Back on June 6, Twins outfielder Max Kepler had a three-homer game against Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer in Cleveland. On Saturday back at Progressive Field (MIN-CLE GameTracker), Kepler and Bauer met again. Here's how that went:
And Kepler's next time up:
So, yeah, that's five home runs in his last five at-bats against Bauer. That's the first time in MLB history that's happened within a single season:
And if you count across seasons, it's the first time it's happened in almost 60 years:
Max Kepler’s streak of 5 consecutive ABs with a HR vs Trevor Bauer is the longest such streak against the same pitcher since 1961.— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) July 14, 2019
He matches Carlos Delgado vs Jorge Sosa (2003-04) and Frank Howard vs Bob Hendley (1963-64).
h/t: @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/F3y6WjNRjh
Back on June 6, Kepler homered on a fastball, slider, and changeup from Bauer. On Saturday, he turned around a fastball and then a 79-mph curve. On the other hand, Bauer also throws cutter and a very occasional sinker, and Kepler hasn't homered off those yet.
Mr. Bauer, your thoughts?
Anyhow, Bauer struck out Kepler in the fourth inning, thus ending the streak, but not before history was made. There's owning the opposition, and then there's giving your foe a thorough, deep-tissue Keplering. This is a rarely glimpsed example of the latter.
Overall, Kepler in his breakout 2019 season is batting .266/.338/.538 with 23 home runs and standout defense in right field. Bauer is also having a strong 2019, recent and ruthless Keplering aside.