Terry Francona said before the game tonight that Justin Masterson was tied for first as one of the best people he’s ever managed.
“He’s such a good kid. He’s as solid a kid as you’re ever going to find,” Francona said.
When the two talked during batting practice on Tuesday, Francona said he hoped Masterson would win every game he pitched — just as soon as the Sox left town.
You saw what happened. Masterson threw the first shutout of his career, getting 18 outs on the ground and not allowing a runner as far as second base. His two-seamer moved like it was remote control and his slider kept the lefties from looking for the sinker.
“Sometimes I’m just not very good at listening,” he said with a chuckle.
It’s easy to look an an 11-0 game and wring your hands. But the Sox had won eight straight against Cleveland, outscoring the Tribe by 31 runs. That wasn’t going to last forever. Boof Bonser was pitching in his first game since 2008 and Joe Nelson struggled.
The bottom line is that the Sox have won eight of their last 11 games and have Jon Lester on the hill tomorrow to try and make it a 5-2 road trip.
Dustin Pedroia is an issue, however. He is 16 of 90 (.178) with three RBIs over 22 games since he hurt his knee in Detroit. The Sox are on a pace to score a healthy 853 runs this season. But they need their second baseman to be better than Doug Griffin to get there.
There was some news on Jacoby Ellsbury after the game, but not much of it. He was seen by Dr. Lewis Yocum in California and apparently needs more rest. Francona said the Sox medical staff needed to further discuss this latest examination.