After the Indians started the week being swept, they rebounded behind an excellent start by Justin Masterson as they blanked the offensive offense of the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of 2-0. As you can imagine just by looking at the final score, this game was a pitchers duel between Masterson and Pittsburgh ace James McDonald. McDonald, who I assume to be Pittsburgh other All-Star this season (alongside Andrew McCutchen), dominated the Indians for much of his start, allowing only three hits and two walks over six innings; however, the Indians were able to squeeze a run out of McDonald in the third thanks to an Asdrubal Cabrera walk and a Carlos Santana RBI double.
This put the game at 1-0, and that is really all the run support that Justin Masterson would need. Justin’s final line- 7 Innings Pitched, 0 Runs, 3 Walks, and 9 Strikeouts (6 Looking). I would argue that this start was Masterson’s best of the season, and it could not have came at a better time. Some other notes on the game:
1.) Michael Brantley some how, some way continues to get hits as he extended his major-league leading hitting streak to 22 games. Brantley, who drove in a run in the 8th inning with a single, has really been walking on eggshells lately- In the past four games, Brantley has tallied one hit in each, and three of the four hits came in his last at-bat (7th inning or later). He is not even half way to Joe’s record, but I really hope he somehow keeps this going for quite some time.
2.) Lance Barksdale’s strike zone last night was, well to say the least, interesting. As I mentioned earlier Masterson struck out nine, with six looking; however, four of the six looking strikeouts came on pitches that espn trumedia classified as “out of the strike zone”, which led me to wonder just how many pitches Barksdale may have missed last night. In all, Lance Barksdale managed to make the correct call only 82.4% of the time in last nights game, which is the second worst game in baseball this season. The umpire who called the worst game this year? Tim Welke, with a correct call rate of 80.4% on Opening Day for the Indians vs. Blue Jays.
3.) If anyone needed to see Pittsburgh come to town, it’s Carlos Santana. Santana, who is dealing with a long slump over the past couple of weeks, was 10-16 with three home runs in his career versus Pittsburgh. Last night he was 1-3 with an RBI double and a walk; hopefully seeing some Pirate pitching can turn his swing around.
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