In what has long been considered a forgone conclusion was made official Wednesday as Clayton Kershaw was named the 2014 NL Cy Young Award winner by unanimous decision.
Kershaw finished ahead of second-place Johnny Cueto of the Cincinnati Reds and third-place finisher St. Louis Cardinals’ ace Adam Wainright. Zack Greinke received two fourth-place votes and two for fifth-place to finish seventh in the voting.
The lefty becomes the first unanimous Dodger Cy Young Award winner since Orel Hershiser in 1988. At age 26, Kershaw is also now the youngest pitcher to win three Cy Young awards in MLB history.
It’s Kershaw second time winning the award in as many years and now gives him three Cy Young awards in the last four years. Only an R.A. Dickey 20-6 season in 2012 stands in the way of Kershaw being a four-time winner; though the argument can certainly be made the southpaw should have won in 2012 as well.
With a third Cy Young Award added to Kershaw’s collection, he joins Sandy Koufax as the only Dodger pitchers to win the award that number of times.
Among qualifying pitchers in 2014, Kershaw led the Majors in ERA, ERA+, WHIP, K/9, complete games, wins, winning percentage and wins above replacement (Baseball-Reference and ESPN). Kershaw at one point had an 11-game winning streak with the loss that ended the streak coming in a complete-game effort that the Dodgers lost by one run.
In the midst of the winning streak, the Dodgers’ ace also threw his first career no-hitter and had a 41 scoreless innings. While a Chase Headley home run in the sixth inning may have ended the scoreless streak, Kershaw still threw a complete game for his 11th win of the season.
Kershaw capped off the regular season with eight innings and a win against the San Francisco Giants that secured the NL West title for the Dodgers. For good measure, Kershaw added an RBI triple that tied the game and ignited the Dodger offense.
Up next for Kershaw is a potential MVP award with the announcement scheduled for 3 p.m. PT on Wednesday and he’s also a finalist for multiple GIBBY awards with the winners set to be revealed Dec. 6.