Corey Kluber

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

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Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife.

Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked.

Two aces, two different styles - and now another Cy Young Award for each.

The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young.

Scherzer yelled "yes!" when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding - also with expletives - that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

Just a little different than the pitcher they call "Klubot." Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions.

Not that he wasn't thrilled.

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said.

Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit.

"This one is special," he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point."

Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field," he said. "I'm very thankful for all their hard work."

Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third.

Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times.

The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games - nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per baseball-reference.com.

Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason," he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.

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Farrell: 'Fairly obvious' Kluber was sending a message with pitch to Nunez

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Farrell: 'Fairly obvious' Kluber was sending a message with pitch to Nunez

CLEVELAND — The Indians might have come to the plate in the eighth inning still trailing 1-0 on Wednesday night were it not for Corey Kluber's apparent ego.

Kluber, an amazing pitcher, had none on and two out in the eighth when Brock Holt drew a walk in an excellent at-bat, after Kluber held a 1-2 advantage in the count.

The next batter, Eduardo Nunez, pulled ahead 2-0 before taking a mighty swing at a breaking ball. Nunez fell to one knee and looked rather silly, but Kluber, apparently, thought the swing was insulting. 

The next pitch from Kluber hit Nunez in the left elbow pad. Nunez glanced out at Kluber and walked rather slowly but there were no further developments in terms of animosity. (Chris Sale, who threw behind Manny Machado earlier this year is on the mound for the Red Sox on Thursday.)

“For pinpoint control, I think that was fairly obvious a message,” Sox manager John Farrell said Thursday of the pitch that hit Nunez.

Farrell also said he didn’t think there was an unwritten rule for swinging too hard.

The batter after Nunez, Mookie Betts, made Kluber pay with a single that extended the lead to 2-0. Holt was only in scoring position because Nunez was hit with a pitch. 

Unwritten rules and intentional pitches aren't going anywhere, but the game was too tight and this series too important for Kluber to let bravado take over. 

The score wound up 6-1 because of four Sox runs in the ninth. But in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Indians scored on an Edwin Encarnacion homer — a home run that theoretically could have tied the game had Kluber kept the score 1-0 in the eighth.

Nunez told WEEI.com's John Tomase that he did not think the pitch was a message pitch.

“I don't think so," Nunez said. "I think they're really good and Kluber's really good. He's too good to think that way. He's one of the best pitchers in the game. I don't think he should think that way.” 

Rick Porcello wins the American League Cy Young

Rick Porcello wins the American League Cy Young

During the season, Rick Porcello led the American League in victories -- but not much else. In a host of other categories, Porcello was among the league leaders, but often, a few places back of others.

In the balloting for the American League Cy Young Award, it was much the same. Porcello didn't get the most first-place votes, but got the most points overall, managing a slim victory over former teammate Justin Verlander to become the fourth pitcher in Red Sox history win the honor.

In a season marked by steady excellence rather than flashy brilliance, Porcello got just eight first-place votes out of 30, but became the first Red Sox pitcher since 2000 to win the Cy Young award by virtue of the most second-place votes (18).

He edged out Verlander 137-132 in the second-closest A.L. Cy Young voting since 1970.

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"I went about my day like I normally would,'' recounted Porcello, who was nearly overcome with emotion when the results were revealed. "I didn't really think too much about (the award), right up to this point. I still haven't. I didn't look at statistics. I knew the basic lines we all had (Corey Kluber, the other finalist, finished third). I knew the basic lines we all had, but other than that...''

Porcello's season represented a huge turnaround from his first year in Boston when he won just nine games and compiled a 4.92 ERA.

He said Wednesday that he hadn't given much to winning the Cy Young award until he won his 20th game in September.

"I knew that I was having a good year right after the All-Star break,'' he recalled. "I felt like I had the weapons and command to get out just about any guy in the lineup. It was about making pitches, staying consistent, controlling the tempo and attacking the guys in the lineup.''

He said he felt honored to be put in an exclusive group of Red Sox starters who have won, a club that includes Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez.

"It's pretty incredible to be mentioned (with them),'' he said. "It doesn't feel right right now, just because I grew up watching those guys and had the utmost respect for them. To be in that category, I can't express my gratitude. It's pretty humbling.''

Verlander had the most number of strikeouts among the three finalists, along with the lowest WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched), ERA and innings pitched.

But Porcello had the best walk-to-strikeout ratio, and, though it's a stat that has been largely discounted in recent seasons for starting pitchers, the most wins.

"I've said there's a lot of things that you can't control (as a starting pitcher),'' Porcello said. "But I do believe there's a lot of thing you can control. There's a way to go out and pitch. One (way) is an aggressive (approach), the way you go through a lineup, getting your team off the field and into the dugout (quickly). And there's a way to pitch passively.

"There's a certain attitude you have to carry on the mound. And as much as you might want to discount wins and losses, there's also a lot of value to it. If there wasn't value to (wins), we wouldn't be keeping the stat and it wouldn't be the first thing you see (next to a pitcher's name when he's on the mound).''

Porcello finds value in some of the sabermetric numbers, but added there was still something significant about the more traditional numbers such as wins, ERA and strikeouts -- or what he labeled the "meat-and-potato" stats.

Disappointed as he was with the Red Sox quick exit from the playoffs, Porcello is already looking forward to having a better season in 2017 - and that includes his individual success.

"There's no reason to be complacent,'' he said, "and no reason for (the improvement) to stop. I want to continue to get better.''