Trevor Bauer, who cut a finger on his pitching hand last week, didn’t know how long he would last in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday. As it turned out, he lasted two outs and 21 pitches before blood cascaded from his hand onto the field at Rogers Centre.
“It’s unbelievable. I know Curt Schilling had the bloody sock, but this was blood all over the place,” Indians radio voice Jim Rosenhaus said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Obviously you knew that was it for him, and to be honest, I think at that point you’re thinking, ‘All right, what are they going to do in Game 4? And do they bring Corey Kluber back so that he can pitch Game 7?’ It certainly was going to be an uphill battle tonight, but it’s just remarkable what this team has done in the face of injuries to their most key players. Now, with the injury to Bauer, that is three-fifths of their starting rotation that is down, and yet they still find a way to get it done. It was remarkable tonight the work that they did out of the bullpen.”
Cleveland’s bullpen pitched 8.1 innings of relief, allowing just two runs on seven hits.
“I think the biggest challenge tonight was you had two relievers who had not pitched yet in the postseason,” Rosenhaus said. “We’re talking about Zach McAllister and Jeff Manship. (Andrew) Miller, (Cody) Allen and (Bryan) Shaw have been so good that there hasn’t been any work for the others. It was fascinating because on Saturday after Game 2 before the team left to come here to Canada, they actually put together a simulated game at Progressive Field right after the completion of Game 2 to get the pitchers some work against the hitters and bench players who haven’t played. I remember seeing some media people saying, ‘That’s odd. Why would they do that?’ It turned out to be huge because a lot of pitchers who pitched tonight had a chance to get some work in, albeit in a very relaxed setting against their own hitters. But at least it was kind of a game situation. It’s just remarkable that they were able to come away with a win – and not just a win, but to hold the Blue Jays to two runs.”
Miller, who was acquired from the Yankees at the trade deadline, got a four-out save in Game 3. He has made Francona’s job a lot easier.
“It’s allowed Terry Francona to use his bullpen in an unconventional way,” Rosenhaus said. “Whenever the game seems to be at the breaking point and they need to shut it down, whether that’s the fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth inning, that’s when they bring him on and they save Cody Allen for the end. Well tonight, they flipped it. But that flexibility has been such a big key and him being here has allowed them to do that.”
The Indians can close out the Blue Jays in Game 4 on Tuesday. The city of Cleveland, of course, is elated.
“It’s been tremendous,” Rosenhaus said. “It has been since 1964 since Cleveland had a major sports championship. So by the Cavaliers winning, it wiped out a little bit of that woe-is-me (mindset). I think the Cavaliers gave fans hope that, ‘Hey, maybe good things could happen.’ It really is neat. It’s been a wonderful sports renaissance in the city of Cleveland – something they haven’t had in awhile.”