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Brandon Webb Named NL Cy Young Winner

Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb has been named the 2006 NL Cy Young winner. Webb pitched 235 innings and had a 3.10 ERA despite playing in a hitters' park. He took 15 first place votes out of 32.

I would've voted for Webb also, but I imagined that it would be a two-person race between Webb and Roy Oswalt, or a three-person race between Webb, Oswalt and Chris Carpenter. Instead, Oswalt and Carpenter only got five first place votes between them, and Trevor Hoffman finished second and took 12 first place votes.

Hoffman had a good season, but it'd be a stetch to make the case that he was the best reliever in the NL, much less the best pitcher. Takashi Saito had a similar ERA and pitched about 15 more innings; so did Jonathan Broxton and Billy Wagner. All three pitched in mostly high-leverage situations. And this wasn't a situation like 2003, when Eric Gagne had such a ridiculously good season that he had to be taken seriously as a Cy Young candidate. No reliever should have received consideration for the award this year. I suspect most writers who voted for Hoffman did so because his setting a new saves record made a good story.