The race was down to four competitors, unlike the American League in which Justin Verlander took home the AL Cy Young in a unanimous decision.
Roy Halladay, Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee and Ian Kennedy all have had seasons to make a unanimous decision impossible. Only one of those four men was going to be named the 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner.
That man was Kershaw.
Kershaw won the pitching Triple Crown, the first to do that since Jake Peavy in 2007. Ironically, Peavy also won the Cy Young that year.
Kershaw was 21-5 with a 2.28 ERA and 248 strike outs. He also had an incredible 0.98 WHIP which was also best in the majors.
Last year’s winner, Halladay, went 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA. Teammate Cliff Lee had a similarly incredible season, going 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA, boosted by an incredible June and August.
Arizona’s Kennedy tied Kershaw for the league lead in wins but had a significantly lower ERA and strike out total to the other pitchers. Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.79 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) finished in 5th, giving the Phills three starters in the top five.