Dodgers’ Bauer pitches to Padres with 1 eye shut

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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Trevor Bauer immersed himself right into a budding rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres with one eye closed.

The Dodgers’ prized offseason acquisition navigated by his first inning in opposition to the Padres on Saturday afternoon by pitching largely together with his proper eye closed, a coaching technique he mentioned he makes use of incessantly as a method to make himself uncomfortable.

“I figured if they cannot rating off me with one eye open, it is gonna be tough to attain off me with two eyes open,” Bauer mentioned after throwing three scoreless innings from the Dodgers’ facility. “Simply having slightly little bit of enjoyable.”

Bauer did not go into specifics for why he often chooses to maintain a watch closed, although Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts talked about that it had one thing to do with recalibrating his command.

“I believe there may need been one curveball I believe he did with each eyes closed,” Roberts mentioned whereas holding his laughter. “I do not know, however there’s a technique to his insanity.”

Bauer, 30, mentioned he routinely retains at the very least one eye closed in bullpen classes, whereas taking part in lengthy toss and when dealing with hitters over the offseason, including that he likes “making myself uncomfortable and throwing completely different stuff my approach and looking for an answer for it.”

Bauer gave up a single to Jurickson Profar to start his outing, capping a nine-pitch at-bat, then issued a stroll to Tommy Pham earlier than retiring the subsequent three batters, the final two on strikeouts. Over the subsequent two innings — with each eyes open, apparently — he retired six of the seven hitters he confronted.

The Padres have been coming off a Friday night time sport and did not play most of their starters, which meant Bauer did not get one other crack at third baseman Manny Machado, who’s famously batting .588/.667/.1.412 in opposition to him in 17 profession plate appearances. Bauer beforehand made a YouTube video analyzing Machado’s success in opposition to him, and Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman joked concerning the need to determine one thing out in opposition to Machado shortly after signing Bauer to a three-year, $102 million contract final month.

Bauer joked that Machado was “already ducking me” by not making the journey.

When the video games start counting, Bauer mentioned he’ll have loads of possibilities in opposition to him.

“Simply wait,” Bauer mentioned behind a wry smile. “It is gonna be a enjoyable yr.”