CLEVELAND -- On his walk from the bullpen to the mound, Joe Borowski already knew he was in serious trouble.
With Cleveland clinging to a one-run lead, the maligned closer was about to face the Boston Red Sox without his best stuff.
"It was like I went out there with an unloaded gun," he said.
Borowski, who has dodged so many ninth-inning jams since joining the Indians, couldn't escape a trip to the disabled list. He was placed on the 15-day DL on Tuesday, a day after blowing a save and giving up a two-run homer in the ninth inning to Boston's Manny Ramirez.
Borowski, who led the AL with 45 saves last season, has a strained triceps -- an injury he first felt in spring training and one the Indians have kept a secret for weeks. He had been puzzled by a significant loss in his velocity before being examined by doctors, who recommended he stop pitching for a while.
Indians manager Eric Wedge said Borowski could be down as long as one month. Borowski isn't going to throw for several days, hoping the rest will allow his arm to recover. He was puzzled by a sudden drop in velocity. The pitch he threw to Ramirez registered only 83 mph on the radar gun.
"This is pretty much exactly like you hear pitchers in spring training say they're going through a dead-arm period," Borowski said. "It's that kind of feeling. You still have all your stuff. You can still do everything. You just can't kick it in when you have to."
One of baseball's top setup men, Betancourt went 5-1 with a 1.47 ERA in 68 games, and recorded three saves in six tries. His track record as a closer isn't very good, though. He has converted just 12 of 29 career save chances.
Betancourt said he'll approach his new role the same way.
"It's no different," said the right-hander, who struck out David Ortiz and Ramirez with two on in the seventh on Monday. "I just have to get the last three outs of the game."
That usually wasn't easy for the 36-year-old Borowski. He led the league in saves last season despite a 5.07 ERA. But it was rare if he retired the side in order. More often than not, Borowski pitched himself into trouble and then had to find a way out of his self-imposed mess.
He had been hoping he could pitch through the tightness in his triceps, which he first felt during a spring appearance against Washington. Borowski has had shoulder problems in the past, but said his current injury isn't nearly as serious.