To sum it up quickly: The Indians couldn’t hit, they couldn’t pitch, they couldn’t pen bulls. They couldn’t do much of anything against a Brewers team that decided to finally put everything together on a cool September evening in Cleveland.
Carlos Carrasco finished the game with what one would normally consider a pretty good line: 6.0 IP, 7 SO, 3 BB, 6 H, ER. But just about every pitch besides the lead-off batter in his six innings of work was done under some kind of stress. He had to work himself out of a number of jams tonight — to his credit he did it almost every dang time. And he also made some Brewers batters regret their career choices.
Carlos Carrasco, Filthy Changeups.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 4, 2020
Flo taunts, mercilessly. pic.twitter.com/zJ6tewuTzN
Carrasco induced 12 swings and misses (eight from his slider), and received a total of 16 called strikes. Austin Hedges is a brilliant pitch framer, and even with the inconsistencies from the home plate umpire he helped his pitcher out with some key calls, including a called third strike against Jedd Gyrorko that helped Carrasco strike out the final three batters of the first inning.
Unfortunately for Carlos, the result of having to bail yourself out of some unfortunate sequencing (especially when you do it while racking up strikeouts) is that you have to leave the game after six innings. And unfortunately for the Indians, tonight was their designated bullpen implosion night.
Phil Maton did not look sharp and he allowed three runs off two hits with a walk and a strikeout. James Karinchak remembered that he was a rookie and allowed his first home run of the season when Keston Hiura turned on a 3-0 inside fastball and sent it 415 feet over the left field wall. That was Hiura’s 10th home run of the season and it gave the Brewers their final score of 7-1.
The Indians offense ran into the future of the Brewers rotation in Corbin Burnes, who wielded his brilliant sinker/cutter combination to keep the Tribe off balance all the night. There were only four hits on the night, but three of them came from outfielders — that’s good if you’re into silver linings. The final hit came from Oscar Mercado, who is for some reason still not starting, but coming in as a late-game defensive replacement for Delino DeShields.
We were also treated to the absolute brutality that is Austin Hedges at the plate. Three at-bats, three hideous strikeouts, including one at-bat that didn’t feature a single pitch in the zone but ended in a three-pitch strikeout.
At least he can play defense.