As an Indians fan, there are few things which make me happier than watching Carlos Carrasco pitch when he is in beast mode. And that’s exactly how Carrasco pitched on Friday evening, allowing only two runs over seven innings. Yes, he gave up nine hits, but he walked only one batter, and he struck out eleven. Carrasco is now 10-3 on the season, and it’s not out of the picture to think that he might win 20 games this year.
And for the second consecutive evening, the Indians offense banged the cover off the ball, and matched the score they put up against the San Diego Padres on Thursday: 11-2. The big boppers for the Tribe on Friday: Jason Kipnis (2 for 3, both hits doubles, 2 BB, 3 runs scored), Francisco Lindor (3 for 5 including a triple, 3 RBI), Michael Brantley (2 for 4 including a double, 4 RBI), Lonnie Chisenhall (2 for 5, 1 HR, 2 RBI), and Bradley Zimmer (3 for 5, 1 HR). The Tribe left 10 runners on base, but when 11 runners touch home plate, you tend not to get too upset about a stat like that.
Getting back to Carrasco: in the fifth inning, he struck out the side on nine pitches, a feat colloquially known as an “immaculate inning.” It was only the second such inning in club history, the first occurring on June 2, 2014, when Justin Masterson accomplished it against the Boston Red Sox. Carrasco thus became the 82nd pitcher in MLB history to hurl an immaculate inning. His was the 86th such inning in MLB history. An oddball little stat, but when you spend ten seconds thinking about how many great pitchers there have been over the past 118 years, it’s a feat of which Carrasco can be proud.
All told, a fine way to kick off the final series before the All-Star break. Game two of the three-game series takes place on Saturday evening at 7:15, when Tigers ace Justin Verlander faces off against Mike Clevinger. I don’t want to be greedy, so I’ll be happy if the Indians show some mercy and score only ten runs.
- Indians ace Corey Kluber, who will pitch on Sunday evening, will not pitch in the All-Star game, a decision with which I fully agree. Why risk getting injured by throwing in an exhibition game with only one day of rest?
- Kluber was named AL Pitcher of the Month of June by the MLB. And rightly so: Kloob notched a 1.26 ERA with seven walks and 64 strikeouts in 43 innings for the month.
- Tigers DH and former Indian Victor Martinez singled in the second inning, thus getting his 2,000th hit as a major leaguer. He received a standing ovation from the crowd at Progressive Field, and play was briefly halted to recognize the milestone, and for Martinez to be given the baseball he hit. Martinez was a fan favorite during his eight seasons with the Tribe, and it was nice to see the fans show their love and respect.
- Saturday’s game is sold out, and it seems likely that Sunday’s game will be as well. I’m glad I got my tickets for that one months ago!