Justin Masterson allowed seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings Tuesday night (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Justin Masterson on return to Fenway as member of Red Sox: 'I was hoping it would be a little bit better'

Ryan Hannable
April 14, 2015 - 6:47 pm

It had been almost six years since Justin Masterson pitched at Fenway Park in a Red Sox uniform. After that long period of time he was hoping for a performance a little better than what he gave, but in the end it didn't matter as the Red Sox came away with an 8-7 comeback win over the Nationals. Masterson went 4 2/3 innings allowing seven runs (six in the fifth inning) on eight hits, while walking three, striking out four and hitting two batters. He took a no-decision. "It was great. It was fun," Masterson said about pitching at Fenway Park again. "I was hoping it would be a little bit better, but it was just good. The fans here are just incredible. The memories of where it all started and able to be back here. Again, what makes it really neat is the fact that you go out, you struggled and don't do as good as you want and here are the guys getting the credit even though it was kind of handed to us. The guys doing there thing in order to make things happen and here we are with a win." It was an up-and-down performance for the right-hander as he didn't have his best stuff out of the gate, throwing 47 pitches over the first two innings. He settled down retiring eight straight before things finally unraveled for good in the fifth. Prior to Tuesday, Masterson had never allowed more than six earned runs in a game. "The idea of command. Command was just not there today," said Masterson. "Whether it was because [I] was a little bit tight or what, I have a rough idea. We're still working through it, but it just kind of -- we were working through it throughout the game, you could see it from the get go. Just off. Just missed. Seeing sliders just not as sharp as they were before and the continue to work through it, getting by with some stuff by changing speeds and then really just a lot of balls in the zone. "We're just missing on a few pitches, but they got me into counts where I couldn't help and balls weren't always getting crushed, it was enough to get to the outfield and short enough not to get to a guy to get a double play, things of that nature. Then some walks, I think there was like four walks or something like that. That's not good. We got to that inning and I was a little out of it." Masterson has been in the league for eight years, so he knows what it takes to be successful and where he needs to get to. He knows it's only the second start of the year and what he needs to do moving forward. "The game sped up a little bit in the second start," he said. "I am a grown up enough man to take ownership of that and unfortunately it led to that amount of runs. ... Now learning from that, like I said I think we have some things to continue on -- some good things, some bad things. To take that into the next one I think we will be really good."