Karinchak (1-2) pitched a perfect seventh inning with three strikeouts to earn the win Sunday versus the Pirates. Karinchak whiffed Josh Bell, Bryan Reynolds and Erik Gonzalez in the top of the seventh, and Cleveland rallied for the lead in the bottom half of the frame. The right-handed Karinchak pitched to a 2.67 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 53:16 K:BB and eight holds in 27 appearances this year. He will likely continue as a setup man to closer Brad Hand in the playoffs.
Karinchak (0-2) allowed two runs on a hit and two walks while recording his only out via strikeout to take the loss Monday versus the Royals. Karinchak entered Monday's contest with Cleveland ahead 1-0, but he walked the first two batters he faced. A Maikel Franco single spelled the end of Karinchak's outing, and reliever Adam Cimber allowed an inherited runner to score. Karinchak still has a solid 2.00 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 35:9 K:BB in 18 innings this year, but he's allowed three runs over his last two outings. The righty has five holds and a save in 17 appearances.
Karinchak struck out two as part of a perfect eighth inning Monday in the Indians' 3-2 loss to the Twins. After struggling in his initial appearances this season, Brad Hand has been sharp of late to solidify his hold on the Indians' closer job, but Karinchak has nonetheless made a compelling case to warrant a roster spot in deeper mixed leagues thanks to the sterling ratios he's provided in a setup role. Through 14 outings this season, Karinchak has posted a 0.57 ERA, 0.64 WHIP and 30:6 K:BB to go with four holds and a save across 15.2 innings. His 53.6 percent strikeout rate is tops among all pitchers who have made more than one appearance this season.
Karinchak recorded the final out of the eighth inning Tuesday against the Reds via strikeout before giving way to Brad Hand for the save chance. After Karinchak earned his first career save last week, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com speculated that Karinchak was "not going to be giving up that spot anytime soon." It now appears that manager Terry Francona still has faith in Hand, at least more than some believed, but Hand was shaky early on and Karinchak has some of the nastiest stuff in baseball. It's clear that the lefty Hand is on notice in the closer role.
Karinchak recorded his first career save in Thursday's 2-0 win over the Twins, striking out one while allowing no hits in a scoreless ninth inning. Thursday marked an impressive showing for the young right-hander, as he followed Shane Bieber's dazzling 13-strikeout performance with a clean, six-pitch ninth inning. Jeff Passan of ESPN.com has speculated that the 24-year old will dethrone Brad Hand as Cleveland's full-time closer, although some within the organization may feel the veteran Hand deserves a longer leash after getting out of the gates slow to start 2020.
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