Texas Rangers: Justin Masterson

W2W4: Rangers at Indians

August, 1, 2014
Aug 1
The Rangers begin a nine-game in 10-day road trip starting in Cleveland on Friday night.

Here's our preview of the series.

What’s up with the Indians? The Tribe is 6-7 in the second half of the season and has lost five of its last seven games. Cleveland has 31 home games remaining, most in the majors. OF David Murphy played with the Rangers from 2007 to 2013 and in four games against his former club, he’s 6-of-15 with three doubles. 3B Lonnie Chisenhall is batting .312/.380/.478. CF Michael Brantley leads the Indians in RBIs (65) and is second in OBP (.374). The Indians traded opening day starter Justin Masterson to St. Louis the day before the non-waiver trade deadline and starting shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to Washington on the day of the trading deadline.

What’s up with the Rangers? The Rangers are coming off a series win for the first time since the end of June after taking two-of-three from the New York Yankees. It’s the first winning series since June 27-29 over Minnesota. The Rangers finished July at 6-20 and hope to begin August on a better note. Adrian Beltre finished the completed six-game homestand 8-for-24 with five RBIs, five runs and two walks. Neftali Feliz regained the closer's role after Joakim Soria was traded and Feliz has converted all three of his save opportunities.

The trading season continues: The Rangers didn't trade RF Alex Rios or LHP Neal Cotts before Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline. But starting August 1 teams can begin sending players through waivers and if that particular player clears, he can be dealt. It's how Rios was acquired last season from the Chicago White Sox. The Rangers are open to keeping both players but could send Rios through to see if anything is out there.

Darvish vs. Cleveland: Staff ace Yu Darvish is 1-2 in three starts against the Indians with 30 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched. Nick Swisher is 1-of-7 lifetime against Darvish with five strikeouts. This is the sixth time Darvish will pitch on five days rest. He’s 3-1 with a no-decision when that occurs. In his only meeting against the Indians, June 6 in Arlington, he earned the win on four-days rest, while allowing four runs on nine hits. He struck out eight but allowed two home runs.

Who pitches? Friday night: RHP Jerome Williams (2-4, 5.53) vs. RHP Danny Salazar (3-4, 4.96). Saturday night: RHP Miles Mikolas (1-3, 8.54) vs. LHP TJ House (1-2, 4.50). Sunday RHP Darvish (10-6, 2.90) vs. RHP Trevor Bauer (4-5, 3.93).

Matchup: Yu Darvish vs. Justin Masterson

July, 27, 2013
The Rangers try to rebound from an 11-inning loss to Cleveland when ace right-hander Yu Darvish faces Indians right-hander Justin Masterson at 6:05 p.m. Saturday on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.

Darvish (9-4, 2.86): Darvish came off the disabled list and picked up his ninth win of the season as the Rangers beat the Yankees 3-0 ... Darvish didn't allow a run in 6 1/3 innings, finishing with four strikeouts and two walks ... He threw 90 pitches, 60 for strikes ... Darvish took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, allowing a single to Lyle Overbay ... Darvish's two hits allowed were the least he's allowed since his near-perfect game in his first start of the season in Houston ... Darvish has an American League-best eight starts with six innings pitched while allowing three hits or fewer ... Darvish has allowed 15 home runs, one more than he allowed last season ... Darvish suffered his first major league loss at Progressive Field on May 6, 2012 in which all 28 batters he faced hit left-handed ... He is 3-1 with a 2.83 in seven road starts this season.

Masterson (11-7, 3.60): Masterson will make his 22nd start of the season and will have an extra day of rest ... He won his 11th game on Sunday at Minnesota, allowing a run in seven innings ... Masterson allowed a hit, had eight strikeouts and no walks while throwing 93 pitches ... He had a no-hitter into the seventh inning before the Twins' Brian Dozier broke it up with a leadoff double ... According to Elias Sports Bereau, Masterson was the first American League pitcher to allow no more than one hit with no walks and at least eight strikeouts since Darvish did it in the start against the Astros ... Masterson has never beaten the Rangers, going 0-4 with a 6.49 ERA.

Hitters: Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has a home run and two walks in his three plate appearances against Darvish. David Murphy is 4-for-4 with two home runs against Masterson.

