CLEVELAND -- Tribe manager Terry Francona has preached incessantly about the importance of keeping his bullpen well rested. The belief explains why starter Brett Myers pitched 5 1/3 innings of relief in Tuesday's 14-1 loss to the Yankees.
After Myers' effort, two rainouts and Justin Masterson's complete-game shutout on Friday, no Indians reliever has pitched since Tuesday entering Saturday's game. Setup man Vinnie Pestano and right-hander Joe Smith haven't toed the rubber since Sunday. Bryan Shaw hasn't pitched since April 5.
"It's trying to use your bullpen correctly," Francona said. "When you're losing games badly, you don't want to use the guys you want to go to the next night when you're winning."
Several of the relievers have thrown extra sessions in the bullpen before games to keep their arms up to snuff. Pestano prefers to embrace the rest.
"You want to be out there, but when a guy is rolling like Masterson was last night, you have to let him go," Pestano said. "He's our horse. He's our ace. You want to pitch consistently, but at the same time you can't help what's happened the past few days."