The Dodgers have mostly got what they expected out of Trevor Bauer after signing him to a record deal in the offseason. He leads the team in starts with 17 (MLB leader, tied with Clayton Kershaw), innings pitched with 107.2 (MLB leader), and in strikeouts with 137 (MLB leader).
If you can pencil that into your starting rotation, you’re taking it 10 times out of 10.
But, if there’s one place to nitpick with Bauer, it’s his struggles with the long ball. The right-hander has now served up 19 home runs in 2021, second most in baseball. He’s been outspoken about his struggles with homers this season, admitting frustration over his “worst home run luck in the league.”
On Monday night, the Giants connected on a pair of solo shots off of Bauer, the only damage he’d allow in 6 innings. After the game, he once again attributed those bombs to his poor home run luck.
“Yeah, it’s definitely bad luck. I mean, it’s not like I’m missing middle with those pitches. I guess at some point it’ll get better. I guess. I don’t know. But happy they were solos, I guess.”
Of the 31 earned runs he’s allowed this season, 19 have come via big fly. Bauer has said that it’s something he’s looking into. However, his manager is seeing things a little bit differently. Dave Roberts had this to say after Bauer’s comments on Monday night.
“I think tonight, three straight changeups to [LaMonte] Wade — He just timed up the speed and it was up. And then the 91 [MPH] … first-pitch ambush heater to [Brandon] Crawford. So I don’t think luck had anything to do with those two homers tonight.”
It could come down to execution and sequencing for Bauer, something he alluded to earlier in the season. Still, it could be a lot worse for Trevor and the Dodgers. Through all the dingers, he’s still kept the team in the game in each of his 17 starts… So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?