The Doubleday Double Talk Game of the Day for Thursday, April 4th goes to the day’s match featuring the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cleveland Indians in Progressive Field. Thanks to a stellar combined effort by Cleveland pitchers Trevor Bauer, Jon Edwards, and Brad Hand that flirted with a combined no-hitter.
Trevor Bauer started the game for the Tribe and despite control issues that resulted in a staggering six walks in seven innings, Bauer kept the Blue Jays from recording a hit throughout his entire outing.
Bauer got himself into some trouble in the top of the third when he walked Freddy Galvis, hit Alen Hanson, and walked Brandon Drury, loading the bases with no outs. Bauer came right back and struck out Socrates Brito and Randal Grichuk, and got Rowdy Tellez to fly out to center. From then on it was smooth sailing for Bauer.
In the bottom of the fourth, Jake Bauers and Carlos Santana opened the inning with singles and Brad Miller walked to load the bases. Then, Greg Allen hit a chopper to first baseman Lourdes Gurriel and after it skipped off his glove, his only play was a force at second, allowing Bauers to score to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead. Catcher Roberto Perez hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring in Santana for a 2-0 Cleveland lead.
With all the run support he would need, Bauer would continue to hold Toronto hitless through the seventh.
While the Indians did not need it with Bauer dealing, Cleveland continued to tack on runs and made it 4-0 game after scoring two runs in the seventh on a Jose Ramirez sac fly and a bases-loaded walk to Brad Miller.
Bauer came out after the seventh inning after giving up no hits and striking out eight. He threw 117 pitches on the night and manager Terry Francona reluctantly pulled the star pitcher from the game.
“I didn’t want to take him out,” said Francona. “He said he knew it was the right thing. I told him I hate it. He goes, ‘I hate it too, but I know it’s the right thing.’
While he was reluctant, pulling Bauer was the logical and correct move in Francona’s eyes.
“No, he was coming out,” said Francona. “We made the decision right when the inning was over.”
“I care too much about him and this organization to hurt somebody. I would have loved to have seen it because I don’t doubt that he woulda kept pitching and probably not given up a hit the way he was throwing,” Francona continued. “I just have an obligation to do the right thing even when it’s not the funnest thing to do.”
Bauer expressed his consent over the move after the game as well.
“I figured … 117 pitches is a lot to throw at any time of the year,” said Bauer, who has allowed one run in 14 innings this season. “I got myself into trouble with a lot of deep counts and free passes. Yeah, it was the right decision.”
Jon Edwards would come in for Bauers and record the first two outs of the eighth but walked two and hit a batter. Brad Hand was called upon to get the last out of the inning and with a full count and the bases loaded, Hand was able to get Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to pop out to second base.
The no-no was still intact going into the ninth, but to lead off the ninth inning, Freddy Galvis, who had been walked three times prior to this at-bat, laced a single to right to end the no-hitter. Teoscar Hernández would hit a double with runners on first and second and Galvis would score the first and only run of the game as the Indians hold on to win the game.
If Cleveland had prevented the Blue Jays from recording a hit, today’s game would have been the first combined no-hitter in Indians history and the first no-hitter for the franchise since Lenny Barker threw a perfect game against Toronto on May 15, 1981. Unfortunately, that was not the case tonight.
The Indians now improve to an even 3-3 on the year while the Blue Jays fall to 3-5.