If you follow the day-to-day musings of D-backs pitching prospect Trevor Bauer on Twitter, you might have already noticed the "BauerOutage"
nickname he uses online.
Given to him back in the day when he was the ace of the Hart Indians High School team, the moniker seems just as fitting now as it did six years ago.
MLB.com's No. 9 prospect struck out a career-best 11 batters over 5 2/3 innings Tuesday night to lead the Double-A Mobile BayBears to a 3-2 victory over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
"I struck out double-digit numbers in high school and college all the time, and hopefully I can do that a lot more here too," Bauer said. "I wouldn't say I consider myself to be a strikeout pitcher, but I do know I have all the weapons to strike guys out.
"I'm not trying to strike people out on an 0-1 or 2-1 count or anything like that, but I know that if I can get to two strikes, a strikeout gives them the least chance of putting the ball in play. Ground balls are good and popups are better, but strikeouts are the best."
Bauer stranded two baserunners in the first inning on the back after allowing a two-out single to Henry Rodriguze, a wild pitch and a seven-pitch walk to Mike Costanzo, but he fanned Cody Puckett to erase the threat.
He struck out three consecutive batters in the second, one more in the third and another two in the fourth to keep the game scoreless. Bauer then worked around a leadoff walk to Mark Fleury in the fifth with consecutive strikeouts, and he whiffed two more Blue Wahoos after walking Costanzo again in the sixth.
Bauer exited after throwing 100 pitches -- 59 for strikes -- and reliever Taylor Sinclair induced an inning-ending ground ball off the bat of Ryan LaMarre to close the book on Bauer's night.
"I think I was pretty efficient tonight. I was getting ahead of guys and finishing them off with two strikes," Bauer said. "The four walks were frustrating, but I finally had a feel for my curveball and I felt like I really had control of it for the first time.
"I was mixing all of my pitches in early in the counts and I was able to put people away with my curveball and fastball. If I can maintain that, I'll be happy."
The outing gives the UCLA product his second solid outing of the season.
On Thursday, he scattered two hits and three walks over five scoreless innings against the Mississippi Braves in his season debut. His 18 strikeouts lead the Minors through the first week of the season, while his .114 batting average against ranks fourth in the Southern League.
A Bauer outage, indeed.
"My teammate Andy Marks gave it to me," the 21-year-old said of the pun. "It originated back in high school. He was just joking around, but it kinda stuck. It was pretty cool when he came up with it. I had heard 'Bauer Power' and all those before, but this was new. I'm glad it stuck."
On Tuesday, BayBears second baseman David Nick and third baseman Matt Davidson each went 2-for-4 with a run scored, while catcher Ed Easley and Kyle Greene both had RBIs in a three-run fourth that put Mobile ahead for good.
Pensacola's Pedro Villarreal (0-1) allowed three runs -- one earned -- on four hits while striking out five over six innings in the loss.