Trevor Bauer, who started the season in the bullpen, is now the Indians No. 2 starter heading into the playoffs. And while Bauer has had some moments of brilliance this season, he did not inspire confidence in his ability to hold down the new role on Sunday against the Tigers.
Detroit roughed up Bauer for six runs on 10 hits, and knocked him out before he could complete the sixth inning.
The Tribe remained within striking distance until the depleted bullpen was forced to send Joseph Colon to the hill in the 9th in an effort to protect a 6-5 lead. Colon would surrender three runs while recording just one out in the inning.
So what are we supposed to make of this new-look rotation?
A month ago we were talking about Josh Tomlin’s struggles, but relieved by the fact that he likely wouldn’t pitch in October, let alone make a start. Now he’s our No. 3.
And Bauer, who has pitched like a No. 2 at times this season, is stumbling into the playoffs with a 7.40 ERA in September.
I’m usually optimistic about the Tribe and try to focus on the areas of strength and improvement. But it’s hard right now. There just aren’t a lot of stats to provide optimism at this stage of the Indians season.
We’re going to have to rely on some good ol’ Jacobs Field magic to carry us the rest of the way.
The Texas Rangers are starting to pull ahead in the race for home field, which means the Indians will likely draw the Red Sox (or another surprise AL East winner) in the Division Series. So if you are in the mood for some good news, take a look at their box score today.
Boston starter Drew Pomeranz (likely their No. 4 starter in playoffs) was knocked out in the 4th inning, bringing his September ERA to 8.74.
So while our staff might be a mess, at least Boston has some issues of their own.