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Kershaw could be in line for the NL Cy Young Award

Chris Ruddick,
MLB Editor


Rounding Third Logo Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Left-hander Clayton Kershaw could become the eighth different Dodger to be honored with a Cy Young Award on Thursday when the Baseball Writers' Association of America hands out the National League honor.

Like American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, Kershaw was a Triple Crown winner this past season as he tied for the league lead with 21 wins, while topping the NL with a 2.28 earned run average and 248 strikeouts.

The seven previous Triple Crown winners in the NL all went on to win a Cy Young, with the most recent being San Diego righty Jake Peavy in 2007. Plus, Kershaw's minuscule ERA would be the lowest of any NL Cy Young Award winner since 1997 when Pedro Martinez, then of the Expos, finished the year with a 1.90 mark.

Should he win, the 23-year-old Kershaw would be the youngest NL honoree since Dwight Gooden, who won the award in 1985 at the age of 20 with the Mets.

Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw was a Triple Crown winner this past season.
He'd also be the eighth different Dodgers hurler to be honored, but the first since closer Eric Gagne took home honors in 2003. Other Dodgers winners include Don Newcome. who won the award in 1956 when the team was still in Brooklyn, Don Drysdale (1962), Sandy Koufax (1963, 1965-66), Mike Marshall (1974), Fernando Valenzuela (1981) and Orel Hershiser (1988), the last Dodgers' starter to win.

Kershaw's main competition figures to come from last year's winner, Philadelphia right-hander Roy Halladay along with his teammate Cliff Lee.

Halladay had another sensational season for the Phillies, posting a 19-6 mark to go along with a 2.35 ERA. He also struck out 220 batters, more than six times the amount of walks he allowed (35). Halladay, of course, also won a Cy Young Award with Toronto in 2003.

Lee, meanwhile, enjoyed a solid return to Philly, as he went 17-8 and pitched to a 2.40 ERA. An AL Cy Young Award winner in 2008 with Cleveland, Lee's season was highlighted by perfect months in both June and August that saw him go 10-0 in 10 starts, while allowing just three runs in 81 2/3 frames.

Arizona's Ian Kennedy should also get some votes following his best year in the majors. Kennedy was a driving force behind the Diamondbacks' surprising NL West title, going 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA.

Others figuring to get votes include Philadelphia left-hander Cole Hamels, as well as Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo and San Francisco's Ryan Vogelsong and Tim Lincecum.

THE SPORTS NETWORK PICK: CLAYTON KERSHAW, LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Chris Ruddick at cruddick@sportsnetwork.com.

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