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Indians Indians Archive Morning Rundown: Failed Double Play Leads to Carrasco Meltdown
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

cordsecondSplat goes Carrasco. Instead of the Mario Power Coin, they should play the Mario Die Noise. You know that one.

July 5th, 2011

New York Yankees - 9

Cleveland Indians - 2

W: CC Sabathia (12-4) L: Carlos Carrasco (8-5)


What's that saying that they say? Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield?

Yeah that sounds about right, even if that isn't the right term. But it applies to the night Carlos Carrasco had last night. For the past few weeks, he's been the windshield, but last night against the New York Yankees he was was most definitely the bug.

Here was the ultimate turning point. I don't know if this was old-Carrasco poking his head out or what, but maybe, just maybe that was it.

Carrasco had a relatively clean first inning and then got the first out of the second. Then he issued a few walks to hitters he absolutely positively should not be walking in this lineup if he wants to have success in Gardner and Posada. No problem, sure the bases are loaded at this point, but a ground ball from Francisco Cervelli gets you out of the inning.

And that's exactly what Carrasco did. He got that ball and buckled down. But of course. Cord Phelps makes a clean transfer, but throws a little low to Carlos Santana at first. He can't dig it out and yeah a run scores, but more importantly, the inning continues.

"We had an opportunity to get out of the inning," Acta said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't turn a double play. But we couldn't stop the bleeding, and it was way too much."

Long enough for five runs to be scored. Ouch. That's all earned because the double play is not guaranteed and no error was given to Phelps, even though it was a bad throw. But Carrasco let it get away. He reverted to that ugly form of Carrasco that we've seen in the past. The one we thought was gone, then came back, and then left again. Maybe it's bound to happen once and awhile. That's fine, if nine out of the other ten starts are what we've become accustomed to.

"I can't control all of that," Carrasco said. "I can [only] control my pitching."

That was the Carrasco who let things snowball. Who let one play get to him. Carrasaco didn't buckle down a second time. Was it fair that he was asked to? No, but he had to and he quite frankly didn't. He let things snowball and ultimately, he became the bug.

Overall, Acta commented that Carrasco's command just wasn't there. And it wasn't. He did walk those guys at the bottom. Sure he did get the double play ball to get out of it, and who knows if things would have been different if he got out of that, but it was the beginning of his demise in this one.

Now do we talk about Cord Phelps? Who hasn't looked pristine over at second base since getting called up. I'm a little worried that he's looked the way he has as a natural second baseman. But he hasn't received consistent playing time, so it's hard to expect consistency in both offense and defense.

Let's not crucify the kid quite yet. Yes he's made some errors and he's had a few issues turning that double play, but again, he hasn't played consistently at second to expect consistency. That's one thing that I always say about defense and did in regards to Andy Marte when he was here. What happened to the glove he was supposed to have? He has it, he just doesn't play consistently enough for it to be sharp.

Same with Phelps right now. If he plays second base at a normal rate and then starts making these errors and bad throws this often, then you cry out. Am I a little uneasy and worried about it? Yes, just a little, but he's still a young player. Give him time.

The offense wasn't much help. And how could they? Two measly runs off some guy we've never heard of out of the Yankees pen. It was after the path of destruction that CC Sabathia left mowing through the lineup. That was throwback CC Sabathia on the mound of Progressive Field. He looked like the big old CC of old last night making the opposing lineup look like fools. Big 11 strikeouts when all was said and done.

"We don't match up very good with him," Acta said. "The majority of our hitters, especially the main guys, hit from the left side, and he's very tough against lefties."

Not many teams match up well with Sabathia. So, yeah I guess that's okay.

Cord Phelps was the only one that didn't struggle, but it didn't really make up for his defensive gaff. He had three walks in four at-bats last night. But everyone else did. Santana and Orlando Cabrera didn't strikeout, but they might as well have the way he was throwing.

Oh and Asdrubal didn't strike out, but....

