2 Consecutive Quality Starts to Begin Career

Alex White has given the Tribe two consecutive quality starts in his first two career games – just the 7th Indians pitcher in the last 90 years to accomplish that feat. Only Mudcat Grant was able to extend the streak beyond two.

Strk Start ▾ End Games W L IP H ER ERA
Alex White 2011-04-30 2011-05-07 2 1 0 12.0 13 5 3.75
Scott Lewis 2008-09-10 2008-09-15 2 2 0 14.0 6 0 0.00
Brian Tallet 2002-09-16 2002-09-25 2 1 0 12.0 9 2 1.50
Luis Tiant 1964-07-19 1964-07-24 2 2 0 18.0 10 1 0.50
Mudcat Grant 1958-04-17 1958-05-02 4 3 0 34.0 21 7 1.85
Ed Klieman 1943-09-24 1944-04-23 2 0 2 16.0 13 4 2.25
Joe Dawson 1924-07-04 1924-07-09 2 1 0 16.0 14 4 2.25
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/8/2011.

Masterson continues to roll

Justin Masterson improved to 3-0 on Friday night against the Orioles, becoming just the third Indians starter to win each of his first three starts while posting an ERA under 2.00 in the past 30 seasons.

Masterson joins Cliff Lee (2008) and Greg Swindell (1988), each of whom would go on to win at least 18 games that season. In 2008, Scott Lewis also accomplished the feat, but did so only after being recalled from Buffalo in September.

While it’s nice to imagine Masterson turning in a Cliff Lee-like season (or even a Swindell season, for that matter) realistically we have to assume he’ll fall back down to earth.

Through his first three games his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is only .242. Over the course of a full season, we can expect that number to even out around .300, meaning to this point he’s probably been the beneficially of some balls simply rolling his way.

Along those same lines Masterson’s FIP (fielding independent pitching – in essence, ERA with defensive variables removed) is 2.64. However his xFIP (expected FIP) is 3.43. Like his BABIP numbers, this indicates that Masterson has benefited from a certain amount of luck through his first three starts.

By no means do I intend to take away from what Masterson has accomplished through three starts. It undoubtedly is a good sign and hopefully a confidence booster, but we need to keep our expectations realistic.