GIBBY for top starting pitcher only fit for one king
Newly crowned Cy Young Award winners Kershaw, Scherzer head candidates
Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw and Tigers righty Max Scherzer took home the Cy Young Awards in their respective leagues on Wednesday night.
But who would win if the Baseball Writers' Association of America handed out only one award?
And, perhaps, did one of a handful of other dominant pitchers -- like Texas' Yu Darvish, St. Louis' Adam Wainwright or Scherzer's teammate, Anibal Sanchez -- have a better season than Kershaw or Scherzer?
It's time for your voice to be heard in voting for Starter of the Year.
Major League Baseball's A-listers will take home 2013 GIBBY trophies -- the ultimate honors of the industry's awards season -- based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.
This year's GIBBY Awards feature nominees in 22 categories. Individual honors will go to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year's best starting pitcher, hitter, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout hitter, breakout pitcher, comeback player, defensive player, manager, executive and postseason performer.
GIBBY trophies also will be awarded for the year's top play, storyline, hitting performance, pitching performance, oddity, walk-off, Cut4 topic, regular-season moment and postseason moment, from MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.
In the past five years, fans have cast more than 50 million votes across the various GIBBY categories, none of which was restricted to individual League affiliation. Fan voting runs through Dec. 1.
Winners will be presented their GIBBY trophies at the MLB.com Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards extravaganza during the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Scherzer was the talk of baseball for much of the season, running his record to a perfect 13-0 by mid-July en route to an impressive 21-3 mark. But that's only half the story. Scherzer also led the American League with a 0.97 WHIP, ranked second in strikeouts (240) and average against (.198), and fifth in ERA (2.90) in an all-round fantastic year that earned him AL Cy Young Award honors.
"I've been working so hard for all these years to keep getting better and better, and every single year I try to do something better than the [last]," Scherzer told MLB Network after winning the award. "For me, a lot of it's mechanical and I've been able to iron a lot of that out, and it's about pitching effectively and pitch execution with all these pitches. So because of that I think, I took a big step forward in 2013. And because of that, obviously, I was voted Cy Young Award winner."
Kershaw, despite his 16-9 record, was even more dominant. He led Major League pitchers in ERA (1.83), WHIP (0.92) and WAR (7.9), ranked second in innings pitched (236), and third in strikeouts (232) and average against (.195).
That led to his second NL Cy Young Award in the last three seasons.
"This is such a cool thing, I can't even really explain what it means to me. More than anything, I think this is really a team award," Kershaw told MLB Network. "This award is a full-spectrum thing, and I just couldn't be more excited. This is a really cool thing for me."
Although Kershaw and Scherzer certainly headline the best of the best in 2013, others also have arguments.
Sanchez's 2.57 ERA led the AL, Darvish led all of baseball with 277 strikeouts and Wainwright was a workhorse, totaling 241 2/3 innings.
Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez, who earned NL Rookie of the Year honors, has his own argument after going 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA that was second only to Kershaw in the Majors. He also posted the fourth-best WHIP (0.98) in the game.
Mets right-hander Matt Harvey (9-5, 2.27 ERA, 0.93 WHIP) was the toast of the town before his season ended in August, while Mariners righty Hisashi Iwakuma (14-6, 2.66 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) was better than King Felix out in Seattle.
And, not to be outdone by his rival young left-hander, San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner was no slouch himself, going 13-9 with a 2.77 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.
Other starters on the ballot include Oakland righty Bartolo Colon (2.65 ERA), Washington's Jordan Zimmermann (1.09 WHIP) and Phillies lefty Cliff Lee (222 strikeouts).