Without question or objection, Clayton Kershaw is a Cy Young Award candidate, and a damned good one. Those who do not consider him seriously for the award need a healthy beating.
And that includes Giants fans, who will be able to say that he couldnt have done it without their boys.
With his five starts against San Francisco, Kershaw is 19-5 with a 2.30 ERA, a .0.84 WHIP and average start length of slightly more than seven innings per game, and has three wins over Tim Lincecum. Even without getting into all the ancillary statistics, these are Cy Young-able numbers.
But if you take out the Giants, hes 15-5, his ERA is 2.50, his WHIP balloons to a scandalous 1.01, and the best pitcher he beat all year was not Lincecum but Daniel Hudson. Now Hudson is a nice piece of arm, no question, and a major piece of Arizonas likely playoff team. But even for those of us not on the orange-and-black Kool-Aid diet, Hudson is not Lincecum. And suddenly Kershaw is actually not quite Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee, but a great third-place vote.
So if Kershaw is to the Giants what he has been to date, he will be a legitimate Cy Young option, and the best youll be able to say is that the Giants will have named three of the last four Cy Young winners.
Well, either that, or you can start your off-season by envisioning Larry Baers picture on the cover of the 2012 media guide. The choice is entirely yours, and dont say you werent warned.
Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com.