I've forgotten how frustrating young pitching can be. Fausto Carmona was getting by with his stuff, but he imploded in the sixth inning. Enter Jason Davis, he of the "great arm," and BAM! there goes the game.
First of all, I was impressed with the movement on Carmona's pitches. His pitches were hitting 92-96 mph on the radar gun with regularity. Fausto induced a lot of ground balls (11 to be exact), but had trouble with location within the strike zone. The knock on Carmona has always been his inability to "miss bats," and although opposing hitters had some difficulty with centering the ball against him, hits will fall if major-leaguers continue to make contact. That's the life of a sinkerballer. My major concern, though, was the number of extra-base hits allowed by Fausto; six of the eight hits off of Carmona went for extra bases. He'll have one more start, and it should come against the (gulp) Red Sox.
Rafael Perez made his major-league debut, and pitched an uneventful ninth, which was an event considering the recent pitching performances. My guess is that he'll be sent back to Akron when more permanent reinforcements are decided on. Still, a scoreless inning will be a nice experience for Rafael to carry with him.
I'm sure the criticism of Victor Martinez's throwing arm will began to get louder. It's not fair to blame everything on the pitchers, but the double steal in the sixth inning was all on Davis.
Meanwhile, a change of scenery has been a godsend for Brandon Phillips; he's hit two home runs tonight, one a grand slam.