NEW YORK — Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was a unanimous choice for his third National League Cy Young pitching award, and Cleveland’s Corey Kluber edged Seattle’s Felix Hernandez to win the American League honor for the first time.
Kershaw led the majors in victories and ERA and threw a no-hitter, going 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA for the NL West champions.
Now, the big question: is he the Most Valuable Player, too?
The 26-year-old lefty with a wicked curveball will find out Nov. 13 if he’s the first NL pitcher to sweep the MVP and Cy Young honors since Bob Gibson in 1968.
As expected, Kershaw earned the pitching prize for the second year in a row, getting all 30 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced Nov. 12. “Pretty cool,” Kershaw said after the MLB Network telecast.
Johnny Cueto of Cincinnati was second with 112 points, followed by Adam Wainwright of St. Louis (97) and World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner of San Francisco (28). “As far as the regular season is concerned, it was a ton of fun,” Kershaw said.
Voting was completed before the start of the postseason. Kershaw went 0-2 with a 7.82 ERA in a Division Series loss to St. Louis, leaving him at 1-5 with a 5.12 ERA in his postseason career.
Kluber received 17-of-30 first-place votes and 169 points, while King Felix got 13 firsts and 159 points. Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox was third with 78 points.
“I think I’m definitely surprised,” he said. His plans after the announcement were far from flashy. “Probably go home and give my daughters a bath,” he said.
A 28-year-old right-hander, Kluber went 18-9 to tie for the AL lead in wins. He had a 2.44 ERA in his first full major league season and 269 strikeouts, two behind league leader David Price.
Kluber pitched consecutive 14-strikeout games in September, the first to accomplish the feat since Arizona’s Randy Johnson in 2004. He became Cleveland’s fourth Cy Young winner, joining Gaylord Perry (1972), CC Sabathia (2007) and Cliff Lee (2008).