Thankfully, this loss was bigger than the one that could have potentially crippled the club. Asdrubal Cabrera left the game in the 4th when he was pinch-hit for following an ankle injury. It has been ruled as a mild ankle sprain and he is just day-to-day. That could be the end of all humanity. He is one guy that cannot get hurt.

Cabrera hurt the ankle planting to make a throw on a grounder he stopped. I hurt myself ramming my head into the door because of it.

Random Details...

Because Chisenhall replaced Cabrera, the top two hitters in the order were 1-for-9 with six of those 12 total strikeouts. Um, ouch. Doesn't matter what Carlos Carrasco does, you ain't winning with that. Especially since Hafner was 0-for-4.

The Professor two more shutout innings. He now has six straight appearances with no earned runs that totals up to 12.1 innings. Keep it up Herrmann.

Chad Durbin is either bad or good, I tell you. In his last five appearances that he's given up a run dating back to the beginning of June, he gave up three runs or more in four of those appearances. It seems like these runs just come in garbage time though. In the pressure situation, he comes through, yet when the game is already out of hand or whatever, Durbin adds more firewood.

Grady Sizemore has struck out in eight straight games and 10 of his last 11.

I said it on Twitter and I'll say it again. I know he's a nice guy and probably doesn't deserve this, but Curtis Granderson is a jerkface. Man what is this kid eating? He always had a little pop in Detroit, but this is crazy. And it isn't just that short-right field porch in Yankee stadium. He clobbered two last night. Always a Tiger I wanted to not be a Tiger. I kind of don't want him to be a Yankee, but he's now hit more home runs against the Indians than he has against anyone else other than the Royals and Twins in his career. So I'm cool with him playing for a team we face six times a year rather than 18.

Hey... Did you notice that everyone in the Yankees lineup got at least two hits? Well everyone except Francisco Cervelli. But who really is counting him?


A few days ago I speculated about possible additions to the club. I ran down all the possible cheap additions like Mike Cameron and Juan Rivera, my top two choices for the Indians to go after. Also recapped the idea of bringing in a bigger, more expensive priced piece like a Michael Cuddyer or a Ryan Ludwick.

At this juncture, I think the later is more likely and let me explain why.

Austin Kearns is the main cog in this whole thing. If you were to make some sort of an addition, like a Juan Rivera, then you'd ultimately be replacing Austin Kearns. If you are acquiring someone like Rivera to replace Kearns, you have to believe Kearns needs replaced.

For one, Acta doesn't seem to believe Kearns needs replaced.

"It's not easy to be a bench player and get out there and play well," Acta said. "I'm not expecting to have guys on the bench hitting .330. They wouldn't be a bench player then. They would be playing every day."


"The fact is, this guy had never been a bench player up until last year, when we traded him to the Yankees," Acta said. "Whoever comes here to be a fourth outfielder, if our three guys are healthy -- Choo, Brantley and Sizemore -- you are in to really ride some pine. ... I respect people's opinion, but I know this guy is a good player when he gets an opportunity to play."

So Acta was taken aback by "people" complaining about Kearns. I can't imagine why. Gee. He has a good point and I get it. I'm also not one to put up a fight when there is no battle to be won. It's quite clear he's on the Kearns bandwagon and he isn't going anywhere anytime soon, especially after his home run the other night. Acta values his presence in the clubhouse and obviously feels his defense is good enough.

You can also count Mike Cameron out as the Marlins swung a PTBNL or cash type of a deal with Boston to acquire his services. That doesn't make much sense, why not wait til he clears waivers and get him for free? Or just not get him at all? Not worth it.

But anyway, back to my original point here. If the Indians are going to make a move to replace Kearns, it will be to ultimately replace Shin-Soo Choo, who's going to be out for a few months. So you won't add spare parts like a Juan Rivera, because he isn't replacing Choo, he's replacing Kearns.

