CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – In 2016, the Cleveland Indians made a habit of scoring late and turning around games. In 2017, that could not have been any further from the truth, at least as recent as a week ago.
The AL Central leaders have seemed to alter their fortunes in later innings as of late, and it almost won them two games on Saturday.
The Indians rallied from down 4-1 to tie things up in the 7th inning of Game 1 before Bryan Shaw gave the three runs right back in a 7-4 loss. In Game 2, the visitors dropped a four-run inning in the 6th to secure a 4-1 win to set up a rubber-match on Sunday.
Starting with a seven-run comeback on Monday, the Indians have 20 runs in the 6th inning or later in the last six games. That accounts for 13.8% of the team’s runs in the final four frames so far on the season.
The Indians are scoring 39.2% of their runs in the 6th inning or later.
Carlos Carrasco was again tremendous on Saturday, bouncing back from an eight-run outing over 3 1/3 innings on June 26th. The right-hander grabbed his seventh road win, the most in baseball, while striking out seven over seven innings, allowing one run on four hits.
Cookie’s slider was lethal as a secondary pitch, thrown 28 times out of 114 pitches, trailing the curveball (29) and four-seamer (44). The slider was swung on and missed nine times, accounting for more than half of Carrasco’s swinging strikes. It was also watched for a strike twice.
The Tigers managed only a 67.1 mph exit velocity on four sliders in play, maxing out at 84.9 mph.
Carrasco’s dominance with the pitch has stretched across all 16 of his starts, with opposing hitters putting up a .115 batting average against the pitch, a career best. In that span, hitters are 7-for-61 with 32 strikeouts, good for a wRC+ of 3.