Lester, Hendricks edged in Cy Young voting

Lester, Hendricks edged in Cy Young voting

CHICAGO -- Cubs pitchers Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks finished second and third, respectively in the National League Cy Young Award balloting behind the Nationals' Max Scherzer, the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced on Wednesday.

Scherzer received 25 first-place votes and totaled 192 points. Lester received one first-place vote, 16 second-place vote, nine third-place votes and two fourth-place votes for 102 points. Hendricks received two first-place votes, seven second-place votes, eight third-place votes, seven fourth-place votes and five fifth-place votes for 85 points.

All-time NL Cy Young Award winners

Hendricks and Lester finished 1-2 in the Majors in ERA, while Scherzer won 20 games and struck out 284 over 228 1/3 innings.

Lester, 32, has finished fourth twice in the American League Cy Young voting (2010 and '14). This year, he tied a career high and ranked second in the NL with 19 wins and his 2.44 ERA was a career best. The lefty posted a quality start in all 15 of his home starts, and he finished the season strong, going 5-0 with a 0.48 ERA in September.

Lester said he felt more comfortable this season, his second with the Cubs, and that helped him on the field.

"This year was more about pitching as opposed to fitting in," Lester said.

Hendricks on outstanding season

NL Cy Young Award voting results
Pitcher, Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Pts.
Max Scherzer, Nationals 25 3 1 1   192
Jon Lester, Cubs 1 16 9 2   102
Kyle Hendricks, Cubs 2 7 8 7 5 85
Madison Bumgarner, Giants   2 6 7 6 46
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers 2   1 5 3 30
Johnny Cueto, Giants     3 3 4 19
Jose Fernandez, Marlins   1 1 1 9 18
Noah Syndergaard, Mets   1 1 3 2 15
Jake Arrieta, Cubs       1   2
Tanner Roark, Nationals         1 1

Hendricks, who turns 27 on Dec. 7, set career highs in ERA (2.13), wins (16), innings pitched (190), and strikeouts (170). The right-hander is the first Cubs pitcher to lead the Majors in ERA since Bill Lee did so in 1938 (2.66). Wrigley Field fit Hendricks perfectly, and he posted a 9-2 record and 1.32 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) at home.

"This was a big year for me developmentally-wise, just learning how to use my pitches, not having the velocity and pure stuff like some of guys in this league have, like the other two guys in this category with me," Hendricks said during the telecast on MLB Network. "It's very humbling to be grouped with these two guys and be in this situation and I definitely wasn't expecting it at the start of the year."

Chicago's Jake Arrieta, who won the Cy Young Award in 2015, received one fourth-place vote in this year's balloting. The Cubs were in line to become the ninth team to claim the top pitching honor in back to back seasons. The last to do so were the Indians, when CC Sabathia won in 2007 and Cliff Lee won in '08.

Esurance MLB Awards week concludes Friday on MLB Network and MLB.com at 8 p.m. ET with the MLB Awards. Categories include Best Major Leaguer, Hitter, Pitcher, Rookie, Executive and Manager.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.