Notes: Borowski mentally tough
Tribe closer able to quickly put rough outings behind him
CLEVELAND -- Eric Wedge learned all he needed to know about Joe Borowski on April 19 of this year.That's right. April 19. It's generally remembered in Indians' lore as the day Borowski entered the bottom of the ninth inning of a game at Yankee Stadium with a 6-2 lead in the ninth inning, got two quick outs and then, in dizzying fashion, surrendered six runs, the last three of which came on one powerful swing of the bat from Alex Rodriguez. But Wedge remembers that game for another reason. He remembers how Borowski shrugged off the loss, answered the necessary questions from the media and prepared for that night's trip to Tampa Bay without having any emotional breakdowns. Borowski went out the next night and preserved a one-run, ninth-inning lead against the Devil Rays. "You could feel it in the locker room, before we even got on the bus," Wedge said Tuesday, as the Indians began workouts for the American League Division Series against the Yanks. "That's just a great attribute to have, when you're a closer. It shows you what kind of strength he has as a human being, with regard to his mental toughness." Borowski's going to have to stay mentally tough if he gets another shot at the Yankees this week. They are not exactly an opponent he's had much success against. Their current lineup has a combined average of .379 (11-for-29) against him with four homers, 14 RBIs, a .486 on-base percentage and an .828 slugging percentage. Given what happened on April 19, Borowski, who didn't face New York in the August series at Jacobs Field, might be viewed as having something to prove against the Yankees. But he doesn't feel as though that's the case. "It's the playoffs now," Borowski said. "You throw all that stuff out the window. You go in there and win three games. It doesn't matter how pretty, how nice or how ugly. Just get it done. Whatever happened in the past doesn't matter." Borowski's recent past, of course, includes an AL-leading 45 saves. He could have collapsed after that early-season blowup in the Bronx. But he's persevered through five losses and eight blown saves. "He's had a tremendous year," Wedge said. "He's a guy we count on and the guy we want to get the baseball to." Yes, even against the Yanks. No news yet: The Indians are holding off on announcing their postseason roster. It's not due to the Commissioner's Office until 10 a.m. ET Thursday. "I think we want to wait until Thursday," Wedge said. "I haven't confirmed that with [general manager] Mark [Shapiro] yet, but I think that's what we'll do."
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.