6/2 Recap: Masterson Beats his Former Team, Sizemore Doesn’t

Roster Update: After just ten games with the team and having not played in the past four of those, the Indians have decided they no longer desire the services of relief pitcher, Mark Lowe. The Indians lost two of the four games that Lowe pitched in and he could easily be blamed for both those losses. In his stead, the big left hander, Nick Hagadone has been recalled. Hagadone was called up for the game on May 30th, but wasn’t used and was sent right back to Columbus. His stay will likely be longer this time as the Indians should give him one last chance to prove himself.

Player of the Game
Justin Masterson was so good tonight we will talk about little else for the rest of this recap, so we’ll stick with the basics here. Masterson threw seven shut out innings and struck out ten (many more details to follow), giving up just three hits. He did struggle in the first, loading the bases with two walks and a single, but he struck out Johnny Gomes looking after starting the at bat 3-0. After that, he had no other problems, inducing two double plays to go with his K’s. His POG score of 9.53 was his best of the season.

Feathers Up
Milestone Alert: After striking out just seven in his last four starts, Justin Masterson struck out two in the first inning tonight, giving him 764 in his Indians career, moving him into 20th place in Tribe history, tied with Tom Candiotti. He then went on to strike out ten total, giving him 772 and sole possession of 20th place.

It is getting kind of old hat, but Lonnie Chisenhall came through again today, giving the Indians the first two runs on the game with a two out, opposite field single. Michaels Bourn and Brantley both walked to start the first and after outs by Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis left them on second and third, Chisenhall came through and brought them both home.

It is often said that a starting rotation can build momentum, each pitcher taking off where the last one left and that certainly seems to be the case for the Indians right now. Justin Masterson has struck out a lot of batters in his career, but is not a strike out pitcher, per se. That didn’t stop him tonight as he continued the rotations run of at least eight strike outs per game for the past five games and in eight of their last nine. Masterson struck out a season high ten in total, throwing 64% of his pitches for strikes including 25 strikes in a row at one point. Right in the middle of that stretch, Masterson struck out all three batters faced with just nine pitches, becoming the 27th American League pitcher to complete that feat.

Feathers Down
Terry Francona always states the importance of having an eight man bullpen, but for some reason he has ignored almost half of it, with John Axford, Carlos Carrasco and the combination of Mark Lowe and Nick Hagadone having not pitched in the past five games. Instead, Bryan Shaw pitched for the third game in a row and it cost the Tribe, as his two run home run allowed to Xander Bogaerts cut the Tribe lead down to one run.

Final Score: Cleveland Indians 3 – Boston Red Sox 2

On Deck: The Indians will face a familiar foe tomorrow in Jake Peavy, while the Red Sox will see someone new, T.J. House. The second game of the three game series will take place at 7:05 PM in Cleveland.

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since its inception in 2011. He also writes for The Outside Corner and the Comeback and hosts the Tribe Time Now podcast. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians. Follow on twitter @BurningRiverBB