Eight months is a long time in sports. For Cleveland Indians All-Star pitcher Justin Masterson, that’s how long it had been since he was awarded a victory on the mound. That is until Saturday night at Progressive Field as Masterson was the star in the Indians’ second straight win, a 2-0 decision over the Chicago White Sox.
Masterson, always humble and ready to give credit to anyone but himself, gave all the props as usual to the defense behind him and the bats at the plate. “It’s nice to go out and pitch well and see things, it was a great team effort today, that’s more than anything,” Masterson said. The Indians ace started the season having issues; he entered Saturday with a 0-1 mark with a 4.84 ERA. After Saturday’s effort which included 7.1 innings, no runs on four hits with one walk and six Ks, his ERA dropped to 4.01.
Masterson has to be the anchor of the Indians’ pitching staff if the club is going to make a serious run again at the postsesason. After getting his first win since Aug. 21 of last year in Los Angeles, the monkey is now off his back; hopefully the always calm and cool Masterson can start a new streak — this time in the win column. “This game is going to be up and down, like life up and down,” Masterson said. “You have to be able to stay at a clam level, not let it bring you down not let it bring you to high, that’s where we’re trying to stay.”
It was an awful month of April for the Indians, going 11-17 leaving many fans wondering if last season was just a mirage and the team would come crashing down to earth. So far in May they are 2-0 with 12 runs on Friday and now a solid shutout win on Saturday. Masterson knows that the team has the pieces and parts to make a run, and he feels that the club is close to turning the corner. “For all of us, we have been making mistakes, beating ourselves,” Masterson said. “That’s why it’s been so bad, so the better and better we get at not having as many mistakes, going out there putting up good at-bats, making good pitches, things are going to turn.”