Prior to tonight’s game, Fausto Carmona was 0-2 with a 20.25 ERA against the Chicago White Sox this season (18 hits and 18 earned runs surrendered in just 8 innings). After last night’s frustrating loss, I was afraid to see what tonight’s game would hold for fans. I was more than pleasantly surprised as Carmona was excellent tonight and the offense put up solid numbers against Mark Buehrle, (4 earned runs on 12 hits). At one point Carmona put down 11 White Sox in a row; his only major mistake came to Alexi Ramirez in the 2nd inning when he gave up a solo home run. In his last 6 starts, Carmona has a 2.63 ERA – a significant improvement over his performance in the first half of the season. While Acta attempted to let Carmona go the distance tonight, he pulled him in the 9th and let Chris Perez take the save.
Every Indians starter in the lineup tonight had a hit except for Lou Marson. Shin-Soo Choo, Kosuke Fukudome, and Carlos Santana all had multiple hits; Choo was 3 for 5. Buehrle had been tough recently too, with 8 quality starts prior to tonight’s campaign. (A quality start means the pitcher lasts at least 6 innings with fewer than three earned runs). The Indians struggled to put together a big inning, but managed to come through with 2 runs in the 7th to give themselves a nice 4-1 lead. With the way Carmona pitched tonight, it was more than enough.
The Tigers lost to Minnesota tonight, which means the Indians move back to 2 games out of first (the White Sox stay at 3.5 games back). Despite frustrating games like last night (and a number of frustrating moments throughout the season), I’m still thankful to be in the midst of a pennant race. After I came home from Spring Training in Arizona this year, I felt pretty bleak about this team. The fact that I’m watching meaningful baseball in late August for the first time in 4 years is exciting. In fact, the Indians announced today that they’ve been given the go-ahead by Major League Baseball to start selling postseason tickets. Even though the pessimist in me is groaning right now, the optimist in me can’t help but be a bit excited!