He might not be the favorite, but Clayton Kershaw could yet win a second consecutive National League Cy Young Award.
Kershaw was one of three NL finalists announced Wednesday by the Baseball Writers Assn. of America on the MLB Network, along with the Mets’ R.A. Dickey and the Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez.
Kershaw might not have had the jaw-dropping numbers of last season when he won the Cy Young (21-5 record, 2.28 ERA, 1.02 WHIP), but the left-hander still put together some impressive numbers (14-9, 2.53, 1.02).
His ERA and WHIP were NL bests for the second consecutive year. His 229 strikeouts were second by a single strikeout.
Kershaw put together his outstanding 2012 season despite battling both plantar fasciitis in his right foot and a strained hip.
The 24-year-old won the Cy Young after putting together a remarkable second half in 2011 (12-1, 2.10, 0.89), and he closed well again last season (8-4, 2.10, 0.98).
No Dodger has won consecutive Cy Young Awards since Sandy Koufax in 1965-66.
The Angels’ Jered Weaver is one of the three American League Cy Young finalists, along with Detroit’s Justin Verlander and Tampa Bay’s David Price.
For the first time, the BBWAA individual awards will be presented on live television next week on the MLB Network. The awards begin Monday. The NL Cy Young Award is scheduled to be announced Nov. 14 at 3 p.m. Pacific time.