St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Justin Masterson plans to pitch exclusively out of the stretch in his next start Saturday.
Masterson is making the change in the wake of recent struggles, having allowed four earned runs or more in five of his last six starts. He practiced pitching without a windup for the first time in a bullpen session Wednesday.
“For the most part, I was pitching out of the windup, and things would get better out of the stretch at times,” Masterson said. “So we simplified it. I went only out of the stretch (in the bullpen). Less moving parts. You don’t have to worry about step back, turn around, ready to throw. We’re simplifying, really simplifying.”
"It doesn’t take away from our power,” the sinkerballer said. “Guys throw just as hard either way."
Masterson, 29, came to the Cardinals in a trade with the Cleveland Indians near the trade deadline last month. He's gone 6-8 with a 5.88 ERA overall this season, and has recorded a 7.43 ERA in five starts with St. Louis.
The right-hander will start one game of the Cardinals' doubleheader Saturday against the Chicago Cubs.
St. Louis enters Friday at 71-61, 1.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central.
- Ben Estes