5/20/2013 8:36 P.M. ET
Scoreless week earns Masterson AL honors
Indians ace named Player of the Week after throwing back-to-back gems
By Joey Nowak / MLB.com
Indians ace Justin Masterson was named the American League Player of the Week after throwing two scoreless outings last week.
Masterson went 2-0 with a spotless 0.00 ERA, 20 strikeouts and five walks over 16 innings to claim his first weekly honor and the first for an Indians pitcher since CC Sabathia in 2008. Masterson is the second Cleveland player to earn the recognition this month after teammate Ryan Raburn won the award for the week ending May 5.
"I think every pitcher's confident," Masterson said of how he's feeling lately. "They're confident in their abilities and when they go out there every time, there's no point in getting overconfident, because this game will humble you quickly. But, definitely out there, working with Carlos [Santana], we're putting down the right fingers and [we're] on the same page for the most part."
Masterson was tops in the Majors in strikeouts and tied for first in wins, ERA and innings pitched last week. He became the first Indians pitcher to record multiple 1-0 shutouts in the same season when he beat the Yankees on Monday at Progressive Field. Bud Black and Greg Swindell each did it in 1989.
Masterson then outdueled Felix Hernandez on Sunday with a season-high 11 strikeouts over seven shutout innings as the Tribe beat Seattle, 6-0. It was Cleveland's 20th win in its last 27 games.
"I think last year when he had some of those outings where things kind of got away in a hurry, he had trouble reeling it back in," said manager Terry Francona. "Now, maybe instead of an inning, it's a hitter. His stuff is dominant also. He's been consistent but consistent at a level that's just -- his velocity, his breaking ball, ability to hold runners -- he's just done everything."
Masterson has beaten three former Cy Young Award winners this year -- R.A. Dickey, David Price and Hernandez. Masterson leads the Majors with 70 innings pitched.