Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Justin Masterson has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending May 19th. The announcement was made earlier today on the MLB Network.
Masterson went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, 20 strikeouts and five walks in 16.0 innings pitched over a pair of starts to claim his first career A.L. Player of the Week Award and the first for a Cleveland hurler since CC Sabathia in 2008. Justin is the second Indian to be tabbed with a weekly honor this month after teammate Ryan Raburn won for the week ending May 5th. Among pitching leaders, Masterson was tops in the Majors in strikeouts and was tied for first overall in wins, ERA and innings pitched. The 28-year-old was masterful in the first game of a double dip against the New York Yankees on Monday, allowing just four hits and striking out nine to complete a 1-0 shutout victory over the Yankees at Progressive Field, his second 1-0 blanking this season. Masterson became the first Indians hurler to record multiple 1-0 complete-game shutouts in the same season since southpaws Bud Black and Greg Swindell each accomplished the feat twice during the 1989 season. He also became the first Tribe pitcher to post a 1-0 shutout against the Yanks since Swindell on September 6, 1988 at Yankee Stadium, and he is the first Indians right-hander to do so since Luis Tiant on May 3, 1966, also in the Bronx. In a Sunday afternoon matchup against the Seattle Mariners, the San Diego State product outdueled 2010 A.L. Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez with a season-high 11 strikeouts over 7.0 shutout innings as the Indians defeated the Mariners, 6-0, at Progressive Field. It was Cleveland's 20th win in their last 27 games as the Club increased their A.L. Central Division lead over the Detroit Tigers to two games. The former second round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft (by Boston) scattered three hits in notching his third straight victory. The win also marks Masterson's third triumph over a former Cy Young Award winner this season after previously defeating reigning 2012 winners R.A. Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays (who won the N.L. Cy Young Award while with the New York Mets) and David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays in his first two starts of the season, respectively. Masterson, the first Cleveland pitcher since Cliff Lee in 2005-06 to log consecutive 200.0-inning seasons (2011-12), currently leads all Major League pitchers with 70.0 innings this year.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Miguel Cabrera (.429, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 3-HR game at Texas on May 19th) of the Detroit Tigers; Adam Dunn (.320, 4 HR, 10 RBI) of the Chicago White Sox; Raul Ibañez (.308, 5 HR, 11 RBI) of the Seattle Mariners; Mitch Moreland (.308, 4 HR, 10 RBI) of the Texas Rangers; and David Ortiz (.458, 3 HR, 12 RBI) of the Boston Red Sox.
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Justin Masterson will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.