Rapid Reaction: Yankees 2, Rangers 0

July, 25, 2013

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers' record fell to 0-37 when trailing after eight innings as they couldn't rally against the New York Yankees on Thursday afternoon, falling 2-0 on a scorching hot day at Rangers Ballpark.

Holland beats the heat: Derek Holland wasn't impacted at all by a 95-degree day at Rangers Ballpark. He pitched into the eighth inning for the fifth time in 21 starts, allowing two runs on eight hits. Holland has been sensational this season against the Yankees. He had complete game 2-0 victory against the Bronx Bombers on June 26, but was on the wrong end of a shutout Thursday.

Kuroda flourishes: The Rangers couldn't come up with the big hit against Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda, continuing a season-long trend on offense. The Rangers didn't have a lot of chances against Kuroda and finished the game 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position. Kuroda improved to 3-0 with a 0.69 ERA for July.

[+] EnlargeJohn Wetterland, Joe Nathan, Mariano Rivera
AP Photo/Brandon WadeThe Rangers presented Mariano Rivera Rivera with a black cowboy hat and custom-made boots with the Yankees logo and his jersey No. 42 on the back in a pregame ceremony.
Pounding the zone: Manager Ron Washington said after Wednesday's game that new Ranger Matt Garza pounded the strike zone with a vengance, throwing 70 percent of his pitches for strikes. Holland, who hasn't been shy of pitching to contact this season, followed Garza's lead. Holland threw 70 of his 94 pitches for strikes. That's a 75 percent clip.

Rivera closes door: In his final game at Rangers Ballpark -- unless he's back in the playoffs -- Mariano Rivera picked up a save against the Rangers. It was his 33rd this season, pushing his all-time saves record to 641.

Sixth-inning blues: The Rangers had two singles and a walk in the bottom of the sixth and didn't score. Ian Kinsler opened the inning with a single, but was out at second base on a hit-and-run with Elvis Andrus that didn't work. Andrus couldn't get the bat on a sinker and Kinsler was caught stealing. Andrus followed with an infield single and Nelson Cruz had a nine-pitch walk that appeared to have Kuroda on the ropes on this hot day. But Adrian Beltre flied out to center field and A.J. Pierzynski was robbed of a hit on a sliding catch by Arlington native Vernon Wells in left field.

Big break: The Rangers caught a huge break in the top of the seventh when Yankees catcher Austin Romine's shot to center field hopped over the fence for a ground-rule double. With two outs, David Adams, who was running from first base, would have scored easily but had to stop at third. Ichiro Suzuki followed by grounding out to shortstop to end the threat and keep the score at 1-0. There had been three ground-rule doubles in 51 games at Rangers Ballpark entering the game. The Yankees had two in the span of three innings Thursday.

Up next: The Rangers leave Texas for three days for a weekend series at Cleveland. Left-hander Martin Perez (3-3, 3.40 ERA) gets things started Friday night against Indians right-hander Corey Kluber (7-5, 3.69) at 7:05 p.m. on Ch. 21 and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and Deportes 1540 AM. The rest of the series sets up with right-hander Yu Darvish (9-4, 2.86) facing Tribe right-hander Justin Masterson (11-7, 3.60) at 6:05 p.m. Saturday, and right-hander Alexi Ogando (4-2, 3.13) going up against right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (7-4, 4.49) at 12:05 p.m. Sunday. Both games will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest and broadcast on the radio on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and Deportes 1540 AM.

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 10, Indians 4

September, 13, 2011
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers used a big sixth inning to take firm control of the game and beat the Indians, 10-4. Texas hit three home runs off starter Justin Masterson, who had allowed only seven all season before Tuesday. The win means the Rangers will at least be three games up in the AL West after tonight. Some quick thoughts (more to come from the clubhouse):

* Matt Harrison was sharp early, getting the first eight batters he faced. But his changeup started to get up in the zone and he lost some of his fastball command, allowing the Indians to put runners on base. Harrison gave up a run in the fourth and fifth and after giving up a leadoff double in the sixth, manager Ron Washington went to the bullpen. Harrison ended up going five-plus and gave up three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk.

