Commentary

Carmona in tough against Tigers

Inside the Matchups: Carmona vs. Tigers, Kawakami vs. Phillies

Updated: May 8, 2009, 2:09 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | Special to ESPN Insider

Careful with Carmona

On Saturday night, Fausto Carmona toes the mound against the Detroit Tigers for the first time this season. His 1.59 WHIP is ugly, but hey, at least the big righty is consistent; he's allowed nine combined walks and hits in every start except against the Yankees, when he allowed 10. With each mediocre start, his remarkable 2007 season looks more and more like a fluke. Carmona's success hinges on generating easy ground-ball outs with his splitter. Luckily for him, the Tigers' lineup has the third highest ground-ball rate in the American League. They don't chase pitches or walk a whole lot, but if Carmona lets his defense do the dirty work, he should be fine ... but that's a big if. He's not a reliable starter yet.