Stephanie Storm’s 10 final thoughts following the Indians 6-3 loss to the host Angels Monday.
1) In losing their fourth consecutive game following a three-game sweep by the San Francisco Giants, about the only positive for the Indians on the night was the way Carlos Santana swung the bat.
The Tribe’s embattled four-hole hitter snapped a 0-for-12 skid with a 2-for-4 effort - including a fourth-inning home run that handed his team a 3-1 advantage.
2) Unfortunately for the offensively-challenged Tribe, Santana’s three-run homer was the only offense the team could muster on the night. Angels young lefty Tyler Skaggs limited the Tribe to three runs on four hits and a walk, striking out six over seven innings, but earned a no-decision.
3) Indians starter Justin Masterson pitched well for seven innings, but one inning – a forgettable eighth - did in the big right hander. After Nick Swisher’s fielding error opened the door for the host, the Angels explosive offense did the rest of the damage. By the time Masterson was excused from the debacle of the inning, he’d given up six runs (five earned) on the night on seven hits and two walks. He struck out five.
4) After the game, the ever-optimistic Masterson joked he was just happy to get some kind of decision, even if it was a loss. Had he not of figured into the decision, Masterson would have become the team’s first pitcher since 1914 to have pitched 30-plus innings in a month but not earned either a win or a loss.
5) “We’re getting deeper and deeper into games and I loved that Tito trusted me to go out there (in the eighth inning),” Masterson said. “And again, it’s not like we made terrible pitches. We didn’t walk the house and we came out and were like here we go and challenged guys.”
6) Masterson’s slow start is the least of the Indians current pitching woes. After the game, Tribe manager Terry Francona confirmed that right-hander Carlos Carrasco had finally been moved to the bullpen.
7) “That was can fortify our bullpen and get (Carrasco) on a roll,” Francona said.
8) Well, that’s a nice way of putting it. The struggling Carrasco was 0-3 with a 6.95 ERA in four starts. But the final straw came over the weekend after his last start against the San Francisco Giants.
9) Following Friday’s loss, a frustrated Carrasco seemed to be searching for answers when he told reporters after the game he felt his velocity had decreased while utilizing the revamped delivery that the Indians had spent all off season working with him on.
The next day, Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway sat down with Carrasco to show him via video that it wasn’t the case.
10) While Carrasco tries to figure out his issues in the Tribe 'pen, right-hander Zach McAllister (3-1, 3.14 ERA) is scheduled to start the final game of the six-game road trip Wednesday on short rest.
“(McAllister) threw 75 pitches in his outing, so he’s in good shape to go Wednesday,” Francona said. “We talked to Zach about it at length just to make sure he’s fine.”