Twenty-six final thoughts as the Indians won their fourth consecutive series and five of the past six as they push for a playoff berth.
1. Carlos Carrasco is a new man. If the 27-year-old Indians right-hander didn’t know it already, he got affirmation from catcher Yan Gomes Thursday. And it seemed to mean a lot to Carrasco, whose first four starts this season were so disastrous that manager Terry Francona demoted him to the bullpen.
2. Carrasco’s nickname is “Cookie,” for the obvious reason that he loves the sweet treats. “Today Gomes told me, ‘Now you’re Cookie, you like to have fun and everything. But when you’re in the game you have a different mindset. You’re way different,’” Carrasco said.
3. Since he returned to the starting rotation on Aug. 10, Carrasco is 3-0 with a 0.73 ERA in four starts. He’s struck out 15 in his last two outings, including seven White Sox. He’s notched three consecutive quality starts. He won his first game against the White Sox Thursday after going 0-4 with a 6.81 ERA in his previous seven outings (six starts).To read more or comment...
Twenty-four final thoughts on right-hander Corey Kluber, a strange crew chief review and Kluber’s warm-up pitch issue.
1. Kluber surpassed his career-high in innings pitched in a season Wednesday with 192 2/3. But he insisted he’s not getting tired. “No, not at all,” he said. “I feel as good now as I did at the beginning of the year. Stuff-wise, I think my stuff has carried on throughout the year. I haven't lost anything. I just made a couple mistakes today.”
2. He also pitched for the second consecutive outing on five days rest and suffered his second consecutive defeat. But Kluber, known for his strict routine in between starts, said that hasn’t been a factor. “I don't think so,” he said. “I think I've had times throughout the year where I've had an extra day of rest and I've been fine. I just think, for whatever reason, I made some mistakes, kind of in some key spots. ... They took advantage of it. Even the one (Jose) Abreu hit in the (seventh), it was a good pitch. It was where we wanted it. He's just a really good hitter and he did a good piece of hitting.”
3. More of an issue may be the Indians’ lack of run support for their ace. Wednesday marked the 12th time in Kluber's 28 starts that the Indians have scored three or fewer runs. That includes six of his last seven.To read more or comment...
Final thoughts after Zach Walters hit his sixth home run in 13 games, a two-run blast off right-hander Jake Petricka in the 10th inning to give the Indians the victory.
1. I don’t know who in the Indians’ baseball operations department first spotted Walters. General manager Chris Antonetti has said that the Tribe has liked him for a while. It’s possible they liked him in the 2010 draft, when the Arizona Diamondbacks selected Walters in the ninth round. But if the Indians make the playoffs, tabbing Walters as the player they wanted in the July 31 trade with the Washington Nationals for Asdrubal Cabrera might turn out to be the biggest move in getting them in.
2. Since the Indians called up Walters from Triple-A Columbus on Aug. 10, when they were in New York facing the Yankees, Walters has shown he doesn’t hit homers in routs. He hits them when they count. Four of his six have come when the game was tied, two when the Indians trailed by a run. Until Tuesday, his biggest was a ninth-inning walkoff on Aug. 13 in the first game of a home double-header against Arizona.
3. Add in his brief time with the Nationals and Walters has 18 hits this season and nine are home runs. Two of his three with Washington came in blowouts, but the other was with the game tied in the top of the eighth at Miami.To read more or comment...