Tribe improves to 74-67
Carlos Carrasco drove me nuts as a starter last year, and again at the start of this year. I was thrilled when he was moved to the bullpen, where his stuff seemed to work a lot better. When the Tribe rotation was in shambles in late July though, I felt desperate times called for desperate measures, and gave my support to the idea that he should be given another crack at the rotation. A week later, that's exactly what happened, and Carrasco has been absolutely rolling since then. Today marked his sixth start since the switch, and while all of them have been good, today was the best game he's ever thrown.
Carrasco gave up a leadoff double to open the 2nd inning, and another double in the 5th, but those were the only base runners he allowed until the 9th inning, when he gave up a pair of singles and was taken out with two outs. Entering the 9th, Carrasco not only had a chance for his first career complete game and first career shutout, at 88 pitches he had a chance at a Maddux. None of those things happened, but 8.2 shutout innings with 8 strikeouts, 0 walks, and only 4 hits is still a fantastic performance.
Right now Carrasco looks the the team's #2 starter, and if what we've seen over the last month is anything like what we see from him going forward, he'd be a very good #2 starter.
In other news, it was another lousy day for the Tribe offense, all downhill after Michael Bourn led off the bottom of the 1st with his 10th triple of the season and Michael Brantley drove him in with a single, picking up his 89th RBI of the year. For the next six innings the Indians managed only three singles, before mounting a mini-rally in the 8th. Carlos Santana* knocked in an insurance run on a ground ball that bounced off first base in the that inning. It looked like it was going to be a foul ball (until it hopped over), and Santana didn't run it out. If he had, he'd have reached safely, and maybe another insurance run or two would have scored. Good thing the Indians didn't need them.
*Santana also picked up his MLB-best 100th walk of the season, making him only the 10th player in franchise history to reach that milestone.
Cody Allen came in for the final out, picking up his 19th save of the season.
Today's win gives the Indians a sweep of the series and moves them a season-high seven games above .500. At the moment the Tribe is 4 games behind Seattle in the race for the second Wild Card spot. They're 4.5 games back of Kansas City in the Central (though KC is ahead 2-0 as I write this), and are three outs away from picking up a game on them when the two teams conclude last Sunday's suspended game (on September 22). I said going into this series that I thought the Indians had to sweep it to keep hold of a plausible chance at the postseason.
Well, they swept it.
Win Expectancy Chart:
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|Denver Tribe Fan