Major League baseball announced the MVP winners last night. Dodgers’ hurler Clayton Kershaw took the honors in the National League, while Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout earned the American League honors unanimously.
Much debate swirled about whether a pitcher should be able to beat a out a position player who plays every day, as opposed to starting pitchers, who only pitch once every five days. It would take something spectacular for a pitcher to win the MVP award; Kershaw did it.
Kershaw won his fourth consecutive ERA title with a 1.77 ERA, which is the lowest in the NL since Gregg Maddux’s 1.66 in 1995. He was 21-3 in the season and racked up 239 strikeouts, which was four shy of the NL lead, despite missing close to a month of the season. He led the league in wins, ERA, WHIP and complete games. The Dodgers won 23 of his 27 starts and one special one came on June 10. Kershaw threw a no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies, which has been talked about as one of the best pitched games ever. He had 15 strikeouts and only an error prevented him from throwing a perfect game.
Kershaw is only the first pitcher in the National League to win both the Cy Young—best pitcher of the league—and MVP in the same season since Bob Gibson did it in 1968. Justin Verlander most recently won the MVP in the American League in 2011.
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Trout, 23, took home his first MVP award after finishing second behind Miguel Cabrera in both 2012 and 2013. This year he went up against Detroit Tigers’ designated hitter Victor Martinez, and Cleveland Indians’ outfielder Michael Brantley. Trout received all 30 first-place votes to become only the 10th AL player to win the award unanimously and the first one since Ken Griffey Jr. did it in 1997.
Trout led the league in RBI, 111, runs, 115, extra base hits, 84, and total bases, 338. He hit a career-high 36 HR and batted .287 for the year.
Both Trout and Kershaw have shown enough to make us believe that isn’t the last time we will hear their names and these awards in the same sentence. Although nobody has won the Cy Young and MVP in the same season twice in a career, it wouldn’t be surprising for future Hall of Famer, Kershaw, to be the first one.