Masterson goes 7 innings and gives 2 runs, then Jimenez goes 6, gives up 3 runs while striking out 10. This is how it was supposed to work.
Except it hasn't. With both pitchers, you don't know what you're going to get. It could be great, but it could be hideous. That - dare I say the word - inconsistency from start to start was undoubtedly a big reason why Scott Radinsky was let go today. Maybe it's not possible to keep Justin and Ubaldo's mechanics in working order in every start, but because the Indians have tied their competitiveness to them, they're going to try a new mechanics doctor. Columbus pitching coach Ruben Nieba, who has been with the organization for the last 12 seasons, will serve as the interim pitching coach for the remainder of the season.
But you can't pin Ubaldo's success on Nieba, because he wasn't here tonight. It was a very un-Ubaldo-like performance; he gave up 8 hits but only 1 walk, and found time to strike out 10 while throwing 106 pitches in 6+ innings of work. His strike/ball ratio was 70/36 - usually that ratio is close to one-to-one. And he was facing one of the better lineups in the AL, because although the Red Sox are underachieving, they aren't two games under .500 because of their bats.
Brooks says that Jimenez only threw three splitters, which agrees with what I saw. He was only a four-pitch pitcher tonight, as his slider and curve were very effective; he got 7 whiffs between them. But I thought his four-seam fastball was as effective as it's been all season.
Jason Donald, who was recalled after Travis Hafner was place on the DL, led off the bottom of the first inning with an opposite-field home run. The Indians followed the same procedure they used with Ezequiel Carrera, which was placing Donald into the lineup immediately. And it worked, for Donald went 1-for-4 with a walk, scoring 2 of the 5 Tribe runs. But Donald wasn't the only Indians batter to have success at the plate; of the nine that started, only Shelley Duncan took an 0-fer.
Jimenez was pulled in the seventh after he allowed a jam double down the right field line to Pedro Ciriaco, and Tony Sipp got the Indians out of the jam. After Vinnie Pestano worked a scoreless eighth, the Indians tacked on a ninth inning run to give Chris Perez some more breathing room. This time (the clean-shaven) Chris Perez worked a spotless ninth, giving the Indians the victory and a winning streak.