Indians switch starting pitchers for Game 2
CLEVELAND — Trevor Bauer, the Cleveland Indians' starting pitcher in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, was knocked out before it even began — by Trevor Bauer.
Or, more accurately, by a drone he was cleaning.
Bauer, a devotee of drones, has been scratched from his scheduled start in Game 2 after suffering a lacerated small finger on his right hand while doing some “routine maintenance” on the drone, according to Indians manager Terry Francona. The wound required several stitches on the outside of the finger.
“This was not malicious,” Francona said. “He wasn't doing something that, I mean, he could have been opening a box in the kitchen. Things happen. I wish it wouldn't have, but it wasn't done maliciously. It wasn't done by being silly. It just happened.”
Because it happened, Josh Tomlin, who was scheduled to start the third game of the series, will now start in place of Bauer in Game 2. Bauer's start has been moved back to Game 3, which will be played Monday in Toronto.
Francona said Indians doctors believe that two extra days of rest should be enough to allow Bauer to make that start Monday. In the meantime, Tomlin will try to extend the momentum the Indians gained from a brilliantly pitched Game 1 on Friday night, when starter Corey Kluber and relievers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen combined on a seven-hit shutout in a 2-0 victory.
The Blue Jays will also be dealing with an injury in Game 2, perhaps an injury even worse than Bauer's. Toronto second baseman Devon Travis was removed from Friday's game in the fifth inning with a leg injury. Travis injured a knee while covering first base on a bunt in the fifth inning. He immediately left the game.
“It hurts pretty bad,” Travis said. “I felt good going into the game. I covered first on that bunt and jarred my knee a little bit. I felt a super sharp pain in my knee and it felt like it was going to give out a little bit.”
Travis, who missed Games 3 and 4 of the Division Series with Texas because of a right knee bruise, will have an MRI on Saturday.
The Blue Jays added infielder Ryan Goins to their ALCS roster as an insurance against Travis not being able to play and probably didn't think they were going to have to make the switch this soon. Goins will almost certainly start at second base in Game 2.
The pitching matchup will be Tomlin against Toronto left-hander J.A. Happ. Tomlin is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in the postseason. In his last start, he pitched five innings and was the winning pitcher in the Indians' Division Series-clinching 4-3 victory over the Red Sox in Boston last Monday.
“It doesn't affect me at all,” Tomlin said of his start being moved up one day. “It will be on my fifth day. I'll be on normal rest.”
Happ, 33, has had a career year, going 20-4 with a 3.18 ERA. His one start against the Indians was a beauty. In a 17-1 win on July 3, he pitched seven innings, allowing one run and five hits with 11 strikeouts and no walks. In six career appearances (five starts) against Cleveland, he is 3-1 with a 2.86 ERA.
“I didn't expect him to win 20 games, to be honest with you,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “He's come together in the later stage of his career and I figure he'll be good for a number of years to come.”
Tomlin was 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA in two starts against Toronto this year. In five career starts against the Blue Jays, he is 1-1 with a 5.53 ERA.