Trevor Bauer, Dodgers Trying To Find Balance With Pitch Count

The Los Angeles Dodgers settled for a series split at Minute Maid Park after their eight-game winning streak was snapped in a 5-2 loss to the Houston Astros on Wednesday.

Trevor Bauer suffered his first loss in 10 career starts against the Astros, tying season highs in walks (four) and home runs allowed (two) while also striking out a season-low three batters.

The right-hander’s night began by surrendering a leadoff homer to Jose Altuve in what amounted to a 37-pitch first inning. He nonetheless regained control and managed to complete six innings on 100 pitches.

“Yeah,” Bauer said when asked if he was pleased to get through the sixth inning. “I felt like I could’ve gone out for the seventh, honestly. I felt great.

“I think after the first inning if you just watch the quality of innings, the quality of the pitches, quality of the stuff, it was really good. One-hundred pitches is just an arbitrary number.

“I’ll pitch deep into a game as long as I’m allowed to. I would’ve liked to go seven, eight or nine. It’s not my decision to make. I was just happy to pitch well. I think I pitched well.”

Bauer’s 100-pitch effort Wednesday came on the heels of him throwing a season-high 126 pitches against the San Francisco Giants. “I felt great. Recovered really well, felt normal, or slightly better than normal,” Bauer said of how he felt coming off his longest appearance of the season.

“I know everyone is crazy about this pitch count, like 126 is a lot or something, but like I told you guys last time, I didn’t empty the tank. I wasn’t done. I felt fine, felt great this cycle, felt fine [Wednesday].

“Just got in a little funk in the first inning where I was a little off mechanically, and locked it in from there. We can talk about pitch count all you guys want, but it’s a non-factor to me.”

Bauer previously insisted that pitch count is just a number for him, but doesn’t believe he has to convince the Dodgers otherwise. “I don’t think I have to prove anything to anyone,” Bauer said. “That’s not what I’m here to do. I’m here to win baseball games.

“I’m not the manager, I’m not the pitching coach. I don’t make those decisions. My job is to go out there and pitch as long as they let me. I honestly communicate to them how I’m feeling, if I feel done, if I feel good, if I’m hurting a little bit, whatever.

“I try to do as good of a job to communicate that, but at the end of the day it’s not my decision. I’m here to do what they ask of me, pitch when they ask me to pitch, and stop when they tell me to stop.”

Roberts admits high pitch count led to removing Bauer after six innings

Aware that Bauer has reached the 100-pitch threshold in each of his previous three starts, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts admitted to not wanting to push Bauer against the Astros. “That was absolutely a thought,” Roberts said.

“I think if we didn’t push him in that last one, I might’ve pushed him a little bit tonight. I’ve got to kind of look at the past starts, the recency, how he’s throwing the baseball that particular night, when his next start day is and kind of make a decision. That was the decision I made.”

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