CHICAGO -- Location! Location! Location!
In his first World Series start against the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 at Progressive Field last Wednesday night, Cleveland Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer had trouble locating his pitches and failed to make it out of the fourth inning.
But with a second chance at starting in the Fall Classic, Bauer is focused on doing what is necessary to pitch the Indians to a victory and deliver Cleveland its first baseball championship since 1948.
“I definitely missed location quite a bit last game, and there were some that I was trying to elevate,” Bauer said. “But I think I gave up an abnormally high number of foul balls overall, just all season.”
Bauer said his location issues had nothing to do with the fact that he shook off several calls from catcher Roberto Perez, which has become routine throughout the stretch run of the 2016 season.
“If you look back at all of the news articles throughout my whole career, it’s pretty widely known that I shake off,” Bauer said. “I think my first big-league start, there were issues about that, so it’s kind of been there the whole time in my career.
“It’s just part of the game, you know, try to go with what I’m confident in and follow the game plan to the best of my ability and see what happens.”
In a Game 2 loss to the Cubs at Progressive Field, Bauer lasted just 3.2 innings despite limiting Chicago to two earned runs after allowing six hits and two walks.
Bauer has not pitched in a road game since going just two-thirds of an inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series almost two weeks ago.
Originally slated to start Game 2 of the ALCS at Progressive Field, Bauer suffered a laceration to his right pinkie finger while performing “routine maintenance” on a drone on the eve of Game 1. The Indians were hopeful Bauer could pitch less than a week after suffering the injury, but the opposite proved to be true.
Bauer lasted just two-thirds of an inning against the Toronto Blue Jays, much to the delight of the faithful at Rogers Centre. However, now that he is healed up from the finger injury, Bauer is very much looking forward to pitching at Wrigley Field and embracing the jeers from Cubs fans.
“The best part of it is hearing them all leave silent,” Bauer said. “There’s a great crowd here. There have been great crowds on the road during all the playoffs. Being able to overcome that and win is a very rewarding feeling.”