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Second Thoughts Game #8: Yankees 14, Indians 1

Carrasco and Myers shelled as Pettitte shuts down Tribe

Second Thoughts Game #8: Yankees 14, Indians 1
April 10, 2013
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Not Exactly How I Planned To Start The Season

At 6:30 when I was on my way to Progressive Field for my first live Indians game of the season, I couldn’t be more excited. By 9:30 that night, however, when the Yankees were beating my beloved Tribe 14-1 and “Let’s go Yankees!” chants from the New York fans in attendance was nauseatingly audible above the normal chatter of the ballpark, it wasn’t at the top of my list of places to be at the time.

Yeah, not how you want your first game of the season to go. I still plan on going to plenty more games in the upcoming season, hopefully not as dismal as Tuesday night’s loss, but that’s baseball. You win some and you lose some and every once in a while, you really lose some.

Welcome Back To The Big Leagues

Carlos Carrasco made his season debut Tuesday night after sitting out 2012 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Needless to say, it was a night he’d like to forget along with the rest of Tribe Nation as Carrasco got rocked by a depleted Yankees lineup for seven runs in three and two thirds innings. He had no problem with velocity as he was pitching in the mid-90s and topping out around 97 mph, but his command was more the culprit as he struggled to throw strikes only whiffing two Yankees in his outing and missing badly with location to several others.

Carrasco was tossed from the game in the fourth after beaning Yankee third baseman Kevin Youkilis. Home plate umpire Jordan Baker called for the ejection assuming Carrasco intentionally hit Youkilis since the previous batter, Robinson Cano, had hit a two-run home run off the right-hander. In a postgame interview, Carrasco insisted that he didn’t intend to hit Youkilis and that the pitch had ‘slipped’ during his delivery. Possible disciplinary action against Carrasco is pending review by Major League Baseball.

In July of 2011, Carrasco was tossed in a game against Kansas City for hitting Royals DH Billy Butler with a pitch. Then-Royals center fielder Melky Cabrera had just hit a homer off Carrasco, who then threw at Butler in retaliation. After the game, he complained about Cabrera spending too much time admiring his home run after he hit it. Carrasco was then handed a six-game suspension by Major League Baseball, which he didn’t serve until the beginning of this season due to his recovery from surgery in 2012.

Definite Warning Signs

The Indians signed veteran right-hander Brett Myers this offseason to anchor the middle of the rotation and provide some relief for the bullpen by eating a lot of innings. After an inconsistent spring and now two regular season appearances, Myers has shown no inclinations of being able to perform in either capacity. Myers made his first start last week against the Blue Jays and gave up seven runs on seven hits, including four home runs, all in five innings of work.

Unfortunately, no significant progress was made on Tuesday night as Myers again served up seven runs on 11 hits with three homers allowed. The only noticeable improvement other than the number of home runs given up was the fact that Myers recorded his first strikeouts (4) and didn’t walk anyone. However, the situation with Myers is now a legitimate concern and could be a substantial problem for the rotation if no additional improvement is made.

It’s A Long Season

Yes, by now many fans are sick of the old “it’s early” phrase, but that doesn’t make it any less accurate. As bad as the last two games have been, it’s still way too soon to draw any conclusions about a team. Eight games out of a 162-game season is just too small a sample size to make a logical prediction one way or the other. So much changes with teams and players in each marathon season.

It’s easy to hit the panic button and declare the team a failure after a disappointing start to the season, but that’s not how baseball works. There will be streaks and slumps and maybe even some tough roster decisions to make as teams try to find and settle into their grooves. Some may have found them already; some may not find them for another few weeks. Bottom line, a 3-5 record is not worth raising your blood pressure over.

Quick Game Facts:

  • Indians outfielder Drew Stubbs recorded his first extra-base hits of the season with two doubles off left-hander Andy Pettitte on Tuesday night.
  • Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera now has three RBIs this season, all of which have come via home runs.
  • Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano is now 7-for-10 with three home runs and seven RBIs against Indians pitching in this series thus far.
  • Former Indians DH Travis Hafner was held hitless with two strikeouts Tuesday night after going 2-for-3 with a homer and four RBIs on Monday.

Up Next: Yankees vs. Indians Game #3 @ Progressive Field. First pitch at 7:07 ET.

Well, due to the unexpected turn of events in Tuesday night’s game, Brett Myers will not be starting this one as originally planned. Decisions regarding the rotation and who will be called upon to fill the upcoming vacant start in order to complete the rotation before it gets back to Justin Masterson will be expected Wednesday before the game. It is possible that young right-hander Zach McAllister will be moved up a day to his normal fifth day and get the nod against Yankees right hander Ivan Nova. McAllister wasn’t too bad in his first start against Tampa Bay, where he gave up 4 runs, but only two earned, but pitching around errors still remains a problem for the right-hander. If the Indians do move up McAllister to Wednesday, then they still need a starter for Thursday.

Jake Dungan is a communications student at Stark State College and an intern with the Akron RubberDucks. Follow him on Twitter @MajorLeagueJake.

User Comments

April 10, 2013 - 1:54 PM EDT
yeah, I didn't actually see it, so I don't really have any judgment on the intent, it always does strike me as funny, because when a guy's obviously missing his spots quite a bit, how do you say he intended to hit a guy? He may legitimately have just been trying to come inside (which is totally fine), and missed, like he did on most of his pitches.

