ANAHEIM – The Indians send Brad Hand home at night under cover of darkness. He returns to Cleveland on a red-eyed flight to examine his tired left arm.
As Hand knows, there are no shadows to hide on the mound in the ninth inning with a single lead. So who will close the last 15 games of the playoff season? More importantly, who will close out this weekend against the top-seeded Twins in the biggest series of the season in Progressive Field?
Manager Terry Francon said Hand's MRI was clean. He didn't think he would have to try to get to the postseason, using closer than the committee.
But he said that Hand still has to "rebuild." He said his tired left arm caused a slot for you to lower and lower. That sounds like a conversation about spring training with me. You do not back up with 1
Additionally, Hand is in the back of the queue after the All-Star break. To think that taking him a few days off is too optimistic. So who is really going to shut up for the tribe?
Francono showed his brand Handless Hand in the ninth inning against the Angels. Nick Wittgren's right flank opened, taking left Brian Goodwin out. The Left is hitting .227 (17-for-75) against Witgren. He also has 83 rescues for minors.
When Witgren went with Scott Fletcher's right foot, leftist Oliver Perez was relieved to face left Shohei Otani with a tribe holding to a 4-3 lead. Otani, who took shelter in the fifth, rebounded at the start of the power play. The Left is hitting .210 (17-for-81) against Perez.
Next is the future hall of the famous Albert Puyols, a right-handed striker who is still dangerous. The 655 homes in his baseball card say so.
Francon's counter-attack undermines the right-wing Adam Zimber. Pujols came down to three straight pitches, the last with a 77 mph slider. Zimber has had his moments this year, good and bad, but right-handers are hitting just right. 236 against him.
This was only the ninth inning.
Tyler Clippard withdrew the Angels to be ranked seventh, but gave the lead lead up to eight. Nick Goody eased and struck out three of the next four tests to end the inning.
That's not counting Dan Otero, James Hoyt, Phil Matton, Jeffrey Rodriguez and Hunter Wood. Indians have relief everywhere, but are they correct enough if Hand spends the next two months "building spare parts?"
"There's a little more uncertainty at the end of the game," Clippard said when I asked how the pen would change without hand. "That's almost all.
" We're done. The nice thing is that we did all year – no one really set roles except Brad. We are ready for everything below. This has been the case all year. Nothing will reject us. We are ready to leave when Tito wants us to leave. "
Clippard, 34, saved seven games for the Blue Jays last year. He saved 32 for the Nationals in 2012.
" We've been fighting all year, "says Perez, 38," Look at our three young starters – Aaron Chewley, Zack Plesack and Adam Plutko. They all started the season in the minor leagues.
"So this could be a good opportunity to step up and do something you've never done before."
young man to be James Karinchak, the hard-working right-hander who is currently assisting AAA Columbus in the International Championship Series There was a chance the Indians would promote him after the Clippers playoffs, but Hand's situation could hasten his arrival.
Rarely did one team go through 162 games without problems. The Indians had more than their share. They lost the two-time winner Cy Young, Corey Coryber on a linear ride on May 1. Then they lost him again on August 18 during the start of hair rehabilitation. Third-team All-Star founder Ramirez broke his right hamstring at the end of August. Carlos Carasco was diagnosed with leukemia. Mike Clevinger strained his right arm and All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor missed the first 20 games of the season with ankle and calf injuries.
Now Hand is uncertain about the rest of the season and postseason.  Asked what course of action he would take if Hand could not return, Francon replied: "Easy, he's not dead.
Yes, but there are only 15 games left in the season.
"Yes, I am aware of this and we have won the last three without it," Francon said. " We will figure it out. This is always what we think. We will figure it out. "
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