Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Is staying the course an option?

Top of the fifth inning … two outs … Chris Iannetta, the No. 9 hitter at the plate … Tribe leading 4-1 … Fausto Carmona melts down … and by the time the inning is over the Indians trail 7-4.

Carmona’s outing Monday night against Colorado brought about a (NSFW) reaction from Tribe fans everywhere that is certainly understandable.

After the game, the response about what to do about Carmona’s ongoing struggles was less cohesive.

One person who is clear about Carmona’s future is manager Manny Acta – and his opinion is really the only one that counts.

“He’s pitching in five days,” Acta said in published reports. “That’s the solution we have here. You can’t just get rid of him and bring somebody else in here.

“The ability to make a pitch when it counts just hasn’t been there. I don’t know if I can attribute that to a lack of focus. In this case, you’ve got two outs. … You do have to smell blood and get after those guys and get out of that inning.”

But is staying the course really the best option for the Indians as they try to stay in first place? Is the Tribe really prepared to put the pitcher with the highest ERA among American League starters back on the mound Sunday night against San Francisco?

It would be one thing if this was an isolated incident, but Carmona shows no signs of becoming a functional starting pitcher any time soon.

Per Sheldon Ocker in the Beacon Journal, in his past eight starts, Carmona has posted an 8.87 earned-run average, given up 12 hits per nine innings and one home run every 41/3 innings. His record over this span is 1-6.

The Indians are obviously not going to release Carmona; that would be ridiculous. They can’t send him to the minors without his permission. But they can move him to the bullpen and let him try to sort things out away from a situation that will cost the Indians a game.

“I don’t feel like I did in 2009,” Carmona said. “Talking about the fundamental side, I feel fine. I’m working. I’m doing stuff. I’m making pitches. I’m not getting the results I want, but I don’t feel like I felt in 2009.”

Of course, if Carmona keeps pitching the way he has been lately, he will make the choice a pretty simple one for Acta.

***

This is easily the best thing we read today, and probably one of the best things we’ve read in a while.

The SummerHoopScoop blog created a fake college basketball recruiter to disseminate information and see if people would believe it just because it sounded credible.

And boy did it work.

The blog exposed the nonsense spewed by self-proclaimed “experts” and highlighted that subset of fans who have an unhealthy interest in the recruiting of high school athletes.

Well played indeed.

(h/t to Deadspin)

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