Bauer making Reds history in first four starts

He leads all of baseball in ERA

Trevor Bauer has turned into an almost automatic victory for the Cincinnati Reds.

Since the Reds lost his first start of the season 3-2 on July 26, they have won 4-0, 8-3 and 5-0 with Bauer on the mound. He has compiled a 0.68 ERA. No one else in baseball with at least four starts has an ERA under 1.00.

“He’s in a really good spot,” manager David Bell said Wednesday after Bauer pitched the Reds to a 5-0 victory in the second game of a doubleheader in Kansas City. “Obviously, we got to see him last year when he came over at the end, and he’s really a different pitcher. I think he had been through a lot last year. We got him at the tail end of a season that wasn’t his best.

“He had the stuff. You could see that. He had the velocity on this fastball. This year, he still has that, but he’s pitching a little bit more. The speed of his pitches are a little bit different, so the hitters aren’t able to be on his fastball. He’s just doing a really good job of using all his pitches, mixing up speeds. It’s just looks easier for him.”

ExploreBrennaman suspended for anti-gay slur

Bauer struck out nine Royals batters in seven innings Wednesday, pitching a seven-inning complete-game shutout in a doubleheader for the second time this season. He has struck out 40 batters while allowing eight hits in 26 1/3 innings.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Bauer is the first pitcher in modern baseball history to strike out 40 batters and allow fewer than 10 hits in his first four starts. According to Reds statistician Joel Luckhaupt, Bauer has the second lowest ERA through four starts in Reds history, trailing only Wayne Simpson (0.58 in 1970).

Bauer has shown a major improvement from last summer when he made 10 starts and posted a 6.39 ERA for the Reds after being traded from the Cleveland Indians.

Bauer said an ankle injury last year had healed by the time he arrived in Cincinnati but affected his delivery, which messed up his back. He said he just wasn’t himself.

“I wasn’t able to get ahead,” Bauer said. “I wasn’t able to locate pitches as well as I know I can. I went into the offseason and worked on my command and my health. I came into the spring and felt that work had really taken hold. I was really confident I would be able to be better. Then I got another offseason basically with the coronavirus (pandemic). I was able to improve my command and work on that stuff even more.”

FRIDAY’S GAME

Reds at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m., FS Ohio, 700

About the Author