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Blog Entry

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Posted on: November 17, 2011 2:00 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 4:17 pm
 
Clayton Kershaw

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw added the National League Cy Young Award to his pitching Triple Crown on Thursday, beating Phillies' right-hander Roy Halladay to win his first Cy Young.

The 23-year-old Kershaw led the National League with 21 wins, a 2.28 ERA and 248 strikeouts. He also led the league with a 0.977 WHIP, was named to his first All-Star team and won the Gold Glove -- in all, a pretty good year. He received 27 of the 32 first-place votes in voting done by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Halladay received four first-place votes, while fourth-place finisher Ian Kennedy received the other. Halladay's teammate, Cliff Lee, finished third, but didn't receive a first-place vote.

Halladay, 34, missed out on his third Cy Young Award, winning it in 2010 for the Phillies and in 2003 while in Toronto. Halladay went 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA and 208 strikeouts, leading the league with eight complete games. He also led the National League in ERA+ with a 164. ERA+ measures a pitcher's ERA against the league average and takes park factors into effect.

Three Phillies finished in the top fiive, with left-hander Cole Hamels finishing fifth. In all, four Giants received votes, with Tim Lincecum finishing sixth, Matt Cain eighth and Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong tying for 11th with one fifth-place vote each.

In the end, though, it came down to Kershaw and Halladay. Either was a good choice, but Kershaw's Triple Crown may have pushed him over the top. He was one of the bright spots -- along with Matt Kemp -- of a pretty dark year for the Dodgers. Even though Kershaw made his first All-Star team with a 9-4 record and 3.03 ERA in the first half, he won the Cy Young in the second half, when he went 12-2 with a 1.31 ERA. He also dominated at Dodger Stadium, going 12-1 with a 1.69 ERA in 16 starts at home, with his only home loss coming on April 16, his second home start of the season.

"I always dreamed about playing in the big leagues. I never dreamed about doing anything special in the big leagues. I don't think any kid ever does," Kershaw said. "The people I'm now associated with, just by having this award, is something that I never thought would ever happen."

It is the 10th time a Dodgers pitcher has won the award, joining three-time winner Sandy Koufax, Don Newcombe, Don Drysdale, Mike Marshall, Fernando Valezuela, Orel Hershiser and Eric Gagne. Being left-handed, the comparisons to Koufax have naturally come up, though Kershaw said he was uncomfortable with the comparison.

"I'm still uncomfortable with it. I don't want to have any disrespect for Mr. Koufax. He did it for a long time. He won a lot of awards and he won World Series. He threw no-hitters. Just a lot of things I'm not anywhere close to accomplishing yet," Kershaw said. "I have tremendous respect for him and would never want to ever put myself in the same category as him." 

Previous Cy Young Award winners.

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Comments

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: November 18, 2011 12:42 am
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

I'm a Phillies Phan, but I really can't quarrel with this result.  Kershaw clearly had the best year all around.

Congratulations, Clayton. 



Since: Apr 7, 2010
Posted on: November 18, 2011 12:29 am
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Not making excuses, just standing up for the 4 BBW who voted for Doc.  It's easy - win the triple crown, get the hardware.  Awesome year by CK - let's see if he can go b2b...




Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 10:55 pm
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

I'm an idiot, my bad.. damn playoffs clouded my mind, good job voters
 



Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 10:52 pm
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Cliff Lee finishing 3rd was joke... Hamels was better, on his own team no less... Kennedy was 3, hamels 4th... where do you even rank Lee... He had a good regular season no doubt, but this is where vote on actual data... not name...
 



Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 9:48 pm
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

There's some truth in what you say here, but let's also look at how anemic the Dodgers hitting was compared to Philly.
The Phillies were 6th in runs scored 7th in batting average.  The Dodgers were 8th in runs scored and 5th in batting average.

AND, let's not forget that the Phillies hitting really broke down the last 2 months of the season.
You got that backwards, the Phillies hitting actually did better later in the season than it did earlier in the season.  In fact, the Dodgers were a better offense the first half of the year iirc.  The Phillies offense was so hot in the second half that it took them out of the bottom half of the NL.





Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 9:12 pm
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Kershaw isn't undeserving...nor is Matt Kemp winning the MVP.

...But it sure does say something for the old baseball addage, "You can always lose cheaper"...especially if your team's payroll gut gutted paying divorce lawyers and entertaining potential buyers for your bankrupt franchise.  
;If you finish in the cellar with both the CY and MVP, and pay them like Hall of Famers for the rest of their effective careers, how are you going to pay enough OTHER help to get OUT of the cellar ?  



Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 8:34 pm
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

I would have voted for Halladay because he pitched in the tougher park, and had the better road ERA. But Kershaw's a worthy choice, too. It's pretty much a coin flip between the two. I'm just glad the race wasn't decided by the writer who picked Kennedy. 



Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: November 17, 2011 8:12 pm
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

" if Halladay was on LA and got to pitch Kershaw's schedule I'm pretty sure he would have exceeded Kershaw's numbers.  Getting to face the two worst hitting teams in the league, in great pitchers parks (SD, SF, and LA) 9 times is a huge advantage.  Halladay faced SD twice (and only once in SD) and had over 16 IP, 22Ks, 3 ER.  He didnt get to face SF, who hit even worse than SD, at all."
There's some truth in what you say here, but let's also look at how anemic the Dodgers hitting was compared to Philly.  AND, let's not forget that the Phillies hitting really broke down the last 2 months of the season.  I'm not completely sold that Hallady would have been better on that team, or that Kershaw could have had a few more wins had he worn red pinstripes.




Since: Aug 20, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 8:06 pm
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

After reading some more comments that dont seem to be based on reality had to make a couple more points.  First, it was the Phillies pitching that got them to 102 wins, not great hitting as some people are suggesting.  And yes, if Halladay was on LA and got to pitch Kershaw's schedule I'm pretty sure he would have exceeded Kershaw's numbers.  Getting to face the two worst hitting teams in the league, in great pitchers parks (SD, SF, and LA) 9 times is a huge advantage.  Halladay faced SD twice (and only once in SD) and had over 16 IP, 22Ks, 3 ER.  He didnt get to face SF, who hit even worse than SD, at all.  That being said, good for Kershaw, nice kid, but dont overlook how easy his schedule was.



Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 7:44 pm
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Great job CK!!! GO BIG BLUE!!!


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