Despite Trevor Bauer's bloody exit in the first inning, the Blue Jays couldn't overcome Cleveland's bullpen and now face the daunting task of coming back from a 3-0 deficit.
"He's turned himself into the one of the better ones in baseball", said Jays manager John Gibbons, whose team trails the Cleveland Indians 3-0 in the American League Championship Series. Bauer, who was originally slated to start Game 2 on Saturday but cut his finger on Friday for 10 stitches, when he was conducting what Francona later called routine drone maintenance - it's a hobby of his - was not allowed to put on a band-aid or wrap or other such treatment on his pitching hand, per baseball rules.
Bauer was supposed to get the start in Game 2 on Saturday but had it pushed back to Monday after he sliced open the pinkie finger on his throwing hand while trying to fix a drone.
Reliever Dan Otero followed Bauer and allowed a solo homer by Michael Saunders during his 1 1/3 innings of work. Blood was dripping from his unbandaged finger like a faucet and his uniform was stained with crimson drops when umpire Brian Gorman walked out to the mound and summoned Indians manager Terry Francona for a pitcher who wasn't leaking red.
The Indians haven't won a World Series since 1948.
"They've given me the opportunity to pitch on six [days rest], pitch on sometimes ten", Sanchez said. "All year we had guys stepping in, filling in spots that were tough spots to come in and try to fill big shoes, and they did that all year". "We've overcome a lot to get to this point and everyone believes in the team". Bauer tried to wipe his hand on his jersey but was done after 21 pitches.
"If we knew we'd be doing it", he said. Cleveland is up 2-0 over Toronto in the series.
His major league experience is limited to 11 innings over four appearances including one start at the end of the season on September 30 versus Kansas City when he picked up his first and so far only Major League win holding the Royals to a single run on three hits over five innings.
"The bullpen was unbelievable", Bauer said.
The last time bleeding on the mound drew this much attention, Curt Schilling was known for his sock rather than his rants. (Or flipping off TV cameras, as he did Monday night.) Francona managed the Boston Red Sox in 2004, when the team won its first World Series in nearly 100 years. The veteran first baseman entered Monday's game hitting just.135 since September 1. Bautista worked a walk, but Donaldson lined out to left field to end the threat.
It's yet another injury problem for a Cleveland team that couldn't include starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar on its ALCS roster.
By the way, including their sweep of the Royals to end the season, that's nine wins in a row for the Indians.
"I admit that's a little bit of a unique way to win a playoff game", Francona said.
Ezequiel Carerra tripled to open the fifth and came home on a Ryan Goins groundout to tie it 2-2. He has just one career win on his resume and it came a few weeks ago.
Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts said he plans to start Kenta Maeda in Game 5.