The Cleveland Indians picked up a loss Tuesday night but a positive takeaway from the game was the performance given by Trevor Bauer.
Fans had seen it before with Carlos Carrasco and have also dealt with a never healthy Danny Salazar. Bauer’s Cy Young season was derailed with one swing of the bat. Luckily, his postseason availability is no longer in question.
Bauer got the start Tuesday night in somewhat of an “opener” role. He threw 60 pitches in four innings before Carlos Carrasco entered the game in relief.
Bauer got off to a rocky start by allowing a two-run home run in the first inning but settled in and didn’t allow another run through his four innings of work.
This start came after Bauer only lasted 34 pitches in 1.1 innings of work in his first start back from the DL last week against the Red Sox. That outing was just there to get him back into the rhythm of starting games, but it was still a tad concerning knowing just how dominant he was to start the season.
Tuesday’s start made it seem like Bauer is back to normal. At least in terms of being able to start a game and not being relegated to the bullpen. Whether he gets a start in the ALDS remains to be seen, but at least we know he is capable and not in the situation Salazar was in during the past two postseasons.
Bauer is supposed to get some more action on Sunday and we won’t really know what Terry Francona will do until he officially announces his postseason rotation. It may not even matter how Bauer looks on Sunday, as he is still one of the best pitchers in the American League.
My guess is that he starts Game 3 at home against Houston. Road and home splits aside, it just seems like a decision Francona would make based on the fact Bauer would be aided by the home crowd. Really trying to channel my inner Tito here.
It is a waiting game to learn what decision is made but the good news is that there is no shortage of starting pitching talent on this team. Even having Bauer available out of the bullpen would be a nice advantage. That way he can pitch every game just like he says he could.