Saturday, June 14, 2008

Game 70: A Rough Start on the Road

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 1, Cincinnati Reds 3

Welcome back to Cincinnati: time to lose a tough game to a sub .500 team. Hard going when a good half of your lineup was what one might politely call "light hitting," leading to a regretful condition where thirteen batters scrounged up five base runners over the course of the evening...four of whom ended up stranded on base. To recap: offense, not so much.

Masterson's line was the odd part of the loss. Justin's a sinker ball pitcher, and because he's been pretty effective so far, he gets ground balls and ground ball outs and winds up surrendering two runs per start - and getting wins, which is why we keep coming up with clever post titles based on his name and success. It's been a good time, and one that will continue in the future, but...

...but he gave up almost as many fly ball outs as ground ball outs (4 to 7), and he struck out nine guys, which is about fifty percent more than his 2008 per-start average. Oh, and - most telling - he gave up two home runs, again topping his 2008 per-start average. In other words, it seems like someone was throwing hard, up in the zone. That the Reds only ended up with three runs seems like a statement about their hitting (or, to be more positive, about how effective Masterson's pitching can be even when he's not on), but with no hitting on the Boston side, a loss was approaching a foregone conclusion.