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Indians Indians Archive Morning Rundown: Carmona, Miscue, Blown Call...In that Order
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

cordout001That feeling of losing can take on different forms. There is anger, frustration, sadness, contempt, confusion, and much more. This is a loss of anger.

June 20th 2011

Colorado Rockies - 8

Cleveland Indians- 7

W: Matt Lindstrom (2-1) L: Fausto Carmona (4-9) S: Huston Street (21)


I'd much rather have losses of anger than frustration or contempt. We've had a lot of those lately in Cleveland with the offensive skid. But the offense is back and on nights they can't find their pitcher (Faustoooo Where Are Youuuu!?), it can tend to get a little dicey.

There are two feelings here. One, throughout the game, regardless of how bad Carmona got in the fifth inning, and he looked pretty bad, this team was still in it. That's the feeling you had about this club earlier this season. That feeling is back.

The other feeling is complete frustration. Complete frustration that this one got away more than once. We'll talk about Carmona in a bit, but let's handle the miscues and bad calls.

Yes, Cord Phelps was safe at second. After knocking in Santana to bring the club within one, Phelps tried to stretch his hit into two bases. He was safe. There is visual evidence of said event (Twitter pal Mr. Negative on the screenshot). How did the ump miss it? Why don't we ask him?

Well, we can't. But Acta said second base umpire Sam Holbrook's answer was that he got him on the arm. I think Cord's head might have been in the way to not see the fact that the tag hadn't actually got to him until after Phelps was on the base.

But what can you do? There's no use crying over a situation that may have produced a run. Sure it ruined momentum and the Tribe came out next inning and was 1-2-3 to end the game, but it certainly didn't rob them of any runs. There's nothing you can do, because as long as there is no replay, these types of calls will never be remedied.

Where you can get all uppity is with the miscue by Lou Marson. What in the wide world of Johnny Bench was Marson trying to do? Show off his arm? The wild pick-off play goes...wild...and the Indians find themselves down two instead of one. Of course there is where your extra run comes from. Had Marson not tried to be cute by throwing someone out at first, this game is tied with Cord's RBI single and that ump's blown call is not so much of a big deal.

Bad defense takes away a pitcher's margin for error. With one errant throw, Marson took away any room for error that Rafael Perez had; that the whole team had. He's going to be playing a lot over the next few weeks and he's regarded for his defense. Don't make us think otherwise during this stretch Lou.

The offense and bullpen did an admirable job to battle back and get back into this game after the hole Fausto Carmona put them in. Lou Marson threw it all away when he threw over to first.

Now about that admirable job and the preceding meltdown. In regards to Fausto Carmona, Manny Acta put it best. He dug his own grave. He did lose his focus. All of that scoring. Each and every single run of that six run inning in the fifth. All the runs came with two outs. All the baserunners came with two outs. In fact, after Troy Tulowitzki's single in the first inning, Carmona had retired, 13 straight up until Chris Iannetta's walk that started that whole rally.

"That inning killed him. I thought he was going to roll," Indians catcher Lou Marson said. "It was frustrating. You get those first two guys out on five pitches -- two quick outs -- and then a two-out walk and everything broke loose."

I boldfaced a word in there. See which one it is. Did ya see it? Didya?

There is no conceivable explanation as to how Carmona can go from retiring 13 straight to giving up six runs with two outs in the inning. There just isn't anything at all. What do you want to so say? He sucks?

He doesn't suck. He clearly is good enough to get out major league hitting. He did it 13 straight times. He was on his way to having a good game.

So what's going on here? These spurts. These innings he has. He's giving up runs in bunches. There's a problem here and we need to get to the bottom to it. It isn't as simple as Carmona is bad. Carmona is not bad. He's pitching bad.

We in Cleveland want to automatically just throw him out. Send him to Columbus, designated him, get rid of him. First off... Stop it.

Second off... Stop it.

This guy is going to be out there every five days, whether you like it or not. Whether he is good Carmona or bad Carmona. He has to work through this.

"This guy threw 210 innings for us last year -- good ones," Acta said. "It's not as easy as it looks. This is not fantasy baseball. You can't just get rid of him and bring somebody else over here. He's one of our guys. He's got good stuff."

I think this is a mental block. A mental issue of sorts. Carmona and Acta are both adamant that this isn't 2009 all over again. Carmona says he feels fine and not like he did in 2009 when he was absolutely horrid and had to be torn down and rebuilt mentally and mechanically.

"The ability to make a pitch when it counts just hasn't been there," Acta said. "I don't know if I can attribute that to a lack of focus. In this case, you've got two outs. ... You do have to smell blood and get after those guys and get out of that inning."

I'd say it is right there. Lack of focus. For whatever reason, he doesn't have it. It would explain the fact that he gives up most of his runs in bunches. They are isolated innings in which he just gets bombarded, example number one is last night.

Here's my quick solution. You've got Interleague coming up. You need one less player due to the designated hitter. Nine straight games on the road without your DH. We know it isn't fair, but why not make the most of it.

I'd give Carmona the back seat. Put him in the bullpen if you want to keep him sharp, but whatever you do, give him a mental break from the rotation for a week and a half. Send down one of your bench players, and call up David Huff or Jeanmar Gomez to spot-start.

Don't remove him from the rotation or tell him he's lost his starting job. Don't screw with him in that way. But simply tell him that he is getting skipped in the rotation once or twice. And use that time to get to the bottom of things. If you need Julio Rangel, the "mental skills coordinator" to do his work again, whatever. Just give Carmona a mental break.

