Posted November 13, 2013

Max Scherzer wins AL Cy Young Award; Clayton Kershaw takes home NL honor

Awards Watch, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer
Max Scherzer, Tigers

Max Scherzer is the second Tigers pitcher in three years to win the Cy Young, joining Justin Verlander, who won in 2011. (Michael Ivins/Getty Images)

The Tigers’ Max Scherzer easily won his first American League Cy Young Award, while the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw cruised to his second NL Cy Young in three years in the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voting, the results of which were announced on Wednesday night.

Scherzer, the AL starter in the All-Star Game, went 21-3, leading the majors in wins and his league in WHIP while striking out a career high 240 batters and helping Detroit to its third straight AL Central title. He received 28 of the 30 first-place votes. Fellow Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez, the AL ERA leader, and White Sox lefty Chris Sale split the other two first place votes. Scherzer finished with 203 points overall, more than double the total of runner-up Yu Darvish of the Rangers, who had 93.

Kershaw was chosen first on 29 of the 30 ballots cast. The Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright got the other first-place vote and finished second overall. The Marlins’ Jose Fernandez — who won the NL Rookie of the Year award on Monday — was third. Kershaw led the majors in ERA for the third straight season with a 1.83 mark that was the best in the bigs since Pedro Martinez had a 1.74 ERA for Boston in 2000. He also paced the majors in WHIP and the NL in strikeouts while being the ace of the staff for the NL West-winning Dodgers.

Wainwright led the majors in innings and complete games and the NL in shutouts while also winning 19 games for St. Louis. Fernandez had one of the best rookie seasons ever, finishing with a 2.19 ERA in his age-20 season after not having previously pitched above High A ball.

Darvish was the only pitcher in the majors with more strikeouts than Scherzer, posting an MLB-best 277. He also led the bigs in K/9 (11.9) and the AL in fewest hits per nine (6.2). Darvish came within one out of a perfect game on April 2 and finished the year with a 13-9 record and 2.83 ERA that was more than one full run below the mark he posted in 2012, his first season in the majors after coming over from Japan.

Fellow Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma is also in his second season stateside and went 14-6 with a 2.66 ERA for the Mariners but was a distant third in the AL voting.

10 comments
Mark112
Mark112

The fact of the matter is that when the money was on the table, Kershaw rolled snakeyes against St. Louis is the deciding game of the NLCS. Yet I have a feeling that it will be lights out for the opponent, if and when Kershaw and the Dodgers make it back to the post season in '14.

dinohealth
dinohealth

No surprises, here, and, as deservedly expected! 

RichW
RichW

Which voter picked Kershaw second? Many people are saying he is not only the Cy Young, but MVP as well.

Marty2
Marty2

Wonderful.  My Tigers get another individual award.  So why have they played like such crap in the post-seasons??  I hope the new Tiger  manager will somehow remedy this problem.

oasis1994
oasis1994

If wins were overrated, then the Tigers would not have been in the ALCS with Max. I know wins do not mean everything and a lot has to go right in order to get one. But, Max still pitched 7 plus innings more than most other pitchers. The reason these other guys don't get wins is due to the fact that they don't pitch more than 6 innings in a start.

I digress now and I know that Max got great run support and that was another reason to why he had all those wins.

I've said this for 2 years now, but we should have 2 stats for starters;


1. W-L Wins - Loses

2. TM - TL Team Wins - Team Loses

MichaelC
MichaelC

Chris Sale had a nice year in sabermetric terms but how did he get a 1st place vote over Scherzer?

Michael10
Michael10

@RichW He's not even an MVP finalist. All of the precedents were against him winning both awards, anyway. Only one starting pitcher has won an MVP in the past 27 years and only two since the mound was lowered in the sixties. None have ever won it with less than 20 wins; none have done it since WWII with less than 24 except for Bob Gibson in 1968 (with 22 wins and an ERA nearly half of Kershaw's). Every starting pitcher to win the MVP in the last 60+ years has taken his team to the World Series...

gymviking
gymviking

@MichaelC Chicago voter or some math nerd trying to press the idea that wins are overrated (in their view), I would guess.

Michael10
Michael10

@RichW By the way, the writer who picked Wainwright first was a sportswiter from Cincinnati.