contribution of catcher Roberto Perez, a

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WASHINGTON -- A day after a health scare forced Terry Francona out of action, the Cleveland Indians manager felt more embarrassed than anything about not being able to work a game.Francona complained of chest pains, broke out into a sweat and had a heart rate over 100 beats a minute at Nationals Park. After an electrocardiogram and full checkup at the stadium, the Indians sent him back to the hotel as a precaution.Francona was back at the ballpark for their game Wednesday afternoon.Despite a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms, Francona appreciated jokes from team staffers like travel director Mike Segli calling dibs on his scooter.I probably had more messages that were not complimentary than were, Francona said with a laugh. I was more embarrassed. If guys started worrying -- treating me like that -- Id have been scared. Because if anybody deserves it its probably me.The 57-year-old has twice suffered a pulmonary embolism. He compared Tuesdays episode to something that happened to him at Yankee Stadium in 2005 when he was managing the Boston Red Sox.The day after a dinner with his coaches, Francona had to be woken up on the bus ride to the stadium by bench coach Brad Mills and knew something was wrong when he was drenched in sweat. Francona tried to manage through it, but when a paramedic gave him nitroglycerin and the reaction produced a headache, he was rushed to a hospital by helicopter for fear that he had a heart attack.Francona didnt have a heart attack but rather something that mimicked the symptoms.Doctors thought one of my (blood) clots had maybe slipped through the little screen in there, Francona said. It kind of acts like a heart attack and gives you the same feeling and then because Im on blood thinners it went away. It put me in the hospital for three days.Francona didnt require hospitalization this time and instead reported that his heart rate was still elevated on Wednesday but not as bad. A stethoscope sat on a table outside the visiting managers office, but Francona joked that the Nationals team doctor hadnt come over to check him out, so he must not be that worried about me.Mills replaced Francona as manager for the night. The hardest part for Francona was watching from the hotel as the Indians were no-hit for six innings by Max Scherzer but then came back and won.I started feeling better when Scherzer threw that ball in the corner, Francona said, referring to a two-base error that helped the Indians win 3-1. Its a helpless feeling, but it doesnt matter. Millsys managed more games than I have. Its just you hate to not be there. Under Armour Cheap Uk . 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That particular season the late great Harry Caray was calling the White Sox games. CHICAGO -- Josh Tomlin got the nickname The Little Cowboy several years ago from former Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta. Tomlin is not a fan of the moniker. But as a 6-foot-1, 190-pound right-hander with a Texas drawl, an upper-80s fastball, abundant toughness and a Tommy John surgery in his background, he fills all the boxes.Tomlin, 32, will make the biggest start of his career Friday night when he opposes Kyle Hendricks and the Chicago Cubs in the first World Series game at Wrigley Field since 1945. While the noise and raucous energy will make for a daunting atmosphere, Indians manager Terry Francona thinks Tomlin is just the man for the job.I just think hes built to pitch good all the time, Francona said. When you get challenged -- and its going to be an incredible atmosphere here -- it feels good to send him to the mound. Hes going to compete. He doesnt walk people. You cant run on him. Sometimes the opposing team beats him. But he doesnt beat himself.As a pitcher whose competitive DNA far surpasses his national profile, Tomlin embodies the tenacity and can-do spirit that unifies the 2016 Cleveland staff.The Indians have won eight of 10 meetings with Boston, Toronto and Chicago this postseason thanks primarily to some industrial-strength pitching. In 89 postseason innings, Indians pitchers have struck out 104 batters, walked 29 and logged a 1.82 aggregate ERA and .210 batting average against -- even though Trevor Bauer and the bullpen just turned in the teams worst October performance yet in a 5-1 loss to the Cubs on Wednesday night at Progressive Field.Cleveland isnt the first place that springs to mind when baseball analysts talk about pitching factories. The San Francisco Giants rode the exploits of Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum to three titles in five years, and the Mets have made lots of waves of late with Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and friends. For several years, Pittsburgh earned a reputation as turnaround central when pitching guru Jim Benedict, the Pirates former special assistant to the general manager, and pitching coach Ray Searage were helping Francisco Liriano, Mark Melancon and several others