Cleveland Indians fans saw a win slip away Tuesday night after a questionable bullpen decision by Terry Francona late in the game.
The Cleveland Indians fell into an even deeper hole in the division after letting a 5-2 lead evaporate into a 6-5 defeat Tuesday night.
The losing pitcher on the night was Carlos Carrasco. Let’s talk about that.
Carrasco made his first appearance at home, and second appearance overall, since returning from his leukemia diagnosis earlier this season. It was obviously an emotional moment for Carrasco, the team, the fans, and everyone watching at home.
But he should not have been out there in that moment.
I want to make it clear that no one should be blaming Carrasco or throwing any hate his way. You would be surprised that this even has to be said. Twitter is a dark place.
The blame falls on Terry Francona who, yes, is not perfect. I have been in the “trust in Tito” crowd and I still am. But he can still draw blame and criticism for questionable moves.
It still would have been the wrong move if Carrasco was returning from an ordinary injury or ailment. The score was 5-2 in the top of the eighth inning. That is a high-leverage situation.
Not the proper return home for someone who is now transitioning into a reliever role. In the middle of a postseason race with three weeks left in the season.
Francona obviously didn’t expect Carrasco to allow four runs. Yet it was clear to those watching that he is still not in a position to be a dominant reliever. That is going to take time in situations where the game is not on the line.
It sure would have been the better story if Carrasco came out and shut down the White Sox to set up an easy save for Brad Hand. Professional sports just aren’t that easy, though.
Carrasco can still be a key piece for the Indians in this final month of the season. Just let him get back to normal game shape, both mentally and physically, before putting him in such a high-leverage situation when is he is still returning from a life-changing medical diagnosis.