The Cleveland Indians kept the New York Yankees off of home-plate on Thursday night in Game 1 Of their ALDS series. Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer had an impressive outing and had one of the best nights of his career:
Can you remember having better stuff in a game, a Major League game, than you’ve had today?
TREVOR BAUER: Yeah, I can remember a lot of games where I had better stuff. Actually, probably the best stuff I had was last year in Chicago, and I gave up five runs in like 5 1/3 innings.
So I had good stuff. I located well. Mostly my curveball was good from the get-go. I’ve done a lot of work in the offseason on that pitch. I worked with guys, the drive line on it and make sure it’s a plus pitch for me, and it really worked well from the outset tonight. So I think that was a huge difference-maker.
Q. Trevor, just in hindsight, what did it mean to you personally to have a manager with a pedigree of Terry Francona to give you the trust to put you out there in a Game 1, especially when you have Kluber, who’s the probable Cy Young guy.
TREVOR BAUER: I got a little taste of it last year. Obviously, there was different circumstances last year that we were dealing with. So I guess, to that point, it wasn’t a huge shock or — you know, I had a little bit of experience with it, which made it easier to deal with. Obviously, having the confidence — him having the confidence in me to start me is big, but like I said earlier, it’s just baseball. Whenever I pitch, the process is the same. You come up with a game plan, you talk about it, you get on the same page with everybody, you go out there, you try to execute it, and then the results are going to be what they are, and tonight was a good night for us.
Q. Trevor, you mentioned a couple days ago that you were kind of depressed at the beginning of the year, not enjoying yourself. Does that make you appreciate this that much more and make this that much more satisfying?
TREVOR BAUER: In a way. I mean, this is satisfying on its own regardless of my history or my personal life or whatever. Being able to come together with a group of guys and go out there and win on the biggest stage baseball has to offer is extremely satisfying.
Maybe after the season, when I look back at it and reflect on the season as a whole, I’ll have a better answer for that question. Tonight, I don’t know exactly. I haven’t had time to kind of analyze everything to give you a better answer than that.
Q. Trevor, you talked about the postseason and how momentum can swing so quickly in a game. Being through the postseason for the first time last year, were you able to take something from that, carry that over into tonight after experiencing that kind of situation?
TREVOR BAUER: I think so. Like I said before, though, it’s nothing necessarily consciously. It’s not like I look at last year and say, oh, I learned this specific thing. It’s more like a comfortability with the surroundings and the environment, knowing that the crowd’s going to be into it.
Like, so when I’m in the bullpen and they’re announcing the starting lineups, I’m playing catch, it’s super easy to get like excited and amped up. Your heart starts beating pretty quickly. You have an adrenaline rush, and it’s pretty easy to let that get out of the control, and maybe you throw a lot harder in the bullpen than normal. Maybe you’re more focused on the crowd noise than you are normally.
So knowing those things were going to happen going into the game, I was a little bit more prepared to deal with them as they occurred. But, again, that’s something that I kind of realize in the moment. It’s not something where I think like going in, like, okay, I’m going to have to do this or this or this. I’m just more prepared for the overall ambience of the whole postseason.
Q. Trevor, as you’re going through that game, does it register I have a no-hitter going in the playoffs here?
TREVOR BAUER: No, not at all. The mindset was to go out there like a closer in the first inning and put up a scoreless inning at all costs. And then if I was still in the game, do it again in the second inning and the third and on until I was taken out of the game. So no-hitter, ten hitter, or whatever, that was the mindset. I never really strayed from that.
Q. How much did you enjoy going — the first inning, being able to set the tone, kind of establish your pitches right there. You get to strikeout Judge and Sanchez. It looked like you took a moment to collect yourself right there after the second strikeout.
TREVOR BAUER: I was a little off balance. I was kind of like falling. So I took a second to kind of catch my balance physically.
But, yeah, it was big. My curveball was good from the start. I’ve had quite a few starts this year where I spray curveballs around and I can’t locate it where I need to until maybe the third or fourth inning. So I did a little bit more work on that in between starts, knowing that, again, the mindset being to be a closer and go out there, and I may or may not get very deep in the game, but I need to have my best pitch working for me early. So I did a little extra work on that to try to ensure that was the case, and fortunately it was. I was able to throw that pitch pretty much from the outset.
And when that pitch is good for me, I tend to have a pretty good night. So thankfully, it turned out that way again.