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  • Borowski?

    Indians miss dependable Borowski
    Stability at back end of bullpen lacking since closer got hurt
    By Anthony Castrovince /

    Barring a setback, closer Joe Borowski is expected back by the end of the week, if not before. (Mark Duncan/AP)
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    CINCINNATI -- When Joe Borowski was placed on the 15-day disabled list a month ago, the Indians made it clear that he'd be reinstated as the closer upon his return from a right triceps strain.
    Perhaps now we have a better understanding of why. Nobody has stepped up to definitively claim Borowski's ninth-inning role.

    Rafael Betancourt converted four-of-five save opportunities, but in addition to the one blown save he also had two blown ties and an appearance against the A's on Thursday in which he was pulled one out into the ninth inning.

    Then Masa Kobayashi appeared to have the upper hand on the closer's reigns, right up until he served up a three-run homer to Adam Dunn for a blown save in Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Reds.

    Jensen Lewis was named one of four closing candidates Friday, just hours before he gave up the go-ahead run in a 4-3 loss.

    Left-hander Rafael Perez is the last of those closing candidates, but he's been used more for lefty-on-lefty matchups.

    The Indians should have Borowski back any day now. He's scheduled to throw one inning for Class A Lake County in his first rehab appearance Monday in Eastlake, Ohio.

    The plan, for now, is for Borowski to make a second rehab appearance Wednesday and join the Tribe at the end of the week. But given the tumultuous situation in the back end of the Tribe's bullpen, don't be shocked if he's back sooner.

    In the meantime, manager Eric Wedge, then, went into Sunday's series finale with the Reds not knowing who he'd turn to in a save situations.

    "We're just going to have to see how we get there," Wedge said. "We'll see who we use to get to that position and go from there."

    On Friday, Wedge was hesitant to name Kobayashi his new closer, even after the Japanese right-hander had stepped up and relieved Betancourt in the ninth inning of Thursday's 4-2 win. Saturday's result was a demonstration of why Wedge didn't want to designate Kobayashi in such a manner.

    "You compound [the problem] by getting out there and naming somebody [the closer], then having to pull back," Wedge said. "We'll just take it day by day."

    I guess the Indians miss his unique method of blowing saves......

    You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the $%#%! plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all. ~Earl Weaver

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