The Indians lost again today and they lost because Tony Sipp had his second consecutive bad outing. The Hurla' from Pascagoula (that's Mississippi and this nickname is catching, believe me) gave up 2 ER in only 0.1 IP of work as he tried to finish off the seventh for Indians starter Justin Masterson. It's disappointing that Sipp has had two bad outings but it's early to be reading tea leaves on his total demise. At the very least, though, I think we can all go back to thinking Chris Perez is better.
The story today, however, was Masterson. It was an incredibly positive outing for our platoon-addled Jamaican: he went six scoreless against a New York lineup that was stacked against him with six lefties. He certainly faltered in the seventh but that can't take the sheen off a performance that featured 10 GB outs (including 8 from LHB if I've counted right) and 8 K's (3 vs LHB) among Masterson's 20 outs. Justin looked legitimately good today, commanding the strike zone and using his sinker and slider both to record punch outs. There's a growing crowd who think Masterson is a lost cause as a starter but I'm not anywhere near that point yet.
If you'll allow me to get a little silly with sample size for a second, here's a sampling of left-handed batters who've got an OPS below .650 against Justin Masterson with a minimum of 4 PAs: Grady Sizemore, Chase Utley, Chone Figgins, Carl Crawford, Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Nick Swisher, Kendry Morales, Ichiro Suzuki, Curtis Granderson. That list means nothing but I find it a little interesting that it's a more impressive list than the guys who've gone over .650 against Justin. You can check the whole mess out here for yourself.
The game was over after Sipp imploded but Jensen Lewis did some bleeding of his own in his return to the major leagues. Who knows how long he'll be here: the Indians, for the 174th year in a row, don't have enough good pitchers and by my count there are at least 5 ((Huff, Zombie Perez, Ambriz, Wright, and Lewis) for whom the bell could toll with little to no objection, and that's charitably assuming this is a bad run for Sipp, not a case of bad peripherals catching up.
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