The Indians are coming off of two games which should have been wins. Both were by one run, and both featured an inning in which one player made two errors. On Friday it was Carlos Santana in the sixth inning, when he made two errors that prolonged the inning in which the Giants scored three runs. On Saturday it was Cord Phelps in the seventh, when he made two errors which eventually resulted in the Giants only run of the game. The run came off of a balk, but the inning never should have gone that far.
Both games also featured great performances by the starting pitchers. On Friday, Carlos Carrasco went 8 innings and allowed only 1 earned run, even though 4 runs were scored. On Saturday, Justin Masterson pitched a gem when he went 6 2/3 without allowing an earned run. He got the loss, but pitched a great game. Masterson has gotten barely any run support all year, and his ERA reflects this, even though he is currently 5-6.
Saturday’s game was nationally televised on FOX. The Tribe’s pitching staff proved how great they are, but the offense was nowhere to be found. They had chances, but they could never get that one big hit to score a run.
Tonight’s game is on ESPN, and the Indians need to win. They are getting a ton of negative publicity nationally because of their recent slump. A win on national television would maintain at least a share of the lead in the Central, while also showing their abilities to a national audience.
This game is also a very important one for Fausto Carmona. He has had a forgettable year so far, but Manny Acta insists that he has good stuff, and that he just needs to be given time. I agree with Acta that he has great stuff, as he has shown it in the past, but he must find it soon.
Carmona is 4-9 on the year with an ERA of 5.98. These are unacceptable numbers for any pitcher in the MLB, especially one who was supposed to be the ace of the staff. No one is currently asking Carmona to pitch like an ace, but he must start pitching like he belongs in the rotation.
The game is at 8:00 on ESPN. Hopefully the Indians can gain a lead early, so they don’t have to face Brian Wilson and his beard for a third straight day.