You probably don't need me to tell you that Brad Penny is having a great season. The Dodgers pitcher is 10-1 and ranks 3rd in the NL in both ERA and WHIP so far this year. Those stats currently have him in the position as the odds on favorite to win the NL Cy Young. (According to ESPN's Cy Young Predictor anyway)
While the Cy Young is a fantastic and career defining accomplishment in and of itself, Penny also has a chance to do something even more special this year than merely win the top pitching award. In addition to Penny's sterling pitching credentials this year he has also been having a very good year at the plate. Penny currently leads all pitchers with 6 RBI and his .273 BA ranks sixth among pitchers with at least 20 AB. Those numbers put Penny right in the mix for the Silver Slugger race for pitchers, with Carlos Zambrano (.279 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI) as his main competition.
So if Penny were to continue his current success both on the rubber and at the plate, how rare of a feat would it be for a pitcher to win both the Cy Young and the Silver Slugger in the same season? It is actually a fairly rare accomplishment, as in the 27 years that the Silver Slugger has been awarded it has only happened three times to two different pitchers. In 1981 Fernando Valenzuela won both awards, going 13-7 with a 2.48 ERA from the mound while hitting .250 with 7 RBI. The other pitcher to accomplish this feat is Tom Glavine who did it in both 1991 (20-11, 2.55 ERA; .230 BA, 6 RBI) and 1998 (20-6, 2.47 ERA; .239 BA, 7 RBI). Penny faces stiff competition for both awards, but his chase of the dual honors will be one of the more intriguing subplots for the remainder of the season.