LOS ANGELES – Trevor Bauer was one of the top pitchers in the Major Leagues in his first 11 starts. However, in his last three starts, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner looked a bit more beatable.
After starting the season with a 2.07 ERA to 11 starts, Bauer has given up three or more deserved runs in each of his last three starts, including four in the Dodgers’ 12-1 loss to the Rangers at Dodger Stadium on Saturday . Bauer’s ERA season is now 2.64. The 12 runs and 17 hits were the most allowed by the Dodgers in a game that season.
“As the season progresses, you will have trips like this. It won’t always go the way you want it to, ”said Bauer. “As a competitor you have to find a way around that and continue to be successful and give your team a chance to win. I just didn’t do it well enough tonight. “
Bauer is right and his overall performance this season is still very solid. But maybe there are a few reasons to be concerned. Bauer was a victim of the home run ball earlier this year, but in his last two starts the opposing lineups were able to string hits and take on hard contact from the right-handers. That wasn’t the case at the beginning of the season.
Bauer allowed six goals in his last start against the Braves, which was a season high. That was topped on Saturday when the Rangers recorded eight hard balls and nine hits from Bauer. Four of the hits went for additional bases, including a shot by Jonah Heim with two runs in the fourth inning.
Three of the four extra base hits came from Bauer’s four-seam fastball, which has been one of the top spots in the majors for the past two seasons. Bauer also said his curveball command on Saturday was not up to par, which may directly correlate with some of his fastball bouts.
“I have to land my curveball,” said Bauer. “I just have to get better.”
Bauer has also played a few sloppy defensive games. He mentioned that after a crazy third inning that included a Mookie Betts mistake, Adolis García was knocked out third after a goal, and a retest after a ringing double from Nate Lowe was difficult to get into rhythm.
But some of Bauer’s recent problems could also be related to his spin rate decrease during his last two starts, particularly his heating.
After seeing a 214 RPM drop from his seasonal average on the four-collector at the start against the Braves, the spin on Bauer’s Fastball was 206 RPM below his seasonal average on Saturday. His knife, which he threw 25 times, also saw spin decrease by 134 rpm. But despite the drop in spin, Bauer has still recorded 32 puffs in his last two starts. Now, Bauer just has to find a way to limit the damage and get back to the shape the Dodgers got used to in the first two months of the season.
“I’m not worried,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts when asked about Bauer’s drop in spin rate. “I think it just comes down to pitches.”