CLEVELAND — Trevor Bauer is back on his normal schedule and aims to pitch in Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday.
Whether or not the Cleveland Indians will opt for Bauer, who left his last outing on Oct. 17 when a wound on his right hand began to bleed uncontrollably, remains to be seen. The status of Bauer’s mangled right pinky is still in question after he suffered a drone-related injury that required several stitches and resulted in a bloody mess during Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. Bauer threw off the mound as scheduled during Monday’s pre-World Series workout at Progressive Field. The Cubs and Indians open the 112th World Series on Tuesday night and Bauer could pitch the following night if all is well, though manager Terry Francona hasn’t committed to any plan thus far.
“When he gets through that, we'll know a lot more,” Francona said. “The hope is that he's ready to pitch on Wednesday. But if there's any ambiguity or any questions, we'll bump him back to Game 3.”
Bauer suffered the injury several days before the Game 3 start at the Rogers Centre. Bauer thought he could pitch anyway despite the injury after he successfully navigated his pre-start routine. Not only did he throw a bullpen and play long toss, Bauer humped his fastball up to 95 mph and felt as if he had good stuff when he faced the Toronto Blue Jays. But 21 pitches into his start, Bauer began to bleed uncontrollably and was ultimately pulled from the start.
“It was a big letdown for me because I felt like I had a good chance to go out and be successful and help the team,” Bauer said.
The Indians won Game 3 as the bullpen delivered 8 1/3 strong innings after Bauer exited. He has since worked closely with the training staff and has prepared like he normally does. Bauer requested Monday’s round of live batting practice to shake off some of the rust and is hopeful Francona calls upon him on Wednesday.
“I’m preparing how I normally prepare for a start and they’ll tell me when I’m going to go out there and pitch,” Bauer said. “We’re targeting (Game) 2, but again, it’s Terry’s decision and we’ll know more as game time approaches.
“Everything is going good.”
The Indians have Josh Tomlin waiting in the wings if Bauer isn’t ready. If that were the case, Tomlin would start Game 2 and Bauer would receive the nod in Game 3 in Chicago on Friday night.
CLEVELAND — Buoyed by a sense of the history that will be made sometime next week, Cleveland Indians first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli was rooting for the Cubs to win the National League Championship Series and be his team’s opponent in the World Series.
Napoli, who was on the losing side of the 2011 World Series with the Texas Rangers and won the 2013 World Series with the Boston Red Sox, said he’s well aware of the stigmas attached to the Cubs’ 108-year championship drought and the Indians’ 68-year stretch without a title. Having these two teams meet to have one of those streaks end should provide a breathtaking backdrop to the Fall Classic.
“That’s the reason why I wanted the Cubs to win, to play against them,” Napoli said. “What they’ve gone through — I thought it would be an amazing scenery to be able to play in both of these stadiums at this time. I thought it would be something cool.”
Napoli added that he has plenty of friends on the Cubs stemming from his three seasons in Boston. He was teammates with Cubs starters Jon Lester and John Lackey and catcher David Ross in that championship-winning year of 2013.
But the magnitude of what’s on the line for not only the Indians’ fanbase, but the Cubs’, is why Napoli wanted this to be the matchup in the World Series.
“They’ve gone through a long wait,” Napoli said, “so it’s pretty cool for them to make it.”