Will the Indians trade Trevor Bauer?
Right now, I simply don’t care. He pitched for the Tribe tonight and was sensational at times, inconsistent at others. But either way, he’s here now and he helped the Indians win, 6-3, and help them chip away at the Twins’ AL Central lead.
Bauer didn’t quite live up to the “his last pitch is his best pitch” moniker, as he struggled against the last batter he faced and walked him, but his fastball peaked at 98.1 mph early in the game. He didn’t lean on it too hard, though, opting to mix up his pitch counts with 48 fastballs, 28 curves, 28 sliders, four changeups, and 12 cutters. One of those “cutters” was tracked at over 95.4 mph by Statcast, so either something went screwing with computers or with Bauer for a single pitch.
Regardless, no Tiger batters hit a ball back at Trevor over 100 mph tonight, and he induced 11 swinging strikes with his fastball. What did that translate to in the box score? A 6.2-inning night with 10 strikeouts, five hits, three earned runs, and a pair of home runs. That’s fairly average for Trevor Bauer, but he was out there competing down to the last at-bat, to the last pitch. Presumably he did all this in front of scouts present at Progressive Field checking out their team’s next potential trade target. I have to think they came away impressed.
José Ramírez extended his hitting streak to 10 games tonight with a sixth-inning bomb that broke a 3-3 tie and punched the first real hole in opposing pitcher Matthew Boyd’s outing. Following a second-inning home run by renowned lefty killer Jordan Luplow, Boyd sat down 11 straight Indians batters — five via strikeout. But José was having none of that when he came up to bat with Luplow on base. Dare I say it? Josie is back.
Francisco Lindor struggled with an 0-for-4 game, but Carlos Santana (1-for-4), Luplow (2-for-3), Jason Kipnis (2-for-3), and Jake Bauers (2-for-3) covered for him nicely. Bauers quietly had the third-highest win probability added among Indians batters at 0.136 thanks to his single late in the game that put two runners on base.
Another story that I wish never had to mention is the replay system once again overturning a call that shouldn’t have been overturned. Roberto Pérez threw a bullet to second to stop Niko Goodrum from swiping a bag. Jason Kipnis got the tag and put it on Goodrum’s waist, and the call on the field was out. Somewhere, with some mysterious angle, the crew in New York apparently saw Goodrum touch the bag before Kip tagged him and it was reversed.
Instead of a one-out situation with the bases empty, the Tigers had a runner in scoring position with no outs. Oliver Pérez was able to end it in the seventh with the help of an impressive catch from Oscar Mercado, but still. Trevor Bauer should have been out of that inning before he even walked Jordy Mercer. Replay sucks sometimes ...
... until it helps the Indians. Like when Jason Kipnis fielded a ground ball and baaaaarely brushed the jersey of the runner headed to second before throwing to first. Call on the field was that Kipnis never tagged the runner, an hour-long review later, and it was overturned. I love replay, always have.
Anyway, the Tigers are garbage and looked like Major League out there with the game close in the latter innings.