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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Since: Jun 8, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2011 5:21 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

you think that Halladay dominated Kershaw with STATS, are you illiterate?? Kershaw led the NL in WINS, ERA, and  strikeouts, the triple crown of pitching .. Nice try but the right guy won,.

Since: Oct 3, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 5:20 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

I'm not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me - I feel that Clayotn was ESPECIALLY deserving of the award because the Dodgers were a joke of a team, except for Kemp. I was a little worried that the biased East Coast Sportswriters would give it to Halladay ( who was obviously great as well ) instead of the guy who actually won the triple crown.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 5:18 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

After seeing Felix win last year based on his dominance of advanced stats, I was hoping that would carry over into this year, where Halladay dominated Kershaw.  But I guess writers are still too hung up on Wins.  One step forward two steps back, that's Baseball for you.  

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 5:14 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

this is GREAT news for Dodgers fans!  Congratulations to CK.  Didn't realize he won the pitching triple crown either.  Along with Matt Kemp almost taking the hitting triple crown, i'm surprised we didn't make a stronger run to make it into the playoffs.  I'll have to think about that one.  I also wonder how much of this award Frank McCourt will claim responsibility for...

Onwards, and upwards for the Dodgers!


Since: Feb 26, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 4:58 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

They got this one right on the money. Kershaw was just great down the stretch. Great pitcher on a mediocre team. His Sandy Koufax curveball is brutal as batters would just sit in the box frozen on called strike three. Outstanding pitcher and a class act. CONGRATS CLAYTON !!!!

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 4:40 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Not a big Dodger fan, but I am of Mattingly, but they got the vote right this time.  You can't count pitching against good teams versus sub 500 teams, hitters parks versus pitchers parks, daytime versus night time or any of that crap.  The teams don't sit their pitching staff down and look over the schedules and say OK you're pitching against these teams, day games only, and you get these teams night games only.  A schedule is a schedule, if you are going to start that kind of over thinking then get rid of all the parks and rebuild them all to the exact same dimensions, good bye Green Monster, good bye Cubs Ivy, good bye Grandersons deck.  That isn't going to happen.  They got it right, he had a better season than Roy, but Roy got all the press.

Since: Jun 21, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2011 4:29 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

I'm wondering if they voted Kennedy fourth because they believe this was lightening in a bottle? The others ahead of him have a solid body of work, while Ian Kennedy really doesn't. I know the award is based on the seasons stats and not the pitchers career, but I have agree with you balrog. I;m not sure how Kennedy didn't finish second, or even third?
No need to wonder- Kennedy was by most objective criteria at best the fourth-best starting pitcher in the NL in 2010. Kershaw, Halladay and Lee were all obviously better, and Hamels was as good if not better.

Whoever voted Kennedy #1 ought to have his voting card rescinded for next year, at least, and a lifetime ban from voting wouldn't be unreasonable.

Since: Dec 10, 2010
Posted on: November 17, 2011 4:10 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

ballparks?  I hope the same logic applies to MATT KEMP, how had an the best numbers on a pitcher's ballpark without Fielder to protect him

Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 4:10 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Well deserved. Everytime he got on the mound it seemed like the Dodgers were going to win no matter what. Like Kemp, he finally put it all together this year and with new ownership coming our way, the bright spots keep getting brighter. Plus it's nice to see him beat Lincecum every time they go head to head.

Since: Mar 27, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2011 3:46 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Good for Kershaw!  I saw him pitch several times this season (watching on MLB ExtraInnings).  Really enjoyed watching him.  Also, his stats for the season were excellent.  His Dodgers might not have been so good but Kershaw certainly was.  Congratulations to the new NL Cy Young winner!

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