Stephanie Storm’s 10 final thoughts from the Indians 5-1 loss to the host San Francisco Giants.
1) Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco (0-3, 6.95 ERA) looked like two different pitchers Friday night in the Bay Area when he struggled early before settling in. Problem is, Carrasco allowed too much damage before finding his groove in allowing four runs over the first four innings – including a towering home run to Michael Morse in the fourth.
2) Although Carrasco showed improvement by finishing strong (it’s usually the other way), even a patient man like manager Terry Francona is likely running low on optimism about Carrasco – as a starter if nothing else. Without options, the team will keep him around, but how much longer can they keep trotting him out as a starter with Trevor Bauer pitching lights out at Triple-A Columbus continues to decrease dramatically after each outing.
3) That’s not just because of the gaudy numbers that support such a move – Carrasco is 0-12 with an 8.09 ERA in 17 starts since his last big league win in June 2011 (granted a portion of the lengthy time frame can be blamed on recovering from Tommy John surgery), but more so because of the maybe-too-honest thoughts he shared after the game.
4) Asked if he’s begun to worry about job security, Carrasco was frank: “Yes, every day. I pitch every five days. I worry every single day.”
5) Besides the mental anguish Carrasco seems to be struggling with, he added Friday night that he noticed his fastball velocity with his lead arm positioned higher (which is what the Indians want him to do to help add deception to his pitches AND worked tirelessly with him on during the off season) – isn’t working.
6) “I feel different when I start doing my leadoff arm down a little bit,” Carrasco said. “I feel different when I go up. Up, I’m (throwing) 90-92 (mph). When down, I just went 94-96 (mph). I feel more strong when I do that.”
7) So, Carrasco said he gave up on his revamped delivery after the first inning, and went back to his old style and felt better. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when pitching coach Mickey Calloway reads that after all the work he’s put in to help Carrasco develop.
8) Carrasco’s opposition on the mound – Giants right-hander Tim Hudson – wasn’t as effective as he’d been all season to date, but effective enough against the Indians, who went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
9) Hudson (3-1, 2,19 ERA) allowed just one run off four hits over seven innings, but gave up his first walks of the season spanning 30 innings – both to Indians catcher Carlos Santana.
10) Before the game, Francona talked about trying to convince the 38-year-old free-agent Hudson to come to Cleveland in the offseason. The pair knew each other from their days together in Oakland, but it wasn’t enough to sway Hudson, who signed with San Francisco for two years and $23 million.