Whatever "it" might be, the rest of Indians also lacked that trait on a night that they suffered an 8-0 drubbing by the Yankees at Progressive Field.
Having already learned of the pregame trade that sent third baseman Jhonny Peralta to the Tigers, Carmona and the Tribe took the field on Wednesday following a 42-minute rain delay.
Though the weather delayed the scheduled start time, it could not prevent the rout that ensued.
Carmona, who allowed seven runs on 10 hits in a season-low 2 2/3 innings, took the brunt of the blows.
"I threw bad pitches," Carmona said.
Acta offered a more expansive explanation.
"For some reason, everything he threw was very hard," Acta said. "He needed a little more speed differential on his pitches, and he didn't have it. Those hitters basically took advantage of that. They hit him around and put him in a big hole."
Alex Rodriguez, who came up short in his latest bid for career home run No. 600, took advantage of a mislocated Carmona sinker in the first. Mark Teixeira scored on Rodriguez's ringing two-out single to center field, which put the Yankees ahead to stay.
It was only the beginning.
"He's got a great sinker," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "But we did a nice job keeping pressure on him."
Carmona, a victim of mound meltdowns in recent seasons, wilted under that pressure in a three-run second for the Yanks. Brett Gardner delivered a one-out knock to right that drove in Curtis Granderson, who beat the tag of catcher Carlos Santana on a close play at the plate. Three batters later, Teixeira lined a two-out, two-run single through the right side of the infield.
Not only was Carmona battling one of baseball's most dangerous lineups, he was battling himself.
"I had a lot of energy in that second inning," Carmona said. "I tried to slow down, but I just couldn't."
The Yankees didn't slow down, either. They tagged Carmona for three more runs in the third, when Robinson Cano doubled and scored on Granderson's one-out triple to center. After Gardner drove in Granderson with a double to right, Nick Swisher's two-out single to left-center hiked the Yanks' lead to 7-0.
It also sent Carmona to the showers.
"I don't know what happened," Carmona said.
Leading off the fourth, Cano tattooed a 1-0 slider from Hector Ambriz over the right-field wall for a solo home run. The blast handed an eight-run cushion to A.J. Burnett, who scattered seven hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings.
"Every time we tried to get something going, A.J. stepped it up and made big pitches with that electric fastball and great breaking ball," said Acta, whose club finished 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine.
"We had traffic, but we just couldn't get that big hit."
Rodriguez had one last chance to deliver his big hit in the eighth, but a 10-pitch at-bat against Frank Herrmann resulted in a flyout to right.
"It was a great moment for me," said Herrmann, an undrafted rookie. "I'll never forget it."
Said Rodriguez: "He went right after me and threw me a bunch of fastballs. It was a good battle. He got the best of me."
The Indians put two on with no outs in the ninth, but they promptly went down in order against Sergio Mitre. It was a submissive conclusion to a long night.
For the 26-year-old Carmona, it was a night to remind himself of the struggles he's worked so hard to overcome.
It was also an outing doomed from the start.
"That's the wrong lineup to not have your pitches working for you," Acta said. "We could tell right away that there was not enough difference between the speed of his fastball and his changeup. That's not very good."