The 2008 Major League Baseball season came to an end Sunday, and the Giants went off in style with Tim Lincecum throwing one more gem in a final effort to boost his Cy Young chances. The new face of the Giants' franchise posted his 18th win of the season by going 7 strong innings, striking out 13 batters, and allowing only one run while defeating the Diamondbacks. His 265 strikeouts this season are the most by a Giant since I've been following them (early 90's and too lazy to luck up official historical stats) but I'd say that would be a Giants record as well. I posted my early final season awards here, and I think I am going to have to stick by the Lincecum pick for Cy Young, even with Johan Santana's late surge. Santana has Timmy in ERA, but that's it and I can't help but think that if Lincecum were pitching in with the Mets offense and defense behind him, he'd have won 20 games easy. The writers will likely choose Brandon Webb because of the fact that he won 22 games, but common, for the first month and a half, the guy was getting close to 7 runs a game as support. Lincecum was the most dominant starter in the NL this season and his final start once again proved it.
Lincecum's dominant start wasn't the only bright spot the Giants got on the final day of the '08 campaign. Kevin Frandsen, the man who was supposed to be the everyday second baseman this season, made got into a game and got an at-bat in what was thought to be a lost season for him. All he did was ground out, but the mere fact that he got on the field of play, albeit a small sample, this season will help him out going into next spring. I said last post that one of the spots that is unsettled for the team at the moment is second base and if Frandsen can go have a monster fall league and come back strong in the spring, that job should be his. He led the team in hitting over the final 2 months of the '07 season so expectations should still be there for the 26 year-old infielder. Eugenio Velez's .337 batting average over the season's last 2 months might put him in the mix as well, but he should be back as one of the Giants primary utility guys. Emmanuel Burriss also received some time there this year, but the Giants are leaning toward molding him into the shortstop of the future.
I will be posting a full season review within the next few days as I get all my thoughts together on what was a very strange but predicting 2008 Giants season. Before ended this post though, I wanted to give my opinion on who should win the Willie McCovey Award (given to the most inspirational Giants) which is voted on by the team. Last year Bengie Molina got it and even though he probably deserves it again, I would have to go with Lincecum again on this one. Take him away from the Giants and they are a mess; he really was the guy who lit the fire for them this year and he should be rewarded.
The Giants Baseball Blog:http://giantsbaseballblog.blogspot.com/