Greinke, Kershaw named NL Cy Young finalists
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers pitchers Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday were named finalists for the 2015 National League Cy Young Award by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Chicago's Jake Arrieta, who no-hit the Dodgers, is the other finalist for the honor.
The Cy Young Award will be announced Wednesday, Nov. 18., at 3 p.m. PT on MLB Network.
The awards are determined by balloting from two BBWAA members per each league city, submitted prior to postseason play.
All three finalists are also up for Best Starting Pitcher and Best Major Leaguer in the Esurance MLB Awards. Kershaw's Sept. 29 start at San Francisco, which clinched the NL West title, is up for Best Performance.
Greinke's inclusion in the final Cy Young field came one day after he bested Kershaw and Arrieta for the 2015 Players Choice National League Outstanding Pitcher. Greinke won the American League Cy Young Award in 2009 while with Kansas City.
Kershaw, meanwhile, is a three-time winner of the award and was once a runner-up, having now become the first pitcher ever to finish in the top three five consecutive seasons. Sandy Koufax is the only other Dodger to have won three Cy Youngs, when only one award covering both leagues was presented.
Greinke, the Dodgers' Roy Campanella Award winner, posted the Majors' lowest ERA with his 1.66 mark, ranking as the lowest by any big league pitcher since Greg Maddux's 1.63 ERA in 1995 with Atlanta.
In addition to ERA, Greinke topped the Majors in winning percentage (.864, 19-3), WHIP (0.84) and quality starts (30), while ranking among big league leaders in opponents' batting average (.187, 2nd) and innings pitched (222 2/3, 5th) in 32 starts.
After becoming the first Dodgers pitcher to start the All-Star Game since Brad Penny in 2006, he went on to go 11-1 after the break and a career high 19 wins. His ERA was the lowest in the Majors since 1995 (Greg Maddux, 1.63). He tied a Major League record, also held by Orel Hershiser and Don Drysdale, with six consecutive scoreless starts between June 18 and July 19, with his scoreless-inning streak ending on July 26 at 45 2/3, the fourth-longest streak in the Expansion Era (since 1961).
Greinke made 11 scoreless starts and allowed one or fewer runs in 21 outings, he pitched at least six innings in each of his 32 starts and was unbeaten during an 11-start stretch from June 18 to Aug. 16, going 8-0 with a 1.16 ERA (10 ER/77.2 IP).
Kershaw went 16-7 with a 2.13 ERA in a career high-tying 33 starts in his fifth consecutive All-Star season, while becoming the first MLB pitcher to reach 300 strikeouts since 2002 (when Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson reached the milestone). His 301 strikeouts rank as the fourth-highest single-season total in franchise history behind Koufax's 1965 (382), 1966 (317) and 1963 (306). Kershaw led MLB in strikeouts after previously leading the league twice.
Kershaw tied his single-game career high with 15 strikeouts and recorded double-digit strikeouts in 13 of 33 starts. In addition to leading the Majors in strikeouts, he ranked among the big league leaders in wins (16, 11th), ERA (2.13, 3rd), innings pitched (232 2/3, 1st), opponents' batting average (.194, 3rd), WHIP (0.88, 3rd), complete games (4, T-1st) and shutouts (3, T-1st).
He finished the postseason on an 11-1 roll with a 1.22 ERA and four complete games in his final 17 starts, including a scoreless-innings streak of 37. After losing three consecutive starts for the first time in his career June 17-27, Kershaw reeled off a 13-start unbeaten streak from July 3 to Sept. 14, going 9-0 with a 0.98 ERA, tied for the second longest winning streak in the Majors this year.
He made his fifth-consecutive All-Star appearance and fifth-consecutive Opening Day start, only one shy of Drysdale's Los Angeles record for Opening Day starts. He pitched the division-clincher for the second-consecutive season, both times against the Giants, this time a one-hit shutout on the road. Earlier he became the second-youngest active pitcher to reach career win No. 100.
The BBWAA awards will roll out next week, so there will be plenty of time for discussion and speculation. The schedule for the rest of the announcements, all on MLB Network:
Rookie of the Year Awards
Monday, Nov. 16, 3 p.m. PT
Manager of the Year Awards
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 3 p.m. PT
Most Valuable Player Awards
Thursday, Nov. 19, 3 p.m. PT