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Cleveland Indians: Examining Trevor Bauer’s role in the ALDS

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

With the Cleveland Indians on the brink of elimination, it’s going to be all hands on deck, all the time. Expect to see a lot of Trevor Bauer going forward.

There’s no reason to sugarcoat it. This has been an absolutely disastrous start to the playoffs for the Cleveland Indians.

A couple of games featuring nonexistent offense and poorly-timed pitching meltdowns have the Tribe just one loss away from beginning winter while the temperature is still high enough for short sleeves.

Game 2 was at least slightly more encouraging, as Carlos Carrasco battled his way through 5.1 innings before Andrew Miller gave up a two-run double to relinquish a 1-0 lead the Indians would never get back.

Miller would go on to load the bases without recording an out, and was eventually replaced by Trevor Bauer.

Bauer’s role coming into the series was one of the most intriguing aspects of the Indians’ game plan, as he figured to add a versatile element to the bullpen. His appearance in Game 1 was somewhat puzzling, as the game was pretty out of hand by the time he entered. It did, however, allow Terry Francona to save the arms of other relievers who can’t pitch as long or as frequently as Bauer.

Game 2 gave us more of a glimpse into what he has the ability to contribute in relief. Bauer recorded the final two outs of the sixth inning without allowing another Astro to cross the plate, limiting the damage and keeping the Indians alive.

The argument can be made that Bauer was brought in too late, but hindsight is 20/20. Miller is one of the Indians’ top bullpen arms, and he was brought into the game at exactly the moment when shutdown relievers are needed. It didn’t work out.

The Indians then needed someone to put out the fire, and Bauer was the right call. His solo home run given up to Alex Bregman the next inning notwithstanding, Bauer was precisely the pitcher the Indians needed to calm the storm in the sixth.

Next. Indians nonexistent on offense once again in 3-1 loss. dark

Ideally, his next appearance will come with an Indians lead. Either way, with their backs against the wall, the Indians will likely have to turn to Bauer to right the ship again before this series is over.