Carlos Carrasco allowed just two runs in seven innings, continuing a fantastic stretch, but the Indians bats went silent in a 4-1 loss to Minnesota.
Over his last four starts, Carrasco has a .36 ERA (5 ER/33 IP) and has struck out 29. The Indians led, 1-0, on an Abraham Almonte sac fly, but the Twins re-took the lead on a Kurt Suzuki two-run single and added on two in the eighth.
The Indians left the bases loaded in the fifth and two on in the eighth.
W: Tommy Milone (6-3)
L: Carlos Carrasco (11-9)
S: Glen Perkins (31)
HR: Trevor Plouffe (17, 8th inning off Zach McAllister 0 on, 1 Out).
Photo: Getty Images
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While the new players that the Indians recently acquired have appeared to bring some new life to the Tribe’s offense, especially in taking two out of three from the hated Yankees, it’s ironic and probably good that we sputtered against the Twins this weekend. Why–because our recent victories against the Twins and Yankees in Cleveland might have given the impression that all we had to do is wait a year and all our problems would be solved. In many ways that was the impression I had from listening to Bruce Drennan’s TV interview of Chris Antonetti. Most telling was the vague answer to Bruce’s question of how we were going to get the right handed power bat we so desperately need. Antonetti’s response was to offer the statistics that the Tribe was actually performing better against left handers than right handed pitching. This doesn’t explain why opposing teams seem to try and get as many left handed starters and relievers into the game against us. And, it does not bode well for the Front Offices activities in the off season. Unless the Indians make a concerted effort to obtain a strong-armed right handed consistent power hitting outfielder this winter, there will be no excitement generated by the fan base and the prospect of 2016 being a replay of 2015. I don’t care how many statistics our front office uses, games are won on the field and not on the scoresheet. Today’s decision makers wouldn’t even give a player like Babe Ruth or Brooks Robinson a second look because they lacked speed and didn’t appear to have the needed athletic ability. As my brother says, “I don’t have to be a movie producer to know when I’ve seen a bad movie” and in the same vein, “I don’t have to be a General Manager to know when we have a ball club that can’t contend for the playoffs”. One last comment, I realize we currently have very good pitching. But let’s not be blinded by this fact. Just look at where we are in the standings in spite of such good pitching. If we are to make a real improvement in our club, we are going to have to take the risk of losing one of our starters. It’s the only way another club might risk losing one of its powerful bats. Teams such as the Indians of the late 90’s had such overwhelming power and sufficient pitching that they could tinker with the roster by adding a free agent here and there, both in pitching and everyday players. Our current situation is not like that. We need a major addition of batting power to our lineup. This would not only add offense in and of itself, but enhance the productivity of players like Brantley and Santana. In Santana’s case, he certainly doesn’t qualify as a number 4 batter, but might be excellent as number 5,6, or 7.