Over the previous three games, the Indians' bullpen logged 16 1/3 innings, compared to only 8 2/3 frames for the rotation. There were eight multi-inning efforts by Tribe relievers, a pair of injuries to Cleveland pitchers and a handful of roster moves to help the staff.
"It's unfortunate that they have to go out there and throw multiple innings," Indians starter Josh Tomlin said on Sunday. "They've done a great job all year long. They've come in when something happens. We had our struggles early on, and they came in and did their job."
The postponed game will let the group breathe for 24 hours before opening a four-game weekend series against the Yankees at home, starting Thursday night at Progressive Field. After that set, the Indians will have a day off this coming Monday, followed by two home games against the Rockies and an 11-day trip through Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Kansas City. That journey now includes the game in Boston, too.
Right-hander Trevor Bauer was slated to start Wednesday's game against the Red Sox, but the Indians will now push him back to Friday's home game against the Yankees. Ace Corey Kluber will stay on his planned schedule, taking the ball in Thursday's series opener, opposite New York righty Sony Gray. The probable pitchers for Saturday and Sunday have yet to be determined.
Cleveland will hope the unexpected day off can also benefit its rotation, which lost Tomlin to a left hamstring injury after his four no-hit innings against the White Sox on Sunday. It was learned on Wednesday that Tomlin would likely miss six weeks before returning to Major League games. Mike Clevinger (three innings on Monday) and Carlos Carrasco (1 2/3 innings on Tuesday) followed with rough starts of their own.
The Indians received more tough news on Wednesday, when relief ace Andrew Miller landed on the 10-day disabled list with a right knee issue. That move led to Cleveland calling righty Adam Plutko up from Triple-A, one day after recently-acquired Joe Smith joined the Tribe bullpen. For the moment, Tyler Olson (recalled from Triple-A on Monday) is the team's only lefty reliever.
Olson and Smith were among the pitchers who were asked to log multi-inning outings in the past three games, along with Zach McAllister, Dan Otero, Bryan Shaw, Nick Goody and Shawn Armstrong. On Tuesday, Armstrong was optioned to Triple-A to clear a spot for Smith, who was traded to Cleveland by the Blue Jays prior to Monday's non-waiver Deadline.
"We still think we're a strong unit," Miller said on Wednesday. "Those guys will do fine without me. I can't wait to get back. I'm going to be pretty miserable having to watch from the sideline, but ultimately, we'll be fine and it'll be better for me and for us in the long run."