Published November 11, 2004
NEW YORK – Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins (search) was a unanimous pick for the American League Cy Young Award on Thursday, rewarded for a stellar second half that helped his team win its third straight division title.
Santana went 20-6 and led the AL with a 2.61 ERA and 265 strikeouts, going 13-0 with a 1.21 ERA in 15 starts after the All-Star break.
He received all 28 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America (search), becoming the first unanimous Cy Young winner since Arizona's Randy Johnson two years ago and the first in the AL since Boston's Pedro Martinez in 2000. He is the 18th unanimous winner overall, the seventh in the AL.
Curt Schilling (search), 21-6 with a 3.26 ERA in his first season with the Red Sox, received 27 second-place votes and one third for 82 points. Voting was conducted before the start of the postseason, when Schilling pitched despite an injured ankle and helped Boston win the World Series for the first time since 1918.
Schilling, who led the major leagues in wins, has never won a Cy Young Award. He was runner-up for the third time, tying Johnson, a five-time winner, and 1957 winner Warren Spahn for the most second-place finishes.
Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees, who led the major leagues with a career-high 53 saves, received the other second-place vote and 24 thirds for 27 points.
Santana, the first Venezuelan to win the award, had a breakout season after going 12-3 for the Twins in 2003. He is eligible for free agency after next season.
Santana lost in salary arbitration last February and earned $1.6 million salary with no bonuses. Schilling, who had a $12 million salary, earned a $400,000 bonus for finishing second.
Houston's Roger Clemens won the NL honor Tuesday, his record seventh Cy Young Award.