Indians hoping to get Carrasco on track at Cardinals

MLB

The visiting Cleveland Indians will try to get starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco back on track when they face the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday.

Carrasco (2-3, 4.50 ERA) has failed to last more than 4 1/3 innings in his last three starts. In those 12 innings, he allowed 16 hits, nine walks and 10 runs.

He allowed seven hits — including two homers — and four runs in 3 1/3 innings in his last start, a 7-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers.

“His bullpen session was unbelievable,” Indians temporary manager Sandy Alomar Jr. said after that loss. “But the transitioning to the game, I felt like his pitch distribution was not correct. At times he needed to elevate, and he didn’t. He kept everything down, he didn’t have his breaking ball. He didn’t change eye levels. That’s what I feel.

“He didn’t have his command, his breaking ball. Living down, down, down — hitters tend to adapt in that area, and they were making good contact. He just needed to trust his fastball more, his four-seamer.”

Carrasco has made just one career start against the Cardinals, giving up four runs on 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings (5.40 ERA) in a losing cause back in 2015.

The Cardinals will counter with Jack Flaherty (2-0, 1.98 ERA) in the middle game of the three-game series at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals have lost three straight games, including 14-2 to the Indians Friday night, and four of their last five.

Flaherty is still building arm strength since the team’s 17-day COVID-19 shutdown.

He threw five scoreless innings of one-hit ball in his last outing, a 9-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals. He upped his pitch count for that game after lasting just 1 2/3 innings in his first appearance since the extended break.

“I told him I was good for 70 (pitches),” Flaherty said after than victory. “I was just going out there and executing, and the guys got a lead in the first and then just continued to tack it on.”

He has made just one career start against the Indians. In 2018, he was charged with a loss after allowing four runs on six hits in four innings during a 5-1 setback.

Since his last start, Flaherty put himself in the spotlight by joining the chorus of athletes speaking out against racial injustice in recent days.

“We’re just a bunch of young guys still trying to make our name in this league,” he said. “It’s hard because you just want to go about your business and get into the league, and then you’re like ‘OK, now how can I focus on what can I do to get in the community?’

“And it’s hit that point for me of like, OK, well, what can I do? It’s hard to look back and be like, well why haven’t I done anything up to this point? But now looking forward it’s, what can I do? What can I do to get involved in the community and in what’s going on in St. Louis? I’ve missed on those opportunities and I truly don’t want to miss any of those opportunities going forward to make change.”

–Field Level Media

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