It was an all-Ohio affair this year as far as the best pitchers in Major League Baseball were concerned. That was made official on Wednesday as the Cincinnati Reds’ Trevor Bauer and the Cleveland Indians’ Shane Bieber both took home Cy Young crowns. For Bauer and the Reds, it particularly noteworthy because he became the first Red in history to capture the award. He saw off Chicago Cubs ace Yu Darvish and Jacob deGrom of the Mets, the latter of which had won two in a row and was looking for a third to join a list of just two others.
He was denied, of course, by Bauer, who finished the shortened 2020 season with a 5-4 record despite having just a 1.73 ERA in 11 starts. He also had 100 strikeouts in 73 innings, so in the modern game, that is worth its wait in gold. As for Bieber, it was a unanimous victory from the Baseball Writers of America panel. They handed him the win thanks to a season in which he went 8-1, tied for the most wins with Darvish, all the while he struck out 122 in 77 1/3 innings. He also had a 1.63 ERA, giving him the AL ‘pitching triple crown.’ He was the first to do that since 1940 when Bob Feller, a Hall of Famer, accomplished that feat. He beat out Minnesota Twins man Kenta Maeda and Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu for the landslide win.