CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – There was little reason to believe Indians reliever Cody Allen was going to blow Wednesday’s game for Cleveland.
The typically steady right-handed hurler entered with a two-run lead in the top of the ninth — a situation Allen usually thrives in — but Chicago scored five runs in the half frame to stun the Tribe on Wednesday night, 10-7. The inning was punctuated by White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton, who clubbed a go-ahead grand slam on an 0-2 delivery from Allen.
While Indians manager Terry Francona didn’t throw the pitch that Eaton clubbed deep to right, he did feel like his decision contributed to the tough defeat.
“I know he got a blown save, but I’d probably take half that blown save, because I was on the fence if he should’ve pitched,” Francona said. “He’d been up a lot lately. And he didn’t get hit hard. He gave up the home run, but the other ones were [not hit hard]. But, I still felt like, he’s out there throwing a lot of pitches under a lot of intensity. So, I kind of wore that one a little bit last night when I went home.”
To Francona’s point, the outing for Allen was his fourth over the past five days, averaging 17.25 pitches per appearance over that stretch.
However, the inning unfolded in maddening fashion for Cleveland, as two infield hits and a well-placed blooper down the left field line contributed to Wednesday’s chaos. At no point leading up to Eaton’s slam — outside of maybe a one-out walk to Tim Anderson — did the inning feel like it was playing out as a result of an Allen’s ineffectiveness.
Three pitches later, that all changed.
Furthermore, Allen’s 1.11 ERA over his previous 39 outings leading into Wednesday’s debacle made what took place even more shocking.
But despite the tough punch to the gut, Francona doesn’t question how Allen will rebound from the blown save, the righty’s third of the season.
“I think he’s got a good mentality,” Francona said. “I think he always had [one]. That’s one of the things that I think impressed me and us so much when I first got here, was his ability to compete. And part of that is not beating yourself up so much that you can’t compete the next day.”
Back Friday: Indians starter Josh Tomlin is expected to return to the team on Friday after being placed on the Family Medical Emergency List and traveling to his Texas home on Wednesday.
The righty is still expected to make his scheduled start on Saturday against the AL East-leading Toronto Blue Jays.
“I told him that he has our blessing, all of us, if he’s not comfortable coming back to let us know,” Francona said. “But as of right now, he’s planning on coming back tomorrow.”