In the grand scheme of things, getting 2 points in the National League Cy Young voting likely won’t mean much for Clayton Kershaw. I’m almost certain that the Dodgers legend will have plenty of more awards and accolades to talk about when his career is over.
But Kershaw getting 2 fifth-place votes in the 2020 season might actually mean a lot to Dodgers fans. Trevor Bauer ultimately ran away with the NL Cy Young having garnered 27 first-place votes after a very good year. But the fact that Kershaw had the comeback that he did in 2020 means everything.
Without even considering the playoff redemption, Clayton Kershaw had a very encouraging year. After putting up the most average looking numbers of his career in 2019, many had felt that Kershaw’s best days could be behind him. His 3.86 FIP and 3.03 ERA were the worst marks of his career aside from his rookie season at 20-years old.
But when the Dodgers were short on arms having lost David Price to an opt-out, Kershaw stepped up. A back injury kept him out of the rotation to start the season, but the bounceback was amazing. Kershaw made 10 starts and pitched to a 2.16 ERA with a 3.31 FIP. He also averaged 9.6 strikeouts per 9 innings and cut his walk rate in half from the 2019 season.
As I said, Clayton probably won’t highlight the year that he finished the Cy Young race tied for 9th. But the vote of confidence that this puts onto him seems to suggest that his career was not on a downward trend as many had thought. Perhaps we are even seeing the beginnings of a revitalization. Not that his stat lines were anything to scoff at as is.
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