Greetings everybody! I had the privilege of checking out Carp's start in person. My ticket was original behind the plate, 7th row, but in the 3rd inn i moved up to the front row--gotta love the minor leagues :)
Anyway, I asked what ppl wanted for this post, and the consensus was to make a fanpost for this. So here's my first crack at one and a recap inn by inn:
He was on fire. Struck out the side swinging. All 3 pitches were working, especially the curve, which was just filthy. his fastball was anywhere from 88-92mph, and he was locating it so far as i could tell live.
Started w/ another k, but a couple hits followed, including a weak broken bat one. w/ 2 guys on, he walked a guy to load the bases. At this point he got a groundball to 1st, but Phelps was indecisive on the play. He absolutely should have gone home w/ it or at least tried to turn two at 2nd. instead he shuffled his feet and merely tagged the bag. Again, he had plenty of time to throw home. BAD play. 2 down, 1 run in. w/ runners on 2nd and 3rd Carp hit the next batter in the helmet w/ a fastball.
Clearly, he was struggling to locate his fastball and I think he was deliberately focusing on throwing it (this goes along w/ what he said after his last start about his fastball location). Whenever he threw the curveball they were basically fooled. The change up seemed good as well, though he didn't use it very much (I don't think--harder to tell in person for me).
I was encouraged by the fact that he got out of the jam with only one run scoring.
The inn started out well enough w/ a harmless pop-up, but that followed by a double and a single, scoring a run---2-0 Portland. After that he hit the next batter (from my view it barely grazed his uniform, tough to tell). So 1st and 2nd w/ one out and a run in already. He got a ground ball but they botched the double play. No harm done though as another grounder ended the inning. Again, to me it seemed like he was focusing on getting his fastball under control.
He cruised right through this inn w/ a flyout followed by 2 groundouts. He maybe threw 10 pitches or something. It looked like he was back to using his full repertoire.
This inn might have been even easier inning than the 4th--all grounders to 1st, making it 4 straight to 1st and 5 in row on the ground overall. Clearly he had settled in after his 2nd and 3rd inn issues, which seemed to be fastball related.
I was surprised to see him still in but he was still sharp. Another groundout and a K before they pull him w/ 2 outs and no on. Obviously he had reached a pre-determined pitch-count. I was annoyed that the scoreboard never once told me how many pitches he had thrown.
Final Line & Summary:
5.2 in; 3h; 1bb; 5k; 2hbp; 3er and a loss (no offense for the 'birds tonight whatsoever)
All in all it was certainly a step in the right direction but I'd say he needs at least one more start to continue refining the location on his fastball. His curveball was ridiculous all night long and his velocity was pretty good. Additionally, it seemed like when he took a little off his fastball he could locate it better, and it topped out at 94 according the stadium gun. His D didn't do him any favors either and it's possible that better play behind him would've resulted in only 1 run allowed. The only hard hit ball was the double. they basically couldn't hit him, it was all about his command of the fastball.
Hope this helps everyone get a feel for how he looked and when we can expect him back. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if they start him in Atlanta. I'd rather they didn't but I wouldn't put it past them.