Choo needed his mental break and for him, a position player, he gets a day off. For Carmona, he gets multiple days off because he's starting one game, so a skip for him is like double that.

So do it. It gives you a perfect excuse to try out two kids pitching well in Columbus, and to save yourself from seeing Carmona out there again. It also prevents you from having to place him on the DL (and you need to have a legit injury, you can't just say "Broken Brain" or something like that) or risking him through waivers (which is the only other option, because he has no options and he will get claimed).

Random Details...

I hate for these to be random details, but the game was a loss, so in a way the seven runs the Indians put up, become a side-story, especially with Carmona.

Travis Hafner is on a seven-game hit streak ranging back from before his injury. Another mighty Pronk blast in this one that knocked in three runs and unlike the other day, cleared the fence without issues. That one counts!

It may be a coincidence that both Carlos Santana and Shin-Soo Choo are heating up as Hafner returns, or it really may be his presence. I'm not sure, but I'm also not going to sit back and wonder. I'm enjoying it. This is what we had in mind when the season started with those two and it really has been what we've waited for.

All the "Imagine what this offense will be like with healthy Hafner and Sizemore, a potent Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Brantley, and their two best htiters finally joining the party." To paraphrase earlier thoughts if I could.

But it is finally happening. One through six is potent and dangerous. They did all the damage aside from the one Cord Phelps RBI. Brantley, Sizemore, Asdrubal accounted for four runs scored. Hafner, Choo, Santana accounted for six of them knocked in.

I think Choo is just heating up, where as Santana is already there. It sometimes takes you a few games to notice it, but I think it hit last night, the guy is on fire. In his last four games he is 8-for-14 with three jacks.

Not really in disagreement with the Travis Buck pinch-hit in the ninth inning for Lou Marson. Even though Buck is mired in a horrid 0-for rut. But... Shelley Duncan anyone? Don't tell me you don't miss him for that reason alone.

How about Orlando Cabrera at third last night? Finally someone to add to the revolving door. But like I said on Twitter yesterday, not so revolving, is it? I'm sure Uncle doesn't mind playing third, mainly because, it gets him in the lineup.

Not much emanating from that, so he didn't screw up.

Bullpen Mafia.... Because Lou Marson's run doesn't count (and really is an unearned run), the Indians still haven't given up an earned run since June 12.


Just like we aren't going to automatically assume Choo and Santana heating up directly related to Pronk returning, we aren't going to assume Bruce Fields is the reason for the offenses return. As mentioned yesterday, you could see the signs at the end of Nunnally's tenure.

But Fields is going to be working with players individually. Every batting instructor has a philosophy that he'll try and impose on players. I laugh at his idea that he isn't set in one way. Every hitting coach has his way of doing things, so even though he may try and work on people individually, he'll in some way press his beliefs onto the hitters.

Either way, I'm with Acta. Cut down a little on the strikeouts. They aren't a huge problem, because a strikeout is just like any other out, but you'd probably don't want to be third in the AL in that stat.

"With two strikes, we're going to have to battle," Fields said. "Before we get to two strikes, we need to be a little more wary about pitch selection. We can't hit everything. We need to really focus on the pitches we can handle."

It is good to know that Matt LaPorta's injury is nothing more than a sprain. It is also good to know none of us are crazy because the way he acted, it seemed like it was going to be more than a sprain. Even LaPorta thought so.

He thought it was a ligament or fracture. We thought it was either. But in the end, LaPorta is going to miss about two or so weeks with a mild sprain. Not much longer than the stint of his minimum time on the disabled list. Which is good news all around.

This thing with New York won't die. And with them coming in to Progressive Field in a few weeks, I kind of want to start a rumble. Jets Vs Sharks. Snap your fingers. Let's punk those Yankee fans. Via Joe Smith, some crazed Yankee fan actually wrote Mitch Talbot a letter!

In the idea of a Sheldon Cooper strongly worded letter, it starts out... Hey Talbot,

First off, would you expect anything else from a New Yorker?

Second off, who the hell writes in cursive? Lame.

In case you can't read that.. I've transcribed it.

Hey Talbot,

Any idiot can win a ball game, by hurting the player on a team he's pitching against. To bad that the American League has the D.H. rule, cause I'd love to see you and that **** who hit Mark Teixeira in the back come to the plate to hit.

I know that the balls thrown at the Yankees ? ? is done to put them out of action. However, it didn't work. The Yankees still ? ?.

Also, tell the interpreter of Fausto Carmon to tell Carmona, to learn English.

A die hard Yankee fan!

Dorris Festante

Okay, even I couldn't make out some of those words...

Perhaps we should make Dorris a deal. If Carmona learns English, she could probably learn it as well. Or at least how to construct a sentence. And learn the proper use of "to, too, and two."

bullpenmafiathumb[STAT OF THE DAY]

For your amusement the "Bullpen Mafia, Stat of the Day."

Vinnie Pestano has the 8th best strikeout per nine inning ratio in the majors among relievers who have pitched in at least 20 innings.

And in case you missed it (how could you have, if you follow me and everyone else in "the Mafia" on Twitter?), the video debut of the Bullpen Mafia!

My favorite quote: BEAAAN TOWN!


In the spirit of a Sheldon Cooper reference, Archer Quote of the Day is Sheldon Cooper Video of the Day, just for the day.

Days Without a Tweet: 34


You can follow Nino on Twitter @TheTribeDaily where he tweets about Frank "The Professor" Herrmann's scene stealing. You can also read more Morning Rundown and other features at his blog, The Tribe Daily.

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