Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw face an uphill climb in these last four weeks of the season. Each are having award-worthy seasons, but the Dodgers have a losing record at 64-70. At the very least, even if Kemp or Kershaw don't win the National League MVP or Cy Young awards, just finishing among the top three would be quite an accomplishment.
Since the three-divisional era began in 1994, the same team has had someone in the top three of both MVP and Cy Young awards 33 times. Three times a team had the winner of both awards: the 2006 Twins (Justin Morneau, Johan Santana), the 2005 Cardinals (Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter), and the 2002 A's (Miguel Tejada, Barry Zito). But more importantly, 30 of the 33 teams with a pair of top three finishers made the playoffs, and all but one team had a winning record.
|Teams with Top 3 MVP & Cy Young 1994-2010|
|2010||Rockies||83-79||no||Gonzalez (3)||Jimenez (3)|
|2010||Yankees||95-67||yes||Cano (3)||Sabathia (2)|
|2009||Cardinals||91-71||yes||Pujols (1)||Carpenter (2), Wainwright (3)|
|2007||Angels||94-68||yes||Guerrero (3)||Lackey (3)|
|2006||Cardinals||83-78||yes||Pujols (1)||Carpenter (3)|
|2006||Twins||96-66||yes||Morneau (1)||Santana (1)|
|2006||Yankees||97-65||yes||Jeter (2)||Wang (2)|
|2005||Angels||95-67||yes||Guerrero (3)||Colon (1)|
|2005||Yankees||95-67||yes||Rodriguez (1)||Rivera (2)|
|2005||Cardinals||100-62||yes||Pujols (1)||Carpenter (1)|
|2004||Yankees||101-61||yes||Sheffield (2)||Rivera (3)|
|2004||Red Sox||98-64||yes||Ramirez (3)||Schilling (2)|
|2003||Blue Jays||86-76||no||Delgado (2)||Halladay (1)|
|2003||Giants||100-61||yes||Bonds (1)||Schmidt (2)|
|2002||A's||103-59||yes||Tejada (1)||Zito (1)|
|2001||A's||102-60||yes||Giambi (2)||Mulder (2)|
|2001||Mariners||116-46||yes||Ichiro (1), Boone (3)||Garcia (3)|
|2001||Diamondbacks||92-70||yes||Gonzalez (3)||Johnson (1), Schilling (2)|
|2000||A's||91-70||yes||Giambi (1)||Hudson (2)|
|1999||Red Sox||94-68||yes||Martinez (2)||Martinez (2)|
|1999||Braves||103-59||yes||C.Jones (1)||Millwood (3)|
|1999||Diamondbacks||100-62||yes||Williams (3)||Johnson (1)|
|1999||Astros||97-65||yes||Bagwell (2)||Hampton (2)|
|1998||Red Sox||92-70||yes||Garciaparra (2)||Martinez (2)|
|1998||Yankees||114-48||yes||Jeter (3)||Wells (3)|
|1997||Mariners||90-72||yes||Griffey (1)||Johnson (2)|
|1995||Mariners||79-66||yes||Martinez (3)||Johnson (1)|
|1995||Indians||100-44||yes||Belle (2)||Mesa (2)|
|1995||Red Sox||86-58||yes||Vaughn (1)||Wakefield (3)|
|1995||Reds||85-59||yes||Larkin (1)||Schourek (3)|
|1995||Braves||90-54||yes||Maddux (3)||Maddux (1), Glavine (3)|
|1994||Mariners||49-63||no||Griffey (2)||Johnson (3)|
|1994||Expos||74-40||yes||Alou (3)||Hill (2)|
The 2010 Rockies (Carlos Gonzalez, Ubaldo Jimenez), the 2003 Blue Jays (Carlos Delgado, Roy Halladay), and 1994 Mariners (Ken Griffey, Randy Johnson) are the only non-playoff teams of the bunch. There were no playoffs in 1994, but I'm counting a team's place at the end of the season. The 1994 Expos had the best record in baseball, so I'm counting them as a playoff team.
Those 1994 Mariners were the only one of the 33 teams with a top three MVP and Cy Young with a losing record. The 1995 Mariners (79-66 in a strike-shortened season) and 2006 Cardinals (83-79) were the only playoff teams playing at an under-90-win pace. The 33 teams had a cumulative winning percentage of .596, a 96-win pace over a 162-game season.
If the Dodgers manage to have Kemp and Kershaw finish in the top three in, or even win, their respective awards, while finishing with a middling record at best, it will be very rare.
Eugenio Velez, 0-for-28 as a Dodger and 0-for-37 dating back to last season, gets the start at second base on waiver deadline day.
The Padres, who used four relievers to pitch 6 1/3 innings Tuesday night, recalled reliever Brad Brach from Triple A Tucson before today's game, optioning outfielder Blake Tekotte to make room. Center fielder Cameron Maybin, who had an MRI on his right wrist on Tuesday in San Diego, is back with the team.
Game Time: 12:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket