One of the main concerns that the 2011 Cleveland Indians had coming out of spring training was the stability of a young starting rotation. The most veteran member of the pitching staff is 27 year old sinker-baller Fausto Carmona.
One of the main concerns that the 2011 Cleveland Indians had coming out of spring training was the stability of a young starting rotation. The most veteran member of the pitching staff is 27 year old sinker-baller Fausto Carmona. Carmona won nineteen games in 2007 which was sandwiched between several inconsistent seasons. He was named the Opening Day starter for the Tribe this spring training. The remainder of the rotation is filled with questions marks.
Will youngsters Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin be able to handle a full season against Major League hitters? Is Justin Masterson better suited to the bullpen? Will Mitch Talbot bounce back from his poor second half of last season and perform well in his second season in the bigs?These questions were on the minds of both the Cleveland coaching staff and fans alike. Despite solid spring training performances by most of the staff, it was still feared that the starting pitching would be the team's biggest weakness this season.
The first two starts of the season did little to assuage those fears among the fanbase. On Opening Day, staff ace Fausto Carmona struggle mightily. Over three innings of work, Carmona gave up 11 hits and 10 earned runs with a walk and 5 strikeouts to the division rival Chicago White Sox. The Indians lost that game 15-10. Right-hander Carlos Carrasco didn't fare much better in the second game of the series. In that game, Carrasco gave up 10 hits and 7 earned runs with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts over 6.2 innings of work. Needless to say, fans began to prepare themselves for another long and frustrating season on Cleveland Indians baseball.
However, all of the changed starting with the third game against the White Sox in the season-opening series at Progressive Field. The Tribe turned a triple play and got a strong performance from starter Justin Masterson. The momentum from the triple play has yet to cease for the Indians. After winning that game, Cleveland has gone on to sweep the Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners and are currently riding the wave of an 8 game winning streak.
During this winning streak, the stats that stand out the most are the stats of the starting pitchers. Through the last 8 games, the starters have compiled the following numbers:
Record: 6-0, ERA: 1.55, Innings Pitched: 52.1 Hits: 33 Walks: 19 Homeruns allowed: 1Those stats speak for themselves. Right now, the Indians seems to be firing on all cylinders, but the success of any MLB team starts and stops with the performance of its starting rotation. Although the winning streak can also be attributed to Cleveland's hot-hitting offense and their solid fundamental play, the great starting pitching lays the foundation for the entire team of have success.