Borowski, Indians tagged by Manny
Closer wonders about health, future after flat outing in loss
CLEVELAND -- Manny Ramirez was asked about the pitch tossed to him by Joe Borowski in the ninth inning of the Indians' 6-4 loss to the Red Sox on Monday night.Was it a fastball? Was it a changeup? One could hardly discern the difference when it came to Borowski's stuff in this nippy, nip-and-tuck affair at Progressive Field. "[It was] like a fastball," Ramirez said. "It was something like 80 [mph]. Or a changeup. It was right there." In fact, just about everything Borowski served up over the course of not converting a save opportunity for the second time in the past week was high, heavy and hittable. "I just felt like I had nothing," Borowski said. "It felt like throwing through water, pretty much. Physically, I felt fine, but I was stuck in one gear. I had no extra gear. Not only that, but I couldn't locate either. So it was a double-edged sword." Not exactly inspiring words from the Indians' closer. And his immediate job security did not sound especially strong after this loss. Borowski was planning on meeting up with manager Eric Wedge and the Tribe's training staff after the game to discuss what's going on with his velocity, which has taken a notable dip this season. After routinely hitting 86-88 mph with his fastball last year, Borowski, for the most part, has seen his stuff max out several ticks lower in his five appearances in '08. And on Monday night, he hit a new low, maxing out at 83 and regularly hitting 81. "The ball just wasn't coming out of his hand like you typically see with him," manager Eric Wedge said, "and he didn't have the location he normally has." Such concerns reek of potential arm or shoulder trouble, and Borowski did not deny that a postgame MRI exam was a possibility. "I'm grabbing at straws trying to figure out what's going on," Borowski said. "Hopefully, we can pinpoint something." What Borowski couldn't do, on this night, was pin down a 4-3 lead the Indians had put together with a solid offensive approach against Jon Lester, another outstanding start from Jake Westbrook and some admirable, if not perfect, work from setup man Rafael Betancourt. The Red Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Westbrook in a 32-pitch first inning, but he settled down quickly after that. His offense had his back in the fourth, when Victor Martinez and Ryan Garko both bounced grounders up the middle to drive in a pair, and in the fifth, when Travis Hafner came up with two runners in scoring position and knocked them both home with a ground-ball single to right.
|"I'm grabbing at straws trying to figure out what's going on. Hopefully, we can pinpoint something."|
|-- Joe Borowski|
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.