Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/19/12

At the start of play Friday night, Cleveland Indians pitchers had walked 148 batters this season. Among American

League teams, only Toronto (151) had walked more. Making that statistic even more distressing for the Indians

is that the top two starters in their rotation both rank in the top three in the league in walks.

No. 2 starter Ubaldo Jimenez leads the league in walks and No. 1 starter Justin Masterson is tied for

third in the league in walks. On Friday night, the Indians' four-game winning streak was halted with a 3-2

loss to the Miami Marlins. All three of Miami's runs were scored by runners who reached base on walks.

Masterson, the Indians' starting pitcher Friday, walked three batters in seven innings, and two of the

three scored. Overall, Indians pitchers walked four batters, three of them leading off an inning, two of

those being the Marlins' No. 9 hitter.

Walks have plagued both Masterson and Jimenez all season. It's a big reason why the two pitchers have

gotten off to such poor starts. Masterson is 1-3 with a 5.04 ERA while Jimenez is 4-3 with a 5.09 ERA.

Both pitchers have struggled to pitch deep into games, mostly because of high pitch counts. The high pitch

counts are a product of the high walk totals. Jimenez has walked 32 batters in 46 innings while Masterson has

now walked 29 batters in 54 innings.

Those are troubling numbers for any team's No. 1 and 2 starters. For the Indians to remain in contention

this year, they are going to have to get much more production from their top two starting pitchers. In order

to do that, both pitchers are going to have to drastically reduce their number of walks.

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