LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he is being relieved in the eighth inning in the game against the San Francisco Giants on September 20, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
• 2011 NL Cy Young Award Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers' left-hander Clayton Kershaw received more 1st place votes, but he and Philadelphia Phillies' ace Roy Halladay ended up tied in the SB Nation's year-end voting for the NL CY Young Award. Of the 198 votes cast in a poll last week here at Federal Baseball, 133 (67%) went for LA's 23-year-old '06 1st Round pick. 56 votes in our poll were cast for the 34-year-old Toronto Blue Jays' 1995 1st Rounder, who finished his second season in Philadelphia with a (19-6) record in 32 GS and 233.2 IP over which he had a 2.35 ERA, 2.20 FIP and 220 K's (8.47 K/9). Hallladay allowed 35 BB (1.35 BB/9), 10 HR's (0.39 HR/9) (ed. note - "3 of the 10 HR's by the Nats!), and finished the season at 8.2 WAR. In Kershaw's 4th MLB season, he was (21-5) in 33 GS and 233.1 IP, posting a 2.28 ERA, 2.47 FIP and a league-leading 248 K's (9.57 K/9), with 54 BB (2.08 BB/9) and 15 HR's (0.58 HR/9) allowed. Kershaw finished the year at 6.8 WAR. This afternoon the voting members of the BBWAA went with a Dodgers' pitcher for the first time since Eric Gagne in 2003, awarding the 2011 NL Cy Young Award to Clayton Kershaw.
The BBWAA described the lefty in their official press release as, "... a Triple Crown of pitching winner with league-best totals of victories (21), earned-run average (2.28) and strikeouts (248)." After Kershaw it was Halladay, the Phillies' Cliff Lee, the D-Backs' Ian Kennedy and Philly's Cole Hamels. I had the same Top 5 on my balllot in the SB Nation's voting...Your NL Cy Young?
• Astros To AL West, Wild Card Notes...
MLB Commisioner Bud Selig made three fairly major announcements this morning as well, approving the sale of the Houston Astros for $610 million dollars to a group led by "Houston businessman" Jim Crane. The second part of that announcement was the fact the Astros will move to the AL West from the NL Central. Houston, Texas, Oakland, LA and Seattle. The move is the first realignment since Milwaukee moved to the NL Central in 1998. Each league, as of 2013, will consist of 15 teams, meaning Interleague play takes place every day. The third part of the announcement?MLB has approved the addition of another Wild Card team in each league. The two Wild Card teams will reportedly meet in a one-game playoff before each league divisional series (maybe this year, or in 2013). Are we liking/not liking the changes? Will anyone miss the Astros in the NL?