#MLBPlayers411 | Trevor Bauer
It's not a coincidence that Trevor Bauer has had the best stretch of his career during the Indians' incredible second-half winning streak.
The 6-foot-1, 26-yearold right-hander has gone 9-0 in his last 10 starts, with a 2.53 earned run average, 72 strikeouts and just 19 walks. Dating back to July 21, when the streak started, Bauer leads the majors in wins, is tied for sixth in strikeouts and is ninth in ERA.
The reigning AL-champion Indians, winners of 19 straight games, now lead the Central division by 13½ games and have a magic number of six games.
"Last year there was a lot of like proving to ourselves and proving to other people that we're really good,” the former first-round draft pick told MLB.com after getting his American League-leading 16th win on Sunday. “This year, we know we're really good. Earlier in the year when we struggled a little bit, no one really panicked. It's almost like we played with a little bit of a lack of intensity, because we know how good we can be. And as the season's turned over to the second half, and we started bringing that intensity more regularly, we've been playing a lot better."
During Bauer's run of impressive starts, he has dropped his season's ERA by a full point – from 5.59 after July 16 to 4.33 presently. For the season, Bauer is 16-8 with 177 strikeouts, both career highs.
“He doesn't back down,” manager Terry Francona told The Athletic recently. “In big situations, he's kind of coming through like more often than not. I think a lot of it is just because he likes competing.”
During his streak, Bauer has become more comfortable with his curveball, throwing it at a greater clip. FanGraphs reports he has gone with the curve 30.5 percent of the time, compared to just 28.1 percent during the first half of the season.
“It's a plus-pitch in a vacuum,” Bauer told The News-Herald after one of his recent starts. “Throwing it whenever is a pretty good idea. The rest of it comes down to game-feel, intuition and reading what the hitter's doing, what the hitter's telling you.”
Bauer had marked success at UCLA, and finished his three-year stint in Westwood with 460 strikeouts, second-most in Pac-12 history behind Tim Lincecum, who recorded 491 strikeouts at Washington.
He was drafted by Arizona with the No. 3 overall selection in 2011 and the following year was named the top prospect in the Diamondbacks' system by Baseball America. He was traded to the Indians after the 2012 season as part of a three-team trade that sent Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds.
In five seasons with the Indians, Bauer is 45-38 in 125 games with a 4.36 ERA.
One thing has remained constant during Bauer and Cleveland's hot streak: his genuine, eclectic personality.
The day before his start on Sept. 10, Bauer posted a video to his Twitter where he was seen racing go-karts.
“Having a little afternoon fun @HVIndoorKarting,” Bauer tweeted along with the point-of-view video.
To see more photos of Bauer, click here.
To read more #MLBPlayers411, click here.