By STEVE GOLDMAN
For the Star Beacon
It seemed like deja vu for Carlos Carrasco, even though this time he says that it was not intentional.
The Indians’ right-hander, who had just finished serving a suspension incurred in July 2011 for throwing at a batter, was ejected for doing the same thing on Tuesday in a 14-1 loss to the visiting New York Yankees.
New York (4-4, three-straight wins), which now has wins in each of the first two games of the four-game series, banged out 18 hits and has scored 25 runs in those two contests. Cleveland dips to 3-5.
After the infamous July 29, 2011 contest against Kansas City, in which Carrasco was ejected after throwing near the head of Billy Butler, Carrasco had appeared in one more game before going on the disabled list with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. Therefore, Tuesday marked just the second time he had appeared on the mound during the regular season since. And the resemblance between his pitching line in this one is eerily similar to the one he posted on that July day two seasons ago.
Carrasco (0-1, 17.18 ERA) lasted 3 2/3 innings on Tuesday, one out longer than the “twin outing.” Both times he was tagged for seven earned runs on seven hits.
This time, Carrasco was tossed by home plate umpire Jordan Baker after hitting Kevin Youkilis with the first pitch he threw after the one Robinson Cano (4 hits, 5 RBI) blasted over the left-center field fence for a two-run homer. It was the third round-tripper for Cano in the two games of this series.
Both Carrasco and manager Terry Francona explained that the pitch in question on this night was a result of the fact the hurler slipped. Francona said that Carrasco intercepted him outside the manager’s office after the game to explain what happened.
“It didn’t look good,” Francona said. “So situationally I understand the umpire’s viewpoint, and (Carrasco) just came off of suspension. But he was throwing 96-97 miles per hour all night. I think if you look at the video, he slipped, and he threw it 90. If you’re on the other side, I understand it, but unfortunately it happened.”
Carrasco said that he was sorry.
“I don’t want to hit anybody,” he said. “That’s the truth. (Coming off a 6-game suspension), I don’t want to do anything real bad. I feel really bad.”
“(Baker) thought that Carlos made a little bit of an aggressive move or something,” Francona said. “I didn’t see that. I told him, ‘You can’t look inside somebody’s head.’”
It capped a futile night of pitching for the 26 year old, who added further question marks about the ability of Cleveland’s starting rotation.
Carrasco induced double-play grounders in the first two innings, the initial one coming with men at the corners. But with two outs in the second inning, he yielded four hits distributed around a walk, with Brett Gardner (4 hits, 3 runs) smacking a two-run single and then Robinson Cano depositing a two-run line double just out of the reach of center fielder Drew Stubbs.
Ichiro Suzuki lashed a home run down the right-field line to make it 5-0 in the third.
“(Carrasco) had electric stuff out of the gate,” Francona said. “When he got to two outs, the left-handers really gave him a tough time.”
Meanwhile, the Tribe hitters could do little against southpaw Andy Pettitte (2-0, 1.20). The veteran allowed five hits in his seven innings, including a solo homer to Asdrubal Cabrera in the sixth. Adam Warren took it the rest of the way.
“It’s a hard way to play (being down by so much), and then you’ve got a guy on the mound who knows exactly what to do with a lead,” Francona said.
Brett Myers, who had been scheduled to start tonight’s game, replaced Carrasco and went the rest of the way. By giving up the other seven runs, he didn’t give Tribe fans much to feel good about either with regard to the potential of the starting rotation, although Francona thought he pitched OK, and was pleased that he saved the bullpen
Youkilis got to Myers for a two-run homer in the sixth, and then New York scored four times in the eighth on a solo shot by Lyle Overbay (3 hits, 3 runs), a run-scoring double by Cano and a two-run blast by Brennan Boesch.
An RBI safety by Francisco Cervelli completed the scoring in the ninth.
“We had Brett on reserve tonight just in case Carlos didn’t get deep,” Francona said.
The Indians said that they will announce Wednesday’s starter this morning.
Goldman is a freelance writer from South Euclid.