* Harrison got out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the third, but couldn't keep the Indians from scoring in the fourth. Catcher Carlos Santana drilled a high changeup into the seats in left-center field. They scored again on the double by Jason Kipnis in the fifth and then Santana, who hit the leadoff double that chased Harrison, scored on a wild pitch by reliever Michael Gonzalez. Santana ended up homering in the eighth off Mark Lowe, becoming the first Indians player to hit a homer from both sides of the plate in the same game since Victor Martinez in 2007.

* David Murphy certainly enjoyed hitting off Cleveland starter Justin Masterson. Murphy had two home runs in his first two at-bats, both to left field. His first one went 384 feet and his second one, in the upper deck, was 10 feet longer. Masterson does not give up a lot of home runs, entering the game with seven homers allowed in 200 1/3 innings, the best rate per nine innings in the AL. So it was impressive that Murphy added two to that total in the same game. Murphy also had an infield single and a double, falling a triple shy of the cycle. He was 4-for-4 and is hitting .425 in September with four homers, 12 runs and 12 RBIs.

* Entering Tuesday, Masterson had allowed multiple homers to four different batters in his career: two each to Carl Crawford, Torii Hunter, Carlos Pena, and Felix Pie. He had never allowed multiple homers to any batter in a season, let alone in a single game. (Shout out to Rich Rice, Rangers PR)

* It was the third multi-homer game of Murphy's career, but his first in Arlington. He had multi-homer games on the road, one in Kansas City in 2009 and Oakland in 2008.

* Josh Hamilton got ahead in the count 3-0, watched a strike and then belted a 3-1 pitch to right-center field. It was hit on a line and hard, giving the Rangers a 4-2 lead. It was a two-run shot because Elvis Andrus drew a one-out walk ahead of him. It was the first time Masterson had given up three homers in a game in his career. And by the way, there was no jet stream when he hit it. Hamilton is now 8-for-11 with two homers and four RBIs off Masterson. The slugger was 3-for-5 on Tuesday and looked comfortable at the plate.

* Ron Washington made a good call in the fifth, sending Craig Gentry up for Endy Chavez with the bases loaded and no outs. The pinch-hitter came through with a single up the middle to drive in two runs and give the Rangers a 6-3 lead. Washington had Nelson Cruz on the bench, but elected to go with Gentry against lefty Nick Hagadone. The result was a good one.

* Hamilton had a couple of doubles hit the warning track in left field. I only bring it up because we're so used to Hamilton running some of those balls down. But the wind slowly picked up during the game and it was blowing across toward left field, so that may have made it difficult on Hamilton.

* Ian Kinsler stole his 24th consecutive base in the first inning on Tuesday, but was picked off the bag moments later. Kinsler's streak, which started on April 24, is a club record. He has 25 stolen bases this season.

* Elvis Andrus added a two-run RBI double in the sixth to give the Rangers four runs in the inning and an 8-3 lead.

* Michael Gonzalez pitched two scoreless innings. He allowed the inherited runner to score on a wild pitch in the sixth, but settled down and got the next five batters he faced.

* Adrian Beltre's homer in the seventh came off rookie Zach Putnam, making his big league debut. Beltre was the first hitter he faced. The homer moved Beltre's hit streak to 17 games, which matches his career high. It's the longest current streak in the majors.

Mound matchup: Wilson vs. Masterson

July, 6, 2010
Game 2 of the three-game series at 7:05 tonight at Rangers Ballpark matches LHP C.J. Wilson against the Indians’ RHP Justin Masterson. Here's a brief scouting report:

Wilson (6-4, 3.34 ERA): The 29-year-old had a winning streak of three straight decisions broken by the Angels in his last start despite a strong performance. Wilson allowed only five hits and two runs in 5 2/3 innings of a 2-1 road defeat. He will be pitching on his regular four days' rest. Wilson leads the team with 11 quality starts. In his last five starts, he has been charged with exactly two runs in each game. In 19 career appearances against Cleveland, including one start, Wilson is 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA. Wilson has won his last three starts at Rangers Ballpark and is 5-1 with a 3.57 ERA in nine home starts. Left-handed hitters are batting only .094 against him.

