Bauer relishes celebrating Cy Young Award with Reds in Los Angeles

Trophy presentation came before second game of series

Trevor Bauer finally changed the background of his phone this week. For 10 years, it had been a photo of one of Jim Palmer’s Cy Young Awards. He won three from 1973-76 with the Baltimore Orioles.

“I just pulled it off the internet,” Bauer said, “and put it there as a subconscious reminder that I need to work hard every day and study and get better because that was the goal: to win a Cy Young of my own one day. Now I have one that says Trevor Bauer on it and not Jim Palmer. It’s pretty cool. It’s 10 years of hard work and studying and time. A lot of really bad games, a lot of tough learning experiences.”

Bauer accepted the Cy Young trophy on Tuesday before a game between his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and his old team, the Cincinnati Reds. Reds starters Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo flanked him for a moment as Bauer posed for photographers with the trophy.

Bauer said the teams looked at the schedule and saw the Reds were coming to L.A. early in the season, and it just made sense to have the trophy presentation when they were there.

Bauer became the first Reds pitcher to win the Cy Young last season when he was 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA in 11 starts. He then signed as a free agent with the defending World Series champions in February.

Bauer won’t pitch against the Reds in this series and watched from the dugout as the Reds rallied to win 5-3 in 10 innings on Monday and 6-5 on Tuesday.

While the Reds (11-12) snapped a seven-game losing streak with that first victory and escaped last place in the National League Central Division with the second victory, the Dodgers (15-9) still are tied for the best record in the National League with the San Francisco Giants.

Bauer is 3-0 with a 2.53 ERA in his first season with the Dodgers. He was happy to see his former coaches and teammates — especially pitching coach Derek Johnson.

“We’ve been friends and known each other for a long time,” Bauer said. “I was fortunate enough to be able to finally the work with him last year and a little bit in 2019. It was just a special moment to have him there and have (assistant pitching coach) Eric Jagers there, who I’ve known for a long time as a close friend, and to have Sonny (Gray) and Luis (Castillo) and some members of the starting staff there. I’m happy it worked out this way for sure.”

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