CHICAGO: Trevor Bauer probably figured he had to try out his new pitching approach some time, so why not start in the big leagues?
Most starters begin their delivery by going into a windup. So did Bauer until he decided he didn’t feel “comfortable” and came out in the first inning of his start against the Chicago White Sox on Friday throwing out of the stretch.
“I haven’t felt comfortable pitching out of the windup in my last two or three games,” he said after the Tribe walloped the White Sox 19-10 in the first game of a doubleheader. “I felt the same way when I threw my bullpen, so I decided to throw out of the stretch. It’s more comfortable for me right now.”
Manager Terry Francona, apparently in an effort to cover for his young starter, told the media that Triple-A Columbus pitching coach Tony Arnold had given him a heads-up about Bauer’s new technique, and that Bauer had pitched out of the stretch (with no runner on base) for the Clippers.
Bauer has been altering his delivery since training camp, and apparently he hasn’t finished the job yet.
“I’ve been changing my delivery all year, from spring training on,” he said.
In reality, it probably didn’t matter if Bauer unveiled his latest strategy in the major leagues or the minors. After the first batter of the game, he was pitching out of the stretch, anyway.
Alejandro De Aza opened the inning with a double, and from then on, Bauer had to pitch out of the stretch, because only one other batter came to the plate with nobody on base.
Bauer threw 49 pitches but retired only two batters, as he gave up five runs on six hits, a walk and a hit batter. Included among the hits was Adam Dunn’s two-run homer and a solo blast by Jeff Keppinger.
“They hit what I threw,” he said. “Everything but one of the home runs was down and on the corners of the plate. It was one of those days. The worst part was wasting the whole bullpen because of me.”
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.