- The Washington Times - Friday, November 20, 2009

From combined dispatches

The Washington Nationals said No. 1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg has a twisted left knee and was scratched from his start in the Arizona Fall League championship game.

Strasburg was hurt during a workout Thursday, and an MRI exam showed inflammation. He is scheduled to travel to Los Angeles Friday to be examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum.

The Nationals issued a news release saying Strasburg’s injury “is not considered serious.”

The title game is Saturday.

Strasburg also was held out of a scheduled start in the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars game Nov. 7 because of a strained neck muscle.

The San Diego State right-hander signed a record $15.1 million contract after being the top pick in June’s amateur draft.

CY YOUNG: San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum won the NL award for the second straight year, emerging from one of the tightest votes in the history of the honor to become the first repeat winner since Randy Johnson.

The wiry right-hander, nicknamed “The Freak” for his giant stride, needed only 15 victories to earn the award - the fewest for a Cy Young starter over a full season.

Lincecum led the NL with 261 strikeouts and tied for the league lead with four complete games and two shutouts.

Only 10 points separated the top three vote-getters in the NL. Chris Carpenter was second and St. Louis teammate Adam Wainwright finished third despite getting the most first-place votes.

The 2009 honors for Lincecum and Kansas City Royals ace Zack Greinke reflect a recent shift in how voters pick baseball’s best pitchers. Wins, losses and ERA used to determine the Cy Young Award winner - now it’s detailed statistics such as WHIP, FIP and VORP.

Greinke equaled the previous low of 16 wins when he won the AL award Tuesday.

“The guys I was going up against, Wainwright and Carpenter, had tremendous seasons,” the 25-year-old Lincecum said in a conference call. “It was a lucky one for me. I’ll take them as I come I guess.”

Lincecum received 11 first-place votes, 12 seconds and nine thirds for 100 points in balloting released by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Carpenter had nine firsts, 14 seconds and seven thirds to take second with 94.

Wainwright, who led the NL with 19 wins and 233 innings, had 12 first-place votes, five seconds and 15 thirds for 90 points. Trevor Hoffman, who finished behind Tom Glavine in 1998, is the only other player to get the most firsts and not win the award.

Two voters, Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus and Keith Law of ESPN.com, did not include Carpenter on their ballots. Carroll had Wainwright in the top spot, Lincecum second and Arizona’s Dan Haren third. Law voted for Lincecum, Atlanta’s Javier Vazquez and Wainwright in third. Those were the only votes in any position for Haren and Vazquez.

The six-point gap between Lincecum and Carpenter is tied for the third-closest in the NL since the ballot expanded to three pitchers in 1970. The 10-point margin from first to third is the second-closest for the NL ballot.

Lincecum, who had a $650,000 salary and could be headed for a big raise, did not have any bonus provision for winning the award. Carpenter receives $100,000 for finishing second, Wainwright $100,000 for winding up third and Vazquez $70,000 for being voted fourth.

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