Cleveland Indians at Seattle Mariners
When and Where: Wednesday, April 17, Safeco Field, Seattle, Wash., 6:40 p.m. EDT.
Carlos Carrasco has been hit-or-miss in his first three starts for the Indians, with the emphasis on “hit” by opponents. The 17-game winner looks to regroup Wednesday night when Cleveland tries to wrap up its nine-game road swing on a positive note as it concludes a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners.
Opponents teeing off on Carrasco
Carrasco (1-2, 12.60 ERA) has posted 36 victories since the start of the 2017 season, which trails only teammate Corey Kluber among all major league pitchers in that span. But the right-hander has gotten off to a rocky start as opposing hitters are raking him to the tune of a .440 batting average with 22 hits in his 10 innings.
Carrasco failed to make t out of the first inning Friday at Kansas City, giving up six runs and six hits while retiring just two batters in Cleveland’s 8-1 loss. Indians manager Terry Francona yanked him after just 28 pitches, and there is concern about the mental part of his game as much as the physical.
“I mean [catcher] Roberto [Perez] even mentioned, ‘I couldn’t get him to throw with conviction,’” Francona told MLB.com. “Because when he does, the break on his slider’s great and it’s good. He’s got one of the better fastballs. Again, it’s not Carlos-like and it put us behind the eight ball.”
“To be honest, in the bullpen I thought he was going to have a great day,” Perez added. “But once he got on the bump in the game it was a different Carlos. Like I said, he just didn’t look like Carlos. He lost it. … He’ll be back. We’re going to figure it out.”
For those who are optimistic, pitching in the Pacific Northwest may help Carrasco, who is 3-1 with a 4.13 ERA in four lifetime starts at Safeco Field. He has won back-to-back starts there, laboring to a win last year after giving up five runs in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-5 victory. The righty is 4-3 with a 4.10 ERA in eight career starts against the Mariners.
Swanson set for first major league start
Erik Swanson (0-0, 9.00) will make his first major league start and second overall appearance as he takes Wade LeBlanc‘s spot in the rotation. LeBlanc was put on the injured list with a strained oblique that could sideline him at least one month, making him the third pitcher on the injured list with closer Hunter Strickland and reliever Chasen Bradford.
“Knowing that I’m coming back up here, obviously I wish it was under different circumstances,” Swanson told the Tacoma News Tribune. “But, I’m excited to be up here and help out the team for sure.”
The 25-year-old right-hander made his major league debut Thursday at Kansas City with mixed results, giving up two runs and three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in two innings of Seattle’s 7-6 victory.
“He’s got a good fastball, with some riding action on it,” manager Scott Servais told MLB.com. “He got a lot of swings and misses on it. He’s a young pitcher and has things to work on, but he had a really good outing in Spring Training against the Dodgers that stood out and I thought he threw the ball well in Kansas City the other day.”
The Mariners are:
- 36-17 in their last 53 games vs. starters with a WHIP above 1.30.
- 4-1 in their last five during game 3 of a series.
The Indians are:
- 1-6 in Carrasco’s last seven road starts.
- 1-4 in Carrasco’s last five starts during game 3 of a series.
- 0-4 in Carrasco’s last four road starts vs. above-.500 teams.