Tribe improves to 78-73
On the heels of The Unfair One's phenomenal 14 strikeout performance, Cookie one-upped him. Since returning to the rotation August 10, Carlos Carrasco has been a revelation. Tonight, he pitched not only arguably the best game of any Indian this year, but easily the greatest game of his career.
Carrasco truly put the team on his back and ensured that the tiny glimmer of playoff hope is still alive. We can heap on as many superlatives as we like, but this is a case where the numbers truly do all the talking:
- 12 strikeouts
- 0 earned runs
- nine innings pitched
- two "hits"
- fewer than 100 pitches
Yep, Cookie's got himself his very first Maddux, and the Tribe's second in 2014. Now, I'm no expert in B-Re-fu, but I plugged in those stats to see if Carlos had matched them at any point in his career previously. No wait, legit LOL there. Of course I didn't because, come on, of course he didn't. Cookie dominated this Astros team and showed no mercy. It was the best Indians start since Josh Tomlin 1-hit the Mariners on June 28th, amassing a game score of 96. Carrasco clocked a 94 game score tonight, but there's a pretty solid case to be made that despite the additional hit allowed, the Maddux puts this outing at the top of the list. Furthermore, Carrasco's body of work prior to this start proves that this is no fluke, unlike Little Cowboy's masterpiece.
By all rights, this could have been a no-hitter (not a perfect game because this is the Indians, and of course there were errors). The only two hits Cookie allowed were weak Jose Altuve BABIP-y infield hits. The first was a high chopper in the 4th inning, arguably misjudged by Lonnie Chisenhall who waited back on an in-between hop rather than charging. The second hit was a grounder that Jose Ramirez made a nice play on but couldn't beat the speedy Altuve with his noodle arm. That's it. Two hits. And that's about as well as our offense did, too!
Tribe hitters took it upon themselves to make outs as quickly as possible so Carlos never lost his mojo on the mound. This surprised approximately no one, given that the starting lineup included the likes of Mike Aviles, Tyler Holt, and, to a lesser extent, Chris Gimenez. Yan Gomes drove in the only two Tribe runs of the game. The first RBI came in the 4th inning and drove in Carlos Santana, who doubled his way on with two outs. The second came courtesy of a "triple," a liner to right that was misplayed and allowed Michael Brantley to score from 1st. How good is Yan Gomes? How stoked are you to watch as he becomes - continues to be? - the best catcher in baseball? I'm pretty damn stoked.
But at any rate, that's about as much Ink as the offense deserves tonight, having managed just seven hits total. Tonight, everything's coming up Cookie. I'll leave you crazy stat wizards to calculate the last time the Indians had back-to-back starts this good, because I'm gonna submit this recap and go celebrate with a few Bud Heavies.
The hope is alive, folks.
Win Expectancy Chart:
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|Denver Tribe Fan