Thursday, November 16, 2006

Santana Unanimous American League Cy Young Award Winner.

The American League Cy Young Award winner was announced today, and it should come as no surprise that Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins came away with the hardware. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:

NEW YORK - Johan Santana swept the Cy Young ballot the same way he buzzed through batters all season. Santana won the AL Cy Young Award on Thursday for the second time in three years, and the
Minnesota Twins
ace was a unanimous choice once again.

Santana received all 28 first-place votes for a perfect total of 140 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Chien-Ming Wang of the New York Yankees finished a distant second with 15 second-place votes and 51 points. Toronto's Roy Halladay was third with 48 points.

The left-hander separated himself from all others during a dominant season, going 19-6 with a 2.77 ERA and 245 strikeouts to propel Minnesota from a poor start to the AL Central title. With a baffling changeup and excellent control, he tied Wang for most wins in the majors and led the AL in ERA, strikeouts and innings pitched (233 2-3).
Forget the Triple Crown — it was the pitching version of a Quadruple Crown.

"I was trying to show people that what happened in 2004 wasn't a fluke," Santana said. And here's a scary thought: At 27, he thinks he can become even more effective, because there's more to learn. "In the future, I want to be consistent from Day 1. We're still making adjustments," Santana said. "I still believe that I can be better."

Jesus, that IS a scary thought. How much better can this guy get? He's like a lefty version of Pedro Martinez in his best years with the Red Sox. And by the way Johan, thanks for giving up David Ortiz's single-season club record 51st homer.

Santana also was a unanimous winner in 2004, when he was 20-6 with a 2.61 ERA and 265 strikeouts. He is the fifth pitcher to win the Cy Young Award unanimously at least twice, joining Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, who did it three times.

The award was established 50 years ago, and there was only one selection from both leagues from 1956-66.

Like Pedro in 1999 and 2000, when he went 41-10 with an ERA of 1.90 and almost 600 strikeouts, Santana is getting to the point where his starts resemble little more than private games of catch with his catchers. He's fun to watch, because, especially in this high-octane offensive era, he makes the game better just by using his head as well as his nimble left arm. Well done Johan, and please, take it easy on the Sox in 2007...

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