Reporting Matt Loede
MESA, AZ (92.3 The Fan) – Carlos Carrasco had a moment that all managers gasp at in the first inning Monday during the Indians 13-5 win over the Cubs in Mesa.
A line drive off the bat of Cubs CF Darnell McDonald grazed Carrasco’s glove, and hit him in the head. He stayed in the game, but it was a moment that made you hold your breath.
“We made him pass every test there was,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We quizzed him out on the mound and even after the inning took him into the clubhouse and put him through a pretty good rundown of stuff.”
Carrasco left after three innings, and while he let a lot of traffic on the base paths, he didn’t give up much in the way of runs.
He went three innings, giving up two runs on four hits, with a homer to Alfonso Soriano to lead off the 2nd inning with the Indians already up 2-0.
The pitcher then gave up a double to Brad Nelson in the second that scored Steve Clevenger, who walked to make it a 2-2 game.
On the day Carrasco wound up striking out two while walking one, and the Cubs left three on base while he was in the game.
Francona said he didn’t think the scary moment in the first is what caused the pitcher to lose focus a little bit after almost getting clobbered by the line drive.
“We challenged him to be more aggressive in the zone and I thought for the most part he was,” Francona said.
In two starts this spring Carrasco has allowed six runs, five earned, in four innings of work. He did lower his ERA from 27.00 to 11.25 after the outing.
In the big picture though, he escaped Monday what could have been a scary injury early in the win over the Cubs.