With the Indians clinging to a three-man pitching rotation consisting of Mike Tomlin, Trevor Bauer, and Corey Kluber, the last of whom was dealing with a strained quadriceps earlier this month, the team couldn't afford a setback.
Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer's (pinky) first start of the American League Championship Series has been pushed back to Game 3 after he suffered a non-baseball injury to his right pinky.
That means right-handed hurler Josh Tomlin will start game two in Cleveland on Saturday and Bauer, who received several stitches to his right little finger, will start game three in Toronto on Monday. Francona has had to be creative with his bullpen, using eight relievers to complete the game in which Carrasco got hurt.
Manager Terry Francona has been forced to adjust his rotation for weeks after Carrasco (broken hand) and Salazar (forearm tightness) sustained injuries as the Indians were closing in on their first AL Central title since 2007. It was a marvelous performance and yet, somehow, he managed to perform impossibly better against the Blue Jays in Game 1 of the ALCS. We'll see. All the pitchers kind of understand. Oh, and they know Miller is going to throw the slider, too, as he did on about 60 percent of his pitches this year. He was 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings.
"He's doing pretty good", Francona said. Francona said that the team "had enough days off between series where Tomlin-we can just flip-flop them". I think this proves it. "So I think there are some options for us moving forward". As statistical analysis becomes more sophisticated, he said, "we realize there's bigger moments in the game than the eighth and ninth inning, and that can be appreciated". "Chris (Indians president Chris Antonetti) was like, 'Call me.' You could have given me a lot of guesses, but I probably wouldn't have got this one".
But in their bullpen, Francona and the Indians have a weapon unlike any other, one capable of tilting the series back in their direction at any time.