Carlos Carrasco continued his dominance in his return to the starting rotation as the Cleveland Indians finished off a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox by virtue of a 2-0 win on a beautiful afternoon at Progressive Field.
The Indians didn’t score often, but they did score early as Michael Bourn led off the bottom of the first inning with a triple and scored on an rbi single by Michael Brantley. The 1-0 lead stood for most of the game until the bottom of the eighth inning when Roberto Perez scored on an RBI groundout by Carlos Santana to make it 2-0. While the White Sox threatened by putting two men on in the bottom of the ninth, forcing Terry Francona to lift Carrasco for Cody Allen with two men out, they were unable to score as Allen was able to get the flyout to center and the Indians moved to 74-67.
The story today was undoubtedly the pitching. White Sox starter Scott Carroll was solid in allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks in just over seven innings while striking out eight. But as good as Carroll was he couldn’t compare to Carrasco. The Indians righthander was absolutely dominant today, allowing just four hits and no walks over eight and two-thirds scoreless innings. Since returning to the rotation Carrasco has allowed only three earned runs over thirty-eight and two-thirds innings for a 0.70 ERA in six starts. Carrasco’s new focus on pounding the strike zone has turned his career around and he has combined with Corey Kluber to make an amazing one-two punch in an impressive young rotation with Trevor Bauer, T.J. House, and Danny Salazar. With Kluber the old man of the rotation at twenty-eight, this group has the potential to lead the Indians for years to come.
The Indians are now 4.5 games behind the Kansas City Royals and four games behind the Seattle Mariners with just twenty games to go (twenty-one as far as the record goes, they still have a half inning to go on September 22 to finish their earlier game against the Royals). They’re running out of time and need some help, but this team will never say die. As the focus turns towards the Browns with the NFL season starting, we can only hope that Cleveland’s football team displays the kind of heart that its baseball team has.