Justin Masterson

Tuesday's Red Sox-Nationals matchups: Justin Masterson vs. Stephen Strasburg

April 14, 2015 - 4:41 am
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Justin Masterson will make his second start of the season on Tuesday against Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals at Fenway Park. In his first outing, Masterson beat the Phillies and gave Boston its third quality start in a row to start 2015. The 30-year-old threw 95 pitches in six innings and only gave up three hits and two walks while striking out seven. He allowed two runs on a wild pitch and an RBI single by Chase Utley in the third inning, but the Red Sox offense already had scored six runs by that point (Masterson himself contributed two hits and an RBI in the game). He was able to get out of the third without allowing further damage. "€œI don'€™t even know what the strikeout totals were, but just being able to see that slider, being able to mix that slider in for strikes, is a really good equalizer for me," Masterson said after the game. "That really helped out, being able to mix in some sinkers, change that speed a little on those guys and have a little bit of command, it'€™s just good. It was tough for them." Masterson's outing in Philadelphia extended a stretch of solid pitching that started during spring training, when he went 3-1 with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Masterson has made two career appearances and one career start against Washington. The start, which came in 2013, was a seven-inning, one-run gem for Masterson, who struck out 10 Nationals. The Red Sox will be looking for a similar outing this time around, as Strasburg has been one of the better pitchers in the league since the former No. 1 pick broke into the majors in 2010. Last season, the 26-year-old owned a 3.14 ERA, a 1.121 WHIP and an incredible 242 strikeouts. Strasburg has not struck out fewer than 191 batters since 2012, when he completed his first full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2010. In his first start in 2015, Strasburg did not have his best outing as he gave up six runs (although only three were earned runs) and nine hits to the Mets. He struck out five and walked three in his 5 1/3 innings of work. Strasburg has made one career start against the Red Sox, which was in 2012 at Fenway. In that game, he recorded a win after allowing just two runs and four hits through six innings while striking out 13. Nationals vs. Masterson (RHP) Yunel Escobar (15 plate appearances): .214 AVG/.267 OBP/.214 SLG, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts Jose Lobaton (8): .400/.625/.400, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout Ryan Zimmerman (4): .250/.250/.250, 2 strikeouts Dan Uggla has one walk and three strikeouts in four plate appearances vs. Masterson. Ian Desmond has one walk and two strikeouts in three plate appearances vs. Masterson No other Nationals have faced Masterson. Red Sox vs. Strasburg (RHP) Hanley Ramirez (19): .313/.421/.625, 1 home run, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts Pablo Sandoval (13): .250/.308/.250, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts Allen Craig (12): .083/.083/.083, 6 strikeouts Dustin Pedroia (3): .333/.333/.333, 2 strikeouts Ryan Hanigan has one walk and two strikeouts in five plate appearances vs. Strasburg. Shane Victorino has three strikeouts in four plate appearances vs. Strasburg. Daniel Nava has three strikeouts in three plate appearances vs. Strasburg. David Ortiz has two walks and strikeout in three plate appearances vs. Strasburg. Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Mike Napoli, Sandy Leon and Brock Holt have not faced Strasburg.

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