KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Trevor Bauer was already in a foul mood when he learned he would start the Cleveland Indians’ first game of the American League Division Series on Thursday against the Boston Red Sox.
After giving up two runs and three hits in the sixth inning of the Indians’ 6-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday, Bauer was told by manager Terry Francona in the dugout he would start the postseason opener.
“I told him why I was taking him out — because he was going to start Game 1,” Francona said. “But he was kind of in the middle of beating up the dugout. So much for that feel-good moment.”
Bauer threw 96 pitches, tuning up for the postseason by striking out nine over six innings of three-run ball.
“I have a lot of confidence in my teammates and hopefully they have confidence in me,” Bauer said. “It should be fun. Like I said before, they tell me when to pitch and I go out there and pitch. Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, or whatever, they’re all important.”
Cy Young Award candidate Corey Kluber will pitch Game 2 on Friday after throwing a bullpen session Sunday. Kluber has not pitched since leaving a start Monday because of a quadriceps injury.
“He’ll throw an extended side on Tuesday, which will line him up for Friday,” Francona said. “Klub really wanted to pitch Thursday. We’ve been talking about it for three or four days, but I just kind of overruled him.
“In fact, I know it’s the right thing for everybody. I don’t think it’s fair for Kluber to have him sit for 10 days and have him pitch two games in four days (possibly in the postseason). He certainly wanted to. I kind of — again not just me — but talking to everybody — I just took it out of his hands. Now he can prepare for Game 2. He can do that without the anxiety and worry or rushing.”
Kluber, who won the 2014 AL Cy Young Award and is a top contender for the honor this year, is 18-9 with a 3.14 ERA.
The Indians are already without starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco, who is out for the season because of a nondisplaced fracture in his right pinkie finger, and Danny Salazar, who threw a bullpen session Wednesday and could throw a simulated game Monday, as he tries to make his way back from a strained right forearm.