CLEVELAND -- Andrew Cashner had just been demoted to the bullpen after posting an ERA of 8.01 in six starts. But before making the move, manager Alex Cora assured Cashner he could still contribute.
On Tuesday night, he proved it.
With the bullpen thin and experienced arms unavailable, Cashner got the call to close out a nail-biting, 7-6 victory over the Indians. And damn if he didn't deliver, mixing 97-mph fastballs with an outstanding changeup to nail down the victory and earn not only the first save of his career, but his first at any level since he pitched for Texas Christian University in 2008.
"My adrenaline hadn't been that high in a while," he said. "It reminded me of being back in college, closing games out, it was fun."
It even afforded him an opportunity he couldn't remember experiencing in his starting career.
"It's been a long time since I've had a shower after the game, so it was cool," he said.
Manager Alex Cora had few alternatives after closer Brandon Workman blew the save in the ninth. He planned to go to Cashner in the 10th no matter what, but when Jackie Bradley Jr. homered in the top of the frame, there was suddenly a save on the line.
"That was outstanding," Cora said. "The split or the changeup played like a split today. Fastball obviously was good. The only guy that got on was a jam shot. We talked a little bit two days ago and he felt like I haven't contributed. I said, hey man, be ready. We've still got a month and a half for this to happen and you're going to be a big part of it and he got the save today."
Cora to would've opened himself to criticism if Cashner had blown it.
"I really don't care about that," Cora said. "That's the way I manage. There's probably some plays that people are second-guessing. . . That's the way it is. That's the way I manage. I prepare myself before games, we go over situations, and you make decisions. This is part of the job. I understand that. I did it last year, I'm doing it this year, no big deal."
With Cashner now in the bullpen, he's determined to make the most of it.
"Short-term memory," he said. "I know I've got a chance to be back in there tomorrow. Just keep doing what I do and see where it ends up."
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Andrew Cashner can't remember last time he did this after a game, but he'll take it originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston