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Second Thoughts Game #46: Tigers 2, Indians 6

Second Thoughts Game #46: Tigers 2, Indians 6
Trevor Bauer continues to impress this season with another outstanding outing for the Indians. (Photo: AP)
May 21, 2014
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The Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night by a score of 6-2. The Indians received most of their offense in a four-run second inning thanks to five consecutive batters getting a hit or walk with just one out.

While the Indians offense pulled together a great inning to account for a decent night, Trevor Bauer’s most-recent call-up was the real story. His stuff was unbelievable, and though he gave up a pair of homers and a few free passes, he looked every bit the promising prospect we ultimately traded away a year of Shin-Soo Choo for. The Indians are winning some crucial early-season games in a season that had the makings of slipping away entirely.

  • Though the Indians scored four runs in the second inning; the damage could have been even more severe. Carlos Santana started the inning trying to stretch an infield single that trickled into shallow right field into a hustle-double. Technically speaking, the Indians put together six consecutive hits/walks, but only five of them actually got to stay on base.
  • Regardless, the Indians rattled off a double, walk, double, double, single to plate four runs and give Trevor Bauer a lead that would never be relinquished.
  • Trevor Bauer, in his second start in 2014, continued the strong performance he has shown at the minor league level and will continue to take his turn in the rotation going forward.
  • The Indians actually played decent defense last night, committing zero errors and making some key plays in the field. None were more important than the inning-ending double-play in the sixth that stranded a runner on third and provided a big momentum boost.

With men on first and second and one down, following a pair of walks by Bauer, Nick Castellanos hit a chopper to the right-side. It was fielded by Nick Swisher who threw to second and Asdrubal Cabrera avoided the runner and threw onto first base. After seeing the ball go by, Bauer was on a dead sprint from the mound to first base. He got there a few steps ahead of Castellanos and the throw, but had to get his foot on the bag while coming to a complete hault, turn to second, locate the ball and make the catch. For anyone that hasn’t played baseball, this is extremely difficult even if the throw is right on line.

Cabrera’s throw was in the dirt and Bauer had to scoop it while keeping his foot on the bag. He made the play and, after a challenge and review, the runner was called out and the inning was over. The Indians would go on to add their sixth run on a David Murphy homer in the seventh inning.

Though Bauer made a fine fielding play and proved he can do some of the little things right, the real performance was on the mound. He consistently showed the dominant repertoire that got everyone so excited in the first place.

Courtesy of Brooksbaseball.net, here is a simple table detailing the pitch-type, the velocity, the different kinds of movement and the % thrown for strikes:

 

# pitches

Avg. Velocity

Horizontal

Vertical

Strikes

Fastball

41

97.2

-3.71

9.67

63%

Changeup

9

86.7

-4.9

6.95

67%

Slider

15

85.3

3.67

-0.34

60%

Curveball

7

81.7

5.03

-8.24

57%

Cutter

13

90.0

1.52

3.57

92%

What this all means is that Bauer is throwing five different pitches for strikes. These pitches range in speed from 81 to 97mph and will break with a difference of 10 inches left to right and 18 inches top to bottom. This variety is incredible enough, but look at the release points vary by less than 6 inches for all 5 pitches:

Courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net

His cutter sneaks out a little closer to his head (mentally impose a pitcher below the release points throwing the ball in your direction: the release point is more above his head than out to the side), but the overall clustering is very tight, making it difficult for hitters to get any clue on the pitch-type before the release and subsequent spin/speed combinations start hurtling towards the strike zone.

Bauer certainly has areas for improvement, some of hit pitches missed the zone by several feet and he still seems to overthrow at times. However, he seems to have gained the ability (some would say maturity) to be able to pitch well enough to get through innings and turn in a quality start every fifth night.

Zach McAallister will oppose Max Scherzer in the series finale at 12:05pm as the Indians go for the sweep at Progressive.

User Comments

art
May 21, 2014 - 1:05 PM EDT
I thought he looked great yesterday, especially considering his prior rough outings. Looked like he had composure, and a plan on how to attack hitters.

If he can be "for real" this time, it would be a massive help.
Hermie13
May 21, 2014 - 12:47 PM EDT
Only issue I had with his start yesterday was seemed a bit too animated there in the 6th inning. Hard to tell if he was mad at himself or made at the ump a few times. Needs to be careful he doesn't show up an ump (or allow an ump to think that's what he's doing).

Held it together though and gout of the inning with that nice pick at 1B. Big step for him and showing a lot more than last year. Hopefully he continues to grow and mature :)
Tony
May 21, 2014 - 12:44 PM EDT
Outstanding outing against a good Tigers team. That was a big test he passed last night. Now, he needs to show some consistency. Boy, if Bauer and Kluber emerge this season, the Indians have the makings of a nice 1-2 combo for many years. Need more guys to step up though.
Homer
May 21, 2014 - 12:40 PM EDT
Improve velocity - check
Improve mechanics - check
Improve I/P ability - check

I'd call that maturation.

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