Trevor Bauer has been nothing short of brilliant in the young and unique Major League Baseball season.
The Cincinnati right-hander will try to continue that early success when he starts for the visiting Reds in the opener of a three-game weekend set against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night. The Reds enter with a three-game losing streak while the Brewers have won two in a row.
Bauer (1-0, 0.68 ERA) faced the Detroit Tigers in his first two outings. On July 26, he allowed a solo homer, one other hit and struck out 13 with one walk over 6 1/3 innings of a no-decision. During the nightcap of Cincinnati’s doubleheader sweep at Detroit on Sunday, Bauer went the full seven innings to complete a two-hit, seven-strikeout effort in a 4-0 win.
“You talk about determined and motivated,” manager David Bell said of Bauer. “We believe in Trevor’s ability to prepare himself. He came into the season at full speed.”
Bauer, who has never faced Milwaukee, will try to help the Reds get back on track after they dropped the final three of a four-game, home-and-home series with the Cleveland Indians this week. Though two Cincinnati relievers were responsible for a 10-run Indians seventh inning Thursday in the Reds’ 13-0 loss, the bigger issue at the moment for the club is a lack of offense.
Looking to avoid being shut out in three consecutive games for the first time since April 2019, Cincinnati has not scored a run in 23 straight innings. The Reds managed just three hits on Thursday, and Nick Castellanos was held without one in a game for the first time this season.
Castellanos is still batting .333 with six homers and 13 RBIs. Meanwhile, teammate Eugenio Suarez is 4-for-44 (.091) with 16 strikeouts through the first 13 games of the season.
The Brewers are coming off a two-game road sweep against the Chicago White Sox. Milwaukee star Christian Yelich is batting just .111 (4-for-36) with 17 strikeouts this season, but he did hit his second home run — his first career inside-the-park homer — and scored three times Thursday during the Brewers’ 8-3 win.
Eric Lauer (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is slated to make his first start as a member of the Brewers on Friday. The left-hander, who went 14-17 with a 4.43 ERA in 52 starts for the San Diego Padres over the past two seasons, yielded one hit over 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief against the Chicago Cubs on July 26.
Lauer opened the season on the COVID-19 injured list after coming in contact with someone who tested positive, but he returned with that solid outing.
“It’s definitely a weird kind of scenario, a different kind of season that we’re going through. So, I’m not 100 percent sure what (my) role is going to be,” Lauer said, according to the Brewers’ official website.
Lauer has been relatively solid against the Reds, going 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA in four career starts. However, he never completed more than five innings in any of those contests.
Though Bauer has never faced the Brewers in his career, Milwaukee’s Avisail Garcia and Logan Morrison are a combined 16-for-51 (.314) with two homers apiece against him.
–Field Level Media