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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Cincinnati Reds pitcher Pete Schourek winds up for a pitch against the Chicago Cubs in the seventh inning.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Pete Schourek winds up for a pitch against the Chicago Cubs. AFP PHOTO/Vincent LAFORET (Photo by VINCENT LAFORET / AFP) (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP via Getty Images) /

4. Pete Schourek (1995)

Winner: Greg Maddux

When Reds Country recall the 1995 NL Central Division championship team that advanced to the NLCS, most fans will mention names like Barry Larkin, Jose Rijo, and Reggie Sanders. One name that consistently gets overlooked is left-hander Pete Schourek, despite being the runner up for the Cy Young Award.

Schourek’s 1995 is a true Cinderella story. Entering his fifth MLB season, the 26-year-old had never won more than seven games in a season and was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds in April 1994 after the New York Mets decided to move on from him following three underwhelming campaigns.

However, the stars aligned for Pete Schourek during the summer of 1995. Making 29 starts, Schourek would establish career-best marks in nearly every category going 18-7 with a 3.22 ERA in helping the Reds to a division crown.

His magical season would see him finish second in the senior circuit in wins, third in WHIP, and seventh in strikeouts. But it wasn’t only the regular season where Schourek dominated. Making a combined three starts in the NLDS and NLCS, Schourek allowed just four runs over 21.1 innings while collecting 18 strikeouts and a victory in the NLDS sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Nevertheless, this may be the first and last time Pete Schourek and Greg Maddux are mentioned in the same sentence. If you’re talking the 1990s era Atlanta Braves, chances are one of the three-headed monsters of Maddux, Tom Glavine, or John Smoltz is going to win the Cy Young. This year it was The Professor’s turn.

As great as Greg Maddux was he might not have ever been better than he was during the 1995 season. Compiling a 19-2 record with a 1.53 ERA, Maddux would lead the NL in wins, ERA, complete games, shutouts, and innings pitched while collecting the final of his four consecutive Cy Young Awards.

For Pete Schourek, the clock struck midnight following the 1995 season. Never again did the left-hander win more than eight games in a single season and he was released by the Reds at the conclusion of the 1997 season. Schourek would go on to pitch for the Astros, Pirates, and Red Sox before making his final MLB appearance in 2001.