Bauer joined by Reds for Cy presentation

April 28th, 2021

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers starter has had a photo of Jim Palmer’s Cy Young Award as his phone background for 10 years, serving as motivation to what he one day wanted to accomplish.

Before Tuesday’s game with the Reds, Bauer was presented with the 2020 National League Cy Young Award at Dodger Stadium. Once he takes a photo of his own trophy, Bauer said he’ll change his phone background. That’ll be a moment a decade in the making.

“It’s 10 years of hard work and studying,” Bauer said. “A lot of really bad games, a lot of tough learning experiences. But when I go take a picture here in a moment and change my background, it’ll be a pretty cool moment.”

When Bauer and the Dodgers saw that the Reds were coming to Dodger Stadium at the end of April, they all decided that it would be a good idea to hold off the ceremony until then. Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson presented Bauer with the award. Some of his former teammates were out on the field for the celebration, including former rotation mates Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray.

“It’s really special that they were able to be here,” Bauer said. “I’m happy DJ was able to be there and present it. We’ve been friends and known each other for a long time. I was fortunate enough to be able to finally work with him last year and a little bit in 2019. To have Sonny and Luis and some members of the starting staff, I’m happy it worked out this way, for sure.”

Bauer was the first Reds pitcher to ever win the Cy Young Award from the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He earned it last season by leading the NL with a 1.73 ERA and a 0.79 whip, while also being tops in opponents’ batting average (.159), opponents’ BABIP (.215), adjusted ERA (276), fewest hits per nine innings (5.06), shutouts (2) and complete games (2). He also ranked second in strikeouts (100) and strikeouts per nine innings (12.33) while posting a 5-4 record in 11 starts.

“I’m happy for him. Very happy for him,” Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart said. “A guy that I thoroughly enjoyed catching. We had a lot of fun. Got a lot of guys out. I’m sure I can speak for Curt [Casali] and myself when I say it was a pleasure to be his teammate and to catch him and to be a very small part of his success. I’m extremely excited for him. And I’m glad he’s doing well, and that he’s throwing the ball well for the Dodgers.”

Over his final five starts of the season as the Reds made a surge down the stretch, Bauer was 2-2 with a 1.29 ERA and 46 strikeouts over 35 innings. Bauer said a memory that stood out to him was his final regular-season start against the Brewers, a game Cincinnati needed to win in order to keep pace in the postseason run. Bauer delivered by striking out 12 and allowing one run over eight innings.

“What a cool event for us to be able to be a part of as Reds and then, obviously, personally, it’s a special moment for me as well,” Johnson said.