CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer had a lot of dreams and goals for what he would like to accomplish in the sport of baseball.

And tonight, when Bauer takes the mound at Progressive Field, he will cross one of those dreams off the bucket list by starting Game 1 of the best-of-five American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox.

“It's a big responsibility, something you grow up dreaming about doing, especially against a team as storied as the Red Sox, as good as the Red Sox are,” Bauer said. “It should be a lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to it.”
Starting Game 1 of the Division Series is not too bad for Bauer, who began the regular season in the bullpen despite having the best statistics of the three Indians pitchers competing throughout spring training for the No. 5 spot in the rotation.

Over time, Bauer worked his way into the rotation, where he made one start against Boston in Fenway Park in May.

During his five innings of work against Boston, Bauer surrendered eight hits and four earned runs, allowed one home run and did not register a strikeout.

“They have a really good offense,” Bauer said. “They have a really good team overall. Obviously, they scored the most runs or they have the best offense, or all sorts of offensive records this year. Going up against the lineup, all the experience they have, all the postseason experience they have, the veteran presence, it's going to be a lot of fun.

“All the preparation is done at this point. I've prepared to the best of my ability. I've studied them. I have a game plan going in. All that's left is to go out there and have fun.”

And have fun the Indians plan on doing, especially after many people wrote them off because of a season-ending hand injury to top-of-the-rotation pitcher Carlos Carrasco and constant elbow/forearm issues plaguing fellow starter Danny Salazar since July.

“We're here to win ballgames and we believe that we can,” Bauer said. “That's what we're here to do. That's our job. That's what we're paid to do. We enjoy doing it. The team has come together in a good way. We enjoy being around each other. That's the truth. We enjoy being in the ballpark, and I think that's something that we hope continues for a long time, for at least another month.”