The Indians, counting tonight, are 16-21 since June 1, not bad considering the offensive talent on the DL. The starting rotation, originally thought to be the millstone that would drag the rest of the team down with it, has been the best part of the club. Fausto Carmona, the team's All-Star, has been one of the top pitchers on the staff a year after posting a 6.32 ERA in 125.1 innings. He's pushed his walk rate down to 3.2 per 9 innings, much closer to the 2007 level (2.6) than the 5.0/9 inning rates in 2008 and 2009.
Manny Acta sent Carmona out to pitch the seventh despite starting the inning with over 100 pitches. With about a week until his next start, Acta probably figured that this would be an appropriate game to keep him in a little longer if necessary, and he did so. Things almost backfired, as Carmona couldn't retire Carl Crawford to end the inning, walking him instead. Chris Perez came in, ostensibly to clean up the minor mess and pitch the eighth. That didn't happen, as Perez would walk the first three he faced, forcing in a run. He finally ended the inning with a three-pitch strikeout of John Jaso.
The Indians broke open the 4-2 game with a four-run eighth inning. Jhonny Peralta struck the big blow, a three-run homer off Andy Sonnanstine. The homer was just Peralta's second since the beginning of June, and was just his sixth of the season. Matt LaPorta followed by lacing a double that lapped at the foot of the center field wall. Jason Donald drove him home with a double of his own. Both Peralta and LaPorta finished the evening with three hits apiece, and Jayson Nix and Shelley Duncan contributed solo homers.
|Highest WPA||Lowest WPA|
|Fausto Carmona||.309||Michael Brantley||-.090|
|Jhonny Peralta||.206||Austin Kearns||-.043|
|Matt LaPorta||.092||Chris Perez||-.042|