A complete game shutout on Father’s Day helped earn Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer the American League’s Player of the Week Award for games played between June 10 and June 16.
Bauer’s shutout on Sunday was the first of his career and he was rewarded again for the effort with the first Player of the Week Award of his career. It marked a needed change in direction for Bauer, who had lost five straight decisions before taking home a win on June 16 to secure a sweep for Cleveland over the Detroit Tigers.
Bauer opened his week on Tuesday in the opener of a two-game set against the Cincinnati Reds. He worked seven and two-thirds innings, allowing a run on six hits with five walks and six strikeouts. He took a no-decision in the contest to extend his winless streak as he left with the score tied 1-1 in the eighth. He threw 76 of 118 pitches for strikes and kept the ball on the ground, something that Indians pitchers have been unable to do at times this season. He left the mound with two down in the eighth after putting the potential go-ahead run on via his fifth and final free pass of the game, but the second reliever to come on, Nick Wittgren, got the final out to leave the game tied.
The Indians won the ball game on a walk-off bases loaded single in the bottom of the tenth by Oscar Mercado.
In Bauer’s second start on Sunday, he shut down the Tigers in a nine-inning gem. He made 117 pitches, putting 80 over for strikes, and faced just four over the minimum. Three of the four hits that he allowed went for extra bases, but the lack of walks and some big innings by Bauer helped to keep the Tigers off of the scoreboard.
Bauer gave up a two-out single in the first to Nicholas Castellanos and a leadoff triple to Harold Castro in the second before retiring eleven straight hitters. That ended with Bobby Wilson’s two-out double in the bottom of the fifth. He set down the next six before a two-out double by Gordon Beckham in the seventh, but he kept the next seven off of the bases, accumulating three of his eight strikeouts on the afternoon.
Eight runs of support paced Bauer to his first win since April 30.
In his two starts in the week, Bauer worked 16 2/3 innings, allowing just one run (0.54 ERA) on ten hits (including six for extra bases) with five walks and 14 strikeouts. Opposing hitters batted just .175 against him with a .242 on-base percentage. He threw 66% of his 235 pitches for strikes.
Bauer now has four quality starts in his last five outings despite a 1-3 record in that stretch. He is the first Cleveland pitcher to be named the league’s Player of the Week since Corey Kluber received the honor in September of 2017. He is the first Indians player to win the award since Edwin Encarnacion did so on June 3 of last season.
On the National League side, Colorado outfielder Charlie Blackmon won the award for the sixth time in his career after hitting .568 in seven games with six home runs and 15 RBI. He boosted his season batting average by 41 points with his impressive efforts for the week.
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