Kershaw, Kluber win Cy Young awards
NEW YORK (AP) — Everyone expected Clayton Kershaw to pitch a shutout, and he did — a unanimous choice for the NL Cy Young Award.
Corey Kluber edging out Felix Hernandez for the AL pitching prize, that was no sure thing.
Now, the big question: Is Kershaw the Most Valuable Player, too?
“I can’t even really fathom it happening,” Kershaw said on a conference call Wednesday, shortly after winning his third Cy Young in four seasons.
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 champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 26-year-old lefty with a wicked curveball will find out Thursday if he’s the first NL pitcher to sweep the MVP and Cy Young honors since Bob Gibson in 1968.
“I think a lot of things probably have to go right,” Kershaw said, adding, “there are so many people out there who don’t think a pitcher should win.”
Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who won the NL MVP last year, and Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton are competing against Kershaw for honor.
“Everybody’s going to have an opinion” on the position player-vs.-pitcher debate, Kershaw said.
His thought? “I don’t really have an opinion either way,” he said, diplomatically.
“I think most valuable is such a tough thing to assess,” he said.
Kershaw won the Cy Young for the second year in a row, getting all 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
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).
Voting was completed before the postseason began. 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 playoff career.
“For me, personally, the season didn’t end the way I wanted it to,” Kershaw said.
Kluber’s dominant second half helped him draw 17 of 30 first-place votes and 169 points, while Seattle ace 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,” said Kluber, who “just assumed” Hernandez would win.
Nicknamed “Klubot” for his stoic demeanor, his plans after the announcement were far from flashy.
“Probably go home and give my daughters a bath,” he said.