Clayton Kershaw is having a season for the ages in 2014. The Los Angeles Dodgers are lucky to have the ace pitcher at the helm of their starting rotation.
His complete dominance of hitters is well known around the league, and this season he has stepped it up another level with a string of legendary performances that could him finish with a career best year
The big buzz in the media and around the majors has been mostly centered around Kershaw on winning a certain award that seems an impossible feat for pitchers these days.
Yes, it is very clear that Clayton will possibly run away with the Cy Young but it isn’t the award that has people wondering if he will actually win it.
It is actually that which goes almost exclusively to hitters nowadays, the highly coveted MVP award.
In this case, Kershaw is more deserving to win the National League MVP this season and on top of that win the Cy Young.
Reason? Because he is good at what he does. And in reality, he should be awarded with two of the highest honors for players in the majors based on their seasonal performance.
Those against the idea argue that Kershaw has not played an entirely full season but others are more keen to highlight his impressive return after missing one mont. He was back to unstoppable form right out of the gate when he returned to the Dodgers from the disabled list in early May.
Looking at the numbers
His numbers going into August 13 speak for themselves: 14-2 record, 1.78 ERA, 163 strikeouts in 136.1 innings pitched. Also in those innings pitched, he’s allowed six home runs, 27 runs, and a .201 batting average against.
In his last 10 starts, Kershaw has struck out 92 batters in 81 innings and has dropped his ERA from 2.52 to 1.78 in less than two months. His earned run average is best in the league and more than a point lower than his teammate Zack Greinke (2.84 ERA).
What’s not to say the Dodgers ace can accomplish the impossible? The NL MVP competition this season isn’t as fierce as past seasons, with only two viable other candidates for the award.
Pittsburgh Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen is the second player to potentially bring home the MVP gold but has taken a bit of a setback due to taking a trip to the DL with an injury.
Miami Marlins rightfielder Giancarlo Stanton also has a chance but with the Marlins 58-60 so far and a hefty predicament of not making the postseason, it is unlikely he’ll be smooth sailing the MVP voting.
With a healthy Clayton Kershaw and a first-place Dodgers team in the National League West, Kershaw is slowly but surely a permanent choice for both the Cy Young and MVP.
Making a statement
If Kershaw were to accomplish the feat, it’ll be the first time a pitcher has won both awards since Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander did so in 2011 and only the ninth pitcher in major league history to receive two of the most cherished awards in baseball.
Kershaw could also be the first National League pitcher to win both awards since hall of fame pitcher Bob Gibson did for the St. Louis Cardinals back in 1968. Gibson was also the first hurler to win both.
The Dodgers pitcher is 26 years old and winning and continues to be an overpowering player that will grow into a truly legendary figure.
You only see a masterful pitching machine once in a blue moon and Clayton Kershaw is without a doubt that player.
Winning the MVP and Cy Young makes sense for the young lefty and it should happen without remorse, doubt, or a second thought.
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