Justin Masterson will try for the seventh time to win his sixth game of the season. Masterson (5-3, 3.07 ERA) has not won since April 26. In his last six starts Masterson is 0-3, and his ERA has risen from 2.11 on May 6 to its present figure.
Plus, Masterson has not had glowing success against the Rangers. In six career appearances, including two starts, Masterson is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in 15 innings.
Thus it will be incumbent upon Masterson to get back into early-season form, as Texas is sending unbeaten Alexi Ogando tonight. Ogando (5-0, 2.33 ERA) is a right-hander in his first season as a starter after spending his entire first career year as a reliever. And quite a career it has been so far, as Ogando has a record of 9-1 and an ERA of 1.93.
Ogando has faced the Indians twice in his time in the Majors, tossing 2.1 innings against the Tribe with no decisions.
If there is a bright spot in the prospect of facing Ogando tonight, it is that he gave up five runs in six innings in his last start, against the Kansas City Royals. However, in the start before that one, Ogando shut out the Chicago White Sox on only five hits.
So a lot will depend upon which Ogando shows up tonight, although a lot of that has to do with which Cleveland hitters show up.
The third game of this long-weekend set will be on Saturday night at 7:05 when Fausto Carmona goes for the Tribe. With Carmona’s struggles this season, it would be nice if he did not have the pressure of trying to break a losing streak on his shoulders.
And yes, one expects the ace of the staff to be the kind of stopper to send out there with a losing streak. But until Carmona gets it consistently together — well, let’s just win tonight and make his job a little easier on Saturday.