Carlos Carrasco strikes out 12 in the course of a two-hit shutout

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Carlos Carrasco’s breakout season was a long time coming. He was a key part of the Cliff Lee trade back in 2009 but since then he has spent part of five seasons in Cleveland — and a lot of time on I-71 between Cleveland and Columbus — not quite living up to his promise. In the past couple of years he has done time as a swingman and some time in Terry Francona’s doghouse. Not the bad one where knuckleheads go, but that slightly nicer one where guys who just can’t quite be trusted with a regular job end up.

He’s certainly putting all of that business to rest now, however. Last night Carrasco turned in his best performance ever, tossing a Maddux — a complete game shutout with fewer than 100 pitches — and managing to strike out 12 dudes while doing it. That’s a pretty neat trick too because sources close to Major League Baseball tell me on background that one needs at least three pitches in order to strike someone out.

Of course, when you walk only one guy and allow only two hits, however, you can get that done. Not that it’s happened often: the creator of the Maddux statistic, Jason Lukehart, tells us in the ATH comments this morning that the only other guy to toss a Maddux with as many as 12 Ks is Cliff Lee.

This isn’t an isolated performance, either. Carrasco has allowed one or no runs in seven of his last eight starts. In April he had a 6.46 ERA in four starts. Since then his month-by-month ERA looks like this: 2.92, 1.26, 0.93, 1.92, 1.53.

Between Carrasco and Kluber, the Indians are going to show up on a lot of people’s “teams to watch” lists next spring.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”