Trevor Bauer
Pitching with one eye closed, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres during the second inning of a spring training baseball game Saturday, March 6, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Trevor Bauer immersed himself into the rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres with one eye closed.

“I figured if they can’t score off me with one eye open, it’s going to be difficult to score off me with two eyes open,” Bauer said. “Just having a little bit of fun.”

After giving up a single to San Diego leadoff man Jurickson Profar and then walking Tommy Pham, Bauer posted a shutout. Eye closed, he retired the next three batters. Bauer wound up pitching three scoreless innings with the creative approach, striking out three while allowing two hits and a walk.

The Padres seemed to take Bauers’ antics in stride. He walked off the field pointing to his right eye and then exchanged words and a laugh with Profar.

“He just said it’s gonna be fun to compete against you this year, and I kind of laughed, said, ‘I’m looking forward to it,’ ” Bauer said. “It’s gonna be fun.”

“I’m just mad that Manny didn’t make this trip, you know?” Bauer said. “He’s already ducking me. I wanted to see him.”

As with many things Bauer does, his actions irritated some, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts professed not to be bothered by it. Roberts said he likes the way his new pitcher pushes boundaries on the mound, figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

After the game, Bauer posted one more playful shot at his new rivals, likening himself to Captain Jack Sparrow and the Padres to his prey.

Bauer is outspoken about his dislike for the unwritten rules of baseball, but his antics may make for and interesting rivalry this year with the Dodgers and Padres.

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