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Trevor Bauer Allows Four Runs On Seven Hits In Liga Mexicana de Beisbol Debut

 Leif Skodnick  |    Apr 16th, 2024 9:40am EDT

Trevor Bauer of the Diablos Rojos del Mexico delivers a pitch against the Tigres de Quintana Roo on April 15, 2024. (Photo Courtesy of the Diablos Rojos del Mexico)

MEXICO CITY – As the heat of the day rapidly cooled off, Trevor Bauer took the mound Monday evening, a pitcher in exile, a teal glove on his left hand and a red cap on his head, making his debut for the Diablos Rojos del Mexico at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu in Mexico City.

Not only was it opening night, but the Diablos Rojos were playing their long-time rival, the Tigres de Quintana Roo, who called Mexico City home and won eight championships here between 1955 and 2002.

It was also the only game on the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol schedule on Monday, a night when the league is usually dormant.

No pressure, Trevor.

The outspoken pitcher complimented a fastball that touched 96 mph with a changeup, a slider, and a curveball, going 3.2 innings for the Diablos Rojos, allowing four runs, all of them earned, on four hits, striking out two and walking none. He threw 68 pitches, 48 of which were strikes, in his first regular season appearance in Mexico.

It wasn’t a great outing for Bauer, who missed time during spring training when he fell ill after making a start against the New York Yankees in Mexico City on March 24. He threw three shutout innings, allowing four hits, walking two, and striking out three in that appearance against the Yankees.

After allowing a single up the middle on the game’s first pitch to Quintana Roo’s Carlos Figueroa, Bauer induced a ground out from Roberto Caro on the 10th pitch of the at-bat, the longest of his evening. He followed that by getting Reynaldo Rodriguez to strike out swinging. Angel Erro followed with an RBI single to put the Tigres up 1-0.

Bauer’s best inning of the night was the top of the second, when he retired the side in order, getting former Major Leaguer Alcides Escobar to fly out to right field on the ninth pitch of the at-bat, striking out Noah Perio on four pitches, and getting Alexis Wilson to ground out to short on a 3-2 fastball.

I throw a lot of first-pitch cutters up in the zone,” Bauer said. “They move enough that I get a lot of takes on and I wasn’t getting those takes tonight. I was a little rusty on my reads on hitters too. With the ball breaking less, it was hard to read the swings.”

At times, Bauer had trouble finding the plate, especially with breaking pitches – which isn’t entirely surprising, given the altitude at which Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu sits. The ballpark is approximately 7,300 feet above sea level, or slightly more than 2,000 feet higher than Coors Field in Denver, the highest ballpark in Major League Baseball. In thinner air, a pitched ball will break less, as the air’s density and the ball’s spin determine how much a pitch will break.

The breaks are a little bit different,” Bauer said after the game. “I know that, so I just need to get a couple more games under my belt to get used to how to use my pitches.”

He allowed three runs in the top of the third when infielder Demetrius Sims, a speedy former Miami Marlins prospect, singled on the first pitch of the inning, a 94 mph fastball. Figueroa followed with a single of his own, and then Caro laid down a bunt. Bauer fielded the ball cleanly and fired to third, hoping to get the lead runner Sims, but the ball squirted past Diablos’ third baseman Jose Rondon and into foul territory, allowing Sims to score. Two batters later, Erro ripped a two-run double to the gap.

Diablos Rojos manager Lorenzo Bundy told the media last week that Bauer was likely to pitch three innings after getting sick and being unable to complete his workout plan.

I got sick, I missed two starts for spring training,” Bauer said. “So I really don’t have any experience up here. So, I’ll get it figured out. But tonight was not my best night, that’s for sure.”

Bauer took the mound to start the fourth and allowed a single to Perio, then got Wilson to ground into a 5-4-3 double play. Sims followed with a double, his second hit of the night off the former Cy Young winner, which drew manager Lorenzo Bundy from the dugout to pull Bauer in favor of Alemo Hernandez.

Behind 4-2 when Bauer left, the Diablos Rojos battled back behind a pair of homers by Julio Ornelas and a 4-for-4 night from Robinson Cano to win the game 8-5 and improve to 4-0 on the young season.

Bauer last appeared in Major League Baseball on June 28, 2021, allowing eight hits and a walk in six innings of work for Los Angeles at Dodgers Stadium, striking out eight and allowing two earned runs in a 3-2 win against the San Francisco Giants.

A year earlier, he had won the National League Cy Young Award with the Cincinnati Reds in the COVID-19 Pandemic shortened 2020 season. He made 17 starts with the Dodgers in 2021, posting a 2.59 ERA and striking out 137 in 107.2 innings.

The UCLA product signed a three-year, $102-million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2021. Still, he was placed on administrative leave shortly after that start against the Giants and later received the harshest suspension in MLB history under the league’s domestic violence policy. This 324-game ban was later reduced to 192 games by an arbitrator following an MLB investigation into allegations of sexual assault made by a San Diego woman and two women in Ohio, where Bauer had previously pitched for Cleveland and Cincinnati.

He pitched for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars in 2023, appearing in 19 games and posting a 10-4 record with a 3.03 ERA, striking out 130 batters in 130.2 innings of work.

NOTEBOOK: Trevor Bauer is the ninth pitcher to have played in the LMB before or after winning a Cy Young Award. The others were Warren Spahn, who played for the Tigres in 1966; Mike Cuellar, who played for the Sultanes de Monterrey in 1962; Fernando Valenzuela, who pitched for the Leones de Yucatan and the Charros de Jalisco; Mike Scott, who pitched for the Rieleros de Aguascalientes in 1979; and Bartolo Colon, who pitched for the Acereros de Monclova in 2021. … The Diablos’ other pitcher in exile, Tomohiro Anraku, pitched the seventh, striking out Caro and getting Rodriguez to fly out. He then allowed consecutive singles to Erro and Luis Barrera and sent his first offering to Alcides Escobar to the backstop, allowing Erro and Barrera to advance. A single by Escobar scored Erro and ended Anraku’s LMB debut. A native of Ehime Prefecture, Japan, Anraku was released by Nippon Professional Baseball’s Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles after last season when allegations of hazing were leveled against him by younger players.