After tonight's start (4.1 innings, 4 ER, raising his ERA to 2.66), I don't think The Franchise can win the Cy Young over Webb. They both can make one more start, but Webb already has 22 wins and Lincecum has just 17. He's now up to 220 innings. Last year he only pitched 146.
The Giants are mad if they let him make his final start. It would be really stupid. The risks are too high for no reward. He's had a great year. With his nine strikeouts tonight, he has 252 for the season, which gives him the Giants season record over Jason Schmidt. The Cy Young talk has been fun. But now the time to give up and get ready for next year.
Lincecum is maybe the most valuable pitcher in baseball right now. He's a young potential #1 starter, and the list of #1 starters under 30 includes Webb, Johan Santana, Sabathia, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and not a lot of other pitchers.
But while Sabathia will be printing money in free agency the next few years, the Giants have a few years of Lincecum on the cheap.
As a sidenote, I feel the same way about Lester, who's just six months older than Lincecum. With the Sox clinching the postseason today, they should give him a short tuneup before the playoffs and that's it. Don't risk him; he has 204 innings this year and 63 last. He'll also have at least one start in the postseason.