2002 NL Cy Young Award Winner. Credit: jsonline
3-2002-Four Consecutive Cy Young Awards
The Cy Young Award indicates you are the one of the best two pitchers in baseball. Johnson has won the award five times (only Greg Maddux has more with seven) and is one of the select few who has claimed the prize in both the American and National Leagues. His first came in 1995 while with the Seattle Mariners and the aforementioned 18-2 mark. In addition to winning the Cy Young, the Unit finished sixth in the MVP balloting as Seattle made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. They defeated the New York Yankees three games to two in a thrilling American League Division Series, highlighted by a memorable relief appearance by Johnson in the deciding game (sound familiar?).
In his first season with the D’backs, RJ won the Cy Young on the strength of his league-leading 364 strikeouts and 12 shutouts. He went 17-9 and an ERA of 2.48, also tops in the Senior Circuit. He didn’t stop winning the award until 2003 when injuries forced him to make only 18 starts. 2002 might have been the best season of all as he won a career-best 24 games and threw 260 innings, his second-highest season total. He once again led the league in ERA at 2.30, whiffs with 334 and shutouts with eight. It also was the second time he finished in the top 10 in the MVP voting, placing 7th. His season allowed the D’backs to capture the NL West crown, the first time the team made back-to-back playoff appearances.
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