Dodgers' Trevor Bauer on Encouraging Booing Giants Fans: 'It Just Feeds Me'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 22, 2021

El abridor de los Dodgers de Los Ángeles Trevor Bauer reacciona a las burlas del público tras ser sustituido por un relevista en el séptimo inning del juego de la MLB que enfrentó a su equipo con los Gigantes de San Francisco, el 21 de mayo de 2021, en San Francisco. (AP Foto/D. Ross Cameron)
AP Foto/D. Ross Cameron

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Trevor Bauer has never been shy about playing the role of the villain, and he showed that again Friday during a 2-1 win over the San Francisco Giants.

When Bauer left the game in the seventh inning after 6.1 innings of two-hit baseball, he was booed by the Giants faithful at Oracle Park. Bauer decided to embrace it by cupping his hand to his ear and raising his arms.

According to ESPN's Alden Gonzalez, Bauer said the following when asked about his reaction after the game: "They're gonna hate me anyway, so might as well lean into it. I like when the crowd's into it. It makes the moment feel bigger, and I perform better in those moments. It just feeds me."

Bauer allowed just two hits and one unearned run while striking out 11, which lowered his ERA to 1.98 in his first season with the Dodgers.

The Dodgers needed a great outing from Bauer one night after using seven relievers in a game, and Bauer threw 126 pitches while largely shutting down the rival Giants.

Bauer was opposed by Alex Wood, who is a former Dodger and spent some time as Bauer's teammate with the Cincinnati Reds in 2019. Wood said: "I'm sure Giants fans will love to hate Trevor, and he'll love that they hate him."

The 30-year-old Bauer won his first Cy Young Award last season after going 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 100 strikeouts in 73 innings over 11 starts.

Bauer is on a similar pace this season through 10 starts, going 5-2 with a 1.98 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 88 strikeouts in 63.2 innings.

Friday's game was the first matchup between the Dodgers and Giants this season, and there was plenty of energy in Oracle Park.

With the win, L.A. moved to within one game of the division lead with a 27-18 record. The Giants and San Diego Padres are tied atop the NL West at 28-17.

The decision to sign Bauer during the offseason raised some eyebrows since the Dodgers already had a stacked rotation led by Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw, but the move has paid dividends thus far.

Following Bauer's strong performance Friday, the Dodgers will look to follow it up with another win Saturday when Buehler takes the mound.