The Indians offense ran into a buzzsaw named Dan Haren last night in Anaheim. The stud right-hander was masterful in holding them to just one hit in a complete game shutout, 2-0 win. The L brought the eight-game winning streak to a halt, but didn’t stop the Indians resolve.
Shin-Soo Choo, the owner of the Tribe’s lone hit on the night, was seen in the locker room after the game telling his teammates “we’ll start again tomorrow.”
This loss can be chalked up to a great pitching performance, pure and simple. You could see it from the first three hitters. Haren (3-0, 0.73 ERA) wasn’t going to be touched. His breaking pitch was borderline unhittable.
“To end our streak it was going to have to take a well-pitched ball game by a guy like him,” Manny Acta said. “He’s one of the best pitchers in the game. He’s a legit No.1 guy.”
“He was in complete command of the ballgame,” Acta said. “He had all his offspeed pitches working for him. He had a very good cutter. He was able to backdoor his breaking ball to lefties for first-pitch strikes.
“Then, he could throw that split as he usually does, down in the zone for a chase pitch, a strikeout pitch.”
His players were in agreement.
Said Choo on Haren: “He’s not a power pitcher, but he had really good mechanics and he had good mechanics on his off-speed pitch — down and away with his curveball and split.”
“That’s baseball. Sometimes you’re going to run into a guy who has a performance like that,” Travis Hafner said. “He was throwing four pitches and locating all of them and changing speeds. He was throwing a lot of off-speed stuff for strikes, and nothing was really in the middle of the plate.”
Hafner is right. Sometimes you are just going to have to tip your cap to the opposing pitcher. Its a shame too, because for the second straight time, Fausto Carmona didn’t receive any run support. The Tribe ace made just two mistakes on the night – long balls to Peter Bourjas and Mark Trumbo. Other than that, Fausto pitched well. He went seven and two-thirds, allowing the two runs on four hits. He struck out six and walked three.
Over his last two starts, he is winless, yet has allowed just two earned runs in 14.2 innings of work. His team has scored just one run total in support of him.
“He did everything you can ask for,” said Acta.
So on to the final game of the six game road trip we go. The 4:05 Pacific start should benefit the pitchers with the shadows. Carlos Carrasco (1-1, 5.68) makes his third start of the year and tries to start a new streak for the Wahoos. Ervin Santana (0-1, 3.68 ERA) goes for the Angels.
(AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)