Apologetic Carrasco ejected for plunking Youk
Tossed in fourth inning, Tribe starter suspended for similar incident in 2011
CLEVELAND -- A familiar scene played out for Indians starter Carlos Carrasco on Tuesday night, ending with him being ejected from his outing against the Yankees.
In the fourth inning of the Indians' 14-1 loss at Progressive Field, Carrasco threw a pitch high and inside to New York third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who was hit on the back of the shoulder. Home-plate umpire Jordan Baker walked out from behind the plate, threw a new baseball back to Carrasco and then threw the pitcher out of the game.
Carrasco hit Youkilis one pitch after giving up a home run to Robinson Cano.
"I know it doesn't look good," Carrasco said. "I really want to say sorry. I don't want to hit anybody."
After his outing, in which Carrasco allowed seven runs in 3 2/3 innings, the pitcher waited for Terry Francona outside the manager's office in Cleveland's clubhouse. Carrasco said he wanted to not only apologize, but to explain that he did not intentionally throw at Youkilis.
Carrasco recently finished serving a suspension left over from a similar incident in 2011.
He now might face another suspension.
"I don't want to do anything bad," Carrasco said. "I waited a year and a half to get my suspension [done] and everything. I don't want to do that again. I don't want to be suspended."
After Carrasco was ejected, Francona emerged from the dugout and argued Baker's decision, but the manager was forced to turn to his bullpen unexpectedly. Wednesday's planned starter, Brett Myers, took over for Carrasco, who was making his first start since Aug. 3, 2011, after missing last season recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
Cleveland has yet to announce who will start Wednesday's game against New York.
On the pitch prior to hitting Youkilis, Carrasco served up a two-run home run to Cano, putting the Indians in a 7-0 hole.
"No one ever knows if a guy truly does it on purpose," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, "but he just came back from a six-day suspension. If it was on purpose, it's probably going to be longer and it's not a good idea. If it wasn't, it looks like it was. Either way, it doesn't look good."
Francona was not about to argue that stance.
"It didn't look good," Francona said. "So situationally, I understand it. I understand the umpire's viewpoint and what he just came off of. But he was throwing 96-97 [mph] all night and, I think if you look at the video, he slipped and he threw it 90. I can see, under the circumstances, that it didn't look good."
In his next trip to the plate, Youkilis launched a two-run home run off Myers.
Youkilis said coming through like that felt good.
"Oh, yeah," he said. "After striking out twice, not feeling as comfortable at the plate, trying to do too much, then trying to put together a good at-bat, then that happens, it's always a good thing. It was great. Everybody swung the bats real well tonight and the last two days. Now we've got to take it into the last two games of the series."
Carrasco said he was caught off guard by his ejection
Girardi, on the other hand, was not surprised.
"No, I'm not," Girardi said. "That was right in the middle of his back after a home run."
It was nearly an identical situation to the one faced by Carrasco in his second-to-last outing of his injury-marred 2011 campaign.
Against the Royals on July 29 two seasons ago, Carrasco gave up a grand slam to Melky Cabrera in the fourth inning to put the Tribe in a 7-0 hole. He threw his next pitch in the area of Billy Butler's head and was promptly ejected. Carrasco received a six-game suspension (reduced to five games shortly before this season) from Major League Baseball.
Due to his arm injury, Carrasco did not serve his suspension until this year. He began the season on the Indians' Opening Day roster in order to get the leftover punishment off the books before heading to Triple-A Columbus. An injury to lefty Scott Kazmir (right rib cage strain) forced Cleveland to move Carrasco into the rotation for Tuesday's game.
"I feel really bad," Carrasco said. "I feel good, because I'm coming back and everything, and I feel healthy. But I know it doesn't look good."