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Carlos Carrasco, José Ramírez dominant in 7-4 victory over Tigers

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Ahhh, but who had the better game?

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Case Before Us:

Did José Ramírez or Carlos Carrasco have a better game today?

Syllabus:

  • José Ramírez went 2-4 with 2 HR and 4 RBI. Both dingers were bashed. He laid out a compelling case for his inclusion in AL MVP discussions.
  • Carlos Carrasco pitched seven shutout innings of 1-hit baseball, striking out eleven. He walked three, but two of those came in the bottom of the seventh when he also struck out the side while flirting with 97 MPH.

Amicus Curiae Tweets:

Opinion of an Actual Lawyer:

Additional Discussion:

The blog recognizes the exceptional contributions of both players but must render a decision as to which — in the words of the question — had the “better” game. The decision to be made by the blog today cannot be made until we understand what quantifies the quality of single player’s contributions to the win. Is quality a question of delivering a greater chance to win the game as measured by WPA? Perhaps it is better to consider how outstanding — in the full definition of the word — a performance the players provided, regardless of leverage considerations.

First, calculate the WPA of each player. There is simply no contest here — Carlos Carrasco earned .322 WPA, while Jose Ramírez logged but .064. If we accept leverage should offer any weight to our decision then our deliberations are abbreviated if not ended outright.

Now, consider the impact while removing leverage from the equation. José Ramírez drove in four runs via two home runs. The excitement of a well-bashed dinger is upheld by our precedents, let alone the bashing of two. However, the blog notes that while Ramirez drove the offensive explosion, he did not ignite it. The bottom of the order — namely Jordan Luplow and Delino DeShields — provided that spark in the top of the fifth inning. It is true - their three runs alone would not have won the game as the Tigers eventually scored four off of the bullpen.

That only serves to further justify our final decision that Carlos Carrasco played the better game this afternoon. A simple quality start would not have been enough to win this game even with the contributions of José Ramírez factored in — the four runs allowed by the bullpen would have led to extra innings in this scenario. Carrasco’s seven shutout innings provided the foundation upon which Ramírez built; such foundational excellence deserves full consideration and commendation in the eyes of the blog.

The judgement of the general consensus of Indians twitter is

— Reversed

Tribe Tidbits

  • Franmil Reyes walked three times today. The first impressed me the most, as a pitch that should have been ball four was ruled a strike. He stayed focused, fouling off two pitches before earning what he’d been wrongfully denied.
  • The Indians bullpen looked shaky once again. Cam Hill allowed three runs on three hits while working the eighth, and his ERA now floats near 5.00. Brad Hand also allowed a run, but given that it was an infield single and then a speedster scoring from first on a double, I’m not too upset. There may also be some rust on that arm; It’s not his fault he’s pitched like three times this month.
  • Miguel Cabrera hit his 659th home run against the Indians, according to my gut.

The Indians take on the White Sox tomorrow night and start a series that will feature four legitimate AL MVP Candidates.