The Indians have lost three of the first four games on their six-game road trip, and it's difficult to pinpoint what area of the team manager Manny Acta should be most concerned about. In the three defeats, Cleveland has scored a total of just one run, but that may not be the biggest worry for Acta right now.
A bigger worry would be the recent collapse of No. 1 starter Fausto Carmona. The big right-hander was the starting and losing pitcher Monday in an 11-1 setback at Toronto.
Carmona lasted just four innings and gave up nine runs (seven earned) on nine hits. This was Carmona's fourth consecutive bad outing, and his numbers do not read like that of an ace.
In 12 starts overall, Carmona is 3-6 with a 5.31 ERA. Of even greater concern is the fact that Carmona seems to be regressing the further into the season he gets.
In his last four starts, Carmona is 0-3 with an 8.39 ERA. This from a starter who was expected to be the leader of a rotation that at the start of the season had no other pitchers with a full season as a big-league starter.
Carmona's problems appear to be the issues he usually has when he struggles: a lack of command of his pitches, and an inability to pitch out of jams or to halt rallies. When Carmona is in these kinds of streaks, he also typically has trouble controlling his emotions, and that leads to a loss of control and poise on the mound.
Carmona's slump comes at a bad time for the Indians, who are going through a tough stretch right now. They are 11-12 in their last 23 games, during which they aren't hitting much and are also playing poor defense.
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