Cleveland, Arizona troubled by starting pitching
JUN 24, 2014 9:05a ET
A matchup in Phoenix between Justin Masterson and Wade Miley figures to provide further evidence of this.
Masterson has been one of baseball's worst pitchers on the road, and the same can be said of Miley at home heading into Tuesday night's opener of a two-game series.
Cleveland starters are posting a 4.66 ERA, slightly better than Arizona's 4.75 mark.
Masterson (4-5, 4.75 ERA) owns baseball's fifth-worst road ERA at 6.20, while Miley's 5.40 home ERA is sixth-worst in the majors.
Masterson's lone start against Arizona came in 2008, so the right-hander will get his first look at Diamondbacks star Paul Goldschmidt.
Goldschmidt leads the club in batting average (.308), home runs (15) and RBIs (52). Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway is looking forward to seeing the slugger face Masterson, who has a 3.32 ERA in his last four starts.
"Obviously he's really good," Callaway told MLB's official website. "I think Masty will match up good, sink him down and in. The movement Masty gets, it's one of the best sliders in baseball, so I think that will be a good matchup."
The Indians are 9-15 against left-handed starters as they face Miley (3-6, 4.62) for the first time. Miley is 0-3 with a 4.37 ERA in his last seven starts.
These teams are back in action after much-needed off days.
Cleveland (37-39) capped a 2-4 homestand by getting swept over the weekend by Detroit to fall five games behind the first-place Tigers in the AL Central. The Indians now start an eight-game trip that includes five interleague games.
"Is it disappointing? Of course, we just got swept at home," said second baseman Jason Kipnis, who went 1 for 14 in the three-game series. "But at the same time, we swept them last time they were here and now look where they are, they're back in first place. So it just goes to show you how long the season is. It goes to show you how tight this division is."
Arizona (32-47) was happy to have a day away from the ballpark after capping a stretch of 20 straight with a game with Sunday's 4-1 defeat to San Francisco. The Diamondbacks have dropped eight of 11.
"It'll help," manager Kirk Gibson said. "It'll allow us to do some more stuff that we'd like to do. But overall, we've got through it OK."
Miguel Montero has caught 606 1-3 innings to rank second in the majors while starting 17 of the last 20 games.
"It's been a long stretch, but honestly, I'm not going to lie, I haven't felt like it's been so long," he said.
Arizona shortstop Chris Owings is expected to return to the lineup after missing two games with an ankle injury. Owings is 9 for 20 during a six-game hitting streak.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana remains an enigma. He is second in the AL with 53 walks even though he is one of baseball's worst hitters at .202.
Cleveland has won seven of 12 over Arizona. The Indians have dropped six straight interleague road games.