Scherzer, Kluber Claim Cy Young Awards

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Published on November 16 2017 6:22 am
Last Updated on November 16 2017 6:22 am

By ESPN

Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young Award, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League.

Scherzer breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and Nationals teammate Stephen Strasburg, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

"Yes!'' Scherzer shouted, thrusting his arms up when the honor was announced on MLB Network.

The reaction was in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding -- also with expletives -- that now-former Nationals manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

The 33-year-old righty earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with the Detroit Tigers. Scherzer became the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs. Among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Baseball Hall of Fame; Kershaw is not yet eligible.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight,'' Scherzer said.

Scherzer led the National League this past season with 268 strikeouts and ranked second in ERA (2.51) and fourth in wins (16) for the NL East champion Nationals.

"This one is special,'' he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point.''

In an era noted for declining pitcher durability, Scherzer eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"What more can you say about Max?" said Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo. "To have taken home this award three times already in his career, to be among the shortest of lists when it comes to three-time winners, and an even shorter list of those who've won the award in both leagues, you realize just how special a pitcher we're lucky enough to watch every fifth day."

Kershaw already has won three NL Cy Youngs. And he was the most recent pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 this past season, with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts.

Scherzer, along with AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, had rough outings in the playoffs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason,'' he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday, when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.

 

Corey Kluber Wins Second AL Cy Young Award

Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber picked up his second career Cy Young Award on Wednesday, earning 28 of 30 first-place votes.

The 31-year-old right-hander led the American League in wins (18) and ERA (2.25). Additionally, Kluber's 8.0 WAR was tops among pitchers in both major leagues.

Despite spending a month on the disabled list, Kluber threw more than 203 innings, as he went at least six full innings in 25 of his 29 starts this season. He also tied for the major league lead with five complete games this season.

Kluber, who won the 2014 AL Cy Young, turned around his 2017 performance in order to collect his second award.

After a May 2 outing in which he lasted just three innings, Kluber's ERA stood at 5.06. That start was followed by a DL stint; when Kluber came back, he was lights out, going 15-2 from his June 1 return until the end of the regular season. During that stretch, Kluber led the majors in wins (15), ERA (1.62), WHIP (0.76) and walks per nine innings (9.7).

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said of winning his second Cy Young.

Boston Red Sox lefty Chris Sale finished second in the voting, garnering the remaining two first-place votes, and was followed by New York Yankees right-hander Luis Severino.

At one point in the season, Sale seemed like a shoo-in to win his first Cy Young Award. However, while Kluber got better as the season wore on, Sale got worse. The Boston ace's ERA in August and September was 4.09, tied for 54th among 97 pitchers with at least 50 innings. After allowing 11 home runs through his first 21 starts, Sale gave up 13 in his last 11 starts.

Kluber's teammate Carlos Carrasco finished fourth in the voting, as the Indians posted the best ERA in the majors at 3.30.

Kluber is one of four Cy Young Award winners in Cleveland's history,  but the first to twice earn the honor.