The battle for National League Pitcher of the Year came down to four contenders. Earlier this season, it appeared Roy Halladay was running away with the honor. But Clayton Kershaw’s strong finish convinced our voters that he was truly the top hurler in the Senior Circuit. Halladay’s impressive 2011 campaign was good enough for second place, while teammate Cliff Lee and 21 game winner Ian Kennedy finished in third and fourth.
Kershaw dominated the NL in all aspects, leading the league in ERA (2.28), wins (21) and strikeouts (248) to claim the pitching Triple Crown. The 23-year-old was also one of only three starting pitchers in the Majors to maintain a WHIP south of 1.00.
Halladay had an outstanding season in his own right, notching 19 wins while holding an earned run average of 2.35, second only to Kershaw. Though his strikeout totals weren’t as lofty as Kershaw’s, Halladay did post the best K/BB rate (6.29) of all Major League starters. Halladay also tossed an NL leading eight complete games in 2011.
As the season neared its end, the race for National League Pitcher of the Year appeared to come down to two, Kershaw and Halladay. With his impressive months of August and September, Cliff Lee threw his hat in the ring. The left-hander posted an ERA under 1.20 over the final two months of the year, lowering his season mark to 2.40. Lee also led the Majors with six complete game shutouts in 2011.
Here’s a complete list of NL pitchers receiving votes and their totals.
The way the voting is tallied is as follows: first place votes – 7 points, second place votes – 4 points, third place votes – 3 points, fourth place votes – 2 points, fifth place votes – 1 point.
1. Clayton Kershaw – LA Dodgers (153)
3. Cliff Lee – Philadelphia Phillies (73)
5. Cole Hamels – Philadelphia Phillies (7)
8. Zack Greinke – Milwaukee Brewers (4)
9. John Axford – Milwaukee Brewers (3)
10. Tim Lincecum – San Francisco Giants (3)
11. Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants (2)
13. Tim Hudson – Atlanta Braves (2)
15. Ryan Vogelsong – San Francisco Giants (1)
Other end of the year voting:
Topics: Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Craig Kimbrel, Ian Kennedy, John Axford, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Matt Garza, Roy Halladay, Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum, Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke