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: Apr 7, 2010
Posted on: November 17, 2011 3:35 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Can't say he didnt deserve it and had an awesome year on a bad team...the reason Halladay got 4 votes - ballparks. Kershaw pitches in the spacious Dodger Stadium and Doc in homer heaven Citizens Bank. 

CK 9-4  2.67 era   whip 1.06 and BAA .222
RH 11-3  2.23 era whip 1.08 and BAA .243

so a much closer race (Lee was too streaky and Cole getting hurt messed him up.

Doc's downfall - the Arz. loss in the 9th- - cost him era and a very magic # of 20 wins

Wait til next year...

Since: Jul 23, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 3:18 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

It definitely took the triple crown to win the Cy Young Award.  Clayton Kershaw could easily had come in 2nd or 3rd place in the voting if he had not tied for 1st in wins or if he came in 2nd or 3rd in ERA or Ks.  It is extremely difficult to win this award.  Many deserving pitchers place in the top 5 in voting year in and year out and never win it.  I believe that Clayton Kershaw will get even better as he matures physically and gains experience.  He may never win another Cy Young Award but he has the POTENTIAL to win a few more.  What Kershaw has accomplished at such a young age and with only 3 full seasons in the major leagues is AMAZING. 

When players accomplish individual feats of excellence people also give credit to coaches, mentors, and others.  I'm not saying that the Dodgers have a poor coaching staff (in the majors and minors) but I can't help but think that Kershaw has done this pretty much all by himself, aside from a good upbringing and work ethic provided by his parents.

He just seemed very focused and discipline from the BEGINNING!!  He had a composure and consistency in his demeanor that you don't see very often in young athletes.  He's been a role model off and on the field since he first came up to the bigs as a 20 year old MAN.  Because we all know there are 20 somethings and 30 somethings in professional sports that are not yet MEN

I remember the Dodgers celebrating in the clubhouse that year and he couldn't fully participate because he was under legal drinking age.  It just hit me that this guy was a solid member of the starting rotation of a winning big league team at such a young age.

I wish Kershaw the best.  I hope he wins a lot of games for the Dodgers before he retires.  I hope he wins a championship or two with the Dodgers.  I hope he stays humble and remains a good teammate.  I hope he continues to play for himself, his team and for the "LOVE" of the game and not for MONEY.

Kershaw is a player and a person that makes me proud to say that I am a Dodgers fan.

Since: Jan 9, 2010
Posted on: November 17, 2011 3:17 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Really DC?  Of course everyone wants their ace to win the Cy Young and yes, we wanted Halladay to win it two years in a row, but we knew he wasn't going to.  Kershaw was completely dominate on a mediocre team, which makes his performance even that much more impressive.  Halladay had another great year, but to deny a Triple Crown winner for a typical Roy Halladay season is asinine and to say Halladay should've won over him is being a complete homer.  Any other year Halladay would've won it, but Kershaw was head and shoulders above everyone else.  I'm glad the voters gave it to the right player except I would've thought Kennedy would be 2nd and not Halladay because Kennedy's stellar season lead a team predicted to finish last to a division title.  As much as I wanted Halladay to go 2 for 2 in Philly, I'm glad Kershaw won because he was just that good this year.  Hopefully the MVP voters will get it right and Kershaw and Kemp will throw a Dodgers sweep in the individual awards.

Since: Sep 29, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2011 3:14 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?

Since: Mar 30, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2011 3:08 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Huge lifelong Dodger fan here, and Kersh is the best LH I have ever watched for that organization.  Granted, my time watching them doesn't go back to Koufax, but it does include Fernando, and I think when all is said on done on this guy's career the great Koufax may find himself relegated to second place in Dodger history for lefties.  That said, what sealed his standing forever with me was when, even though the Dodgers were out of it, and all he was really pitching for was pride and the award, he still had his teammate's back against the D-Backs, and even though he knew it would get him tossed, he still stood up and did what he knew he needed to do.  Good for him, great award and can't wait til next yeae.  Finally, some optimism.

Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2011 2:46 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Make no mistake about it, Kershaw was the best pitcher in the National League in 2011. Well deserved for Clay and the Dodgers

Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2011 2:38 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

The votes are tabulated before the post-season, at the end of the regular season. Kershaw obviously deserved the award but I'm just surprised that Roy Halliday received four first place votes. I know he was pitching for a contender which brings additional pressure on every start but I agree with the other poster who commented on the Dodgers weak lineup ( Kent excluded) which made his record stand out even more.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2011 2:36 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

votes are done before the postseason

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 2:36 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

I'm not a Dodgers fan, but I am very happy that Kershaw won this award. I had Ian Kennedy and Kershaw as my 1-2 in the voting but I guess Ian's post season play (or lack of) went into account for him finishing fourth.
I had Kershaw at 1 and Kennedy at 2. No triple crown winner has ever been denied the Cy Young and they weren't going to start this year.   As the voting is done before the playoffs I have no idea how Kennedy only finished 4th in the voting.  Definately no worse than 3 (in front of Lee) and probably should have been 2.

Since: May 14, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 2:28 pm

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Congrats Kershaw! I never had a doubt! This is well deserved, and remarkable that each cy young winner from both leagues also won triple crown. 

The last time the AL and NL saw 2 triple crown pitcher's? 1924 with Walter Johnson and Dazzy Vance.

This is the first time in the history of the Cy Young award that both winners were also both triple crown winners.

Kershaw and Verlander just made some serious history that is not likely to be repeated for a long long time.

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