CLEVELAND, Ohio — There are pitchers with roles in the bullpen and there are pitchers who are troubleshooters.
If a reliever happens to have an eye for trouble, as former Indians reliever Danny Otero used to say, “You’ve got to be ready from the first pitch to the last.”
Phil Maton was ready Wednesday night after a short and unfortunate start by rookie right-hander J.C. Mejia. Maton entered the game with a runner on third base and two out in the first inning. The Cardinals were already leading, 4-2, on the way to a 8-2 win.
At the time, however, the Indians were in the game.
“It’s just something in the bullpen where you’ve got guys on the backend that have solidified innings,” said Maton. “They kind of know when to lock in, but the rest of us you kind of start to see trouble happen, you see the pitch count go up. It’s one of those things where you just have to kind of go out there and wear it for the boys.”
Maton faced one batter in the first, shortstop Edmundo Sosa, and struck him out. It was the beginning of a stretch of five straight strikeouts by Maton before Nolan Arenado doubled and Tyler O’Neill homered with one out in the third to make it 6-2. Maton ended the inning and his night by striking out Yadier Molina and retiring Matt Carpenter on a grounder to first.…