For all of their success so far this season, there is one thing that the Indians have not been able to do — score a single run when Fausto Carmona has actually been in a game.
Even in the season opener, when the Tribe tallied ten, Cleveland was on its way to falling behind by 14 runs when Carmona was lifted, and of course the offense had not begun their comeback to making the final respectable until after Carmona was gone.
Then there was Carmona’s second start, against the Red Sox. In that one he left after seven innings in a 0-0 tie: a game the Tribe eventually won 1-0.
And in his last start, Carmona went 7 2/3 innings and got the loss as Dan Haren shut the Indians down, 2-0.
Solution? Simple — score some runs today, and maybe you can get your number one starter win number one.
I’d say it would be about time for something like that to happen.
Since seeing his ERA at 30.00 after Opening Day, Carmona has worked 14 2/3 innings and has allowed just two runs and six hits in that time, both of the runs coming on solo homers from the Angels. Carmona’s ERA is down to 6.11, but that 0-2 record looks out of place.
The Tribe will try to make life easier for Carmona today against Brad Bergesen, who will be making his third appearance of the season for the Orioles. Bergesen was sent down to the minors after his first appearance after giving up four runs in less than four innings, then was recalled in time to pitch two scoreless innings against the Yankees in relief in his second appearance on Wednesday in New York.
Bergesen (0-1, 3.18 ERA) beat the Indians in August in Cleveland with a two-hitter, winning 3-1 for his second career complete game. If he shows that kind of stuff today, it could be deja-vu all over again.
Let’s hope that this time might be different.
The Indians have certainly set up for a strong Sunday with the bats, totaling 16 runs and collecting 25 hits in their sixteen innings of offense in this series so far. And it may well be that the news that Grady Sizemore may be activated in the next day or two may be an added boost of adrenaline for the team. Of course, a different spot in the lineup and position will have to be found for Michael Brantley, who is hitting .302, should Sizemore immediately step into the lead-off spot in center field. We will see how that all plays out soon.
After this game the Tribe goes back on the road for four in Kansas City and three in Minnesota. The series against the Royals is going to be a battle for first place.
Who would have thought we’d be saying that in the third week of the season?
But first things first — let’s get Fausto Carmona that first win today, and make it three sweeps in five series so far this year.
Game-time at Progressive Field is at 1:05. This one should start on time, unlike yesterday’s rain-delayed contest.