The man with arguably the best pure stuff in the Indians' pitching rotation, Cleveland starter Justin Masterson could not find the strike zone to save his life for a second consecutive start, and left Sunday's game after five innings trailing 4-1 on the scoreboard.
Masterson needed 110 pitches to labor through five half innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits. The obvious red flag for Masterson on the day was his extremely high walk total, as he allowed six batters a free pass to first base. The 27-year-old righthander walked four more batters and gave up eight runs in just 3.2 innings against Seattle on April 17th, so back-to-back dismal performances like this is clearly a cause for concern.
Masterson is a vital part of a five-man Cleveland rotation that entered Sunday with a combined 4.19 ERA on the season, but will need to answer his critics next time he toes the rubber. Masterson has only fanned five batters over his last three starts after whiffing 10 on Opening Day.
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