Originally written on Burning River Baseball  |  Last updated 11/15/14
  Justin Masterson picked up his first victory of the season last night despite a ground ball rate of 35.7%, his third lowest rate in the past two seasons. Despite being an extreme ground ball pitcher, pitching a game where his rate was in the mid-30's is not anything to be concerned about, given the small sample size. His good performance despite the aforementioned fact was an indication that the improved outfield defense kept the game under control more than they would have done so in the past.    Last season, when the outfield defense was arguably at its worst, Masterson had only three games with a GB% under 40: 6-15 vs. Pit, 6-26 vs. New York and 8-30 vs. Oak. The only game he won out of those three was against Pittsburgh, when he struck out nine.Last night, he only needed five strikeouts to get the victory. With more balls in play this time around, he still recorded the victory despite striking out fewer batters.   With a career ground ball rate of 56% mainly the product of the mid-90's sinker he throws, last night could be an indication that his career rate might slide a little south of that this season. If he continues to struggle with the command of his sinker, he might be more comfortable challenging hitters with his fastball because, in the back of his mind, he knows the outfield has a better chance of running the ball down if he makes a mistake up in the strike-zone than in years past.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tom Brady: 'My feelings got hurt' in Deflategate controversy

Odell Beckham Jr. says he played with two hamstring tears

Report: A-Rod apologized to new MLB commissioner

Pete Carroll empathizes with Belichick, Pats in Deflategate

Max Scherzer thanks Tigers with full page newspaper ad

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ray Lewis: Patriots should have asterisk for cheating

Report: Cavs players believed team lacked depth

Richard Sherman calls out Kraft, Goodell over their friendship

Brandon Jennings to miss 6-9 months with Achilles injury

Report: Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: Yankees reject A-Rod's request for apology meeting

Six X-factors who could make an impact in Super Bowl XLIX

Five potentially fatal flaws for Patriots in the Super Bowl

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Opposing Packers celebrate Pro Bowl TD

WATCH: Sherman, Peterson hug it out at Pro Bowl

WATCH: Chris Berman is not happy at the Pro Bowl

PHOTO: Brock Lesnar's tramp stamp says ‘Kill ‘em All’

WATCH: Hassan Whiteside blocks five shots in 7 minutes

Duke unveils 'K' hats after Coach K's 1,000th victory

Irina Shayk dumped Ronaldo over cheating rumors?

Mike Napoli almost retired because of sleep apnea

WATCH: 'Saturday Night Live' takes on Deflategate

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Tom Brady: 'My feelings got hurt'

Potential 'X-factor' Super Bowl players

Potential fatal flaws for Pats in SB XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Chris Berman isn't happy at the Pro Bowl

Brandon Jennings out 6-9 months

Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: A-Rod's apology meeting request gets rejected

Harbaugh rapidly landing recruits

WATCH: 'SNL' spoofs Deflategate

NFL tried to catch Pats in act?

Bill Nye: Belichick didn't make sense

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.