I Was There: Cal State Fullerton Hits Lots Of Home Runs

(Editor’s note: This was supposed to go up on the weekend. This is not your Monday morning post. Reschedule — or don’t — accordingly.)

And no, that title’s not an innuendo, because they beat my Bruins, dammit, and I don’t want to hear a word about how epically hard they pounded the ball in the first few innings. Observe:

Score by Innings                      R  H  E
---------------------------------------------
Cal State Fullerton. 021 020 000 1 -  6  9  0
UCLA................ 000 000 500 0 -  5 10  0
---------------------------------------------

So there you have it. Their first 5 runs were scored by the longball (which, by the way, some chicks certainly do NOT dig), and their last one scored on a sac fly. Here’s how that last run went down.

Some guy named Colon hits a double, at which point I inform the person sitting next to me that Bartolo Colon 1) Gave up runs today and 2) Is bad. Some guy named Brown strikes out, drawing a mixture of cheers and boos. Colon steals third, but it’s kind of lame because the UCLA catcher, Gino Aielli, has time to throw him out but throws the ball high enough that the third baseman doesn’t have time to get the tag down. Someone named Fellhauer flies out to left, and the throw home gets there in time but Aielli can’t hold onto the ball (at which point I’m very temped to scream “AIELLI you son of a bitch can’t you do ANYTHING right!” but instead settle for insulting the umpire). In case you care, the next guy (Clark) worked a full count before striking out to end the inning.

UCLA, of course, did not manage to get their shit together, and they went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 10th despite an Ecksteinian slide into first base from epic pinch-hitter Brett Krill. (He was out, but certainly not for lack of trying.)

But I present to you, the story of the night, Trevor Bauer. You might be hearing me talk about him quite a bit — I happen to think he’s one of the three or four coolest people in all of Los Angeles — and although he gave up a few home runs, he settled down epically. Here’s his line for the night:

UCLA                   IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Bauer, Trevor.......  9.0  8  5  5  2  8 32 36 136

Yes, that’s 136 pitches. It was his third consecutive game in which he pitched 9 innings — the other two were complete game wins.

He’s a 2-time Pac-10 Pitcher Of The Week, plus a whole bunch of other awards, and he’s currently the anchor in the rotation, the one guy who can be relied upon to keep you in the game if you’re good enough to put yourself in it in the first place.

Okay, so that makes no sense. But he’s still better than Yankees first-round pick (and teammate) Gerrit Cole in every aspect of the game except strikeouts, in which Cole has the advantage, and hitting, for which I just don’t have any data. Based on patterns I’ve already observed, I’ll assume Bauer’s much better at that, too. (So he doesn’t wear his socks up. That’s pretty much the only bad thing I can say about him.)

You see, Cole doesn’t profile as a pitcher. He can throw, that’s for sure (as evidenced by all the strikeouts), but he walks guys (2.8 K:BB rate to Bauer’s 4.0) and, most importantly, gives up more runs (3.56 ERA to Bauer’s 2.90) and more baserunners (1.123 WHIP to Bauer’s 1.048). Which leaves me one conclusion: Trevor Bauer is the ace of the team. Sure, Cole’s got the hype and the higher heat. But I’ve never seen an ace with K:BB under 3 and an ERA over 3.5, so there you go. And plus, look, he’s got gorgeous mechanics.

(I just want to add that today, I finally gave in and bought myself a -12 DeMarini Vendetta. Yes, I’m an equipment nerd. What of it? Anyway, the Vendetta feels great hitting off the tee, and I’m taking it to the cages sometime in the next couple days. Wait… there’s no way people are still reading this, right? More photos next time, I promise.)

2 thoughts on “I Was There: Cal State Fullerton Hits Lots Of Home Runs

  1. Mr. Bauer sounds quite impressive. Of course, I do have a soft spot for complete game pitchers and quality mechanics (which I suppose is a bit redundant).

    And is it sad that I wish there was a picture of the bat as well? I used to dream of getting a DeMarini.

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