Justin Masterson came into tonight’s game with a 3-0 record and an ERA under 1.  Then the Boston Red Sox do what they do best, get to the starting pitcher in the 1st inning and didn’t look back.

Before Masterson could blink, the bases were loaded with Mike Napoli up to bat with no body out.  Masterson then served a single up to Napoli, scoring Ellsbury and Victorino, making it 2-0 Red Sox.  Daniel Nava then singled to score Pedroia.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia had another bases loaded situation, he hit a ground ball where Napoli was thrown out at the plate giving Masterson a much needed break.  Masterson then did himself a favor by striking out Stephen Drew to get out of the inning only allowing 3 runs.

Alfredo Aceves was given a 2nd start tonight.  Aceves came in relief for John Lackey when he exited with an injury during a Toronto 5-0 loss earlier this month.  Aceves was the team’s primary closer last season.  Aceves had a very solid outing tonight.

Masterson would end up getting in bases loaded situations again in the 3rd and 4th innings. He would get out of these innings without allowing any runs, despite a fielding miscue by Drew Stubbs turning the wrong way on a critical fly ball.

In the 5th, another Drew Stubbs miscue would come to cost Masterson.  Mike Carp hit a ball to deep center.  Stubbs would not get to this one either.  It hit off the top of the wall, and Stubbs was too close to the wall, so the ball ran away from Stubbs allowing Drew to score from 1st base giving Carp a triple.

Masterson averaged almost 20 pitches per inning as it was his shortest outing of the season.  He went 5 innings allowing 4 runs on 11 hits.  He would walk only one batter and struck out 5 Boston hitters.

He would turn the ball over to Corey Kluber.  Kluber got hit around a bit, he allowed 1 run on 3 hits with one strikeout.  Red Sox with a commanding 5-0 lead in the 6th inning.

Then the Tribe bats woke up.  Carlos Santana drew a lead off walk.  Then Nick Swisher had his own call to the bullpen, a 2-run home run that is, inside the Indians bullpen.  Making it a 5-2 Red Sox lead.  They weren’t done yet,  Jason Giambi hit his first home run in an Indians uniform to deep center field just right of the the Indians bullpen.  5-3 Red Sox.

Mark Reynolds then hit a double down the left field line, with still no one out.  John Farrell then made the move to relieve Alfredo Aceves in favor of right hander Junichi Tazawa.  Tazawa would finish off the Tribe with no furthur damage.

Aceves’ final stats read 5 inning pitched, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits.  He walked 3 while striking out 2 and allowing 2 home runs.

Tazawa would pitch 2 innings with 4 stikeouts with no walks or hits allowed.

Rich Hill had a solid 7th inning retiring the side.  In the eighth he walked Jacoby Ellsbury, he would then be relieved by Joe Smith.  Ellsbury would then score on a throwing error making it a 6-3 lead for the Sox.

Vinnie Pestano came running into the 9th inning retiring the side in order with 2 strikeouts.

Andrew Bailey would have a 1-2-3 9th inning to seal Boston’s 5th straight win improving to 10-4.  The Indians fell to 5-8.

Alfredo Aceves got his first win of the season, he is now 1-0 with a 6.28 ERA.  Justin Masterson the loser falls to 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA.  Andrew Bailey notched his first save of the season.

Time of the game was 3 hours and 24 minutes.  The attendance was 10, 282.

My Thoughts:

Great night to watch a ball game in April in Cleveland and just above 10 thousand.  Absolutely pathetic attendance.  There were no Boston fans honestly at this game.  Hard to imagine they normally help fill out the stadium for these games.

You had to think at some point the scoreless streak for Masterson would break.  He loaded the bases 3 out of the first 4 innings and only allowed 3 runs at that point.  Masterson did some battling tonight and did what an ace needs to do.  When Jimenez struggled last night not getting out of the 2nd you cannot afford to fold early with a bullpen already gassed from the night before.

Also, Drew Stubbs should never play center field again.  Put Michael Brantley out in center until Bourn returns.  Brantley has been the center fielder for the past 2 seasons, Stubbs has proved he can’t handle clutch moments defensively.  Hell, I would rather have Nick Swisher in center right now over Stubbs.  Honestly.

Coming Up Next:

The Red Sox will go for the sweep, and you have to like their chances, as ace Jon Lester who is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA will be on the mound.  The Indians will counter with Zach McCallister who is 1-1 with a 2.19 ERA.

First pitch is at 7:05 PM at Progressive Field.



Categories: American League Happenings

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