I think it's way too early to panic Shy. The first week of the baseball season is often opposite week. Like last year, Lowe and Jeanmar Gomez were carrying the pitching staff the first few times through the rotation, then, the opposite. It wouldn't be surprising if a few outings from now, Myers and Ubaldo are at least holding their own. I expected some Ubaldo and Myers-led bumps at the beginning of the year; how could you not? Ubaldo needs to be given a chance because he's working through some mechanical changes so inconsistency for the first few outings should pretty much be expected. It's not like they can dump him, especially after he's only pitched one bad (really bad) game. Myers, there's the (ill-advised) $7 million contract, and the fact that he at least wasn't totally horrible two years ago as a starter. Though the way he's pitched, you'd think he took last year off rather than throwing a good number of innings out of the bullpen. At least Carrasco has an excuse.
Canadian Joe
April 10, 2013 - 12:48 PM EDT
A rain out tonight would not be a bad thing. Get rid of the nightmares of the first 2 games. Did not think the pitching issues would rear their ugly heads so soon, and there is nothing there, aside from Masterson that gives us much hope going forward. I am sure Antonetti is already looking at the waiver wire as well as trade options to do something. Carrasco has to grow up and Bauer needs to mature if they are going to help at all this year. In the meantime, don't want to push the panic button just yet, but the signs are there, that this staff is not the answer.
April 10, 2013 - 12:18 PM EDT
By the way, don't know if anyone follows my tweets on Twitter, but Kluber will get the start tonight. I have confirmed as so.
April 10, 2013 - 12:04 PM EDT
Extremely way too early to trade or dump Carrasco. Those are the kind of kneejerk reactions you end up regretting later. Granted, he needs to get a freaking clue and cut the bush league crap, but he's going to be a solid starter in this league. He has the stuff to be a #2, though more likely may end up a good #3 or #4, and at worst a #5. He has value still.
April 10, 2013 - 11:59 AM EDT
The pitching staff wasn't addressed in the off season and the bullpen was changed slightly and it is showing off now when pitchers have to throw 5-6 innings and come in for real game situations.

I would trade or release Carrasco oddly he would be great in the Yankees system maybe he can ship out with them. He may make it back in time but I don't see him as more than a middle reliever.

Myers is terrible, was terrible all spring, and I don't think anyone would take him.

If things don't change quickly the same thing as 2012 will happen with all the pressure on Masterson he'll start falling apart as well. We need three starting pitchers now and I don't think Bauer is one of them at this point, neither is Kazmir and Dice K.
April 10, 2013 - 11:47 AM EDT
I agree with you Tony- I believe Carrasco threw at Youklis and I would not be surprised or disappointed if he is suspended. He won't be back at the Jake for awhile either way. Props to League Park for pointing out that he came from the Phillies org, not the Cubs and that Pettite is only 40. I think Antonetti has to do something now to keep boat afloat. I would maybe go after Dan Straily- he was just sent down by the A's after striking out 11 in 6 innings in his first appearance. The A's have won 6 in a row including a major comeback against the Angels in Anaheim last night. They need a second baseman and a catcher. How about Cord Phelps and Lou Marson for Straily and a PTBNL? I didn't watch the Indians last nite. DId Gomes look comfortable behind the plate?
April 10, 2013 - 10:42 AM EDT
I'll disagree Seth. THis is something Carrasco is known for. He's become known as a headhunter who is an emotional midget who loses his cool and throws at the heads of batters after allowing home runs. He did it in the minors, and this is now his third or fourth time he has done it already in the majors. And the second time in three starts! It is exactly why he was suspended in the first place. It is clear as day he was throwing at Youkilis. Now, whether or not he is suspended, we will see....but I think regardless this is the last we see of Carrasco in Cleveland for some time this season unless the Indians are desperate for a starter. Complete bush league antics and stuff that can get his own players hurt by the other team retaliating.....thankfully the Yankees did not throw at anyone last night although I guess they could do so today or tomorrow.
April 10, 2013 - 10:29 AM EDT
And I don't necessarily count Bauer's start. He did have command issues, but he also dealt with a very inconsistent strike zone and had missed umpire calls against his defense. I definitely think he's better than what the results of Saturday's game showed.
April 10, 2013 - 10:26 AM EDT
I'm not quite sure what to think about Carrasco hitting Youk, but his struggles with command didn't surprise me all that much. Not only was it his first big league start since recovering from Tommy John surgery, it was also his first live game action in nearly three weeks since he spent the first week of the season serving out his original suspension.

I think he can turn it around, but he'll need time in AAA.
April 10, 2013 - 10:21 AM EDT
It would be pretty ridiculous to suspend Carrasco. It's the guy's first game back from Tommy John surgery, he's supposed to be wild. The best evidence that Carrasco wasn't throwing at Youkilis, is that he hit Youkilis. It's like Cody Allen hitting Longoria that other day. If he was trying to hit him, it's the only pitch he threw that didn't miss the target by at least 2 feet.

Ugly outings. I was hopeful Carrasco would have a decent game to try to force the issue with Myers/Ubaldo sooner rather than later. Instead, he and Bauer have shown they're just as much of a mess as the other two.

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