After taking two of three games from the Colorado Rockies, the Washington Nationals now head to Cleveland to open a three-game series with the Cleveland Indians. Tonight’s pitching matchup may be the best one available around the MLB.
For the Nationals, they’ll be sending Gio Gonzalez to the mound to take on the Indians’ Justin Masterson. Both pitchers have been very efficient and effective for their ball clubs.
Gonzalez enters tonight with a 3-3 record and an ERA of 3.59 this season. It has been a bit of a rough go for the left-hander this season, as run support has been hard to come by when he’s pitching. In his last six starts, Gonzalez suffered a 6-2 loss after giving up four runs to the Baltimore Orioles and then five no-decisions.
In the other team’s dugout, Masterson is quickly becoming one of the American Leagues’ best pitchers. He enters tonight with a 8-5 record and an ERA of 3.68. While his last two outings both ended in losses and he has an ERA of 7.43 this month, Masterson certainly feels right at home when he’s pitching in Cleveland. In seven starts at home this season, Masterson has a record of 5-1.
Interestingly enough, Gonzalez dominated the Indians when he pitched for the Oakland Athletics. In six career games against the Indians — all with Oakland — he has a 5-0 record with a 0.72 ERA and has won all four starts in Cleveland. While Gonzalez hasn’t be as show-stopping as last season, pitching against a team he used to dominate has to make him relaxed and ready for tonight’s start.