CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians are confident starting pitcher Trevor Bauer has healed enough from his drone accident to take the ball against the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of the World Series tonight at Progressive Field.
Bauer has pitched just two-thirds of an inning since suffering a laceration to his right pinkie finger while performing “routine maintenance” on a drone on the eve of Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays nearly two weeks ago.
“I do think with the week in-between and some extra work and things like that, he threw the ball pretty well the other night and there was no blood,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He had it covered, but there was no blood on the inside. That thing’s wound up pretty tight there, and they’ve learned a few things over the week that will help.
“I don’t think that finger’s going to be the reason he wins or loses.”
The Indians were hopeful Bauer could pitch less than a week after suffering the injury, but the opposite proved to be true against the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre last Monday night.
With one man on base and two out in the bottom of the first inning, blood began dripping out of Bauer’s wound, and he was using his jersey and pants in an attempt to stop the bleeding, but when Blue Jays manager John Gibbons walked to home plate to talk with the umpire, a conversation ensued and lasted several minutes.
The Indians’ medical staff attempted to stop the bleeding, but could not get that done, which forced Francona to pull Bauer from the game.
Bauer struck out Blue Jay lead-off hitter Jose Bautista, and after a walk to third baseman Josh Donaldson, he got first baseman Edwin Encarnacion to line out to center field for the second out of the inning. But following a walk to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, Bauer could go no farther.
In relief, Dan Otero got catcher Russell Martin to ground out to second baseman Jason Kipnis, which stranded both Donaldson and Tulowitzki.
Bauer threw just 21 pitches in the game, including only nine for strikes.
“I was confident last week, and I said that I didn’t think the finger was going to get in the way, and I’m going to say the same thing again this week,” Francona said. “If it doesn’t work, I’m going to make the doctor come up here and talk to you guys.”