There were a lot of goats in Cleveland’s 7-4 Game 4 loss Monday to the Yankees, which makes them 4-17 in their last 21 potential clinchers dating back to that nightmarish Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. But even with the four errors committed by the Indians, this one was ultimately over after a four-run second inning, which brought about the early exit of starter Trevor Bauer, who had been lights-out just four days earlier.
Bauer was an unexpected choice to start Game 1 but rewarded Terry Francona with a dominant outing. Coming back on short rest, however, he fell apart pretty quickly, allowing four straight hits after an error and getting pulled with a final line of 1 2/3 innings, four hits, four runs (all unearned), a pair of walks, and the loss.
“I thought my stuff was better than Game 1 tonight,” Bauer said. “Velo was up, curveball had more depth to it. I located pretty well. Just a couple little things went their way instead of mine. Double lands right on the line. Check swing that I thought he probably went. Umpire didn’t see it the same way. Just as a team, we didn’t play the greatest defense tonight, too. Little things in baseball games that beat you.”
A simpler reason the Yankees got to Bauer this time? They figured out his curve. Actually a weird knuckle-curve—it baffled them in Game 1. They had seen it, though, and were able to lay off of it yesterday when Bauer would previously get them to chase it, and did damage when he was forced to come back up in the zone. In Aaron Judge’s second-inning at-bat, he watched Bauer put three unhittable curves in the dirt, then fouled off a two-strike curve over the plate. When Bauer went to his fastball for the payoff pitch, Judge whacked it for a two-run double.
“He threw a lot of pitches in the inning, and I thought he was starting to go to his breaking ball too much,” Terry Francona said. “It looked to me like they started to hunt it, like they knew he was going to throw it. He left a couple up, and those are the ones that hurt him.”
Starlin Castro said he thought Bauer’s curve wasn’t breaking quite so well as in Game 1, but whatever it was, the Yankees were connecting—every single ball in play against him qualified as “hard-hit,” according to the Statcast threshold of 95 mph.
With an early trip to the showers and plenty of time to kill before the game ended, Bauer apparently did what so many of us do with our free time: He got mad online. At some point between getting the hook in the second inning and the eighth inning, when we got our first email about it, Bauer went on a Twitter blocking spree.
I can confirm that at least some of these blocks came during the game, rather than before it, because I am one of those people—I checked my phone immediately upon the game’s final out, and I was blocked. I deserved it, because I am an asshole: Every time Bauer gave up a hit I retweeted one of his many, many pro-Trump or MAGA tweets.
In my defense, some of these are pretty amazing:
I also said I hoped Bauer would get his dick stuck in a drone, so yeah, I’d block me too. It’s the most relatable thing he’s ever done! But it’s unclear if the Indians have a policy on phone use while a game is still going on. (The Red Sox, remember, benched Pablo Sandoval for liking a pretty lady’s Instagram photos from the crapper during a game.)
Game 5 is in Cleveland on Wednesday night, and if you’re a non-aligned baseball fan, you can go back to safely rooting for this likable Indians team. Unless Bauer’s telling the truth here:
Stick to shitposting, Trevor.