Indians 3, Athletics 1
Tribe improves to 47-54
After Trevor Bauer pitched the 9th inning of a 1-1 game Tuesday night, eventually giving up a home run that wound up being the difference in a 2-1 loss, an argument broke out about whether or not he should have been allowed to stay in the game long enough to give up that home run. Some wondered how often there would ever be a reasonable situation to leave a guy in to go for a complete game. Well, as it turns out, in each of the Tribe's next two games, there was a better situation.
Corey Kluber took a shutout into the 9th on Wednesday; he was unable to finish it off, but the Indians were up by 12 runs. This evening, Carlos Carrasco lost his chance at a shutout in the 1st inning, but boy of boy did he ever make up for it.
Before Carrasco ever took the mound tonight though, another Carlos made a big impact on the game, as Carlos Santana hit a long two-run home run to center field one batter after Michael Brantley knocked in a run with his 30th double of the season. For the second game in a row, the Tribe had taken a 1st inning lead, something they've been short on all season.
Carrasco promptly gave back a run by allowing hits to two of the first three batters he faced. Turns out, they would be the only two hits he allowed all night. Carrasco did walk a batter in the 4th inning, but that runner was erased on a double play after Giovanny "Monstro" Urshela made a tremendous catch. (You can watch the play via this link, because MLB.com is a bastard and won't let me embed the clip here.)
From the 5th inning on, Carrasco was perfect, cutting through the final 15 batters of the game like the proverbial hot knife through butter. He finished the night with a complete game on 103 pitches, with 7 strikeouts. This gives Tribe starters three consecutive complete games, something the team hasn't had since Mark Clark, Jack Morris, and Charles Nagy pulled it off in 1994.
While it didn't matter, because Carrasco was so damn good, the Indians didn't score any runs after the 1st inning either. Francisco Lindor had two singles and a stolen base, and Santana had a walk to go with his home run, but no one else reached safely more than once. Lonnie Chisenhall went 0 for 3 in his first game back with the team.
We can lament 8 innings of bad offense some other time though, because tonight Carlos Carrasco made sure three runs were more than enough.
Oh, and no MLB team has had four consecutive complete games since the 1992 Red Sox. No pressure, Danny Salazar.
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