Dodgers News: Trevor Bauer Wants ‘Fair Playing Field’ With Sticky Substances Rule

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Trevor Bauer made his first start since Major League Baseball reportedly decided to strongly enforce their rules against pitchers using banned substances, taking the loss as the Los Angeles Dodgers fell 4-2 to the Atlanta Braves.

Bauer went six innings and allowed three runs on six hits while striking out seven and walking four. His average fastball spin rate dropped by a little more than 200 revolutions per minute but his velocity remained the same.

“The ball was coming out fine. All I’ve ever wanted was to be on a fair playing field, so if MLB is going to be consistent with that, then I thought the ball was coming out fine,” Bauer initially said when asked about spin rates and foreign substances.

“I want to compete on a fair playing field. I think everyone wants to compete on a fair playing field. So if they’re serious about actually doing something about the rule that’s on the books, then that’s all I’ve wanted for four years.

It’s nice to see them finally catching up to something I have been talking to them about for four years. We’ll see what they do. Unfortunately, at MLB, a lot of times nothing gets done until their hand gets forced and it becomes a public issue. Hopefully the game gets cleaned up. That’s all we all want.

“We just want to know what the rules are, know what’s going to be enforced and compete on a fair playing field. I guess the ball is in their court to see what they actually do about it.”

Despite MLB trying to slow the use of banned substances, Bauer said players are not aware of what the rules and enforcement are right now. “We’ve heard a whole bunch of stuff and it always changes day to day. “No one knows what the rules right now, apparently. Including MLB and the commissioner,” he said.

“It would be nice as players to know what rules we’re competing by and what rules are going to be enforced. But as everyone knows, a rule that’s written down but never enforced, is not a rule. So it’d be nice to have some clarity on what the rules of the game are that we’re playing under, since it’s changed about four times in the past week or so.”

When asked if he can still be an elite pitcher if foreign substances are regulated and use leads to punishment, Bauer said, “Go look at the 2018 numbers and tell me what you think.”

In 2018, he threw 175.1 innings with a 2.21 ERA, 2.44 FIP with 221 strikeouts.

Bauer enjoyed facing Braves

Bauer’s start against the Braves on Sunday was the first time he has faced them since the 2020 Wild Card Series while he was with the Cincinnati Reds. In that outing, Bauer pitched 7.2 shutout innings while striking out 12, but the Reds’ offense was unable to score as the Braves won 1-0 in 13 innings.

“It’s fun. I like facing these guys because they’ve got a lot of good hitters and they’re a great team. It’s fun matching up with Ronald, fun matching up with Ozzie, Freddie, Dansby and all the different guys. They’re really good and I like competing against the best guys. It’s challenging and it makes you think,” Bauer said after the game.

“You can’t just get away with throwing the same stuff. You’ve got to think about sequences and all that. Matching up with Max, I think we matched up against each other in the Wild Card game too. So it was fun. I enjoy games like that. I enjoyed getting to have a little fun with Ronald. I told him in the offseason that I would punch him out with one eye open, and I actually accomplished it. That was probably the only fun part of the day.”

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