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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Braves star responds after Trevor Bauer critiques team’s approach

Trevor Bauer

Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer did not seem impressed with how the Atlanta Braves approached him in Saturday’s game, and one of their key players is responding.

Bauer said it “didn’t seem like [the Braves] wanted to hit” after Atlanta took a patient, grinding approach in Saturday’s game, elevating the Cleveland right-hander’s pitch count early on. Bauer allowed only three hits in 6 1/3 innings, but needed 120 pitches to do so. Atlanta’s approach was rewarded, as they came back against the Cleveland bullpen in an 8-7 victory.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman didn’t understand what Bauer’s point was, and defended his team’s approach.

“We heard that,” Freeman said, via Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com. “It makes no sense. I don’t think he even knows what he was saying. It’s 40 degrees out. He’s a good pitcher, and we’re going to try to work you. I think we’re [usually] one of the most free-swinging teams there is. I think that comment is just … he hasn’t done his research.”

Bauer’s comments don’t make a lot of sense. It’s a perfectly valid approach to work a starter and try to drive up his pitch count and force an early exit, and that’s what Atlanta did. This is also a guy who isn’t shy about being critical of his peers, so it perhaps isn’t a surprise. Bauer will certainly be unhappy he couldn’t pitch deeper into the game to help his team win, but he can’t blame the Braves for approaching things the way they did.

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