Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw and Detroit Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer won US baseball’s Cy Young awards as the top pitchers of the year on Wednesday.
Kershaw won the National League (NL) Cy Young for the second time in three years while Scherzer became the second Tiger in three years to win the American League (AL) Cy Young.
Both were overwhelming favorites for the awards following their outstanding seasons this year. Scherzer, the major league leader with 21 wins, received 28 of a possible 30 first-place votes to easily outdistance the Japanese duo of Texas Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish and Seattle ace Hisashi Iwakuma.
Having emerged as the ace of a formidable Tigers staff that also contained 2011 AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, Scherzer enjoyed a career year to help Detroit reach the AL Championship Series for a third straight year.
He won 13 straight to open the season and finished with a 21-3 record.
Scherzer added 240 strikeouts while limiting opposing hitters to a 0.198 average, second to Darvish for the AL lead in both categories.
Scherzer’s 203 total points were more than twice that of runner-up Darvish, who posted the highest finish by a Japanese hurler after receiving 19 second-place votes and 93 points.
Iwakuma was third on the list with 73 points.
Kershaw did not win as many games as Scherzer, but his was a dominant season. He captured a third straight NL Earned Run Average title with a Major League-best 1.83 mark, led the NL in strikeouts with 232 and finished with a 16-9 record for the Dodgers, who won the NL West division.
The 25-year-old played a key role in the Dodgers’ second-half surge into the playoffs. In 13 outings after the All-Star break, Kershaw went 8-3 with a 1.59 ERA and struck out 93 hitters.
Kershaw joins very select company in Dodgers history. Prior to Kershaw’s win this year, only Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax has also won the award more than once in the team’s history.
Kershaw earned 207 of a possible 210 points in his landslide victory. St Louis’ Adam Wainwright received the other first-place vote and accumulated 86 points, 24 more than Miami’s Jose Fernandez, the National League Rookie of the Year this year.