Cliff Lee wins Indians’ 2nd straight Cy Young

Cliff Lee of the Cleveland Indians was elected the American League Cy Young Award winner in balloting by the BBWAA. It marked the second consecutive year and third time overall that a Cleveland pitcher was honored. CC Sabathia won last year. The other Indians winner was Gaylord Perry in 1972.

Lee was named first on 24 and second on the other four of the 28 ballots cast by two writers in each league city for a total of 132 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. The lefthander, 30, was 22-3 in leading the AL in victories, winning percentage (.880) and ERA (2.54) and adding career-high totals of innings (223 1/3) and strikeouts (170) with four complete games and two shutouts. Lee, the starting pitcher for the AL in the All-Star Game July 15 at Yankee Stadium, was the only pitcher named on all ballots.

The other four first-place votes went to Toronto Blue Jays righthander Roy Halladay, who was the runner-up with 71 points. Halladay, the 2003 winner, had a 20-11 record with a 2.78 ERA and led the major leagues in innings (246) and complete games (9). Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reliever Francisco Rodriguez (2-3, 2.24 ERA), who set a major league record with 62 saves, finished third with 32 points. Four other pitchers received votes.

This was the fifth time two different pitchers from the same team won the AL Cy Young Award in successive years. The others were the New York Yankees’ Sparky Lyle (1977) and Ron Guidry (1978), the Baltimore Orioles’ Mike Flanagan (1979) and Steve Stone (1980), the Milwaukee Brewers’ Rollie Fingers (1981) and Pete Vuckovich (1982) and the Blue Jays’ Pat Hentgen (1996) and Roger Clemens (1997). It has happened three times in the National League.

2008 AL Cy Young

Cliff LeeCleveland Indians244132
Roy HalladayToronto Blue Jays415671
Francisco RodriguezLos Angeles Angels of Anaheim71132
Daisuke MatsuzakaBoston Red Sox2410
Mariano RiveraNew York Yankees33
Mike MussinaNew York Yankees22
Ervin SantanaLos Angeles Angels of Anaheim22