Thursday, April 8, 2010


Ok. So maybe "fantastic'' is a bit of a stretch. But Fausto Carmona's 2010 debut Wednesday night was a heaping helping of hum baby for Carmona and the Indians. Sure, he gave up six walks in six innings. That's bad. But this is good: one hit allowed. That's it. One. In six innings. You can live with six walks in six innings if you're only going to give up one hit.

For Indians officials the most encouraging facet of Carmona's debut is that the White Sox couldn't hit him. This is a guy who last year gave up an average of 10.8 hits per nine innings. Opposing batters hit .295 against him. Wednesday night the White Sox had one hit in six innings and batted .059 against him (1-for-17). Ten of the 18 outs recorded by Carmona were on ground balls, which are Carmona's bread and butter outs because it means his sinker, his bread and butter pitch, is working. That's another encouraging sign.

In other words, aside from the six walks, which were negated by the fact that Carmona came within one hit of not giving up any, the 2010 debut of a pitcher who HAS to be good for the Indians as a team to be even mediocre, couldn't have gone better.

It's only one start, of course. But it was a really good one. The few times the walks got him into trouble, he didn't cave in emotionally and start trying to pump 150 mph fastballs by hitters. He stayed calm and he pitched. This was not a five-alarm fire Carmona start, like so many that he's had the last two years. It was a measured, thoughtful, controlled outing. The kind of outing Carmona had all the time as a 19-game winner in 2007.

The one common denominator between Carmona in 2007 and Carmona Wednesday night? When he threw the ball over the plate, the hitters couldn't hit it. And that is the essence of good pitching and a good pitcher.


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