The Dodgers took game 1 of their 3-game set against the Diamondbacks on Friday night. It took Los Angeles’ offense 3 innings to break through, but a great outing from Trevor Bauer gave them some time to figure it out.
That outing by Bauer also represents a little bit of a breakout from a mini-slump by his standards. His last 2-3 starts consisted of very high pitch counts early on and some uncharacteristic lack of control. The Dodgers ended up losing 2 of those games.
But on Friday night, his stuff looked a little sharper. He punched out 8 batters and held the Diamondbacks scoreless innings on 115 pitches. The Dodgers hurler talked about 1 minor change that he made on the mound in the win, and it appeared to have helped him.
I just think the flow of the game was a lot better. I was in a better rhythm from the start and the mechanical adjustments I’ve been fighting the last 2-3 starts finally kinda felt normal and felt like I could let the ball rip right where I wanted to. …Just shortening the time in between pitches, not necessarily with my delivery but just getting the ball and not thinking as much. I just want to keep the pace of play high.
Bauer would go on to talk about how the tempo helps the defense as well, not having to sit out in the field for prolonged periods of time. The Dodgers might have taken their time giving him run support, but it showed up eventually.
Let’s hope this change starts to get him back to the elite level he’s been at most of the year. Bauer has now punched out 119 batters in 95.2 innings of work for the Dodgers in 2021. His ability to take on a high workload has greatly helped a team decimated by injuries.