Boston Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello edged Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander for the American League Cy Young Award on Wednesday and Washington Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer cruised to an National League Cy Young win.
Scherzer, the AL winner for the Tigers in 2013, joined an exclusive list of pitchers who claimed the honor in both leagues. The others are Gaylord Perry, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez and Roy Halladay.
Verlander, the AL leader in strikeouts with 254, finished with more first-place votes that Porcello, 14-8. However, two writers did not list Verlander at all on their five-pitcher ballots.
Porcello wound up with 137 voting points and Verlander with 132. Only one Cy Young race since 1970, when a multi-player ballot was introduced, has been closer.
Porcello went 22-4 to top the league in wins. His 3.15 ERA ranked fifth. Verlander's 3.04 ERA was second to the 3.00 ERA of the Toronto Blue Jays' Aaron Sanchez, who tied for seventh in the AL Cy Young voting. Verlander had a 16-9 record.
"It's unbelievable," Porcello said on MLB Network after the announcement was made.
The 27-year-old struggled in his first season with the Red Sox in 2015 before turning it around this year.
"I don't think I like to admit how difficult it was playing in Boston the first year," Porcello said on MLB Network. "I take a lot of pride in what I do and I think the pressure I was putting on myself -- and obviously there's pressure playing in a city like that -- it's something that I almost couldn't get out of my own way.
"That offseason I was able to kind of regroup mentally, refocus and take things the way I wanted to, and take them slow. Started with my foundation, my delivery, getting back to doing the basics and doing simple better. It worked."
The only Cy Young winners with fewer first-place votes than Porcello were Bob Turley (1958) and Jim Perry (1970).
Porcello topped the league with a 5.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio and came in second in walks plus hits per innings pitched (WHIP) at 1.01.
Scherzer received 25 of 32 first-place votes and amassed 192 voting points, easily outdistancing the Chicago Cubs left-hander Jon Lester (102). Lester got one first-place vote and 102 points. Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks came in third with two first-place votes and 85 points. Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw, who was fifth behind San Francisco Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner, got two first-place votes.
Scherzer, 32, topped both leagues with a 0.97 WHIP and 284 strikeouts. At 20-7, he was the NL wins leader, and he also was first in the league with 228 1/3 innings pitched.
"For the writers to choose me for everything I was able to accomplish this year, I'm so grateful," Scherzer said on MLB Network.
Lester went 19-5, the best winning percentage in the league (.792), with a 2.44 ERA that ranked second in the NL.