Reds: 5 instances Cincinnati pitchers almost won the NL Cy Young

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 23: Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 23: Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Danny Jackson #25 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – CIRCA 1990: Danny Jackson #25 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

3. Danny Jackson (1988)

Winner: Orel Hershiser

Let’s just say Danny Jackson made a positive first impression during his debut season in Cincinnati. Acquired in a November 1987 trade with the Kansas City Royals, Jackson would have a magnificent season and the best of his 15-year career during the 1988 campaign.

The 26-year-old southpaw would lead the National League with 23 victories and 15 complete games in 35 starts. Jackson would also finish second in innings pitched, shutouts, and was named the NL Pitcher of the Month for August. Unfortunately for Jackson, there was one pitcher just a little bit better.

Dodgers right-hander Orel Hershiser posted an identical 23-8 record while matching Jackson’s league-best 15 complete games. However, Hershiser was just getting started. He would lead the league in shutouts and innings pitched while his 7.1 bWAR is the rare time a pitcher would top the league in that category.

Perhaps what Hershiser is remembered most for during the 1988 season is tossing an MLB record 59 consecutive scoreless innings. Hershiser would almost single-handedly lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to the 1988 World Series crown by capturing the MVP awards in both the NLCS and Fall Classic.

As far as Danny Jackson is concerned, he played a vital role in the Cincinnati Reds 1990 championship season. Jackson had two excellent starts in the NLCS against the Pirates winning Game 3 and tossing six innings of one-run ball in the series clincher in Game 6.

Jackson would leave the Reds via free agency following their World Series title-winning season, but not before posting one of the best individual pitching seasons in franchise history and also helping the Redlegs claim their fifth World Series crown.