Masterson (3-7, 4.85 ERA): The 25-year-old second-round pick of the Red Sox in the 2006 draft is coming off an excellent outing, a 6-1 win over Toronto on Thursday. His victory gave the Indians a four-game series sweep. Over his last five starts, Masterson is 2-2 with a 4.13 ERA in 32 2/3 innings. Masterson was acquired in a July 2009 a trade that sent catcher Victor Martinez to Boston. Against the Rangers this season, Masterson is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA. His career at Rangers Ballpark consists of two scoreless innngs of relief. In his career against Texas, Masterson is 0-1 with a 1.86 ERA and has 11 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings. Earlier this season, he snapped a personal 11-game losing streak, the third-longest in club history.

Hitters: David Murphy has a hit in his only at-bat against Masterson. Josh Hamilton is 2-for-3 against him. Elvis Andrus, Julio Borbon and Ian Kinsler own a .500 batting average against Masterson, and Nelson Cruz has the Rangers’ only home run against him. On the flip side, Michael Young and Vladimir Guerrero are a combined 1-for-16 against Masterson. Andy Marte has the most success of any Cleveland hitter against Wilson with two hits in two at-bats. Travis Hafner is 2-for-8 with a double and two RBIs. Jhonny Peralta is 1-for-10 with a double and an RBI.

Lots of strikeouts and other good stuff

April, 14, 2010

The Texas Rangers' 6-2 win over the Indians in Cleveland on Wednesday was a thing of beauty if you like watching hitters walking back to the dugout with their bats in their hands.

Of the 54 outs in the game, 25 were the result of strikeouts. The starting pitchers, Texas' Colby Lewis and Cleveland's Justin Masterson, combined to fan 19 batters. Lewis' 10 were the most in his major league career.

Lewis' pitch count wasn't great, 117 in 5 1/3 innings, and he walked four, but there's little else to criticize about his second start that leaves him with a 2-0 record and a 2.19 ERA. That ERA is only good enough, however, for third among the Rangers' starters. The highest ERA in the rotation belongs to Rich Harden at 2.79. The entire staff's ERA is a stingy 2.95. If that continues, and the bats keep producing ... well, let's not get carried away after eight games.

Some other tidbits from Wednesday:

*Nelson Cruz showed signs of being human, striking out three times. But he also showed signs of being machine with his sixth home run in eight games and a stellar defensive play. He made a leaping grab at the top of the right-field wall to rob Luis Valbuena in the eighth inning.

*Julio Borbon had his best offensive performance of the year. He led off the game by beating out an infield chopper and swiping second for his first stolen base of the year. He then scored the game's first run on Josh Hamilton's double. In the eighth inning, Borbon provided two insurance runs with a bases-loaded single. He entered the game just 1-for-25 on the season but boosted his average within 97 points of the Mendoza line by going 2-for-4.

*The Rangers rapped out 15 hits, three by Hamilton, whose average is up to .308. That gives Texas 39 hits in the last three games, all victories.

*Neftali Feliz needed only 18 pitches (11 strikes) to record four outs for the save, his second in two tries since being named the closer.

Lewis leaves after striking out 10 Indians

April, 14, 2010
[+] EnlargeColby Lewis
AP Photo/Mark DuncanColby Lewis wasn't scheduled to pitch Wednesday, but he had his normal rest because of Tuesday's day off.
Colby Lewis was scheduled to pitch Thursday, not tonight, but he was thrust into the start when C.J. Wilson was scratched because of food poisoning. Right now, it's the Indians batters who must be feeling a bit sick to their stomachs.

Lewis racked up a career-high 10 strikeouts, allowing three hits and four walks, before being pulled with one out in the sixth inning and a 4-0 lead. Dustin Nippert came in after Lewis put two runners on base and his pitch count had reached 117.

Cleveland starter Justin Masterson hasn't been to shabby, either, with nine strikeouts of his own so far. He was tagged for four runs in the first three innings, however, including a solo homer by that Nelson Cruz fellow. It was Cruz's sixth homer in eight games, tops in the majors.

UPDATE: Nippert allowed a two-run double to Michael Brantley, closing the book on Lewis and adding two earned runs to his ledger. Nippert got out of the inning, and the Rangers' lead is 4-2 after six.



Adrian Beltre
.325 17 67 66
HRA. Beltre 17
RBIA. Beltre 67
RA. Beltre 66
OPSA. Beltre .876
WY. Darvish 10
ERAY. Darvish 3.06
SOY. Darvish 182