Game #53 Observations: Carrasco's Strong Afternoon Leads Indians to 7-4 Win Over Tigers
The Indians season series with the Tigers concluded Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park in Detroit, and once again the Tribe did enough flexing their muscles, topping the Tigers 7-4.
Carlos Carrasco pitched seven shutout innings, striking out 11 and allowing just a single hit while walking three.
"Cookie" looks like he is in line to be the third starter for the Tribe in the postseason, which right now would be against the AL Central leading Chicago White Sox.
On the offensive side, Jose Ramirez's success against the Tigers in Detroit continued, as he went 2-for-4 with two homers and four RBI.
Ramirez has been on a tear as of late, and he'll be counted on to be one of the big playoff pieces on offense for the Indians.
The Tribe is down to their final seven games of the regular season starting Monday, with four games against the White Sox and then three next weekend against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Here are some observations from Sunday's win over the Tigers to conclude their season series.
"Cookie" Dominates Detroit
Comerica Park has seen some good moments and some not-so-good moments for Carlos Carrasco.
He's had to leave games early in Detroit with injury, and he's also had some solid games for the Tribe there in past seasons.
Sunday he looked as good as at anytime in 2020, as he flirted with speeds of 96-97 miles per hour in his last two innings of the victory.
The Tigers were aggressive against Carrasco despite their unsuccessful attempts to put something on offense together.
Carrasco got 24 swings and misses on 59 swings by the Tigers (41%). The only Detroit hit against "Cookie" came after he retired the first six batters to start the game, as catcher Austin Romaine singled on a four-seam fastball to start the third inning.
Other than that, Carrasco was unhittable, as he got 1-2-3 innings in the first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth.
Carrasco is at 3-4 with a 2.90 in 10 starts. He's slated to be back on the mound against the Pirates on Friday night for his final regular season start at Progressive Field.
Jose Heating Up
Back on August 25th Jose Ramirez was hitting .239 and struggling badly to get anything going for the team on offense.
Fast forward just less than a month later, and Ramirez ended the day hitting .284 with 15 homers and 38 runs batted in.
After having a big night on his 28th birthday on Thursday, Ramirez's hot hitting continued on Sunday, slamming a pair of homers with four runs batted in.
In his last 10 games at the plate, Ramirez has four homers and 12 runs batted in, raising his average from .245 to .284.
It has been quite a stretch for Ramirez, who Sunday put together his fourth multi-homer game of the season and his second in the last four games.
He leads the AL among position players with 2.8 fWAR, ahead of Anthony Rendon and Jose Abreu at 2.6 according to Akron Beacon Journal Indians writer Ryan Lewis.
When you look at the Indians heading into the playoffs, the team sorely needs more players to step up like Ramirez, but they will take what they can get from him, hoping he stays red-hot.
The Final Countdown
Hard to believe as it has gone fast, but the final week of the regular season is upon us as the club flies home after taking three of four from the Tigers, who they won seven of 10 against in 2020.
Starting on Monday the Indians will play host to the team that looks like they are ready to take home the AL Central title in the young Chicago White Sox.
Oddly enough as of today the Indians and Sox would start the playoffs right now with the Indians as the 7th seed and the White Sox as the number two seed.
The Indians sit at 29-24 entering play on Monday, and following the White Sox loss to the Reds in Cincinnati Sunday, they are 34-19, five up on the Tribe with seven to play.
While winning the division isn't nearly as important this year due to the expanded postseason and the fact after the first round all games will be played at a neutral site out west in either Los Angeles or San Diego.
Let's see how the Indians play these final seven games in terms of getting their lineup set for the playoffs, and also setting their very important pitching rotation for the series against likely the White Sox.
To keep up with all of Cleveland Baseball Insiders’ coverage, click the "follow" button at the top right-hand corner of this page.