Los Angeles Dodgers ace lefty Clayton Kershaw has won the NL Cy Young Award on Thursday, becoming the first Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher to win since Eric Gagne in 2003, the first Dodgers starter to win it since Orel Hershiser in 1988 and the eighth Dodger overall to win.
Kershaw won the award with a majority of first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers Association of America in results announced Thursday, receiving 27 of 32 first-place votes. Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay received four first-place votes, with the last vote going to the Phillies' Cliff Lee.
Kershaw, 23, accomplished the NL pitching Triple Crown by leading the league in ERA (2.28), strikeouts (248), and wins (21). (He was tied, though, with Arizona Diamondbacks ace Ian Kennedy).
In his fourth season in the majors, Kershaw set career bests in wins, ERA, strikeouts, games started (33) and innings pitched (233 1/3), also having a WHIP under one (0.977) for the first time. He posted five complete games in which two ended in shutouts.
Kershaw had a stellar second half of the season, going 12-1 with a 1.31 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of better than 5-to-1. He was practically undefeated after Aug. 7, winning eight of his final nine starts, and allowing no more than one run in seven of those starts.
Kershaw also won an NL Gold Glove Award.