Here are 10 Walk-Off Thoughts after the Indians' 5-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday afternoon.

1. Trevor Bauer offered the Indians the best version of himself and delivered 6 2/3 strong innings on Wednesday. Though, he sees it as one of the only times over the last two months in which he's been himself at all. Bauer struck out 12 — the first time he's reached double digits since May 11 — and allowed just one run and three hits.

2. Bauer has seemingly been fighting with himself all season. Since his white-hot, two-outing opening, he's been wildly inconsistent. As he covers up and solves one problem, another has sprouted somewhere else. A seven-run debacle has been followed by a seven-inning gem. A superb start in a pitcher's duel against the Reds and a shutout in Detroit were bookended by two five-run beatings. He's gone up, he's done down, and all the way, he's been working against his mechanics to try to make everything click.

3. On multiple occasions this year, Bauer has mentioned after starts that he's been battling something physically. It hasn't allowed him the mobility he needs during his deliver to really rear back and get the bite and spin on his pitches that he wants. He said on Wednesday that he felt better, but, he still hasn't felt entirely comfortable on the mound. He hasn't given any details on what he's dealing with, but, something is there.

4. "Finally felt like myself, which is nice after two months of feeling like someone else. That was good," Bauer said. "There’s just been some physical limitations that I’ve had, that I’m working through. Everyone’s banged up throughout the year. But I’m working through it like I said. Feel good about where I’m at right now."

5. Bauer's velocity ticked up on Wednesday as well. In his previous start against the Tigers, when he was roughed up for five runs in four innings, his fastball averaged 94 mph, according to Baseball Savant. In the outing prior to that, his shutout in Detroit, it was actually even lower, at 93.5. On Wednesday, his fastball sat at 95.4 mph, and his 127th pitch and final pitch of the day was clocked at 96.7 mph.

6. "I thought from the first pitch of the game, he looked so much more like Trevor," said manager Terry Francona. "Crisp, all his pitches [were] crisp, [he held his] velocity. I thought there were periods in the game where he almost maybe felt too good. You know, he started heaving a couple up there, but I’ll tell you what, man, when you’ve got a guy who can pitch over 120 and that’s the hardest pitch of the day, that’s saying something.”

7. Bauer was asked to assess his slider and his changeup — the two pitches he's worked on the most during the previous two winters — at this point in the season. The slider has been fine. But the changeup hasn't yet delivered his hoped results. And, due to the physical issues with his delivery, it's hard to pinpoint why because there are always multiple variables at play.

8. "Changeup’s been inconsistent and not up to the level that I’d hoped it would be," he said. "But it’s hard to tell exactly why. Like I said, I haven’t felt like myself in two months. So when I can’t move the way I need to move and I can’t repeat my delivery, it’s hard to evaluate why a pitch may not be doing what it’s supposed to. My cutter’s been slow. My slider’s been slow. Spin rates have been down on most pitches. All the off-speed stuff anyway. That’s all just a matter of, I haven’t been able to move the way I need to move. So, it’s just nice to feel like I’m back to being myself today for the first time in a couple of months."

9. Bauer walked off the mound Wednesday to a standing ovation. He tipped his cap to the crowd, but he was still frustrated he had let Cam Gallagher go — his 127th pitch had terrific velocity, but it missed its target and led to a walk. Bauer getting stronger as the game goes on has been one of his calling cards. And while he'd undoubtedly say he could throw 140 pitches (or 160, or 180), and while there's a good chance he'd hold his stuff that long, pushing the 120s or 130s isn't something Francona feels comfortable with due to the potential long-term ramifications.

10. “The fight I have is that I feel a responsibility also for his career," Francona said. "You know, you’ve got one arm and I fight that because he fights me to stay out there, which I love. I mean I love that. Curt Schilling used to do it and everybody used to think…I love it. I don’t want pitchers that want to come out of the game. I admire that about him. But I want him to pitch for 15 years. So I worry.”

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.