Carmona is the team's only starter who has won more than 10 games in a major league season. With loads of question marks filling the rest of the rotation, Carmona faces lots of pressure to have a good season.
But the big right-hander didn't exactly get his season off on the right foot Friday in his first career Opening Day start. Carmona lasted just three-plus innings and gave up 10 runs on 11 hits while taking the loss in a 15-10 defeat against the White Sox.
Manager Manny Acta said he didn't think Carmona, who has struggled with his emotions on the mound in the past, had such a disastrous start because he was too amped up about pitching before a sellout crowd in the opener.
"It's too early to use excuses," Acta said.
Instead, Acta said it was simply a matter of Carmona not getting his pitches down. Carmona is a sinkerball pitcher, and when he leaves his pitches up, he doesn't get the groundball outs that he counts on to be successful. Only three of the nine outs Carmona recorded Friday were groundball outs.
White Sox hitters were 11-for-20 (.550) vs. Carmona, who gave up two two-run home runs in the third inning, and that wasn't even his worst inning.
Acta said he isn't going to overact to one start, and he said he feels confident Carmona will look more like the 13-game winner he was last season in his next start. But it had to be a disconcerting sight to Indians officials to see the pitcher they are counting so much on this year getting roughed up the way Carmona was Friday.
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