San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum and Cleveland’s Cliff Lee are the best pitchers of 2008, according to their peers. The announcement of the 2008 Players Choice Award winners for Outstanding Pitcher in the National League and American League was made today on Yahoo! Sports in the first of a series of Internet specials highlighting outstanding performances of Major League baseball players during the 2008 season, both on an off the field. The 2008 Players Choice Awards, presented by Playstation ®, benefit the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Additional support for the Players Choice Awards is provided by The Topps Company and The Upper Deck Company.
In 2008, Lincecum established himself as one of the premiere young pitchers in the Majors. In just his first full season, he posted an 18-5 record and an ERA of 2.62, both second best in the NL. His impressive start to the season earned him a spot on the NL All-Star team, and after the break he continued his dominance and finished the season with a Major League-best 265 strikeouts in 227 innings of work.
Lee bounced back from a shaky 2007 season and simply dominated opponents all season long. Going 22-3, he finished tied for most wins in the Majors and posted a full-season, career-best ERA of 2.54. He also totaled career-bests in strikeouts (170) and innings pitched (223.1) while earning the role of starter in his first All-Star game appearance.