reinvent their careers at PNC Park.But the Indians arguably derive as much value from their pitching investments as any franchise in baseball. Theyre building an impressive track record for taking pitchers with control problems, injury histories and other performance issues and making them better.Corey Kluber, Clevelands ace, was not a highly regarded prospect coming through the San Diego Padres minor league system. Some personnel people thought he was best-suited for the bullpen when Cleveland acquired him by trade in 2010. But the Indians sent Kluber to Triple-A to work with pitching coach Ruben Niebla on his mechanics and add a two-seam fastball to his repertoire, and Kluber broke through with an 18-9 record, a 2.44 ERA and an American League Cy Young Award in 2014 at age 28.Carlos Carrasco, once a hot prospect in Philadelphia, was saddled with a reputation as a pitcher who lacked mental toughness before finally realizing his potential in Cleveland. Bauer, selected by Arizona with the No. 3 pick in the 2011 draft out of UCLA, clashed with Diamondbacks management and was perceived as headstrong and too nerdy and mechanically obsessed for his own good when the Indians picked him up by trade in 2012. Bauer still isnt over the hump, but he has shown enough flashes to make the Indians think he can get there.Tomlin is a former 19th-round pick out of Texas Tech, and closer Cody Allen, another Tommy John surgery survivor, was a 23rd-round choice in 2011. Even Anddrew Miller, one of the most dominant relievers in the game, failed as a starter and is pitching for his sixth big league organization at age 31.ddddddddddddAll of our guys have been through something tough in their career, Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway?said. This is why theyre doing what theyre doing. Theres no fear. Theres no timidness. They go out there and just throw the ball over the plate, and they know if they do that and get ahead, good things are going to happen.As Francona readily admits, the Indians have to take a patient, big-picture approach in acquiring and developing arms. Theyll tolerate a pitchers quirks, or nurse him through injuries, because they cant abide the thought of giving up on him and watching him blossom somewhere else.The Indians give their pitchers plenty of sounding boards. Callaway has developed a reputation as something of a pitcher whisperer, and former big leaguer Jason Bere plays a valuable role as bullpen coach. Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti describes Callaway as relentless in his preparation and willingness to explore every possible avenue of success.Its never about Mickey being the coach or being right or being the one with all the knowledge, Antonetti said. Hes always trying to figure out, How do we partner with the player and develop a plan for him to be successful? Hell tap into our other pitching coaches, our coordinators, our scouts, our front office, our analytics group and our sports psychologists. Hell utilize whomever can potentially help him be a more effective coach.Clevelands younger pitchers have an excellent role model in Kluber, whose even temperament and diligent preparation are the backbone of his success. And throughout the postseason, the Indians have raved about the contribution of catcher Roberto Perez, an astute pitch framer and game caller who finds a way to mind-meld with everyone on the staff.He brings a sense of calm, Tomlin said of Perez. He slows the game down for you and expects you to execute. If you elevate a pitch and leave it over the plate and they miss it or foul it off, hell look at you [later] in the dugout like, Lets go. Be smart. He holds you accountable back there. When you toe the rubber and he has the sign down before you think about it, it gives you extra conviction and confidence in that pitch. That goes a long way.Tomlin needed to look inward and figure some things out after going an abysmal 0-5 with an 11.48 ERA in August. The Indians skipped him for a start in early September, and he sat down with Callaway, looked at video and made some mechanical adjustments to get back on track. Tomlin has developed a better feel for his curveball in recent weeks and has emerged as Klubers wingman when the Indians needed him most.If Tomlin and the Indians feel stressed heading into three straight games before a hostile crowd in Chicago, they certainly dont show it. Tomlin took the podium for his media session Thursday just as Francona was exiting the stage.Make sure to use your Texas-to-English dictionary, Francona cracked.A few minutes later, as Tomlin finished up, a voice at the back of the room piped up with one final question.Whos better at cribbage -- you or Mike Napoli? asked Napoli, who was about to take the stage.With the obvious exception of Kluber, the Indians give the impression that theres no one they would rather have on the mound than Tomlin in this momentous game at Wrigley. As the pressure mounts, they expect The Little Cowboy to be up to the challenge. ' ' '

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