Indians closer will look at video to see if his mechanics have changed
CLEVELAND -- Speaking after Monday's thrilling 10-8 walk-off win in extra innings, Indians closer Chris Perez sounded like a guy who thinks something might be wrong.
In the ninth inning of a tie game, Perez threw an 0-1 fastball to leadoff hitter Endy Chavez, who launched it into the right-field seats to give Seattle a 7-6 lead. Chavez's homer came two days after Perez served up solo shots to Raul Ibanez and Justin Smoak that tied Saturday's game in the ninth.
"I don't know if I've mentally changed my mechanics with that little shoulder hiccup a week or two ago," said Perez, who felt shoulder stiffness while warming up on May 12. "I'm not one really to look at a lot of video, but I definitely will get in there tomorrow to see if I can pick up anything. Maybe I'm not closing off enough when I come set -- something."
Prior to the four-game series with Seattle -- which the Indians swept -- Perez had only given up one home run, a long ball to Jose Bautista that came back on April 3 in Toronto. The four solo shots account for all the earned runs that Perez -- who insists he's healthy -- has surrendered in his 15 innings.
"If I can walk the leadoff hitter, we'd be all right," Perez said. "Sometimes, you have to tip your cap. Again, today, I didn't think it was a terrible pitch. He just put a good swing on it and it went. It's just one of those things.
"It's a slump -- a little slump, mini-slump. It happens once or twice a year and you just have to keep grinding, keep trying to make good pitches and get through it."
Perez is 6-for-8 in save opportunities. He has a 2-0 record and 1.80 ERA.
Indians manager Terry Francona isn't overly concerned about his closer -- it'll take more than three home runs in two outings for that to happen.
"That's just part of it. That's the nature of the game," Francona said. "When you're in that role and you give up a home run, it's glaring. That's part of pitching at the end of games. The good part is he feels good and he's done this before. He's going to be a big part of what we do."