Sailing with the Clippers: Carson enjoying some home cooking
The Week that Was
The Clippers returned home on Monday from an even 4-4 road trip to take the first three games from the Rochester Red Wings (Twins).
On Monday, they came off the mat following a fourth inning grand slam that cost starter Tyler Cloyd an opportunity at a much needed win. Matt Carson hit the game winning two-run home run in the eighth.
Kyle Davies introduced himself to the Clippers by pitching brilliantly over seven innings on Tuesday, facing the minimum after he allowed two runs to score in the second. It was his first outing above the Double-A level since September 4, 2011 after shoulder surgery cost him 2012. Matt Carson belted another two-run home run, this time in the seventh to ensure the victory.
Trevor Bauer allowed three hits and a run over 7.2 innings on Thursday and the Clippers used a four run fourth to complete a series sweep against Rochester. Jesus Aguilar hit a two-run double that scored the go-ahead runs and Giovanny Urshela hit his second homer in his short time with the team, a two-run shot to left.
T.J. House pitched six shutout innings and left with a 3-0 lead, but Nick Hagadone had control issues and ultimately served up a game-tying three-run homer to left off the bat of Jhonatan Solano in the bottom of the seventh. The good guys quickly responded with a four-run inning. The winning run scored on a bases loaded walk by Justin Sellers and a three-run double by David Cooper added the insurance in the Clippers 7-3 win over Syracuse.
Tyler Cloyd started on Saturday and though he had a particularly tough second inning where he gave up two runs and threw 30 pitches, he bounced back and went six innings. The Clippers used a three-run seventh as David Cooper provided the go-ahead blow, a two-run double, and the Clippers came off the mat to defeat Syracuse 4-2.
The six game winning streak came to an end on Sunday afternoon. The Clippers died by their own sword committing three errors, two in the decisive three-run sixth and Syracuse defeated the Clippers 4-1.
Matt Carson had a pretty memorable stint with the Indians last season. He was called up at the end of August and though he didn’t play much, when he got an opportunity, he usually took advantage.
In 20 games, he only had 13 plate appearances. He got more than one at-bat in only two games. In that short sample, he had seven hits, a homer, drove in three and stole three bases. He made the most of his opportunity.
That’s why the start of this season was a bit of a disappointment for him. Before the recent homestand, his stats looked like this:
“So far this year, even if I was having a great season, I’m having an okay season. It hasn’t been exactly what I wanted,” Carson stated. “There’s always room for improvement and that’s what I’m here to do down in the minor leagues is to improve and get better and hopefully help the big club out.”
This home stand, however, his numbers have taken a massive leap:
He hit in all six games this home stand. So why all the success now?
“Baseball is kind of one of those things where all the sudden, you’ll kind of be struggling a little bit and maybe you relax a little bit and just kind of let it happen,” Carson said. “I came back off of a tough road trip and came back here and didn’t try to do too much and started to see the ball a little better.”
Carson’s resurgence on this homestand started the six game winning streak. On Monday, Carson belted a two-run double to left that gave the Clippers the early lead and then hit a home run in the eighth that scored two that ended up being the game-winner.
For his encore on Tuesday night, he belted another two-run home run in the seventh that ended up being the margin of victory.
His performance in the first two games of the homestand were a catalyst for the team’s success last week. In the two innings that the Clippers put up runs on Syracuse Saturday night, the first hit of the inning came off the bat of Matt Carson. He also stole two bases that night.
Giovanny Urshela, 3B
Giovanny (pronounced Yo-VAH-nee for those wondering) would have been the featured player, but he tapered off at the end of the week going 0-for-7 on Saturday and Sunday. That does not diminish the early success he has had with the team. He hit two big home runs on Thursday and Friday to keep the winning streak going.
Tim Fedroff, OF
Tim Fedroff has become a staple at the top of the lineup mostly because of his propensity to get on base, doing that for 25 consecutive games, a streak that ended on Sunday afternoon. He opened the season without getting on base in his first two games.
David Cooper, 1B
Every day in the game notes handed out by the Clippers, they have a section about how bad the third spot in the lineup has been. But over the past week, there has been a marked improvement out of that spot. He started Monday with a .186/.238/.257 triple slash line with 7 RBI and 60 left on base, but after his week is up to .243/.308/..290 with 12 RBI and 73 left on base. Cooper didn’t have a spectacular week, but he’s trending upward.
Lost at Sea
Nick Hagadone, LHP
Hagadone had one really bad appearance this week. He walked a pair of batters and then gave up the game-tying three-run home run on Friday night that cost starter T.J. House his second win of the year.
By the Numbers
- While Trevor Bauer leads Clippers starters with a 1.12 ERA, T.J. House is not far behind (1.77). While Bauer is off to a 4-0 start to the season, House (1-2) is under .500. To make matters worse, House has the lowest run support among starters with three runs per outing. The bullpen hasn’t been much of a help either. They have blown three saves in games he’s started, most recently in his last start on Friday night against Syracuse when Nick Hagadone gave up a game-tying three-run homer. And to add the final insult, they have allowed more of his inherited runners to score than any other starter at 42.9%.
- Tim Fedroff’s 25 game on-base streak came to an end on Sunday when he went 0-for-4 in the loss against Syracuse.
- The Clippers found themselves in first place alone for a day (Saturday). The last time the Clippers were in such a position was 4/14/13. Saturday also marked the first time that Indianapolis was not at the top of the IL West standings since that day.
RHP Kyle Davies made his Clippers debut on Tuesday night and pitched seven innings. He gave up two runs in the second but retired ten in row and faced the minimum until his departure. He followed that performance up on Sunday by allowing four runs, only one earned as his defense let him down. They committed two errors in the decisive sixth inning and he was hung with the loss.
Newbie infielder Todd Hankins got his first Triple-A hit and his first RBI in the same at-bat, a single to left on Friday night that scored Carlos Moncrief from third. He went 2-for-3 that night after going 0-for-4 in his debut the previous night.
Infielder Elliot Johnson debuted with the Clippers on Sunday afternoon. He went 1-for-3 and scored a run in the 4-1 loss to Syracuse.
5/12 – Syracuse (10:35 AM) – RHP Ryan Tatusko (1-4, 2.15) vs RHP Travis Banwart (2-0, 3.44)
5/13 – at Rochester (7:05 PM) – RHP Trevor Bauer (4-0, 1.12) vs RHP Trevor May (1-3, 4.97)
5/14 – at Rochester (7:05 PM) – LHP T.J. House (1-2, 1.77) vs LHP Scott Diamond (2-4, 7.53)
5/15 – at Rochester (7:05 PM) – RHP Tyler Cloyd (1-2, 6.03) vs RHP Yohan Pino (5-1, 1.57)
5/16 – at Rochester (7:05 PM) – RHP Kyle Davies (1-1, 2.08) vs RHP Alex Meyer (1-1, 4.33)
5/17 – at Syracuse (7:00 PM)
5/18 – at Syracuse (2:00 PM)
5/5 – Nick Hagadone was optioned from Cleveland. He had been recalled on 5/3 when the Indians designated infielder Elliot Johnson for assignment.
5/6 – Cleveland recalled right-handed pitcher Josh Tomlin…Infielder Ryan Rohlinger was placed on the 7-Day Disabled List…Right-handed pitcher Kyle Davies was transferred from AA Akron…Infielder Todd Hankins transferred from advanced Single-A Carolina.
5/8 – Catcher Matt Treanor was activated from the 7-Day Disabled List and elected to retire.
5/11 – Cleveland sent infielder Elliot Johnson outright to Columbus…Right-handed pitcher Brett Brach was released.
Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.