Last night saw Trevor Bauer take the mound at Wrigley Field and do what Trevor Bauer has done in 2020: Dominate.
Bauer took a no-hitter into the 5th inning before a Victor Caratini single to lead off the inning. That would be the only hit until the 8th inning when the Cubs added two more singles, with Ildemaro Vargas’ 2-out single to put runners on the corners and lead to Bauer’s exit of the game after 7.2 innings. Lucas Sims came in and got the final out of the inning without allowing a run, giving Bauer a final line of 7.2 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, no walks, and 10 strikeouts.
Prior to the game there was some buzz about the starting pitching match up between Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish. If anyone in baseball had an argument to having had a better season than Bauer it was Darvish, who entered the night with a 1.44 ERA through 50.0 innings with 8 walks and 63 strikeouts. It was Bauer that came out ahead on the night, with one big mistake from Darvish costing him as he allowed a 3-run homer to Mike Moustakas in the 1st inning.
After the game it was the Chicago Cubs starter heaping praise on Trevor Bauer, saying he believes that the Reds right-hander is the best pitcher on this planet.
Yu Darvish on letting Trevor Bauer have a 3-run lead: "On this planet, I believe he’s the best pitcher. So I can’t do that in the first inning.”
— C. ???????????? (@ctrent) September 10, 2020
The first question is simple: Who is the best pitcher on the other planets?
But the belief of Yu Darvish about Trevor Bauer begs the question: Is he the best pitcher on this planet? TO THE NUMBERS!
When it comes to ERA, Trevor Bauer jumped up to third best in the Major Leagues by lowering his ERA to 1.74. He trails former teammate Shane Bieber (1.25) and Jacob deGrom (1.69). When it comes to baserunners, Bauer ranks second in WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) at 0.79, trailing only Kenta Maeda (0.72). Bauer ranks second among starting pitchers in batting average against at .155, trailing just Corbin Burnes (.142). He also ranks third in strikeout percentage at 36.0%, trailing Bieber (42.9%) and deGrom (37.6%).
The Cincinnati Reds have never had a Cy Young winner in the history of the franchise. They’ve had a few runner-ups, with Tom Seaver in 1981, Mario Soto in 1983, Danny Jackson in 1988, Pete Schourek in 1995, and Johnny Cueto in 2014 all finishing second in the voting. But since the award came into existence in 1956, the Reds haven’t been able to celebrate a pitcher of their own finishing in first place in the voting. Is this the year that it happens?
There are 17 games remaining for the Reds this year. That should get Trevor Bauer three more starts – and there could be a possibility that he gets four if the Reds were to choose to allow him to pitch on a 4-day schedule moving forward instead of a 5-day schedule – which is something they have discussed potentially allowing him to do, but have not followed through on it just yet.
You could probably make an argument right now that Trevor Bauer should win the Cy Young Award if the season were to end today. But you could also make an argument for Jacob deGrom or Yu Darvish, too. Cincinnati is still chasing a playoff spot, and they’re going to need Bauer to keep doing exactly what he’s done all season if they want to not only get into the playoffs, but advance in them. But a Cy Young race down the stretch isn’t so bad, either.