After posting the second-best, single-season winning percentage over the past 18 years, Detroit Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer won the American League Cy Young Award on Wednesday.
Los Angeles left-hander Clayton Kershaw captured his second National League Cy Young Award in three years, joining Sandy Koufax as the only Dodgers to win the award multiple times.
In a vote of Baseball Writers Association of America members, Scherzer received 28 of 30 first-place votes for the AL honor. Texas Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish finished in second place, and Seattle Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma came in third.
The other first-place votes went to Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez, who wound up in fourth place, and Chicago White Sox left-hander Chris Sale, who took fifth place.
Kershaw got 29 of 30 first-place votes for the NL award. St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright took second, receiving the other first-place vote, and Miami Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez came in third.
Both Cy Young winners are a year removed from potential free agency, meaning the new hardware on their mantels figures to drive up their price tags.
Asked about his future, Kershaw said on MLB Network, "I do love L.A. I really think we can win there, too. We'll just see what happens. It's kind of an open book right now."
Scherzer had a similar response on a conference call.
"I love it here in Detroit," he said. "Who wouldn't want to be a part of this? The business side will take care of itself. It really depends on what Detroit wants to do."
Scherzer, 29, went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA, leading the league in wins and walks-and-hits-per-inning-pitched ratio. He ranked second with 240 strikeouts. Scherzer earned his first All-Star appearance this year, and he helped lead the Tigers to the AL Central title.
"I've been working so hard all these years to get better and better," Scherzer said. "I think I took a big step forward in 2013."
Since 1995, only left-hander Cliff Lee, who went 22-3 for the Cleveland Indians in 2008, had a better single-season winning percentage than Scherzer's .875 mark this year.
Darvish topped the AL with 277 strikeouts, and his rate of 11.89 K's per nine innings was baseball's top total since left-hander Randy Johnson whiffed 13.41 batters per nine innings in 2001 for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Darvish, 27, finished 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA, and he led the league in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (6.22).
Iwakuma, 32, went 14-6 with a 2.66 ERA.
Sanchez, 28, led the AL with a 2.57 ERA while going 14-8.
Sale, 21, finished 11-14 with a 3.07 ERA.
Kershaw dominated the National League pitching leaderboards. He finished first in ERA (1.83), strikeouts (232) and walks-and-hits-per-inning-pitched ratio (0.92). Kershaw came in second in innings pitched (236), and he tied for third with 16 wins.
Kershaw, 25, was the NL Cy Young winner in 2011, and he finished second in 2012 to R.A. Dickey, then of the New York Mets.
"This is such a cool thing," Kershaw said. "I can't even explain what it means to me. It really is a huge honor."
Wainwright, 32, tied for the league lead in victories, finishing 19-9 with a 2.94 ERA. He, Kershaw and Washington Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann tied for the NL lead with two shutouts, and Wainwright finished on top with five complete games.
Fernandez, 21, earned NL Rookie of the Year honors after going 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA in 28 starts.
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