The big right-hander was this year’s opening day starter. That seems like 10 years ago, doesn’t it?
Carmona set the tone for his horrifically inconsistent season in that first game when the White Sox lit him up like a Christmas Tree for 11 runs on 10 hits in three innings. Fast forward to September and he has 15 losses and an ERA north of five. Last night in Texas was just another in a long line of poor showings by Fausto, the Rangers sweeping the Indians out of Arlington 7-4.
“Carmona was overthrowing everything,” Acta said. “He walked five guys. He was throwing it side to side. He didn’t have good sink on his fastball.”
Once again, he was spotty with his command and danced in and out of trouble before finally succumbing to the juggernaut Texas offense. He entered the fifth inning trailing 1-0, but was rattled by an Endy Chavez lead-off single and steal. Fausto would then walk Ian Kinsler. Elvis Andrus placed a perfect sac bunt to third and with first base open, the smart play was to walk All World OF Josh Hamilton. We should know by now how Carmona handles these situations.
With the bases loaded, my man crush Michael Young doubled to left, clearing the bases and putting the Rangers ahead 4-0. The next batter, Adrian Beltre, crushed a two-run shot to the seats in right. It was 6-0, and the game was essentially all but over. Beltre’s blast was the 20th given up by Carmona this season, easily leading the team.
So this begs two questions:
1. Who was that guy who won 19 games and had nerves of steel in 2007?
2. How in the world can the Indians pick up Carmona’s $7 million option for 2012?
My answers to these questions:
1. It’s been proven over the past four years that 2007 was the anomaly of Carmona’s career. The up and down, mentally soft version is the real guy. Sure, he teases us with flashes of brilliance, like we saw in July and half of August. But when the chips seem to be all in on the table, Carmona has wilted.
2. They have no choice. They have to pick up the option. If the Jimenez trade never happened and Carlos Carrasco hadn’t gone down for 12-18 months because he needed Tommy John surgery, then the Indians could let the enigma that is Carmona walk. But the starting pitch depth has all but evaporated. Letting Fausto walk would essentially put the Indians in the mode of needing to look at the lower tier free agent starters on one year deals and hope you can catch lightning in a bottle. So essentially, guys of Fausto’s ilk.
As if things weren’t bad enough for the ice cold Tribe, the just activated Shin-Soo Choo lasted one whole at-bat before re-injuring his side. It’s a lost season for Choo, who just couldn’t stay healthy for the first time in his career.
Said Acta: “He’s done for the season. Despite doing everything the last five days, hitting and everything else and not feeling any pain, he re-aggravated it. It just goes to show you that there’s nothing like game speed.”
The Tribe mercifully ended their season series with the Rangers with a 1-9 record.
“They overmatched us,” Acta said. “Other than that series we had over here, when we had a chance to win the series, we were in every game, they just kind of outplayed us the whole time.”
This weekend, the Tribe heads to Minnesota for a three-game set with the last place Twins.
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)