2011 NL Cy Young Award: LA Dodger Clayton Kershaw Brings Home the Hardware

Zeke FuhrmanAnalyst IIINovember 17, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws the ball during the 8th inning on his way recording his 21st win of the season during the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on September 25, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kent C. Horner/Getty Images)
Kent Horner/Getty Images

As projected by many baseball analysts, Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers has won hit first NL Cy Young Award.

Although the decision wasn't unanimous like his AL counterpart Justin Verlander, Kershaw received 27 of 32 first-place votes to give the Dodgers their first Cy Young winner since Eric Gagne won the award in 2003, and is the eighth Dodger to win the award since its inception in 1956.

Other Dodgers include Gagne, Don Newcombe, Don Drysdale, Mike Marshall, Fernando Valenzuela, Orel Hershiser and Sandy Koufax (who won the award three times).

Philadelphia aces Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee finished second and third, respectively, with Arizona Diamondback Ian Kennedy finishing in fourth place.

Like Verlander, Kershaw won his league's pitching Triple Crown, the first pitcher to do it in the NL since Jake Peavy did it in 2007. Kershaw was 21-5 for a team that finished 82-79. He finished with a 2.28 ERA and 248 strikeouts in 233 innings pitched.

The 23-year-old Kershaw has improved steadily each season since breaking into the majors in 2008, with his wins climbing each year, and his ERA dropping.

There are only two more MLB awards to be given out: the AL and NL MVPs. The AL MVP will be awarded on Monday, with the NL MVP award handed out on Tuesday.