Josh Tomlin is an easy pitcher to like. He works quickly, throws lots of strikes, and understands both his ability and limitations. Because he often works up in the strike zone with his high-80s fastball, he'll give up home runs, even when ahead in the count, but you can live with that because he limits base runners with his command of the strike zone.
Jeff Francis, on the other hand, does all the things that I hate to see in a pitcher. His fastball tonight topped out in the mid-80s (and that's being charitable), but he compounded things by falling behind in the count and then nibbling. That he also took FOREVER to throw a darn pitch didn't help, either.
I haven't mentioned how each each starter did. There may come a day when a starter like Francis will out-pitch a starter like Tomlin, but today was not that day. Tomlin gave up two runs (both on second inning home runs) on five hits in six innings. Francis gave up five runs on ten hits in three innings. Surprisingly, he didn't walk a batter. The Indians batted around in the first inning, with the big blow coming on Orlando Cabrera's bases-clearing double. The Indians tacked on another run in the third, and Nick Adcock, who had been warming up from time to time since the first inning, relieved Francis after Shin-Soo Choo doubled to lead off the fourth.
Manny Acta went with his bench crew (except for Adam Everett) with a left-hander on the mound. With Carlos Santana struggling, he sat instead of Travis Hafner, and Shelley Duncan played first base. Marson got another hit, and seems to somehow be managing to hit well despite playing once a week. Duncan has transitioned nicely to a lefty-masher who can sit and still be effective in spot starts and pinch-hitting appearances.
In other team news, Carlos Carrasco is headed for the 15-day Disabled List with a sore right elbow. An MRI revealed no structural damage, but after Carrasco couldn't complete a bullpen session, the Indians played it safe by shutting him down. The Indians will need a starter on Saturday, and it seems like Alex White makes logical sense for the start, in that he'd be starting on normal rest (and of course, that he's a very good prospect who is dominating AAA hitters). White is not on the 40-man roster, so David Huff even on short rest is still a possibility.
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