Whether it was the rousing ejection of Terry Francona or the way the Tampa Bay Rays put up eleven runs against them, the Cleveland Indians could have had a better Sunday. With the Detroit Tigers losing they squandered a chance to overtake them for first place, their manager was ejected, the pitching staff gave up 11 runs and the offense struggled to get three. All in all it wasn’t a good ending to the series for the Indians but they have ace Justin Masterson going for them next against the New York Yankees.
Ace pitchers have that label for a reason. It’s that feeling the fans and even fellow players get when they see his name on the card for starting pitcher after a tough loss. The Indians could use a dominant performance by a starting pitcher now as much as ever as they continue to try and recover from the marathon game a few nights ago. Masterson against the Yankees might be the best combination they could hope for in the given situation.
Three of Masterson’s last four starts have been great. He gave up five runs against the Boston Red Sox a couple of starts ago but the other three in his last four included him giving up a total of one run. One of those games was a complete game shutout by Masterson of these same Yankees. Sometimes it can be to a pitcher’s detriment to pitch back to back against a team he just pitched well against but this wasn’t last week, it was a few weeks ago and three starts ago for Masterson.
All things considered I think he will give them what they expect from their ace. He’ll go deep into the game and give them a good chance to win. If the offense shows their normal prowess I would almost guarantee they would win this game; almost.