Burba's injury shakes up Hargrove's rotation
Posted: Monday October 11, 1999 08:15 AM
Dave Burba (center) will have an MRI in Cleveland on Monday to determine the extent of his injury. AP
BOSTON (AP) -- Not long after Dave Burba's right forearm tightened in Game 3, so did the division series between the Indians and Red Sox.
Burba, who was pitching a shutout through four innings, was forced to leave because of an injury that had been bothering him for nearly two weeks. Boston then pounded Cleveland's bullpen in a 9-3 win to force a Game 4.
Burba's setback was just the latest in an injury-filled season for the Indians.
And, if they are able to advance to the AL championship series against the New York Yankees, Burba's injury could be the costliest as well.
"It wasn't, 'Here we go again,'" Indians left fielder Richie Sexson said Sunday. "It was more like, 'What are we going to do with our starting pitching?"
Yeah. What are the Indians going to do?
Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove said Burba will have an MRI in Cleveland on Monday to determine the extent of his injury. The right-hander has been experiencing tightness on the underside of his right forearm, which tightened when he threw a split-finger fastball in the fourth inning.
"We think it's muscular," Hargrove said. "Right now, we don't know anymore."
If the Indians are able to get past the Red Sox, and if Burba is unable to pitch against the Yankees, then Cleveland would have to reshuffle its postseason roster to add a starting pitcher.
Among the candidates Hargrove could choose from are left-handers Mark Langston and Chris Haney as well as former Yankee Dwight Gooden, who was pulled from two starts against his former team during the regular season. All three were left off the 25-man roster for the division series.
Hargrove, who would have to use Charles Nagy in a Game 5 against the Red Sox, said another option would be to use a three-man rotation against the Yankees. He also could start Jaret Wright, who took the loss in Game 3 after relieving Burba.
"I'm sure there will be a readjustment on our roster if we make it to the next round," he said. "But let's try to make it to the next round first."
For Game 4 on Saturday night, Hargrove started ace Bartolo Colon on three days' rest for the first time this season. If he has to use Charles Nagy in a Game 5, and with Burba's status uncertain, Hargrove would have to go with Wright, Haney, Langston or Gooden against the Yankees in Game 1.
"That's certainly not the ideal path," Hargrove said.
Injuries are nothing new to the Indians, who used the disabled list 22 times with 16 different players and lost 924 man days to injury this season. However, Hargrove said the team wasn't looking for any sympathy and wouldn't use injuries as an excuse.
"We've had to battle adversity this year," Hargrove said, "and we've stayed pretty close to being true to ourselves. If that's the way it goes, then that's the way it goes."
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