Dodgers News: Trevor Bauer Frustrated, Confused By Home Run Rate

The Los Angeles Dodgers ended the month of May on a high note, earning a 9-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the series opener at Dodger Stadium.

Trevor Bauer improved to 6-3 after allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits in 6.2 innings of work, but nearly missed his start due to an undisclosed illness. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to start or not, honestly,” he said after the game.

“Fortunately I was able to get enough sleep, hydrate and get my body there. I’m happy I was able to go out there and pitch, for sure.”

While Bauer notched a fifth consecutive quality start, he was not at his best against the Cardinals, yielding a season-high three home runs. “I think I threw the ball really well. For being pretty sick coming in, I thought I was good,” Bauer said.

“Commanded the ball really well. It’s just frustrating. It’s like 40% of the hits I give up are homers. I haven’t given up a run on a non-homer in over a month. Good pitches, bad pitches, it just seems like my luck on homers is terrible right now.

“Frustrating when I don’t even get a chance to get out of jams. I can’t just give up a hit or double or something. It’s got to be a homer, so it’s frustrating on that end.

“Tonight we needed to win as a team. Coming off a tough series over the weekend, to get off to a good start in this series is big. The offense came through, and that’s what we’re here to do, is win. Good night overall.”

As Bauer noted, he hasn’t given up many hits this season — only 40 in 76.1 innings pitched — but when opposing hitters do make contact, the ball tends to travel over the fence.

Of the 40 hits Bauer has allowed this season, 13 have gone for home runs. Bauer nonetheless is hopeful this trend will reverse. “I mean, I would hope. But we’re two months in now, so maybe it’s not,” he said of lowering his home run rate.

“I can’t continue giving up 40% of the hits, but if you look at my home run per fly ball rate, it’s kind of average. It’s frustrating, that’s for sure. We’ve got to look at some distributions of pitches, pitch types, locations, and try to figure out if there’s something I need to adjust.

“It’s very odd, because I don’t give up a lot of hits. It’s not like I’m getting hit around and the ball is leaving the yard. I don’t give up any hits and all of a sudden when I do give up a hit, it’s a homer. Hopefully it regresses back to the mean a little bit, but we’ll see.

“We’ll dig in and figure it out. My gut reaction is it’s not anything I’m necessarily doing. It’s not one specific pitch, it’s righties and lefties.”

Roberts puzzled why Bauer’s home run rate is high

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is equally as perplexed as to why Bauer’s home run rate is so high this season. “I don’t know,” Roberts said.

“I think Walker was going through that about a month ago. It’s just cyclical. It’ll correct itself.”

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