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
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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: Nov 20, 2011
Posted on: November 20, 2011 4:20 pm
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

The four divisional opponents Kershaw faces scored a combined run total of 2629 while the 4 divisional opponents Halladay faced scored only 2608 combined runs.  It doesn't seem like there was any real divisional advantage for Kershaw, at least in terms of runs scored.




Since: Jun 21, 2009
Posted on: November 19, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

If Halladay got to face SD and SF every third start like Kershaw his era would be under 2.  Cant argue that Kershaw's numbers were better, but I guess it takes some intelligence to analyze what is behind the numbers.  Facing SD and SF 9 times is a great way to post some impressive numbers. Pitching in a pitchers park compared to a hitters park doesnt hurt either. Add it all up and Halladay was the better pitcher, just doesnt get games gift wrapped as often.  Kind of expect it from fans, but thought the experts would look a little deeper.  Anyone saying that facing SD and SF that many times in those parks and LA doesnt make for a much easier year either doesnt know much about baseball or is just being a homer.
It also takes some intelligence to see through the one-sided rationalizations like yours. What is Halladay's past record against SF? What about his record pitching in SF? Not so good, is it? What happens when you take away 9 starts of Halladay's against the 2 weakest offenses he faced? How many times did Halladay face St Louis or Milwaukee, and how did he do against them in comparison to Kershaw? Speaking of having an easier year, how often did Halladay face left-handed hittters? Compare that to how often Kershaw faced right-handed hitters; still want to claim Kershaw had it easier?

You just picked out one detail of many and made that the focus of your complaint, without making similar adjustements that would counter or nullify your argument. That's what I would expect of someone who was biased, not someone who was intelligent.



Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: November 18, 2011 9:09 pm
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

I am a statistician and from what I see, it looks like Doc had fewer wins, fewer k's, and a higher ERA...so from a pure stats look at things...
not argueing that Kershaw doesn't deserve it a bit more than Halladay, but if you consider yourself a statisician and are weighing heavily on wins, then you're only fooling yourself that you're statistician. 



Since: Aug 20, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2011 6:00 pm
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

If Halladay got to face SD and SF every third start like Kershaw his era would be under 2.  Cant argue that Kershaw's numbers were better, but I guess it takes some intelligence to analyze what is behind the numbers.  Facing SD and SF 9 times is a great way to post some impressive numbers. Pitching in a pitchers park compared to a hitters park doesnt hurt either. Add it all up and Halladay was the better pitcher, just doesnt get games gift wrapped as often.  Kind of expect it from fans, but thought the experts would look a little deeper.  Anyone saying that facing SD and SF that many times in those parks and LA doesnt make for a much easier year either doesnt know much about baseball or is just being a homer.



Since: Sep 26, 2011
Posted on: November 18, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

...just what the trolley car dodgers fans need...a reason to look forward to pitchers and catchers, 2012...

...am i not seeing things right or are there more great pitchers ascending the mound, day in day out, than ever before...

must be the latin influx because there certainly isn't any watering down of talent even with teams everywhere you look...great reward for his season...deserved!

and great for baseball too



Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: November 18, 2011 12:54 pm
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

I am a statistician and from what I see, it looks like Doc had fewer wins, fewer k's, and a higher ERA...so from a pure stats look at things...kinda looks like Clayton took the cake here pal.



Since: May 26, 2011
Posted on: November 18, 2011 12:00 pm
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Congrats to Kershaw and the Dodgers.  He had a heck of a year.

No hard feelings from this Phillies fan.  Personally, I do think that ERA+, etc. showed Doc to be the better pitcher from a pure stats perspective, but I understand the lure of the "triple crown."  I'm a little surprised the voting was as clear cut as it was.  I wonder if Doc winning last year effected some of the voters?  Nice to see Lee get third and Hamels get fifth.  They really were quite a trio.  Hopefully they can keep it up and challenge for the award next year.



Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2011 6:11 am
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Great!!! Congrats to all Dodgers Fans and Kershaw Family. Finally something good happens around Dodgers teams. He's a Good Pitcher, a Young Kid with brilliant future.



Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: November 18, 2011 3:08 am
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

Congrats to a young man with his head on straight and a great pitcher.  One of the bright spots on what could be called the wqorst season in Dodger history.  People can say what they want about the ballparks he pitched in but last time I checked both teams had to pitch in them.  Kershaw won this hands down.  Now we wait for Kemp to bring home the MVP.



Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: November 18, 2011 12:47 am
 

Clayton Kershaw wins NL Cy Young Award

. . . and he even looks like Orel Hershiser!


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