Pregame Notes: Cleveland Indians continue quest to reach .500 mark before All-Star Break


Cleveland Indians now sit just two games under .500 with two left against Oakland

It has been a season of runs for the Cleveland Indians.

They have been one of the most difficult teams in the league to predict considering their inconsistencies on the offensive end and the Tribe has at times been absolutely abysmal in their own ballpark.

After being tabbed World Series winners by Sports Illustrated before the season, the Indians started the season slow. They picked up the pace in May only to see their offense stall again in the beginning of June. Now over a week into July, the Indians have rattled off 10 wins in their last 13 contests and have an opportunity to close the gap in the floundering AL Central.

Toeing the rubber and looking to continue to the run tonight is Carlos Carrasco, who will be making his first career start against the Athletics. Carrasco is 10-7 with a 4.17 ERA on the season but, like Tribe, Carrasco has struggled mightily at Progressive Field. He is 4-5 with a 5.11 ERA, including his worst outing of the season on Monday against the Astros — four innings pitched allowing five runs and a season-high 10 hits.

Opposite Carrasco will be A’s right-hander Chris Bassitt, who was officially recalled to pitch today in place of Jesse Hahn (forearm). Bassitt will be joining the A’s for the third time this season and his second since June 30. The 26-year-old former 16th-rounder has allowed just three runs in his last 10 innings pitched but, despite the strong performances, he has been held winless by a struggling A’s offense.

Cleveland sits just two games away from the .500 mark and has an opportunity to enter the break with an even record with two more wins against the lowly Athletics.

Here are the starting lineups:

News & Notes:

-Over the last calendar year, the Indians rotation has posted the highest WAR in all of baseball while striking out a quarter of all hitters. In their last 12 starts, Tribe starters have tossed 85.3 innings while allowing just 57 hits, recording 75 strikeouts and posting a 2.32 ERA.

According to August Fagerstrom of, Cody Allen has the most unhittable curveball in baseball. Hitters have whiffed on 61 percent of curves from the Indians’ right-hander this season and, as Fagerstrom notes, the pitch is actually a compilation of two pitches.

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