Second Thoughts Game #9: White Sox 0, Indians 1
Masterson and Swisher team up to down Pale Hose in walkoff win
There aren’t many starting pitchers, let alone aces in Major League Baseball who are pitching much better than Justin Masterson right now. On Friday night fresh off of taking out two consecutive Cy Young winners in his first couple starts of the young 2013 campaign, the right-hander shut down the Chicago White Sox in a complete game shutout effort leading to the Indians winning 1-0.
Masterson has put up the stats of an ace in his first three starts of the season. The right-handeris now 3-0 with an 0.41 ERA as he has not allowed a run since the third inning of his opening day start against the Blue Jays and that is the only run he’s allowed all year, thus far. Masterson or “Mr. Clean” as Nick Swisher has nicknamed him, has also only allowed eight free passes viabases on balls against 20 strikeouts in 22 innings of work. Masterson is currently in the MLB top-five in wins and strikeouts.
So This Is Amazing Awesomeness
There’s no question the Indians signed Nick Swisher to be a leader not only in the clubhouse,but also lead the team on the field and at the plate. Well, you can’t lead a team any better than with a walk-off single in the ninth inning 1-0 victory. Although he’s had a slow start to the year, Swisher has come through when the team needed him to, especially on Friday night with Michael Bourn at third with two outs and Masterson’s complete game win on the line. This was just the first of many highlight reel moments Swisher will provide for the Tribe.
Swisher won over every Tribe fan when he first set foot in Cleveland as an Indian at the now-infamous press conference in the offseason where it was announced that he had signed amulti-year deal with Cleveland. Over the remainder of the offseason and into spring training,Swisher’s infectious personality and abounding optimism set the slugger up to become the new face of the Indians franchise and so far, he hasn’t let anyone down.
Will He Ever Catch A Break?
Jason Kipnis has had way more success at the plate than his stats would indicate in the early goings of this season. It seems every game now he is being robbed of hits by strong defensive plays. Friday night was no different as Kipnis had solid line drives taken away by the White Sox outfield. Kipnis is currently hitting a mere .125 with four hits. Three of those hits have been doubles, though, and he easily could have a few more. Kipnis did get a key walk in the ninth inning, which led to Swisher coming to the plate and driving in the winning run. I’m not saying Kipnis is a .300 hitter just down on his luck, but he’s been better than the numbers are indicating.
Quick Game Facts
- After Friday night’s complete game shutout victory, Indians ace Justin Masterson has now pitched a complete game in each season since joining the Tribe in 2009.
- First baseman Nick Swisher now has a 19-game hitting streak at Progressive Field dating back to his days with the Yankees.
- Since 2011, the Indians have averaged nine walk-off wins per season.
White Sox vs. Indians Game #2 @ Progressive Field. First pitch at 4:05 ET.
It’s been a rough opening home stand thus far, to say the least, but hopefully a brief intermission due to rain and a walk-off win have helped put the players back in the right mindset and taken some of the pressure off. On Saturday, right-hander Zach McAllister will take to the mound after extended rest in hopes of rebounding after a not-terrible, but still disappointing start against the Rays. Opposing him will be White Sox ace Chris Sale, the lanky left-hander who has always given Tribe hitters fits. We’ll see what they can do against him with an improved lineup, though.
Jake Dungan is a communications student at Stark State College and an intern with the Akron RubberDucks. Follow him on Twitter @MajorLeagueJake.