.
Dodger leaders with top 10 
finishes in brackets:

                       1st 2 3 total
Sandy Koufax (4)         3 0 1 50
Fernando Valenzuela (4)  1 1 1 37
Orel Hershiser (4)       1 0 1 36
Don Sutton (5)           0 0 1 33
Eric Gagné (3)           1 0 0 24
Ramon Martinez (2)       0 1 0 15
Andy Messersmith (2)     0 1 0 15
Don Drysdale (1)         1 0 0 14
Mike Marshall (1)        1 0 0 14
Don Newcombe (1)         1 0 0 14
Hideo Nomo (3)           0 0 0 14
   Others: 11 points—Tommy John (2); 
10—Kevin Brown (2); 9 each—Al Downing 
(1); Burt Hooton (1), Sal Maglie (1) 
and Jerry Reuss (1); 6—Todd Worrell (1); 
5—Tim Belcher (1);  4—Bob Welch (1) 
and 2—Takashi Saito [1]; .