National League Cy Young Winners By Year—1980s
The only pitcher in the National League to win multiple Cy Young Awards in the 1980s was Philadelphia's Steve Carlton. Otherwise it was a mixed bag. Here is the complete list of NL Cy Young winners from that decade:
1989-Mark Davis, San Diego Padres
San Diego's Mark Davis won the NL Cy Young Award in 1989 by notching 44 saves. Davis went 4-3 with a 1.85 ERA and 92 strikeouts to 31 walks in 92 innings of work, appearing in 70 games.
1988-Orel Hershiser, Los Angeles Dodgers
Orel Hershiser was a unanimous winner of the NL Cy Young in 1988, notching all 24 first-place votes. Hershiser went 23-8 (amazingly, it was his only 20-win season) with a 2.26 ERA and 178 strikeouts. He also had 15 complete games with 8 shutouts, and more importantly, broke the record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched with 59.
1987-Steve Bedrosian, Philadelphia Phillies
In a very close vote over Rick Sutcliffe and Rick Reuschel, Phillies' closer Steve Bedrosian took home the National League Cy Young in 1987. That year, Bedrosian went 5-3 with a 2.83 ERA, and 40 saves. He also struck out 74 batters with 28 walks in 89 innings of work.
1986-Mike Scott, Houston Astros
In what was a fairly close race with the Dodgers' Fernando Valenzuela, Houston split-finger master Mike Scott won the NL Cy Young in 1986. He went 18-10 with a 2.22 earned run average with 306 strikeouts to just 72 walks in 275 innings pitched. But what was most impressive was how Scott dominated the Mets in the NLCS, going 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA, taking home the MVP despite the Mets winning the other four games of the series.
1985-Dwight Gooden, New York Mets
I saw Dwight Gooden pitch in the early days in person, and it was amazing to see him blow hitters away. In 1985, Gooden had what would be his best season at the age of 20, winning the Cy Young Award in the National League by going 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA, and 276 strikeouts with just 69 walks in 276 innings pitched. He also had 16 complete games with 8 shutouts.
1984-Rick Sutcliffe, Chicago Cubs
Rick Sutcliffe dominated hitters in 1984, helping the Cubs reach the postseason. Sutcliffe also won the NL Cy Young Award after coming over to the Cubs from Cleveland during the season. While with Chicago, Sutcliffe went an incredible 16-1 with a 2.69 ERA and 155 strikeouts to 39 walks in 150 innings pitched.
1983-John Denny, Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies' John Denny won the NL Cy Young in 1983, helping his team reach the World Series that year. Denny went 19-6 with a 2.37 ERA and 139 strikeouts. He had seven complete games and a shutout as well.
1982-Steve Carlton, Philadelphia Phillies
In 1982, Steve Carlton won the NL Cy Young Award in a landslide vote, by going 23-11 with a 3.10 ERA and 286 strikeouts in 295 innings pitched. He also had 19 complete games with six shutouts, and all of this was at the age of 37. It was Carlton's fourth Cy Young overall.
1981-Fernando Valenzuela, Los Angeles Dodgers
In a close vote over Cincinnati's Tom Seaver in the strike-shortened season of 1981, the Dodgers' Fernando Valenzuela won the NL Cy Young. The lefty screwball pitcher went 13-7 with a 2.48 earned run average, with 180 strikeouts in 192 innings of work. He had 11 complete games with 8 shutouts, and also won the NL Rookie of the Year that season.
1980-Steve Carlton, Philadelphia Phillies
In winning his first NL Cy Young of the decade and third overall, Phillies' lefty Steve Carlton had 23 of the 24 first-place votes. Carlton went 24-9 with a 2.34 ERA and 286 strikeouts in 304 innings pitched. He added 13 complete games and 3 shutouts, in helping the Phillies win the World Series.