NEW YORK — Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers breezed Wednesday to baseball’s Cy Young Awards.
Kershaw won the prize as the National League’s best pitcher for the second time in three seasons after posting a 1.83 ERA, the lowest in the majors in 13 years.
“This is such a cool thing. I can’t even explain what it means to me,” Kershaw said in an interview on MLB Network. “It really is a huge honor.”
The 25-year-old left-hander with a big-breaking curve drew 29 of 30 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals was picked first on one ballot.
Kershaw went 16-9 and topped the NL with 232 strikeouts. He also won the Cy Young Award in 2011 and finished second last year to knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
Scherzer took the AL honor after leading the majors with 21 wins. He received 28 of 30 first-place votes.
The right-hander lost only three times and was the lone 20-game winner in baseball. He ranked second in the majors with 240 strikeouts and was fifth in the AL with a 2.90 ERA.
Scherzer smiled and raised both arms when the results were announced.
“It’s unbelievable. It just vindicates everything I’ve done,” he said, acknowledging all the run support he received from Detroit’s powerful lineup probably helped his candidacy.
“I’ve been working so hard all these years to get better and better. I think I took a big step forward in 2013.”
Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers was second, marking the highest finish by a Japanese-born pitcher in Cy Young voting. Hisashi Iwakuma of the Seattle Mariners came in third.
Wainwright went 19-9 for St. Louis and finished behind Kershaw. Miami right-hander Jose Fernandez, picked earlier this week as the NL Rookie of the Year, was third.
Kershaw’s win marked the record 11th time a Dodgers pitcher has won the Cy Young since the award was first presented in 1956. Sandy Koufax won three times, and the Hall of Fame lefty has developed a friendship with Kershaw.
Voting for the Cy Youngs was done before the playoffs began. Kershaw went 1-0 in two sharp starts against Atlanta in the division series, then lost twice to St. Louis in the NL championship. The Cardinals tagged him in a 9-0 romp in the clinching Game 6.
RED SOX: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia is expected to be ready for the March 31 opener at Baltimore after surgery on his left thumb.
The operation to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb was performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“It was the less involved of the two potential procedures,” General Manager Ben Cherington said. “Good prognosis.”
Pedroia hurt his hand diving into first base on opening day at Yankee Stadium and played the rest of the season with the injury. He appeared in 160 games, batting .301 with 42 doubles and 84 RBI while helping the Red Sox win the World Series for the second time in his seven-year career.
Cherington said Pedroia likely would be eased into spring training with the idea of building him up to full strength by the time the season starts.
ATHLETICS: Infielder Nick Punto, 36, agreed to a one-year contract with Oakland following a little more than a season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Punto’s deal includes an option for 2015 that could become guaranteed.
YANKEES: Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to be interviewed Friday by Major League Baseball as a prelude to his testifying at the appeal of his 211-game suspension in the Biogenesis probe, sources said. The meeting is to take place at the Manhattan offices of the Major League Baseball Players Association.
The investigatory interview is mandated by a provision in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and while Rodriguez won’t be required to give sworn testimony, sources said his answers could bolster MLB’s case against him if it’s determined he’s not being truthful. Rodriguez previously has been interviewed by MLB in connection with the Biogenesis probe but didn’t answer questions, sources said.
BRAVES: Mayor Kasim Reed met with team executives to discuss next steps following their decision to leave downtown and build a $672 million stadium in nearby Cobb County, according to Gov. Nathan Deal.
Deal said Reed requested a brief meeting at the Capitol to discuss the transition and there was no indication Atlanta plans to fight the move. A day earlier, Reed said the city couldn’t compete with the generous public financing offered to the team by Cobb County officials.