Indians blow it for Bauer
Tribe bats leave pitcher out in the cold
Trevor Bauer felt the rules beat him before the Royals did.
Bauer allowed Lucas Duda’s homer on his first pitch in the seventh inning for the game’s only run and Ian Kennedy pitched six shutout innings, leading Kansas City to a 1-0 win over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday in frigid, football-like weather conditions.
Duda’s shot off Bauer (0-1) was one of only three hits by Kansas City and a rare highlight as the teams survived nine innings with the temperature hovering around freezing.
But afterward, Bauer complained that he didn’t have enough time to warm up following the sixth inning. In an attempt to speed up play this season, Major League Baseball has cut the time between innings from 2 minutes, 25 seconds to 2:05.
“First pitch of the inning, coming out, I tried to get loose, but with the new (Commissioner) Rob Manfred time (nonsense) we have only a certain amount of time between innings, it’s hard to get loose sometimes, especially in conditions like that. It’s not safe, but, whatever.”
Bauer said at one point plate umpire Will Little told him to speed up and he refused.
“I was like, ‘Look, I’ll take the fine if I need to, but I’m not going to put myself at risk and I’m not going to put the team at risk of me having exactly what happened happen,”’ Bauer said. “Throw a pitch that you’re not ready to compete on because you’re still trying to get loose and it gets hit over the fence and we lose because of it — not because of it, but it was a contributing factor.”
Bauer said the elements — temperatures were in the low 30s — made everything difficult.
“Since I don’t cheat like a lot of guys and put stuff on my hand, just grab the ball and throw it, my pitches were somewhat inconsistent,” said Bauer, who allowed only three hits in eight innings. “It’s like a cue ball. It slips out of your hand. But, it is what it is. It’s worse for the hitters. I was looking forward to it. I thought I pitched pretty well overall.”
So did Kennedy (1-0), who allowed four hits, walked none and struck out eight. The right-hander was only in trouble once, but worked out of the sixth-inning jam. Blaine Boyer and Justin Grimm pitched an inning apiece before closer Kelvin Herrera worked a perfect ninth for his second save.
The temperature for the first pitch was 34, one degree above the coldest start to a game in the 25-year history of Progressive Field. Players on both teams bundled up, with several wearing hoods under their caps to try and stay warm.
“The ball feels like it’s an ice cube when it gets thrown to you,” Kennedy said. “For me it was probably my body, trying to keep it warm. You start to get a little cold at the end of the game. Your flexibility starts to die down a little bit. That was the main thing, heat packs, anything to stay warm.”
The Indians came in with an AL-low .157 batting average and stayed as chilly at the plate as this unseasonably cold April. Cleveland hasn’t scored in 17 innings.
Limited to one hit through six innings by Bauer, the Royals got the one run they needed on Duda’s second homer, a rocket into the seats in right.
Duda jumped on Bauer’s 90 mph fastball and drove it over the wall for Kansas City’s first run since the Royals scored two in the first inning Friday. Duda has both of Kansas City’s homers this season.