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