It was the bottom of the 5th inning; Kyle Seager led off with a single. Little did we know that this was the only time all game that the Mariners would get on base. Josh Tomlin pitched the Tribe to a 5-0 victory with 9 shut-out innings, allowing 1 hit and striking out 11 batters (a career high). Tomlin finished with a game score of 96. To put Tomlin’s game in perspective, in Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter he went 9 innings, and struck out 15 with a game score of 102; this was the best pitching performance of the season. Josh Tomlin, according to his game score, just pitched the second best game of the year.
I was going to save this story till after the series was over and include it in my series recap, but a pitching performance like this requires its own story. Tomlin joins Len Barker as second Indians pitcher in past 100 years with 11K/0 BB/0R & no more than 1 hit allowed. We may never see another Indians pitcher complete this feat for another 50 years. And the sad part is hardly any Cleveland fan saw it, as the game started at 10:10 P.M. local time.
What is even more amazing about Tomlin tonight is that this start comes after arguably his worst start of his career against Detroit where he 4 innings, gave up 8 hits, and allowed 8 runs. Josh Tomlin performance also allows the most overused bullpen in baseball to have another day off. The Indians are going to need the confidence provided by Tomlin as they face will face Felix Hernandez today, and then move on to face the highly touted Los Angeles Dodgers.
Since being called up, Tomlin has been one of the more consistent pitchers for the Tribe. People who have watched Tomlin over his career shouldn’t be surprised by this game. Tomlin is a guy who walks very few hitters and fields his position very well, as evidenced by the Mariners two bunt attempts against him. As much as this season has been an up and down ride, Tribe fans should take a moment a realize just how special a performance we witnessed.
— Chris Sladoje @The_Doje
Photo via USA Today