CLEVELAND: What can the Indians do to get Fausto Carmona back on track?
""We had a talk with Fausto today,'' manager Manny Acta said this afternoon. ""He expressed to me that he feels good, a lot better than he did in 2009. The main thing is to stay positive.''
Carmona's meltdown occurred with two outs and nobody on in the fifth inning of Monday night's game against the Rockies. The next seven batters reached base and six scored, and Carmona never did get the third out.
""Fausto does have some responsibility, especially for the walks (one to start the rally, one driving in a run), but there are some things he couldn't control,'' Acta said. ""If that ground ball doesn't hit the bag, he's out of the inning. That's just a fact.'' ¶
But Carmona allowed four batters to reach before the ground ball that bounced off the third base bag for a two-run double and two more afterward, and he couldn't get the third out.
Carmona's earned-run average has ballooned to 6.17, highest of any starter in the majors.
In addition to working to correct flaws in Carmona's delivery, the staff is concerned about his emotional state, which was at least partially responsible for his difficulties in 2009 and earlier.
""All we can do is go by the way he talks to us and the way he acts,'' Acta said. ""He's still having fun. We have people working with him, and they say he's in a good spot mentally. Our pitching guys say that he's snapping out of it (his slump).'' ¶