CHICAGO -- Whether it was due to injury or ineffectiveness against an opponent, Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer has yet to make it through the fifth inning in a postseason start.
But despite the lack of postseason success, the Indians are again turning to Bauer to start Game 5 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field tonight with a chance to clinch Cleveland’s first baseball championship since 1948.
“You prepare for the game the same way and some games, you go out there and you have a feel right away,” Bauer said. “Some games, you go out there and you don’t. For whatever time I’m in the game, I do the same thing.
“I try to go with whatever’s working and find a feel for what’s not. Sometimes, you do. Sometimes, you don’t. It’s very similar to a regular-season game in that regard.”
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. In relief, the Indians’ bullpen surrendered three hits and six walks over 5.1 innings of work.
“I had more of an adrenaline rush I think for the first start of the playoffs at home against Boston than I did my last one,” Bauer said. “It was just like any other normal game, to be honest.
“Obviously, there was a lot of hype around it, but when you get out on the field, it’s the same game of baseball I’ve been playing since I was four or five years old.”
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.
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 used 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, Indians skipper Terry Francona was force to pull Bauer from the game.
Now healed up from the finger injury, Bauer is very much looking forward to pitching at Wrigley Field and embracing the jeers of the Cubs faithful.
“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.”