Cincinnati Reds ace Trevor Bauer believes he has just spun the NL Cy Young race into his favor.
Pitching on three days’ rest Wednesday night against the Brewers, Bauer tossed eight innings of one-run ball while striking out 12 batters in a 6-1 victory as the Reds continue to make a playoff push. The performance put him in first place among NL pitchers in ERA (1.73) strikeouts (100) and WHIP (0.79).
The ever confident Bauer was asked after the game if he's now the frontrunner for the award.
“I don’t know how you can see it any other way,” he said. “Regardless if I win or not, because that’s obviously not my decision, but just having a year like this, it really validates all the work.”
A pending free agent this offseason, Bauer continued to campaign for himself on social media after the postgame Zoom call with a tweet that read, “Gimme dat.”
The Cincinnati Reds also posted a tweet with the hashtag #BauerForCy2020, which Bauer quote-tweeted, “Has a nice ring to it.”
While Bauer took the lead in some major categories, Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom, Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish and Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes are all expected to get at least one more start before the end of the season to make a final push themselves.
Like Bauer, all three have strong cases, and some could jump back over him in certain categories. For instance, deGrom needs just seven strikeouts to pass Bauer.
Of course, if the Reds don't clinch a playoff berth by Sunday, Bauer could pitch again on three days rest to not only clinch the coveted pitcher’s award but also a playoff spot for the Reds, which is his main priority.
“Big game for me personally, but more importantly for the team,” he said after Wednesday’s outing. “It’s a playoff series. Every series right now for us is a playoff series.”