Peavy: NL Cy Young Winner

Jake Peavy, age 26, of the San Diego Padres won the National League Cy Young Award today. And he did so unanimously. Peavy also became just the fourth player in Major League history to win two ERA titles before the age of 27.

Gathering 32 out possible 32 first place votes, Jake Peavy finished with a perfect 160 points. Coming in second was Brandon Webb of the Arizona Diamondbacks with 94 points, followed by Brad Penny with 14 points. Other pitchers receiving votes were Carlos Zambrano (3 points), Cole Hamels (2 points), John Smoltz (2 points), Jose Valverde (2 points), and Jeff Francis (1 point).

Said Peavy of his accomplishment, “It’s a humbling day … it’s pretty amazing. I was elated. This is as big as it gets as far as individual awards go. You can never dream anything like this up.”

In 2007, Peavy led the league in pretty much every significant category: wins (19), ERA (2.54), strikeouts (240), and K/9 IP (9.67). Peavy also started the 2007 All-Star Game in San Francisco on July 10.

Bud Black, manager of the Padres, said that Peavy “was brilliant all year,” and right he is.

Peavy performed way better than he did in 2006, where he posted a 4.07 ERA and lost a total of 14 games. He turned things around during the offseason workout routine.

Peavy finished off the 2007 season very well. He won nine of his final 12 starts of the regular season with one loss and one no-decision. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Peavy was actually better on the road than he was at the spacious PETCO Park (see the picture below which I captured on July 8, 2007; you can buy a print of this image on my photoblog, by which you would support this blog and my other hobby, photography). Peavy was 10-1 on the road with a 2.57 ERA in 15 starts.

PETCO Park

Peavy was better on the road than at home in spacious PETCO Park

The 2007 season was filled with great achievements for Peavy. On April 25 against the Diamondbacks, Peavy struck out a season-high 16 batters, coming one strikeout away from tying Tom Seaver’s National League mark of 10 consecutive strikeouts. In a stretch in April and May, Peavy struck out 46 batters in a span of just four starts. Also, on August 27, Peavy became the franchise leader in career strikeouts when he struck out 11 in a 3-1 victory over the Diamondbacks.

Padres GM Kevin Towers said of Peavy’s achievement: “I think this award, the Cy Young Award, does truly validate that Jake Peavy is one of the elite pitchers, not only in the National League, but in baseball.”

“It’s special,” Peavy said at the time. “Not many people, even these days, stay with an organization to do something like that. I feel privileged to be here long enough to do something like that. I tell people all the time, ‘I’m proud to be a San Diego Padre.'”

We can’t overlook Peavy’s accomplishments in 2007, despite being rocked (10 hits and 6 ER in 6 1/3 IP) in the October 1 “play-in” game against the Colorado Rockies. However, over the course of the entire season, Peavy was clearly the best pitcher in the NL (if not the majors), and the unanimous decision to present him with the Cy Young Award is a clear indication of this fact.

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~ by mlb2007playoffs on November 15, 2007.

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