Justin Masterson punished the Red Sox last night with 10 strikeouts and no earned runs on seven innings. Indians Masterson’s start halted the Sox’s 7-game winning streak, which no doubt made the 3-2 win all the more impressive. But the best part of the night? Easy: His 25 consecutive strikes.
“I feel like I’ve probably thrown 25 balls in a row in one game, so it’s nice to throw 25 strikes in a row,” he said with a chuckle to reporters after the game.
Masterson has settled his game down after having a 3-game streak in May where he allowed five or more earned runs – though he seemed to carry some of that slogging energy into the first. He needed 28 pitches to retire batters in the first inning but only 77 in the six following.
Masterson’s pitching performance swallowed any discussion of what was an equally masterful performance by John Lackey. While Lackey allowed 3 runs and managed only 3 strikeouts, Lackey threw a complete game (through eight innings) on 96 pitches – not too shabby.
But during Masterson’s 25-pitch stretch he was embarrassing batters – in fact, every Boston batter. He managed to get a strike on the whole cycle. Listen to the announcers comment on the video below. They gush with Tribe pride over Masterson’s accomplishment. Judging by Masterson’s inconsistent season, however, it would make sense that he would be more likely to throw 25 straight balls he mentioned, before he has another 25-strike performance.