Tonight, dominant lefties Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw go head to head at Dodger Stadium. At this point, while it is early, the White Sox' 23-year old phenom has to be considered the leading candidate for the American League Cy Young award with a sparkling 8-2 record, 2.05 ERA and 0.92 WHIP.
At the same time, while he hasn't been quite as outstanding as he was last season when he went 21-5 with a 2.28 ERA and 0.98 WHIP, Kershaw was the National League's best pitcher in 2011 and a repeat performance as Cy Young winner certainly is not out of the question.
So while it's unlikely that it will happen, it is certainly conceivable that we may be seeing a matchup between both 2012 Cy Young award winners on Comcast SportsNet. Has this, a matchup between ever happened in a regular season game during the same season they won the award?
In fact, it has: twice. But perhaps not the way you thought it would have. From 1997 through 2011, it has never happened in interleague play.
On April 27, 1984, a month-and-a-half before being dealt to the Cubs in a multi-player deal with the Indians, Rick Sutcliffe took the mound in Detroit against the Tigers and starter Juan Berenguer. Berenguer never won a Cy Young award, but in the top of the eighth inning of a 3-3 game, in came Willie Hernandez, who did. He kept the game knotted at three while Sutcliffe worked a scoreless ninth before calling it a day. The Indians ended up winning 8-4 in 19 innings.
Sutcliffe is the only pitcher to win the Cy Young award after a mid-season trade, so that's not how it happened the other time.
In 1969, the American League Cy Young vote ended in a tie between the Tigers' Denny McLain (seven fewer wins than his previous season, but 24 is still great) and Mike Cuellar of the Orioles. Despite McLain's 7.5 WAR nearly doubling Cuellar's 3.9, when they met on April 23, it was the Cuban lefty who came out on top with 10 innings of five-hit, two-run ball in a 3-2 win. McLain pitched 9 13 before allowing a Mark Belanger to hit the walkoff RBI single.