Posted: November 19, 2009, 4:15 PM ; Updated: November 19, 2009, 4:22 PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- Giants ace Tim Lincecum won the NL Cy Young Award on Thursday for the second consecutive season to become the first repeat winner since Randy Johnson, emerging from one of the tightest votes in the history of the honor.
Lincecum led the NL with 261 strikeouts and tied for the league lead with four complete games and two shutouts. The wiry right-hander, nicknamed "The Freak" for his giant stride, went 15-7 with a 2.48 ERA.
Only 10 points separated the top three vote-getters. Chris Carpenter was second and St. Louis teammate Adam Wainwright was third, despite getting the most first-place votes.
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 finish 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. Closer Trevor Hoffman, who finished behind Braves starter Tom Glavine in 1998, is the only other player to finish with 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 if he goes to arbitration before next season, 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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