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Kluber wins AL Cy; Kershaw a unanimous pick

MLB.com

One was a historic no-brainer. The other was a Major League surprise.

In the end, Cy Young Awards day was, as always, good for pitching fans, and on Wednesday, a very good day to have the initials C.K.

One was a historic no-brainer. The other was a Major League surprise.

In the end, Cy Young Awards day was, as always, good for pitching fans, and on Wednesday, a very good day to have the initials C.K.

The official honors bestowed upon Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber as the winners of the 2014 Cy Young Awards, which were announced on MLB Network on Wednesday night, were as well-deserved as they were different.

Video: Castrovince on Kershaw winning third Cy Young Award

The only question pertaining to the candidacy of Kershaw, the Los Angeles Dodgers' ace, was if the voting, which was completed at the end of the regular season by 30 members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, would be unanimous for the National League honor.

It was, and Kershaw had his second consecutive Cy and third in the last four years. Johnny Cueto of the Reds finished second, and Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright was third. Now, Kershaw will see if he can nab the NL MVP award he's favored to win, too. That voting is announced Thursday, also on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET.

As for Kluber and the American League Cy Young Award voting, it wasn't so clear cut. Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez, who won the 2010 Cy Young, and White Sox lefty Chris Sale both put together stellar seasons and had solid arguments in their corner. But Kluber prevailed by nailing down 17 first-place votes to Hernandez's 13, which led to a close 169-159 final tally separating first place from second. Kluber, who had never received one Cy Young Award vote prior to Wednesday, walked away the winner.

The no-doubt announcement of Kershaw came first in what seems to be a yearly appointment for the lefty, who at 26 became the youngest pitcher in history to claim a third Cy Young Award.

It was pretty much a guarantee, considering Kershaw went 21-3 with a Major League-best 1.77 ERA, struck out 239 batters in 198 1/3 innings, pitched a no-hitter in which he struck out 15 and was a fielding error away from delivering a perfect game and posted a WHIP of 0.86. Kershaw led the Majors with six complete games.

"It's just a huge honor," Kershaw said. "I think, to be associated with the guys that won the Cy Young Award, and really getting to have my name put up with some of those guys, is unbelievable. There are so many people to thank. Having some runs every time out there like my teammates were able to do this year is a huge reason why I get to be here today.

"I love to win. Winning's fun. So that's really my goal every time out. I love to play baseball. I have so much fun getting to pitch, and as long as you're winning, they'll let me keep going out there, so that's the goal."

Meanwhile, Kluber seemed as stunned as anyone that he had taken home the goods, but he warmed up to the idea pretty quickly.

Video: Kluber named the 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner

The normally stoic-looking right-hander, who has earned the nickname "Klu-bot" because of his lack of emotional expression while on the mound -- or elsewhere -- actually joked a bit and cracked some smiles. That's what having your name in the history books will do, apparently.

And Kluber deserved that special page with his name on it.

Perhaps even more vital to the winning of the award than Kluber's 18-9 record, 2.44 ERA, 269 strikeouts in 235 2/3 innings and WHIP of 1.10 were certain second-half numbers -- 1.73 ERA, 127 punchouts and 104 innings pitched -- that led all of MLB.

Kluber's teammate, Tribe second baseman Jason Kipnis, awaited the news of the balloting eagerly, tweeting that he was looking for a mattress to jump up and down on if Kluber won.

So imagine his pleasure -- and the unlucky piece of memory foam's lack thereof -- when the news came in. Kipnis was basically speechless, tweeting, "CYKLUBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh."

Kluber was not entirely speechless. Interviewed on MLB Network immediately after the result was revealed, he said one of the biggest factors in winning was his evolution as a pitcher, specifically the decision to turn more to his sinking two-seam fastball and away from a straighter heater of the four-seam variety.

"[Switching] really allowed me to command my fastball better, and that in turn made all my other pitches more effective," Kluber said. "It sort of all came together at the right time this year, I guess.

Video: Castrovince pleasantly surprised by Kluber winning Cy

"I'm definitely surprised. It's just a credit to all the hard work … I've put in through the past. There are a lot of people who have helped me along the way. So a lot of things have to come together at the right time."

Kluber was asked if winning this historic award would make him go out on the town or party or do something crazy on Wednesday night. He cracked an un-Kluber-like smile and threw another strike right down the middle.

"I'll probably go home and give my daughter a bath," Kluber said.

"Or something boring like that."

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.

Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber