BOSTON -- The rain that pounded the tarp covering the diamond at Fenway Park on Sunday postponed the possibility of a sweep for the Indians in this American League Division Series against the Red Sox. That is the way Cleveland is choosing to look at the situation.The inclement weather that
BOSTON -- The rain that pounded the tarp covering the diamond at Fenway Park on Sunday postponed the possibility of a sweep for the Indians in this American League Division Series against the Red Sox. That is the way Cleveland is choosing to look at the situation.
The inclement weather that has pushed Game 3 of the ALDS back to Monday (6 p.m. ET, TBS) could impact Cleveland's rotation, and the possibility now of three games in three days might affect the bullpen. Armed with a 2-0 lead, the Indians are not looking too far ahead, though. They want to be popping champagne in the tight quarters of Fenway's visiting clubhouse as soon as possible.
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"We put ourselves in a good position to only have to win one game," Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway said. "And we're going to go all-out for one of those wins."
The immediate impact of Sunday's rainout is that right-hander Josh Tomlin will remain the Tribe's Game 3 starter, but he will now be working with a week's worth of rest. If Cleveland and Boston extend the series to Game 4 (Tuesday at 2 or 3 p.m. ET, TBS) and Game 5 (Wednesday at 8 p.m., TBS), right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber, respectively, would be the starters. In light of the rain, Bauer would now be pitching on a regular schedule, rather than returning on three days' rest after his Game 1 outing.
As for the bullpen, the prospect of games on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday means Indians manager Terry Francona might need to be cognizant of the days ahead, while trying to win the game in front of him. As Callaway alluded, that is the planned approach, and the one Francona applied in a 5-4 win in Game 1 on Thursday.
In that ALDS opener, Francona went to his bullpen after 4 2/3 innings from Bauer. Relief ace Andrew Miller and closer Cody Allen logged 40 pitches apiece in the win. In Game 2, Shaw and Dan Otero worked one inning each after a seven-inning gem from Kluber. With two days off ahead of Game 3 now, Francona might be able to treat Game 3 similarly to the first game in Cleveland.
"When you have a lead in a short series you try to win," Francona said, "because you're never guaranteed that you're going to have the lead the next day. So, I think you try to win every game you can. You might be less inclined to chase a win a little bit, but again, in a short series you're never guaranteed you're going to have a lead, so when you have a lead you go for it."
That take from Francona is no surprise for Callaway.
"I know Tito by now. That's what we're going to do," Callaway said. "We're going to focus on that day. Figure out tomorrow, tomorrow. We're going to try to win every game, just like we normally would throughout the season. I don't think a 2-0 lead impacts that at all."
Shaw shrugged off the possibility of three games in three days.
"The next three days, if we need to pitch, everybody will pitch," Shaw said. "It's not like we haven't done it before. Everybody will be ready to go."
Tomlin, who last pitched in Cleveland's Oct. 2 regular-season finale, said he went through a similar workout Sunday as he did on the previous day. The right-hander is coming off a strong final month, during which he had a 1.69 ERA with 10 strikeouts and no walks in 26 2/3 innings. Over his career, Tomlin has turned in a 3.90 ERA with a .236 opponents' average in 17 starts that have come after six-plus days of rest.
Callaway added that Bauer threw a bullpen session in the rain on Sunday to stay ready for a potential Game 4 start.
Tomlin has pitched at Fenway before, but the pitcher said he was excited to see what the environment will be like under the current circumstances. The righty said he was not too worried about the rain negatively impacting any kind of momentum, pointing out that the Indians took Games 1 and 2 after a three-day break following the end of the regular season.
"Everybody in that clubhouse knows what's at stake," Tomlin said. "We'll be ready to come out there with a lot of energy. I think the crowd, this place tomorrow, is going to give that extra adrenaline. I think we'll be ready to play. I don't think it kills momentum, but we definitely would've liked to play today, there's no doubt."
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.