NEW YORK -- Tim Lincecum was a big winner on a woeful team, which fit him perfectly.
Firing 97 mph fastballs from his miniature frame, the National League Cy Young Award recipient is an anomaly in almost every way. Lincecum joined Mike McCormick (1967) as the only San Francisco Giants to win the Cy Young, taking home pitching's highest honor by a comfortable margin Tuesday following his second major league season.
"I was definitely surprised. I thought it was going to be a lot closer," Lincecum said.
The slender kid with the whirling windup received 23 of 32 first-place votes and 137 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Brandon Webb of the Arizona Diamondbacks got four first-place votes and finished second with 73 points.
Listed at 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds, tiny by today's standards for a big league pitcher, Lincecum defied detractors -- and the laws of physics -- by overpowering one hulking slugger after another.
"I don't remember anybody in my time who had that style of pitching, who put that kind of torque on his body," McCormick said on a Giants conference call. "I think that article in Sports Illustrated that called him a freak probably sums it up." Lincecum was 18-5 with a 2.62 ERA and a major league-best 265 strikeouts, remarkable numbers for a fourth-place club that finished 72-90. In fact, Steve Carlton was the lone Cy Young winner to pitch for a team that was worse. The Hall of Famer was an incredible 27-10 with a 1.97 ERA for the 1972 Philadelphia Phillies, who went 59-97.