Place: Coca-Cola Park, Allentown, PA
Opponent: Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins)
Carlos Carrasco didn't exactly have numbers that would set the world on fire at Double-A Reading this season, but you have to wonder if he was just a little bit bored. After all, he's a better pitcher than his 7-7, 4.32 numbers suggest. Maybe the challenge of facing better hitters at the highest level of the minors was just what he needed. After all, Reading is a place you can grow tired of in a very short time.
While Carrasco's numbers from his Triple-A debut with Lehigh Valley were impressive, there was something even more impressive. Throughout his start, Carrasco was getting squeezed by the home plate umpire, but that may have been a good thing. Earlier in his career, Carrasco would have stormed around the mound and gotten himself so rattled that an early exit wouldn't have been out of the question. In this start though, there was nothing to show that he was rattled at all, which has always been the biggest knock on Carrasco. 'Pigs manager Dave Huppert acknowledged after the game that the 21 year old right-hander had matured greatly since he last saw him pitching for Lakewood and Clearwater in 2006 and 2007. That very noticeable change was the best part of Carrasco's start.
Carrasco basically did everything that you want a pitcher to do, going 6.2 innings and not allowing an earned run. Rochester did pick up two unearned runs, but again, errors didn't rattle Carrasco, who simply battled through jams in the first and fifth innings to escape in good shape. Very few of the balls hit off him were hit hard and 51% of the balls that were hit for outs were ground outs. As for his velocity, Carrasco was consistently in the low-to-mid 90s and reached 96 on one pitch for his game high. His velocity never waivered and even his last pitch of the game was clocked at 93 miles per hour. Throughout the game, Carrasco mixed in breaking pitches and change-ups to keep hitters off pace, dropping his velocity to as low as 76 miles per hour only to follow that up with a 94 mile per hour heater.
Catcher Jason Jaramillo seemed to work well with Carrasco, which isn't surprising since Jaramillo has always received high marks from pitchers on how easy it is to throw to him. Carrasco is slated to pitch again Friday night (August 8) and will again start at Coca-Cola Park, going against Buffalo, who the IronPigs are attempting to claw over to get out of the International League North basement.
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