The Last Pitch of Justin Masterson’s Complete Game

It will likely come as no surprise to the reader to learn that Cleveland right-hander Justin Masterson and the author have a lot in common: we both lived in the Boston area for a little while, we both have -son at the end of at least one of our names, and both of us totally possess a Y chromosome (regardless of what some “doctors” supposedly say). “Two peas in a pod” would be the most expeditious way of describing us.

One way in which we’re different, however, is that only one of us pitched a complete game against the Reds on Wednesday night (box). And only one of us finished said complete game by striking out baseball’s most likely year-end WAR leader.

Indeed, it was Justin Masterson — and not the present author — who did those latter two things. Shocking, I know.

Of some note is Masterson’s final pitch of the game in question: a sinking fastball at 94.6 mph, according to PITCHf/x — a pitch that featured not only both more armside run and sink than the league-average sinker, but also excellent placement.

Here’s footage of the pitch in question:

And, lest one suppose that Masterson received beneficial treatment from home-plate umpire Ron Kulpa, I present the following (slightly modified) strike-zone plot, courtesy Brooks Baseball:

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.