Dodgers’ Kershaw Is Youngest NL Pitcher to Win Cy Young Award Since Gooden

Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League’s Cy Young Award, becoming the youngest pitcher to take the NL honor since 20-year-old Dwight Gooden of the New York Mets in 1985.

Kershaw, a 23-year-old left-hander, won the National League’s Triple Crown for pitchers with 21 wins, a 2.28 earned run average and 248 strikeouts, becoming the seventh player to lead the league in all three categories since the award began in 1956. The previous six, most recently San Diego’s Jake Peavy in 2007, also won it.

Kershaw’s ERA was the lowest for any starting pitcher in Major League Baseball this year and the best for an NL Cy Young Award winner since 1997, when Pedro Martinez had a 1.90 ERA.

Kershaw received 27 of the 32 first-place votes and 207 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America, while 2010 NL Cy Young winner Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies was the runner-up with four first-place votes and 133 points.

Halladay went 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA and was followed by Phillies teammate Cliff Lee, who was 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA. Lee won the 2008 AL Cy Young with Cleveland.

Ian Kennedy of the Arizona Diamondbacks received the other first-place vote and finished fourth overall in the balloting after a season in which he went 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA.

Past Winners

Kershaw is the eighth Dodgers pitcher to take the honor and the first since Eric Gagne in 2003. Other Dodgers to be voted the NL’s best pitcher were Don Drysdale (1962), Sandy Koufax (1963, 1965, 1966), Mike Marshall (1974), Fernando Valenzuela (1981), Orel Hershiser (1988) and Don Newcombe, who won the inaugural award in 1956, when the franchise was in Brooklyn.

In four major-league seasons with the Dodgers, Kershaw is 47-28 with a 2.88 ERA.

Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers won the American League Cy Young award in a unanimous vote two days ago.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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