Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Borowski Factor
Skip Bayless once said that the Indians made "a deal with the devil" by using Fausto Carmona and depending on him. Carmona picked up his 19th win of the season Wednesday, the most by an Indian since Burt Blyleven in 1984. Wonder if Skip will write or say anything about Fausto tomorrow?

But if the Indians did make a deal with he devil, it has been with closer Joe Borowski.

Borowski is an oddity of greatness and mediocrity. For much of the season, he has been flirting with disaster, only to record a remarkable 43 saves.

We've heard all year that a closer is a final result position. But it's difficult to ignore that Borowski came into Wednesday's double header with a 5.17 earned run average.

Borowski failed to save a game Wednesday, his second blown save in as many nights. He has eight this season, but this is the first time I remember him failing to convert on consecutive opportunities.

Games now aren't meaningless, but they're close to meaningless. Still, if Borowski blows another save this week, it has to be a cause for concern. Everything has been set up fairly nicely up to this point in regard to the bullpen.

But what if Borowski struggles? Does Eric Wedge (slow to make most changes) entrust the closer's role to Rafael Betancourt? And what does that do to the setup roles?

More likely, saving games will fall to Borowski, as it has all season. For better or worse.



At 12:31 PM , Anonymous Erik said...

I'm not ready to throw the panic switch because Borowski blew back-to-back saves. Seattle has owned him all year. He has a 9.00 ERA in five appearance against the Mariners this year.

However, there is no doubt that Borowski is the kind of closer who works better when he has a bigger margin for error. He's going to let guys on base and he's going to let some runs score, no question.

So I'd be lying if I said I wasn't more than a little pensive about Borowski trying to nail down saves against the Yankees, who can score seven runs in the time it takes to microwave a pizza.

That fear will be magnified if Borowski does legitimately start to show signs of a growing slump in the season's final week.

Of course, the Yankees have blitzkrieged just about every Indians pitcher this year, so I guess if the Tribe can even hand a lead to Borowski, we can proceed from that point.


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