Jake Peavy has been one of the best pitchers in the National League for years. This season, he pulled away from the pack.
The San Diego Padres ace was a unanimous winner of the NL Cy Young Award yesterday after leading the league in wins, ERA, and strikeouts - pitching's version of a Triple Crown.
"It was just one of those seasons where kind of everything came together," he said on a conference call.
Peavy received all 32 first-place votes and finished with 160 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Arizona sinkerballer Brandon Webb, last year's winner, was a distant runner-up with 94 points. He was listed second on 31 ballots and third on one.
"Obviously, I was elated," said Peavy. "This is as big as it gets as far as individual awards. Truly amazing. A very humbling day when you think about all my peers that take the mound every fifth day."
Peavy went 19-6 while topping the majors in ERA (2.54) and strikeouts (240) for the Padres, who came within one win of their third consecutive playoff berth. He joined Roger Clemens as the only starting pitchers to win a Cy Young Award without tossing a complete game.
"I can definitely get better. Our bullpen's been so stinkin' good around here it's hard to get deep in these games," Peavy said. "I've got a long way to go to be who I want to be."
Brad Penny of the Los Angeles Dodgers finished third in the voting.
Peavy earned a $100,000 bonus for winning the award, and the price of San Diego's 2009 club option increased by $3 million to $11 million.