For a hot second tonight, it sure looked like the Sports Illustrated curse was alive and well.
The Cleveland Indians were the popular magazine’s pick to win the World Series this season, but if early results prove anything, said prediction could be off by a mile. The Tribe have stumbled out of the gate, with the first week of the season featuring subpar offense, miserable performances from the bullpen and an absolute curb-stomping at the hands of the rival Detroit Tigers.
Despite this, a few fans were trying to avoid blaming the SI jinx for any of these initial issues. However, tonight it certainly looked like the club was indeed cursed.
In the first inning of Cleveland’s bout with the Chicago White Sox, starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco took a line drive from Melky Cabrera straight to the face. It was a harrowing sight to see, and the Tribe pitcher remained down on the field for quite some time. Suddenly, the thought of Cleveland losing one of its top pitchers for the entire season appeared to be looking like a legitimate possibility.
If the latest prognosis for Carrasco is true, the Indians might have avoided a devastating blow.
Initial reports claim not only did the Cleveland starter avoid any fractures, he also remarkably has no signs of a concussion. He’ll be treated for a jaw contusion, which, while likely very painful, is easily the best possible outcome from this situation.
Losing Carrasco would’ve been absolutely crushing for the Indians. He – along with Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer – has been one of the lone bright spots for Cleveland so far this season. While the top end of the team’s rotation has been performing well, Zach McAllister and T.J. House have been roughed up in their respective starts. Additionally, the Indians have been struggling offensively, so if they hoped to dig themselves out of this early hole, they’d have to do so with their pitching. Said task would’ve been much more difficult to deal with if Carrasco was out for a while.
Hopefully, the young pitcher won’t be shelved too long. Though he’ll still be in pain for some time, he at least didn’t suffer a broken jaw or concussion.
At the same time, while the Indians can be relieved to know they didn’t lose Carrasco for the season, they’re hardly out of the woods as a whole. The team just wrapped up its fourth straight loss, and looked miserable while doing so. Offensively, the Tribe is still a hot mess, as the team ended the game with six straight strikeouts.
It appears the only positive for Cleveland tonight was the fact Carrasco avoided any severe injury. As for everything else, well, the Indians still have a ton of work to do.