If there was a list of MLB hitters that Cleveland Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer didn’t want to yield a home run to, Alex Bregman might be near the top. Unfortunately for the outspoken pitcher, that’s exactly what happened in Game 2 of the ALDS.
Facing Bregman in relief during the seventh inning, Bauer allowed a no-doubter off the third baseman that put the Houston Astros up 3-1 in a game that gave them a commanding 2-0 lead in the first round of the MLB playoffs.
Alex Bregman takes Trevor Bauer deep in ALDS
The homer was Bregman’s second this series and his sixth homer in four career postseason series. The other pitchers he’s gone deep against? Chris Sale (twice), Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen and Corey Kluber.
Allowing a homer in the postseason is tough for any pitcher, but in the case of Bauer and Bregman, insult had already come well before the injury.
‘Tyler’ Bauer’s past squabble with the Astros
First, Kyle Boddy, a private MLB pitching coach and consultant that often works with Bauer, noted a “weird coincidence” in which several Astros’ pitchers’ spin rates spiked as soon as they joined the Astros.
Chewing gum? Also spit balls would reduce spin theoretically. Anyway, what a weird coincidence you have discovered. 🤔 https://t.co/t7noehg4ui
— Kyle Boddy (@drivelinebases) May 1, 2018
Bauer responded to the tweet with a brigade of thinking emojis and soon alluded to a theoretical competitive advantage a team could get if they could, somehow, surreptitiously increase a pitcher’s spin rate. Basically, he was accusing the Astros pitchers of using pine tar to get more grip on the baseball.
If only there was just a really quick way to increase spin rate. Like what if you could trade for a player knowing that you could bump his spin rate a couple hundred rpm overnight…imagine the steals you could get on the trade market! If only that existed…
— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) May 1, 2018
Such an accusation naturally drew the ire of the Astros. Pitchers Lance McCullers Jr. and Collin McHugh got their own licks in, chalking up the spin rate spikes to good coaching, but then Bregman moved in for the kill.
Relax Tyler … those World Series balls spin a little different…. 😭 https://t.co/MZ7iIPXhbC
— Alex Bregman (@ABREG_1) May 1, 2018
Five months later, Bregman was doing to Bauer what he had already did online: taking him deep.
Neither player was interested in revisiting the online barbing after the game, but someone out there on the internet clearly remembered.
Wait, who did this?! 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/WrUSIpOSv0
— Yahoo Sports MLB (@MLByahoosports) October 7, 2018
More from Yahoo Sports:
• TomBrady throws 500th career TD in win vs. Colts
• LeBron sports Kaepernick shirt during NBA preseason
• Tim Brown: Braves understanding October’s cruelty
• Dan Wetzel: Underbelly of college hoops is being exposed