W: G. Olson (9-7) L: Carmona (8-6)
Although any statements I might want to make about the bullpen might be forceful, they aren't particularly controversial.
1) Fausto Carmona, Deluxe Banana
Through 5 innings of work, Fausto Carmona had this line:
5 IP, 4 H (2 XBH), 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 72 pitches (49 strikes, 68.1%)
When he left the game, he had this line:
5 1/3 IP, 6 H (2XBH), 4 R, 4 BB, 5 K, 100 pitches (63 strikes, 63%)
And when Juan Rincon left the game, Fausto Carmona had this line:
5 1/3 IP, 6 H (2 XBH), 7 R, 4 BB, 5 K, 100 pitches (63 strikes, 63%)
Certainly Carmona has had enormous problems with his control this season. I'm not even going to say "command:" I mean "control." The man is walking a preposterous 5.55 guys per 9 innings and has a "negative" K:BB ratio (really "sub-unit," but that's a negative). He's not really getting HIT all that hard (.259 AVG, .356 SLG; against righties, this is a fabulous .218 AVG and .261 SLG), but he just can't throw strikes. Right-handers have a .218 AVG ... but a .348 OBP! I mean, that's awful.
For five innings, though, Fausto Carmona looked a lot like a major-league pitcher. Sure, he gave up a solo shot to ex-Tribesman Luke Scott, and 2 runs in 5 innings is nothing real special (3.60 ERA: good but not great), but look at the control numbers; 68.1% strikes, 1 walk, and a 4:1 K:BB ratio. Those are good numbers, especially from a guy with Carmona's stuff. When Paul Byrd throws 68% strikes, that can be trouble, but Carmona, I'm all for it.
But the 6th inning ... great Shiva's fondue forks, that was some kinda terrible. And the thing is, I can't necessarily say that it was the pressure of pitching with guys on base: Carmona, like most pitchers, pitches a little better with the bases empty ... but just a little. It's not like Byrd or something. With the bases empty, he yields .232/.361/.340, and with someone on base opponents hit .287/.377/.372. Yeah, they get more hits, and that's a problem (since there are guys on base and all), but it's not a huge difference. And the aggregate is still under the Tyner Line (OBP > SLG).
I'm at a loss as to what I want to happen with Carmona in the off-season: he missed some time and is clearly out of synch, but I tend to be awfully draconian with Yoots Throwing Pitches. It might be nice to see him make a handful of starts in winter ball ... as long as it's only a handful. Heck, what do I know? I sure can't tell you why his command has been so fecal. I saw some things in the first five innings that make me believe this is a one-year thing and not a disintegration or the Oliver Perezization of Fausto Carmona. I sure want it to be better next year, though.
2) A much better outing to tell the grandkids about
In Rich Rundles' first major-league outing, he walked Jim Thome on four pitches and was removed from the game. His ERA was the dreaded #NAN, which is a computer's way of expressing infinite irrelevance. His first two pitches to Luke Scott were no better, as Scott started with a 2-0 count.
Then a funny thing happened on the way to extended irrelevance: Rundles got Scott to swing and miss. After starting 2-0, Rundles then threw 5 of his next 6 pitches for strikes, inducing a pair of groundouts and a fly out to center to stabilize his major-league-leading ERA at 0.00 in one perfect inning of work.
And the cosmos said, "Why the hell wasn't Rich Rundles pitching to Aubrey Huff?"
3) New from Ronco: Juan Rincon's Greatest Hits!
Now, I'm not saying that Rich Rundles is the New Sliced Bread or anything. I wouldn't know Rich Rundles from Mr. Green Jeans. But I will tell you this: he is steadfastly not Juan Rincon, and in this regard, must be considered a superior option.
(to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb")
Juan Rincon is very bad Very bad, very bad Juan Rincon is very bad Man, does that guy blow
You get all the hits, including the hit musical number:
("Memories" from "Cats")
Meatball Flying off in the distance It was struck with a vengeance It flies into the stands
O, I wonder Can you tell me what happiness is? It's a roster With no Rincon
And from Doctor Zhivago:
("Somewhere My Love")
That pitch was bad Ask me how do I know Because it flew Over the wall, you schmoe
If you buy today, you'll get a second disk of classic punk hits, like Dead Kennedys' "Juan Rincon, F*#& Off", Black Flag's "Rise Above Using Juan Rincon", and Napalm Death's "Juan Rincon, bleargrrghgrgh!". Buy it now, or I will superglue Eric Wedge to the next space shuttle!
4) Act now and get this extra bonus!
Just sit right back and hear the tale The tale of a fateful trip When I tore out Eric Wedge's pancreas For using Brendan Donnelly ever again in my lifetime
5) Of all the Josh Barfields in the world, you're the Josh Barfieldiest
In Josh Barfield's pinch-hit appearance, he set the modern Cleveland record for striking out swinging at a pitch furthest out of the strike zone. The Top Ten:
i) Josh Barfield ii) Jhonny Peralta iii) Jhonny Peralta iv) Franklin Gutierrez v) Jhonny Peralta vi) Josh Barfield vii) Jhonny Peralta viii) Jhonny Peralta ix) Glenallen Hill x) Franklin Gutierrez
Keep up the good work, Josh! See you in Columbus!
6) News flash
In his first two trips to the plate against a left-handed starter, Shin-Soo Choo took a pitch the other way for a double to left, then pulled a single to right. He is now hitting .281 against left-handed pitching with an .816 OPS.
7) Not News flash
For all the talk about Grady Sizemore being wasted in the leadoff slot, it should be noted that the player who stranded the most baserunners, the most baserunners in scoring position, and the most baserunners in scoring position with two outs was none other than Sizemore's one-night replacement in center field hitting in the leadoff slot.
He struck out swinging both times he came to the plate with runners on 2nd and 3rd.
8) Amazing Fact Dept.
With September callups in full force, Ryan Garko is no longer the slowest player on the roster. Mike Aubrey hit a shot off the top of the right-field wall and made it all the way to first base in 1.2 Garkoes.
Of the 12 hitters Juan Rincon has inherited from other pitchers, Danny from Britain reports that 11 of them have scored. That's ... that just defies belief. Please get this man off my roster.
Tom Mastny retired both hitters he faced, including a strikeout, in seven pitches.
Somehow Baltimore pitchers managed to walk Ruan Garko twice despite the fact that he cannot hit.
Josh Barfield pinch-hit for the only member of the team to have three hits (Asdrubal Cabrera) and not for, say, the guy who was 0-for-4 with a pair of Ks (Jamey Carroll).
9) Indians Baseball: it's Squanderrific!
The Indians had 11 hits, drew 3 walks, and scored 3 runs.
The Orioles had 11 hits, drew 6 walks, and scored 14 runs.
Obviously, the four-run walks really bit us in the behind in this one.
10) Game Log Follies
With runners on the corners, the center fielder lifted a fly ball to left. Ryan Garko, who is slow, scored from third before Asdrubal Cabrera, who is fast, could be thrown out at second.
This raises a number of questions. All of them hurt my eye.