What was not to like about this game? Justin Masterson was on his game, getting left-handers with changeups and sliders in great locations, Asdrubal Cabrera was back in the lineup with Shin-Soo Choo soon to follow, Travis Hafner coming through in the top half of the eighth, and Joe Smith getting through a tough bottom of the inning, setting things up for Chris Perez to set down the Twins in order in the ninth, all in front of 40,000 fans who went home frustrated that their $97M roster lost two in a row to a last-place rebuilding team.
"Consistency" tends to get overused in baseball as an explanation for why a player can't put things together. Jeremy Sowers could throw strikes consistently but still get knocked around. Trevor Crowe could swing the bat to the best of his ability, but it still won't make him a power hitter. Justin Masterson, however, is at times a dominating pitcher if his mechanics are right, and could be a very good starter if he can stay behind the ball consistently from start to start. Tonight Justin gave up three runs, one of which was earned only because the official scorer apparently had never seen a major-league game, and the other two came around after he left the game. He struck out seven hitters, six of them coming against left-handed hitters.
Jason Donald has been overshadowed by the recent successes of Carlos Santana and Matt LaPorta; he's now hitting.276/.326/.423, a fine line for a middle infielder, and light-years better than what the Indians were getting out of Luis Valbuena. Now that Cabrera is back, he'll move over to second base, which he really hasn't played a whole lot in his professional career (33 games in 5 professional seasons), and will get the rest of the season to settle in there.