Trevor Bauer will start for the Cleveland Indians in Game 4 of the 2017 American League Division Series against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York Monday night.
Bauer will do battle against Yankees ace Luis Severino, who has not yet pitched in the ALDS after starting the American League Wild Card Game against the Minnesota Twins, and has a chance to send the Indians to the American League Championship Series for the second straight season.
“Tonight was a fun game,” Bauer said. “Looking forward to another one tomorrow. It's always more nerve-wracking being in the dugout watching than it is being out there playing, so looking forward to my opportunity tomorrow for sure.”
The 2017 postseason could not have gotten off to different starts for Severino and Bauer.
Severino allowed three earned runs, two home runs, one walk and four hits without a strikeout in just one-third of an inning against the Twins, while Bauer had the best postseason start of his career in Game 1 against the Yankees.
Bauer set a new single-game personal playoff best with eight strikeouts, and allowed just two hits and one walk over 6.2 innings of work on the way to his first playoff win. Bauer registered three of his strikeouts against Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who belted 52 home runs during the regular season.
After getting left fielder Brett Gardner to pop out to shortstop Francisco Lindor, Bauer struck out Judge looking and catcher Gary Sanchez swinging to set down the Yankees, 1-2-3, in the top of the first inning.
Judge and Sanchez combined to hit 85 home runs during the regular season. Judge blasted a Major League Baseball rookie record 52 home runs in 155 games, and Sanchez set a Yankees benchmark for catches with 33 round-trippers.
In the top of the fourth inning, Bauer struck out Judge swinging, but the ball sailed to the backstop, which allowed the slugger to advance safely to first base. However, Bauer got Sanchez to roll over on a first-pitch curve ball, and third baseman Giovanny Urshela responded by initiating a 5-4-3 double play.
Then, Bauer froze shortstop Didi Gregorius with a 94-mile-per-hour fastball on the inside corner for a called third strike and the final out of the inning. Bauer went after Gregorius with five straight fastballs, and all were in the mid-90s.
Bauer gave up his first hit in the top of the sixth inning, a one-out double to Aaron Hicks, but then, induced a groundout to first base, and struck out Judge on a called third strike for the second time in the game.
Bauer’s 5.1 innings of no-hit baseball was the longest no-hit bid ever by an Indians pitcher in postseason play.
“I consider this normal rest for me,” Bauer said of pitching with just three days’ rest. “I enjoy pitching on short, I guess, technical definition of short. But if I could draw it out, personally, this is how I'd pitch every time. Take my normal two days' recovery after my start, and then, do my day before routine today, and then, roll it out there tomorrow, so I'm feeling very confident where I'm at.”
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