Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw wins third Cy Young Award by unanimous vote

The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw pitches against the Cardinals.
(USA Today Sports / Reuters Photo)

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw won the National League Cy Young Award on Wednesday, becoming only the ninth pitcher in history to win three.

The others who have done it are considered among the best to ever step on a major league mound: Sandy Koufax, Tom Seaver, Jim Palmer, Steve Carlton, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson.

Clemens won a record seven Cy Young Awards. Johnson won five. Palmer and Maddux each won four.


Kershaw received all 30 first-place votes submitted by members of the Baseball Writers Assn. of America. His 210 points put him ahead of Cincinnati Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto, who had 112 points and St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright, who had 97 points.

Kershaw, 26, was sidelined for the entire month of April with a strained back muscle, but he came back to finish with a league-best record of 21-3. His earned-run average of 1.77 was the lowest in baseball and his six shutouts were the most in either league.

Kershaw, a left-hander, won his first Cy Young Award in 2011, was runner-up the following season, and won again in 2013. He has led the NL in ERA four consecutive seasons.

Late in the season, Kershaw was praised by Maddux, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. Maddux was with the Dodgers when Kershaw was a rookie.

“His consistency is off-the-charts good,” Maddux said. “Everybody who wears a major-league uniform is good in their own way. There’s guys who can do it every time they put on the uniform. Every time you see a player whose bad games are good, it’s special.”

The only mark against Kershaw has been his performance in the postseason. This year he dropped two games to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL division series. But the Cy Young Award is based entirely on regular season performance.


Kershaw is also a top contender for the NL Most Valuable Player Award, which will be announced Thursday.