Bauer
Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Trevor Bauer was named the National League’s Cy Young Award winner on Wednesday after posting a dominant season for the Cincinnati Reds. The announcement came moments after Shane Bieber, Bauer’s former teammate with the Indians, was revealed as the unanimous choice for the AL Cy Young Award.

The Reds have had some great pitchers during their long history, but none of them had won the National League Cy Young Award — until Wednesday.

Right-hander Bauer became the first Reds pitcher to win the NL Cy Young Award from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. In balloting completed at the end of the regular season, Bauer received 27 of the 30 first-place votes and three second-place votes for 201 points. Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish finished in second, receiving the other three first-place votes and 123 points, while Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom — the two-time defending winner of the award — finished third with 89 points.

His victory spoiled Jacob deGrom’s bid for a third straight Cy Young Award. The New York Mets ace was looking to join Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson as the only members of that elite group.

For Bauer, who has long kept a photo of Jim Palmer’s American League Cy Young Award as the background on his phone, it’s an achievement that means a lot.

“It’s been my goal ever since I won the Golden Spikes [Award] in college in 2011,” Bauer said. “It’s something I’ve chased, I guess, for nine years now. All the offseason workouts, all the time I’m studying, learning, researching, all the bad years I’ve had, the bad pitches I’ve made, to find a way to overcome all of that and actually accomplish something that I’ve wanted for that long, it’s pretty special.”

Bauer, 29, led the NL in ERA (1.73), WHIP (0.795), opponents’ batting average (.159), opponents’ BABIP (.215), adjusted ERA+ (276), hits per nine innings (5.1), shutouts (two) and complete games (two). He ranked second in strikeouts (100) and strikeouts per nine innings (12.3).

In 11 starts and 73 innings during the shortened 2020 season, Bauer had a 5-4 record and often battled with poor run support. But over his final five starts of the regular season as the Reds made a surge down the stretch, Bauer went 2-2 with a 1.29 ERA and 46 strikeouts over 35 innings.