CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco has had quite the beginning to the 2017 season, especially when pitching away from Progressive Field, but the right-hander is focused squarely on the present and future, not past results.
Speaking after striking out seven hitters and not allowing a walk over seven innings of work in a 6-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre Tuesday night, Carrasco addressed the early-season success.
“You know what? I just live in the moment right now,” Carrasco said. “I keep working hard, and every five days, I just go out there and do my job the same way those guys do every five days, and that’s what I’ve been doing.”
Carrasco spread three Toronto hits over seven innings with the seven strikeouts without allowing a walk or run on the way to the victory for the Indians (18-14).
Carrasco faced the minimum of three batters in five of the seven innings he worked against the Blue Jays, and got around the hits in the first, third and seventh frames.
“They were chasing, and that’s good,” Carrasco said. “That’s good for me and bad for them.
“Every pitch that Gomer called, I had thrown for a strike, and I got a lot of groundballs. I’ve got my teammates there, and they made nice plays, but I think it was everything. The way we attacked the hitters, that was good.”
After getting right fielder Jose Bautista to ground into a 5-4-3 double play in the bottom of the first inning, Carrasco got two strikeouts each in the second, third and fourth frames to keep the Blue Jays off of the scoreboard.
Then, in the bottom of the seventh, Carrasco worked around a one-out single from Bautista by getting pinch hitter Steve Pearce to fly out to right field and first baseman Justin Smoak to strike out swinging for his final out of the game and the last of the inning.
At one point, Carrasco set down 13 straight Blue Jays.
“He’s obviously pitching with a lot of confidence, and he should,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He is in a good place. He’s been consistent in his routines, and when you start backing up starts, that’s when he gets exciting.
“I think when you have the velocity, the breaking ball, change-up, you’re going to because they have to respect his velocity, and with the feel he has for his breaking ball, you’re going to get some chase. When you work ahead -- at one point in the game, only three hitters hit a ball behind in the count -- that’s a nice way to attack.”
In three road starts this season, Carrasco is 3-0 with a 1.83 earned run average over 19.2 innings of work. He has allowed just 12 hits, four earned runs, one home run and three walks against 20 strikeouts. Conversely, Carrasco has allowed 14 hits, six earned runs, four home runs and five walks against 19 strikeouts over 21.2 innings in games played in Cleveland.
“No matter where you play, you have to go in there and do your job,” Carrasco said. “No matter if you play on the road or at home, it is what it is.”