A Michael Cuddyer, Ryan Ludwick, or a Jeff Francoeur, those guys are replacing Choo. And that's why I think it's more likely, even though those odds are kind of steep, that they add someone of that caliber rather than a minor veteran on the cheap.

That being said, the obligatory, "teams are putting feelers out, we're doing our job, but right now it's a crowded market" comment from Chris Antonetti probably needs to be posted, just to give you that ease of mind.

"There are a lot of teams talking to each other, trying to align on fits," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "But because there are a lot of teams still in contention and a lot of teams that are still competing, it's been a little bit of a slower-developing market."

"Especially with [right fielder Shin-Soo] Choo suffering the injury that he suffered, I think we'll probably focus most of our efforts on improving our offense and getting a little more consistency there," Antonetti said.

The specific mentioning of Choo's absence makes me feel a little stronger about my argument. The idea of another right-handed bullpen arm seems to have gone aside. Mind you the Indians have only had one other guy currently not on the roster in their bullpen, and that is Justin Germano. This pen has been solid and probably can focus their resources elsewhere in areas that are in more of a need.


We talked about Asdrubal's injury and the hope that it isn't serious. Just really hope for that there. There's no other option. He cannot get hurt.

Some of the other guys that have been injured are on the way back though. Travis Buck, who wasn't placed on the disabled left after leaving Friday's game with a hamstring strain is looking like an option Wednesday.

And it was looking like for awhile, Matt LaPorta may actually have been activated prior to Tuesday's game, but that actually didn't happen. He could however be ready to go on Wednesday. LaPorta completed his second straight day of batting practice, fielding, and running. Seems like the trifecta needed to play. Acta says a decision will come today.

Because LaPorta is ready and so is Buck, the Indians will have to find a roster move to make for LaPorta, since Josh Judy is getting sent down for Zach McAllister, who officially was named as Thursday's starter by Manny Acta after the game on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, the Hawkman may be on his way back down to make room for LaPorta.

For those of you patiently waiting for Drew Pomeranz's promotion to Akron, I'm right there with you. Chris Antonetti hints that it may be in the "near future." I can only hope that near future is before this next weekend coming up before Harrisburg visits Canal Park. Who wouldn't want to see Pomeranz versus Bryce Harper?

A dummie, that's who.

The full list of International Free Agents that the Indians have signed looks like this:

Dominican Republic

SS Dorssys Paulino ($1.1 M, 14th Ranked by Baseball America)

OF Francisco Miguel


LHP Edgar Pineda

OF Omar Sanchez

OF Anthony Santander

The highest upside is obviously Paulino, the kid you give $1.1 million to. It's interesting to see the approach though with five position players. I speculated on Monday if the spending could allude us to their intentions on spending with their draft signings. The two are not mutually exclusive, but the "strategy" or "plan of attack" might translate. If they like someone enough and can get a deal done, it seems like they are going to do it. It's worked the past two years, that's for sure.

The point is though, the Indians aren't going to just spend to spend. Or overspend. But they are going to be aggressive and make plays for the guys they like. They must have really liked these guys and hopefully, the right High School arms they drafted in this year's draft.

bullpenmafiathumb[STAT OF THE DAY]

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

Directly from The Indians' bullpen enters Wednesday with four relievers who rank in the top 15 in ERA this season. Joe Smith (0.92) ranks first, followed by Rafael Perez (1.60), Vinnie Pestano (1.72) and closer Chris Perez (2.30). The quartet has collectively allowed just eight earned runs in its last 50 2/3 innings (1.42 ERA). Smith has not allowed a run since he surrendered two earned runs on May 8.


Nino's TV Reference of the Day: Steve Holt! - Arrested Development

Also required viewing is his campaign video made by Gob. Steve Holt!

Days Without a Tweet: 43


You can follow Nino on Twitter @TheTribeDaily where he tweets about running into Manny Acta on the streets of Cincinnati. You can also read more Morning Rundown and other features at his blog, The Tribe Daily.

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