Did the Tribe Win Last Night? No! The Indians might not believe in jinxes, but luck has not been on their side in the first seven games. With Carlos Carrasco on the mound and the red-hot Detroit Tigers out of town, the Indians were looking to get back on track. But it didn’t take long to have their plans derailed.
Carrasco was hit by line drive from Melky Cabrera during the second at-bat of the game. The line drive glanced off Carrasco’s glove before hitting him on the left side of the face. He fell hard to the ground and remained motionless for several minutes before getting to his feet and being carted off the field. Cabrera’s liner was Chicago’s second straight infield hit to start the game, and knocked Carrasco from the contest.
Carrasco was treated for a jaw contusion, but did not show any immediate signs of a concussion or broken bone.
Chicago capitalized on the early baserunners, plating two runs in the first inning and Jose Quintana stifled the Tribe for six strong innings, allowing just three hits and striking out six to give the White Sox 4-1 win. Chicago struck early and controlled the game from the onset, making the Indians bullpen of Zach McAllister, Nick Hagadone, Anthony Swarzak and Austin Adams record all 27 outs in the game. The foursome allowed just a pair of runs, plus the two inherited by McAllister in the first inning. Jose Abreu crushed a solo home run in the top of the fifth inning to provide some insurance runs.
WP: Quintana (1-0) LP: Carrasco (0-1) SV: Robertson (2)
Key Inning: Top of the first inning. Adam Eaton reached on an infield single to second base to start the game, Cabrera lined off Carrasco’s face to put a pair on and knock the Tribe’s starter from the game. As Carrasco left the field, it seemed like another injury and deflating blow to a team with such high expectations.
McAllister came on and struck out Jose Abreu, but a wild pitch allowed both baserunners to advance to scoring position. With one out, Adam LaRoche grounded into the shift to bring home a run and Avisail Garcia singled under Jose Ramirez’s glove to plate the next run and make it 2-0.
Knocking Carrasco from the game was key, however. It forced the Indians into the bullpen before an out was recorded. While McAllister, Hagadone, Swarzak and Adams all did an acceptable job, it hindered their chances tonight but also with a quick turnaround on Wednesday afternoon.
Player of the Game: The early offense was all Quintana would need, as he allowed just three hits over six innings. Ryan Raburn’s RBI-double to center field in the fourth inning was the only extra base hit allowed. The Indians seemed to put together solid swings against Quintana, but several were hit right at defenders.
In the bottom of the first inning Mike Aviles singled with one out, but forgot how many outs there were and was off with Jason Kipnis’ fly ball to center field. Aviles was around second base and Eaton was able to easily throw back to first base to double up the Indians and end the inning.
Quintana’s only other two hits allowed came in the fourth inning when Jerry Sands singled and Raburn doubled him home.
They Said It: “The four game losing streak is the longest at home to start the season since 1987. That’s not good,” Rick Manning said in regard to the Tribe’s cold start.
Standings: The loss drops the Indians to 2-5 on the season and improves the White Sox to 3-4. Cleveland’s latest defeat drops them into sole possession of fourth place and five full games back of the still-undefeated Kansas City Royals. While it is still very early, the beleaguered Tribe have quickly dug themselves a hole they may spend the rest of the summer digging out.
Etc.: Michael Brantley missed another game on Tuesday night. Brantley has only played the season opener in Houston and the home opener last Friday, yet the Indians continue to believe this is not a situation that will result in a trip to the 15-day disabled list. Indians manager Terry Francona said before the game that Brantley has been checked by specialists and could return Wednesday, but they are realistic for Friday in Minnesota.
Catcher Brett Hayes was added to the 40-man and 25-man roster prior to the game, resulting in Shaun Marcum being designated for assignment. Marcum’s DFA seemed odd after the Indians worked through a year of rehabilitation to finally have him healthy. They are hopeful he clears waivers, but now with Carrasco possibly headed to the disabled list, it seems even more like a bad decision now that the Tribe will be scrambling for a fifth starter.
Analysis: One has to feel for Carrasco, a starter full of ups and downs over his career, who seemed to find his place in the rotation since last August. After the birth of his daughter, curing an irregular heartbeat and signing a long term extension in the last six months, all luck seemed on Carrasco’s side. Once his long term health is guaranteed, let’s hope this line drive incident does not affect his mechanics and jeopardize much of the progress, both mentally and physically, he has made over the last year.
Up Next: The Indians will try to snap their growing four-game losing streak when Trevor Bauer (1-0, 0.00) takes the mound Wednesday afternoon against Chicago left-hander John Danks (0-1, 6.35) at 12:10 p.m. The Indians have not won since Bauer tossed six hitless innings last Thursday afternoon in Houston. The Wednesday matinee will conclude the quick two-game series between the Indians and White Sox. Cleveland has an off day on Thursday.
Photo: Mark Duncan/AP Photo