The Indians began the season against a division favorite, the Chicago White Sox, and looked totally incompetent. Since that day, the Tribe has looked surprisingly excellent, doing nearly everything right — and yet today, playing their first game against a division favorite since that opening weekend, the Indians again looked completely incapable of winning a baseball game. Fausto Carmona was unable to locate, throwing only 49 of 85 pitches for strikes and lasting only five innings before giving way to Chad Durbin, who was equally terrible.
The offense was no better, especially in this fourth inning sequence:
- Asdrubal Cabrera doubles (3) on a line drive to left fielder Jason Repko.
- Shin-Soo Choo singles on a fly ball to center fielder Denard Span. Asdrubal Cabrera to 3rd.
- Carlos Santana grounds into a force out, third baseman Danny Valencia to second baseman Michael Cuddyer. Asdrubal Cabrera scores. Shin-Soo Choo out at 2nd. Carlos Santana to 1st.
- Travis Hafner singles on a soft ground ball to pitcher Brian Duensing. Carlos Santana to 2nd.
- Orlando Cabrera flies out to right fielder Jason Kubel. Carlos Santana to 3rd.
- Michael Brantley grounds out, second baseman Michael Cuddyer to first baseman Justin Morneau.
- Santana's RBI groundout was a frustrating result, and it's been increasingly irritating to see Orlando Cabrera bat in the top six of the lineup. O.C.’s early season hot streak has run out, each of the trio behind him — Brantley, LaPorta and Hannahan — has about a hundred points of OPS on Cabrera. OC might be doing his special brand of voodoo to make our young players confident but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be batting ninth.
- Carmona did not, by any means, look good, but it's worth nothing that four of the six hits he surrendered were on groundballs; that doesn't do anything for his four walks, of course. I still haven't seen an announcement about when the Indians will make up the game from yesterday. If tomorrow is the last game in Minnesota, it'll be difficult to watch if they don't play any better. Today wasn't a total loss, with Grady Sizemore's no-doubter to right field providing further evidence that we've regained one of the best players in baseball.
- I can't lie, I have significant anxiety around this team at this juncture. They certainly looked great over the last three weeks but back-to-back losses via blown save and blowout have done a number on my confidence. I still don't hold any illusions that we're looking at an excellent team, but I'm fearful that we're about to see a difficult run. Here's hoping I'm wrong.
Carlos Carrasco will face scuffling LGFT Carl Pavano tomorrow at 2:10 EST. Pavano has made four starts this year: in the middle two, he went 16 innings and surrendered a single run. In the first and last, he went a total of 8.2 innings and surrendered 16 runs. Cleveland needs to follow the blueprints of Toronto and Baltimore and rough Pavano up.