No strangers to the Cy Young Award, Max Scherzer and Corey Kluberonce again proved themselves as aces among aces in 2017. Now, they're back atop baseball's pitching totem pole.
Scherzer won his third career National League Cy Young Award and Kluber his second American League Cy Young Award on Wednesday night, when the Baseball Writers' Association of America handed out the pitching prize on MLB Network. Scherzer, who also won it with the Nationals in 2016, became just the 10th pitcher in history to take home the award in back-to-back seasons and also the 10th to win it at least three times overall. Kluber is the 19th pitcher to win multiple Cy Young Awards and the first member of the Indians to do so. This brings Scherzer even with Clayton Kershaw, who finished second in the NL voting. Kershaw was hoping to become just the fourth pitcher in history to win the Cy Award a fourth time. Scherzer's Nats teammate, Stephen Strasburg, finished third in the NL voting. The 33-year-old Scherzer won his first Cy Young Award with the Tigers in 2013, and he has finished in the top five in the voting every year since. In 2017, he earned the award with a 16-6 record and 2.51 ERA amid 200 2/3 innings and league highs in strikeouts (268), WHIP (0.90) and hits allowed per nine innings (5.7). The WHIP and hits per nine marks were career-bests for Scherzer, as was his rate of 12 strikeouts per nine innings. Workload was a separator for Scherzer, as Kershaw and Strasburg had been limited by injury to 175 and 175 1/3 innings pitched, respectively. Kluber, who previously won the Cy Young Award in 2014, was also limited by injury in 2017, but he came roaring back from an early back issue to storm past Boston ace Chris Sale in the AL Cy Young race. When Kluber returned from the disabled list on June 1, he was carrying a 5.06 ERA. But over the course of his final 23 starts of the regular season, Kluber posted a 1.62 ERA with a .175/.213/.283 opponents' slash. It helped Kluber's cause that his Indians teammates scored 14 runs (13 earned) off Sale in two August appearances. Kluber wound up leading all Major League qualified starters in ERA (2.25), complete games (five), shutouts (three), ERA+ (202), WHIP (0.87) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.36) while tying for the lead in wins (18). The missed time did not prevent Kluber from crossing the 200-inning threshold for the fourth straight season. Sale finished second in the AL voting in his first year with the Red Sox, with Yankees right-hander Luis Severino wrapping his breakout year with a third-place showing.
Anthony Castrovince /

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