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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Dodgers Could Complete Rare Hat Trick: MVP and Cy Young on Last-Place Team

The Dodgers have been a pathetic team this season. A good amount of their problems are due to the ownership situation that has turned fans against Frank McCourt. But as bad as the Dodgers are (55-67 as of Thursday), they still have some truly talented players.

Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw have been so good they have a legitimate shot at becoming the 18th pair of teammates to win the MVP and Cy Young Award. If they were to take home the hardware, it would mark the first time a losing team had players win both awards. What’s even more embarrassing is that the Dodgers are battling the Padres for last place in the NL West.

Center fielder Matt Kemp has played like an MVP-candidate since the season began. He’s fourth in the NL in OPS (.966), tied for third with 28 home runs, tied for second with 89 RBIs, and third with 32 stolen bases. The only factors that could keep him from winning MVP are his sometimes shaky defense, and the lack of support from voters because he plays for a losing team.

Likewise, pitcher Clayton Kershaw deserves to be in the Cy Young conversation. LBS contributor Alan Hull pointed out to us that his numbers stack up favorably with Roy Halladay. Kershaw is second in the NL with 14 wins (he’s 14-5), 4th in ERA amongst pitchers who have thrown over 150 innings (2.72), and he leads the NL with 193 strikeouts. The southpaw is fourth in the NL in innings pitched (175.2) and third in complete games with four. Kershaw belongs in the Cy Young conversation along with Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Tim Lincecum and all the other top pitchers in the NL. Only the Dodgers’ poor record detracts from his case.

It’s truly sad to see talent like this go to waste. The Dodgers have star players but the franchise has been run so poorly it’s all for nothing. If you look at history, with such talented players they should be doing much better.

Out of the 17 times in history where teammates won the MVP and Cy Young, 16 made the playoffs (’62 Dodgers finished second in NL with 102 wins). Eight of the 17 teams reached the World Series while five won it all.

For comparison, here’s a look at the rest of the list and how their teams fared:

2006 Twins Justin Morneau, Johan Santana Cy Young; won division, lost in ALDS
2005 Cardinals Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter lost W.S
1993 White Sox Frank Thomas, Jack McDowell lost in ALCS
1992 A’s Dennis Eckersley won both lost in ALCS
1991 Braves Terry Pendleton, Tom Glavine lost W.S.
1990 Pirates Barry Bonds, Doug Drabek lost in NLCS
1990 A’s Rickey Henderson, Bob Welch lost in W.S.
1988 Dodgers Kirk Gibson, Orel Hershiser won W.S.
1986 Red Sox Roger Clemens won both lost in W.S.
1984 Cubs Ryne Sandberg, Rick Sutcliffe lost in NLCS
1982 Brewers Robin Yount, Pete Vuckovich lost in W.S.
1981 Brewers Rollie Fingers won both, lost in LDS
1980 Phillies Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton won W.S.
1974 Dodgers Steve Garvey, Mike Marshall lost in W.S.
1971 A’s Vida Blue won both, lost in ALCS
1968 Tigers, Cardinals Denny McLain, Bob Gibson won both; Tigers beat Cards in W.S.
1967 Red Sox Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Lonborg lost W.S.
1963 Dodgers Sandy Koufax won both, won W.S.
1962 Dodgers Maury Wills, Don Drysdale 2nd in division, won 102 games
1961 Yankees Roger Maris, Whitey Ford won W.S.
1960 Pirates Dick Groat, Vern Law won W.S.
1959 White Sox Nellie Fox, Early Wynn lost in W.S.
1957 Braves Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn won W.S.
1956 Dodgers Don Newcombe won both, lost W.S.

I’m sure that list will only upset Dodger fans even more. Go nuts — you should be fuming!

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