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Indians Indians Archive Morning Rundown: Duncan Blasts but Carmona Blasted Again
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

fcarmona05Would you please stop pressing the panic button? The Indians have yet to have a skid like this the entire season. It's taken nearly two months for them to suck. Every team goes through rough patches, it's just a matter of who goes through them least and who minimizes the damage.

May 30th, 2011

Cleveland Indians - 1

Toronto Blue Jays - 11

W: Jo-Jo Reyes (1-4) L: Fausto Carmona (3-6)


The Indians made it to the arbitrary point in the season where people declare that if a team is still in it, they're likely in it for the long haul. They've made it, but will they survive it?

Another goose egg of a performance, without the actual goose egg on the scoreboard. Just a Shelley Duncan towering shot off the upper, upper, upper deck of the Rogers Centre in left field separated the Indians from another shutout.

Photo - Getty Images via Yahoo! Sports

Duncan's blast was the 15th upper-decker (500 level) home run in the history of that dome. As majestic as that home run was, Manny Acta was right... It only counted for one. But the win, despite the 11 runs, only counts for one for Toronto.

Last time out against Boston, we said Fausto Carmona's loss only counted as one. It was an isolated incident, right? Well that isolated incident is starting to spawn itself and become more than just one bad game. Now Carmona has turned in a few of these clunkers. You can point to the error by Orlando Cabrera, which was bad, but Carmona fell apart in the fourth inning. Point blank.

Okay so he would have escaped the inning with just two runs, 4-1 game, things look better, Carmona can go deeper. And it did demoralize the dugout and the offense. But it's also Carmona's job to keep focused and pick up the defense. You can't come unwrapped like that after one error. Even if Cabrera converts and gets the double play, Carmona still gave up runs. Maybe it wouldn't have been as bad?

Who knows. Carmona certainly doesn't know what happened.

"I don't know, man," Carmona said. "I tried to keep the ball down. I missed a couple pitches up. A couple pitches, down in the count, I threw them right down the middle."

He did make some bad mistakes. Throwing pitches right down the middle to Jayson Nix? Come on man, really? Especially with two strikes on a guy? What are you doing?

Are you concerned about Carmona at this point? I'm a little worried that he's making these bad pitches. He isn't walking people at a troubling rate like he's done in the past. Which is a little bit of sunshine peaking out from behind the clouds. But he is getting hit and getting hit hard. Really the pitch to Nix is the overall sum of this. Bad pitches. He's missing. He has no control at some points and it is really killing him and the team.

That means it could be anything. It could be mechanics, it could be concentration or focus, it could be any slight little thing that is throwing him off. That is a little harder to identify, but for the sake of this team, Tim Belcher, Manny Acta, Carmona himself, whoever, better identify it quickly. This team can't continue without Carmona at least pitching like a productive member of the rotation.

Speaking of continuing... I mentioned earlier that teams go through these streaks. Is that en excuse? Maybe it is. But I said it before even reading what Manny Acta had to say. Surprisingly, that's just the stance he and a lot of members of the team (LaPorta, Duncan) are taking. Teams go through this. The Indians are still a good team, "We're just going through a thing." And it's true, teams do go through a thing. But now it is up to the Indians to make that statement true.

"Every great team," Duncan said, "every team that I've seen that's a postseason team or a world championship team, they go through a long period of struggles at some point during a season. This stuff happens."

Acta even said that "every team goes through some of those" and that some clubs have had their losing streaks. But as I said, they have to make that statement true. They can't just say "well, every team struggles, this is our bad stretch" expect it to be true. They have to get back to work and make it so. Will this be the Indians "bad streak" or will it be the "streak that started their badness"?

Hopefully, the first one there.

Random Details...

Are you kidding me? Jayson Nix? Did the guy learn how to play third base in a half a season? He didn't look half-terrible over there at the hot-corner. The good news, he is only hitting .200 as a part time player. Take that. Jack Hannahan 4-life.

Two double plays for Asdrubal Cabrera? That's a forgettable game for A-Cabs. That's worse than striking out four times. You are crushing opportunities to score or have big innings.

Don't you dare blame playing on turf for the lack of offense or the lack of wins... At least this is the only six games they'll play on turf anyway.

For all the offensive struggles though, the following note puts everything in perspective and maybe clues you in as to why...

"Entering Monday, the Indians were 11-11 in their last 22 games, dating back to May 4. Nine of those losses came against pitchers David Price (two), Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Jeremy Hellickson, Trevor Cahill, James Shields, Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd. With the exception of Peavy, seven in that group rank in the top 10 for wins and/or ERA in the American League."

Hey... This was a horrible game for the Indians. It was a bad thing to watch on their part. But for once, let's take a look at the other side and give it up for Jo-Jo Reyes, also known as "some dog I know." Reyes had not won a game in three freakin' years! It has been 28 consecutive starts, which tied Matt Keough's streak of the same number from the 1970's. For him to go out and throw the first complete game for Toronto this season and to break that streak, before he put himself in the history books all by himself, that was nice to see.

You sometimes forget about the innocence of the game, but when you watch Reyes get the Gatorade bath, it's hard not to feel good, even though this loss was a kick in the face.


You don't have these notes when Jordan Bastian or Anthony Castrovince are not working the beat... So in that regard, thank god MLBastian is back.

Grady Sizemore will start in center on Tuesday after getting Monday off. Will he start at DH on Wednesday? I'd have to imagine so, especially if he gets a hit. That timing has to get back and Acta, how he knows this is beyond me, but he says he's a game or two away from getting it bat. I guess 20 at-bats is the magic number? Hey, if he goes out and goes like 3-4 or has a huge game after he reaches that number, I'm not going to argue.

He's no Miguel Cabrera, but expect Acta to treat Jose Bautista like he's legit, because, well, he is.

"I don't think we're going to walk him every time," Acta said. "Just like when we play Detroit with [Miguel] Cabrera, and some other clubs, he's a guy that we're going to have to pitch careful and not allow him to beat us in certain situations."

Acta went on to say that every team has a plan in place and they have to execute their plan and control the people who hit in front of him. Acta managed Bautista in winter ball one year, but like everyone in the universe, didn't see this type of breakout coming from him.

Jared Goedert was sent to Columbus, but re-added to the 40-man roster after being activated from the 60-Day Disabled list. That was the spot that came open from designated Justin Germano off the roster.


I think I'm going to retire this feature after tomorrow when it reaches two weeks. If he hasn't tweeted by now, he probably never will.

Days Without a Tweet: 13


You can follow Nino on Twitter @TheTribeDaily where he tweets about Matt LaPorta wearing Grady Sizemore's batting gloves. You can also read more Morning Rundown and other features at his blog, The Tribe Daily.

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