Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco may have tweaked his back in the midst of his worst outing of the season on Saturday against the Seattle Mariners. The 31-year-old starter allowed five runs off hits in the three-inning effort, and after the game he offered an explanation as to why he was so bad after being so good over his last four starts.
Carrasco claims he felt fine through the first two innings, it wasn’t until he came out in the third that he noticed tightness in his back, meaning he likely injured himself at some point in the second. Oddly enough, the second inning is when he was at his best, striking out Ryan Healy, Ichiro Suzuki, and David Frietas looking in a quick 1-2-3 inning.
The third inning was a different story, however. Carrasco started the frame by hitting Dee Gordon, who eventually came around to score on a Robinson Cano sacrifice fly. Looking at his velocity chart, Carrasco’s four-seamer slowed down dramatically to start the third and it was widely inconsistent until he was eventually taken out of the game.
When asked if he think he’ll be okay for his next start, Carrasco responds with the dreaded “we’ll take it day-by-day” phrase. Hopefully it’s nothing and it doesn’t linger, because with the Indians offense hitting (or not hitting) the way it is right now, they can hardly afford to lose their 1b pitcher. After injury plagued seasons in 2015 and 2016, Carrasco pitched a full 32 games in 2017 and he was phenomenal. Here’s hoping he can make it two in a row.