It didn’t start all that bad for Bauer. He allowed a leadoff double to start the game, but then retired nine consecutive batters–striking out five of them.
But starting in the the fourth inning, Bauer’s biggest weakness came to light. Control. Bauer committed a throwing error, walked three and threw a wild pitch while Mississippi rallied against him for 6 runs, 6 earned, over the next 3 innings. After dominating Double-A to start his season, Tuesday was the second straight less than stellar appearance for Bauer–he allowed 4 runs, 3 earned, in his start last Thursday.
It’s tough to conclude that Bauer’s control issue are the cause of his lastest scuffles, as he also allowed 14 walks in the 22.1 innings of his first 4 starts. His strikeouts certainly aren’t an issue since he has struck out 9 in each of his last 2 starts. The only glaring diffences is his opponent batting average against. After failing to ever hit above .235 in any of his first four start, Bauer’s opponents have batted .273 and .320 in the last two contest. It’s certainly not better hitting opponents as Mississippi is the lowest scoring team in the Southern League. Hopefully, it’s more a case of Bauer just missing his marks rather than a matter of teams figuring out a flaw in Bauer’s game as more tape at a professional level is accumulated on him.
In all honestly, Bauer can’t be expected to pitch 7 innings of shutout ball like he did his first start. Nor will he often be pitching 6 innings of mediocre–but not terrible–4 or 5 run baseball. He’ll likely be somewhere in the middle, which eventually will be enough to get him to the majors at some point this year. Just don’t hold your breath D-Backs fans.