MESA, Ariz.: Monday’s 13-5 win over the Chicago Cubs got off to a frightening start for the Indians, when Carlos Carrasco was hit in the head by a smash off the bat of Darnell McDonald in the first inning.
“It ticked off his glove and hit him right here,” manager Terry Francona said, pointing to the right side of his head. “It got him pretty good.”
While Carrasco stood on the mound, one of the assistant trainers began asking him questions and looking into his eyes to see if there were obvious signs of a concussion.
“We made him go through just about every test imaginable,” Francona said. “Then we did more in the clubhouse. We will also follow up tonight.”
Carrasco threw a few warm-up pitches and finished his three innings. He allowed four hits, two runs and a walk, all after he was hit. However, Francona did not think he was disabled in any way.
Before the game, Francona expressed a desire to get through the entire game using only three pitchers, all starters. Zach McAllister followed Carrasco with three scoreless innings and one hit allowed, and Trevor Bauer pitched the last three innings, giving up two earned runs (three total), two hits and a walk, striking out two.
“It went about as well as we could have hoped,” Francona said. “McAllister was so efficient, he had to throw 15 pitches in the bullpen after he was done.”
The manager also praised Bauer.
“His change-up was very good, and he had a lot of life on his fastball,” Francona said.
The Tribe amassed 20 hits, including seven for extra bases, as Lonnie Chisenhall, Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds all homered.
Swisher also singled twice and had four RBI; Chisenhall had three hits, including a double, and drove in three runs, and Reynolds had two hits and two RBI. Drew Stubbs drove in three runs with a double and triple. Swisher and Chisenhall are batting .471.
Nothing is left to chance when Bauer pitches, far beyond his pregame workout of throwing long toss from 350 feet.
Bauer doesn’t wrap ice around his pitching shoulder as most (but not all) pitchers do. After investigating this practice, Bauer concluded that ice is for treating direct trauma.
“I jammed my shoulder when I was six and they put ice on it,” said Bauer, who never did it again. “I do research on these things so I can make sense of them. I’m into the science of pitching, anyway.”
Getting it right
Scott Kazmir is unhappy with one of his pitches, so he will work out the kinks in a minor-league game.
“He’s not really pleased with his breaking ball,” Francona said. “If I put him in a game and he throws a few [bad ones], he’s going to get away from [throwing] it, because he wants to get guys out.’’
Kazmir will throw on the minor-league fields on Wednesday.
Frank Herrmann is considering his options after getting two opinions on his injured right elbow.
Both doctors have said he can benefit from elbow reconstruction surgery, but that it’s possible rest and rehabilitation will resolve the problem.
“I’m still looking for a little more information and mulling things over,” Herrmann said.
He might even seek a third opinion, but that is undecided.
If Herrmann has to undergo surgery, he probably will miss at least a year.
Back in action
Joe Smith, who has been sidelined with a strained oblique, will throw one inning today.
“We wanted to make sure he’s good to go,” Francona said. “He’s fine now. It will be fun to see him out there.”
The Indians travel to Scottsdale, Ariz., today to play the San Francisco Giants. Daisuke Matsuzaka will start against Madison Bumgarner.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.