Sep 12, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco (59) throws out Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (R) on a ground ball in the fifth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
What if Carlos Carrasco wasn’t a mental mess for the first two months of the season? What if Danny Salazar was solid for 35 big-league starts? What if T.J. House started the spring in the rotation. Lots of “What Ifs,” but it’s just too bad the Indians rotation didn’t click from the get-go.
Carrasco was brilliant last night, defeating the Astros 2-0. “Cookie Carrasco” surrendered just two hits, while walking one and striking out a career-high 12. He threw 74 of 98 pitches for strikes, including 43 of the last 50.
• Cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes noted Carrasco is 5-1 with a 1.17 ERA in eight starts since rejoining the rotation on Aug. 10. The eight starts include 59 strikeouts, seven walks and seven earned runs in 54 innings.
• ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike were debating the excessive champagne celebrations since MLB teams are starting to lock down postseason berths.
Sep 16, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (34, in hat) celebrates a victory against the Atlanta Braves with teammates at Turner Field. The Nationals defeated the Braves 3-0 to clinch the National League eastern division championship. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Immediately, I thought, What’s to debate? The MLB season is all about the grind. Why not throw a party when you know you’ve accomplished your goal of playing in October.
But, I don’t understand teams who celebrate after winning their Wild Card Series. Those teams have won nothing, except a trip to their respective championship series. I think of the 1995 Tribe, who clinched in Boston. There was no celebration.
• The Indians’ (78-73) postseason odds are barely on live support, but there still could be a roadmap to the playoffs. The Indians still have four games against the Royals (this includes the suspended game awaiting its conclusion). Kansas City leads the Tribe by 5.0 games in the Wild Card Standings. By sweeping the Royals, and having the Mariners implode, the Indians might just be to sneak in.
Not likely, but the Indians odds of making the postseason increased a whole percentage point the last 24 hours, according to Fan Graphs. The Tribe now has a whopping 2.4 percent chance to make the postseason. “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!”
• Jordan Cameron was limited in practice Wednesday, but it bodes well for the Browns that the Pro Bowl tight end was able to get on the field. Cameron missed last week with a shoulder injury.
Sep 7, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron (84) is tackled after a pass reception by Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens coach John Harbaugh is so concerned about Cameron that he asked Cleveland reporters if Cameron had practiced, during Wednesday’s conference call.
The ABJ’s Nate Ulrich said Cameron is day-to-do, but JC said his shoulder is feeling good:
"“[My shoulder] feels good,” Cameron said Wednesday after practice. “It feels better. … I’m going to wake up in the morning, and we’ll take it from there.”"
• ESPN’s Pat McManamon believes it’s time to shelve packages designed for Johnny Manziel.
"“It’s time to treat Manziel as the backup and Hoyer the starter. If Hoyer falters or struggles, Manziel can be ready. If Hoyer plays well and wins the Browns have the best of everything. They’d have a starter with experience playing well while Manziel learns, observes and grows behind him. “"
• Mike Pettine was a defensive assistant for the Ravens when then Browns GM Phil Savaged gift wrapped Haloti Ngata for Baltimore. ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi re-visited the trade, with a quote from Pettine:
"“Ngata was one of the top guys on our draft board. We were thrilled he fell to where he did. I do remember, it was Wimbley and a 6th round pick, (Baba) Oshinowo? There were some question marks about (Ngata) coming out that we felt were laughable. For me, I thought it was a steal to get him when we did. He’s produced at a high level for a long time.”"
• Joe Flacco missed practice yesterday, but it looks like he’s just got a cold.