There will be a new Cy Young winner in the National League

I’ve been writing a lot about the 2010 National League Cy Young race. I started writing in April when it became clear this was going to be a special year, pitching wise.

I wrote about it as recently as yesterday and I will probably be writing about it through the end of the season.

And I’ve always mentioned Tim Lincecum in the conversation out of respect for the two time defending Cy Young winner and also because I knew he was always a dominant month from reclaiming the lead.

Well, I don’t think it is happening. Not after today. The stats don’t match up with Adam Wainwright, Roy Halladay, Josh Johnson or Ubaldo Jimenez (who was robbed of win #18 today.)

And the Giants needed him. They were 2-8 against the Padres for the season, but after yesterday’s come from behind thriller, the Giants were on the verge of winning a critical series, pulling to with 1 1/2 games and serving notice that they are as formidable as any team in the National League.

Instead he got thumped. The Giants have only won 2 of 11 games against the Padres.
Can you imagine if the Giants were merely mediocre against the Padres?

Let’s say they were 5-6 instead of 2-9. Still allowing a losing record to San Diego.

If that were the case, the Giants would be 70-49… the best record in the National League.
The Padres would be 66-50, 2 1/2 back, 1 in the loss column.

Instead the Giants are 5 back in the loss column and have the Phillies only one back in the loss column for the Wild Card.

A win would have been big today, but Lincecum didn’t come up big.

A few years ago, Brandon Webb looked like a lock to win his second Cy Young Award. But a pair of terrible starts against the Dodgers that helped knock Arizona out of the pennant race cost him dearly.

The pitcher who won in his place?
Tim Lincecum.

It comes full circle.

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So THAT’S why the Pirates picked Bryan Bullington first overall!

When I wrote my 30 Can’t Miss Aces Who Missed post, I had a hard decision: Which former #1 overall pick by the Pirates should I dog pile on?

Kris Benson or Bryan Bullington?

Despite Benson’s mediocre career, I decided to go with Bullington.
Benson never was an ace.
Bullington never won a game.

In 19 games, spread out over 5 seasons and 4 organizations, he went 0-7 with a 5.02 ERA.

Maybe it took him 20 games to figure it out, because today he got into the win column… and it was no cheap task.

He pitched 8 shutout innings against the World Champion Yankees and looked every inch an ace doing it.

Of course he did it for the Royals. The Pirates got exactly nothing for their investment. And yes, it would have been wiser to draft Prince Fielder, Zack Greinke, Joe Saunders, Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, Joe Blanton, Jeff Francis, Joey Votto, Jon Lester, Brian McCann or Curtis Granderson indtead of Bullington.

But I can’t help but feel good for him. Maybe he HAS figured it out. Maybe the Royals stumbled across a solid pitcher who got his groove back.

Granted, he’s 29… not “spring chicken” time for a budding pitcher. But hey!
Warren Spahn won 277 games after he turned 30!

I’m just saying.
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How did I miss Throw Back day in San Diego?

Seriously… how did an evening of wearing some of the most notorious uniforms of the 1970s slip under my radar?

The Padres decided to either honor the 1978 season (the ONLY winning season in San Diego before the 1984 pennant) or pay tribute to the late Gary Coleman with the uniforms worn in The Kid From Left Field.

The 1978 Padres, who also hosted the All Star Game, were still going all out yellow and brown… Taco Bell uniforms… which I find ironic because they were owned by McDonald’s czar.

And I believe it was the only year they had the small “SAN DIEGO” over the Padres name.

I remember that made an impression on me as a kid as they had the only big league uniform that I could remember that said the whole name on the front.


I like how the Padres also broke out the correct batting helmets. (Would it have killed the Pirates to have them wear their correct yellow batting helmets with their late 1970s garb?)

The Padres could have taken the 1978 tribute even further.

They decided to go with the white pants with the brown and yellow top, which was primarily accurate. However, as the image on the right with Dave Winfield shows, sometimes they went yellow bottoms with the brown and yellow top, making the horror complete.

I am not surprised by the Padres decisions to wear white pants. Heck, they wear white pants with their camouflage get up.

The Pirates, being good sports like they were in Oakland for THEIR turn back the clock night, decided to not wear their yellow uniforms. (I guess they would clash and you can’t have THAT in a turn back the clock night!)

So out came the thick pinstripes.

In fact the yellow hats, the pinstripe shirts and the black pants made for such a mixed and matched combination that it basically SCREAMED “Hey, it’s laundry day. They were the only things clean.”

But alas, they brought back instant nostalgia for the 1979 Pirates, which is always a good thing… even if the current team doesn’t quite play as gracefully as the We Are Family squad.

So keep it up, folks! Keep turning back the clock… and make sure the Pirates are always involved. It helps their image!

Check out Zach Duke. He is positively Candelaria-esque!

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