I’m beginning to think the same thing is going on this season with Trevor Bauer.
Good Trevor is a fine pitcher, one who will give you at least six innings per start while allowing no more than two earned runs. Good Trevor has started 16 games for the Indians this season. The Indians have a very good chance of winning the game with Good Trevor on the mound.
Bad Trevor, on the other hand, just makes you want to shake your head, or maybe throw your remote at the television. Bad Trevor gets lit up early, and gives up five or more runs in five innings or less. Bad Trevor has started eight games for the Indians in 2015. Really Bad Trevor is a subset of Bad Trevor. He gets pulled in the second inning.
Really Bad Trevor started for the Indians in Toronto on Wednesday evening. He gave up three singles and a walk in the first inning, giving the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead. In the second inning, he gave up two singles and a double, and was taken out of the game with the Indians down 4-0. The man who doubled eventually scored, so Bad Trevor was charged with five runs, all of them earned, over 1 1/3 innings of work. The bullpen did a great job, as six different pitchers held Toronto scoreless over the last 6 2/3 innings. One of those pitchers, Gavin Floyd, was making his Indians debut after undergoing elbow surgery in March.
With that kind of performance from the bullpen, the Indians might have been able to claw their way back into the game. But veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey wasn’t having any of that. He pitched a complete game, giving up only one run on four hits, and the Jays won the game, 5-1.
Three of the Indians’ four hits came in the fourth inning, and led to their sole run. A well-turned double play kept the Tribe from taking full advantage of their mini-barrage. After the third hit in the inning, Dickey bore down and retired the next 14 batters he faced before giving up a one-out single in the ninth. Fittingly, the game ended on a double play.
Really Bad Trevor has appeared in two of Bauer’s last four starts, bookending two starts by Good Trevor. I hope the Indians coaching staff can find a way to keep Bad Trevor from showing up too many times from here on in, and in the 2016 season.
The Indians are idle on Thursday, and will face the Tigers in a three-game series in Detroit starting on Friday. As the Tigers are down 12-1 to the Royals as I type this, it’s a fair bet that they will have lost Wednesday’s game.