Trevor Bauer takes the mound tonight for the Cleveland Indians and will try to lead the team to its first World Series title since 1948.
After a season of countless ups and downs, the Cleveland Indians are just one win away from a world championship.
The team has three chances to pick up a win, but no team wants to give its opponent any momentum, which in this case means not giving the Chicago Cubs a sense of newfound momentum with a Game 5 victory.
Trevor Bauer takes the mound tonight for the Indians, looking to continue the dominance of the pitching staff. Bauer has been the one player left out of this conversation, except when it comes to an unfortunate drone accident.
He did have a solid outing to open the postseason, helping the Indians pick up a 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox, but has struggled since. His second start was cut short by a bleeding finger, while his third took place in Game 2 of the World Series earlier this week.
Bauer only made it through 3 2/3 innings in the Indians’ only loss this series, allowing two runs on six hits. His problem was being unable to finish off batters, throwing 87 pitches in his short outing. He does not need to come out tonight and be perfect, but he must be able to at least make it into the fifth inning.
If Bauer can go five, the Indians have a rested Bryan Shaw, a rested Cody Allen and both Andrew Miller and Dan Otero able to go an inning if needed. Miller has pitched the last two days, but it is the World Series so he will certainly be called on if needed.
But for the bullpen to make an impact, Bauer needs to limit the damage early. Even allowing two or three runs isn’t all that bad, as the offense should to able to make up the difference.
Jon Lester should be better with the series on the line, but his inability to hold runners on first base could haunt him in this deciding game. Bauer doesn’t need to be perfect, but Lester and the rest of the Cubs must be.
Bauer has the chance to change the narrative surrounding his postseason, ending the annoying talk of drones. An outing similar to what Ryan Merritt had in Game 5 of the ALCS would be good enough to put Bauer back in the good graces of Indians fans nationwide, and put his team in a great position to win the World Series.
And in a season full of surprises, a great outing from Bauer may be the final one that leads to a championship.