April 20 to April 24 – Won four of five
April 25 to May 5 – Lost eight of 10
May 6 to May 14 – Won six of eight
May 15 to May 18 – Lost four straight
May 19 to May 24 – Won five of six
May 25 to 28 – Lost four straight
May 30 to June 9 – Won nine of 10
June 10 to Thursday – Lost three straight
That’s the Indians season over the past eight weeks. There have been more wins than losses (26-23 overall) in that span, but the inconsistency is maddening.
Thursday’s game felt like a case of simply getting outplayed, so it’s tough to place the blame solely on anyone. Josh Tomlin turned in an adequate performance allowing four runs (three earned) while pitching into the sixth. And the offense set the table a number of times but, aside from a two-run single by Jason Kipnis, they just couldn’t get the big hit.
On a positive note, Carlos Carrasco continues to demonstrate why he should never be asked to start another game again. In his last seven appearances out of the bullpen he’s allowed just one run in 11 1/3 innings, with an 11-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He now has a 1.84 career ERA out of the bullpen and a 5.66 ERA as a starter.
I haven’t had a chance to dive into the details of how Carrasco pitches differently from the pen, and I’m sure there are some tangible things he’s changed in his approach. But when the difference between starting and relieving is so dramatic it’s tough not to assume that something as simple as confidence is a major factor.
Other notes and stats and thoughts…
- Since I’ve talked about PER all week… Tomlin’s produced a PER of .707 in the game, which equates to a projected win probability of 43.8 percent, his worst outing of the season.
- Why wasn’t Lonnie Chisenhall in the lineup? He’s 14 for 28 against lefties this season. I realize it’s a small sample size and he’s been awful against lefties in his career, but a .500 batting average in a sample size that equates to about seven games is crazy good. And Lester would have been a great test for him to see if he can continue to develop against lefties. Francona needs to ease off the platoon in an effort to develop his young players. Playing Aviles over Chisenhall was a mistake tonight.
- The Tribe has lost seven of it’s last eight at Fenway, including four straight.
- Tomlin walked two batters for the first time this season. He falls one game shy of the franchise record for most consecutive games with one or fewer walks to start a season. Dick Bosman’s seven game streak in 1973 remains all alone in the record books.