Trevor Bauer shook off his catcher EIGHT times before pitching to Joey Votto
The pitch ended up being a slider for a ball and Votto would fly out later in the at-bat. Votto was 0-for-4 against Bauer in the game -- but seemed to take pleasure in the mind-game battles during each plate appearance. Of course he would, he's Joey Votto.
Bauer talked to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian about the overall battle and the eight-pitch shake-off postgame:
"He's a good hitter, man. It's like a chess match. Because he can hit everything. He studies the tape. Sets pitchers up over the game. He's an intelligent guy. I know him a little bit. I got to meet him at a UFC event this past offseason. Joked around a little bit. I was looking forward to the matchup. Some of the swings he took the first at-bat were a little funny. He was laughing about it. I laughed about it. It was a fun at-bat."
And the eight shake-offs.
"He can hit everything. It's a chess match, like I said earlier. So I went to throw something that I don't typically throw in those counts. That makes it tough for 'Berto. He knows how I like to throw. So, going through the progression, normally it's this pitch in this count. Not that one, then it's this one. Ok, not that one, maybe this one. Alright, what haven't I called yet. That's all that was. Just trying to mix things up. Play the chess match a little bit and keep him off balance."
Votto talked to MLB.com correspondent Casey Harrison about the matchup too.
"He made a really good pitch. I didn't know he had one of those sideway sliders. I don't think I've seen that before -- it like shocked me. It ended the at-bat. He's tough. He's much sharper than I remember. He's just gotten better. I think his fastball command is better. I think his curveball command is better ... I just think he's a better pitcher. This is probably what he had in mind from when he entered the league. This is the version of a pitcher he probably wanted to be and he showed it tonight. He was a handful for us ... There's a reason why he's an All-Star and there's a reason why he's fast becoming one of the better pitchers, if not one of the best pitchers, in the game."
Once Bauer exited the game, though, Votto took full advantage. He helped lead a huge comeback in the ninth inning, part of a 7-4 Reds' win.