If the Indians were a half-way decent team, I'd be pretty angry right now, but they aren't, so, like someone congratulating a two-year-old for getting half his spaghetti into his mouth, I'm going to accentuate the positive tonight:
1. Justin Masterson was actually good, in that he made a lineup full of hitters look silly at times, and his slider was as good as I remember all season. Justin has good enough stuff that he doesn't really have to be precise with his pitches. Opposing hitters have to think he can throw strikes, and once Justin proved he could do so, he got on a roll. I've seen enough of him, though, not to get too giddy thinking that this start will have anything to do with future starts.
2. Jason Donald is having a quietly good rookie season. Think back to early in the season, when Luis Valbuena was hitting something like .160/.240/.250. Donald's .261/.315/.396 looks darn good in contrast. His OPS+ is almost league-average (97), not bad at all for a second baseman. He sometimes looks lost, as in last night's at-bats against Mark Buerhle, but he's also had excellent at-bats like the one he had in the ninth inning tonight.
3. Shelley Duncan playing over Trevor Crowe in left field. Just about anyone pushing Crowe out of the lineup is a good thing, but it's nice to see Acta appreciating Duncan's power over Crowe's, uh, speediness.
(For those who didn't watch/listen to the game: Masterson pitched well, Edwin Jackson pitched better, Joe Smith/Frank Herrmann blew the game in the eighth, and the Indians scored two in the ninth but came up one run short.)
|Highest WPA||Lowest WPA|
|Justin Masterson||.261||Frank Herrmann||-.377|
|Shelley Duncan||.143||Michael Brantley||-.189|
|Matt LaPorta||.073||Asdrubal Cabrera||-.165|