Carlos Carrasco battled, but there are only so many things one pitcher can overcome, including himself.
Bad defense, a star-studded lineup that refused to miss the damn ball, and his own pitches betraying him were just a few of the things that thwarted Cookie against the Boston Red Sox. A Red Sox team, mind you, that still trails the Cleveland Indians in this series, 2-1. I choose to look at the positives. Like the fact that the Indians can’t technically lose this series, or that Rajai Davis no longer has to buy hemorrhoid cream in secrecy.
Tonight was a night of finding silver linings in a pretty banal loss.
The Indians offense only scored four runs, but they did score four runs and threatened for more later on. All of them came off the bat of Edwin Encarnacion, who crushed homers in the first and fifth inning, scoring himself and Francisco Lindor both times. One fun fact about Edwin’s first home run is that it was hit at 106.3 miles per hour. Yandy Diaz’s single that followed immediately after was blasted at 106.6, just a hell of a lot lower.
Dan Otero was garbage tonight, but Carrasco got knocked out early and you might as well let your least effective reliever eat up a bunch of innings in a meaningless August game. See? Silver linings.
I can’t seem to find one about Erik Gonzalez’s game tonight, though. He had a major error in the first inning and I don’t feel like I’m exaggerating when I say it really threw a wrench in Carrasco’s outing.
Not accounting for any butterfly effect craziness, if Gonzalez could’ve scooped a relatively routine ground ball and threw out Andrew Benintendi, Carrasco would have gotten out of the inning a batter later with another ground out by Mitch Moreland. A clean, 14-or-so pitch inning and the Indians enter the second inning with a 2-0 lead instead of a narrower 2-1 lead. Instead, Cookie had to work over 30 pitches and finally made it out after giving up an RBI single to J.D. Martinez.
I don’t know, maybe nothing changes in the grand scheme of things if he manages to get out of the inning three batters sooner, but that felt significant to me.
It’s also pretty disappointing that Greg Allen wasn’t able to extend his hitting streak as he went 0-for-4 on the night, hitless in his first game since August 10. He was able to run down a well-hit ball in the eighth that would have easily been a double, so again — silver linings.
Maybe I’m still riding the joy of the last couple games and Yandy Diaz being in the lineup again, but this was far from a traumatizing 10-4 loss. It was even kind of fun until things started falling apart. Francisco Lindor had some really neat defensive plays and only narrowly avoided injuring himself with a foul ball off the ankle. Yay?
The Indians battled, the Red Sox battled a little cleaner and didn’t kill themselves with errors and the occasional bad at-bat. That’s baseball, and these are two teams that are really good at it.