Tuesday, May 17, 2011

19-1

Wow, that was an epic game of baseball.  I am talking about the Indians win on Monday night.  The Indians won 19-1, the kind of score you only see once every few years.  It was almost all off of one pitcher too, Vin Mazzaro.  Since the last time the Indians won the World Series in '48, there are only two other pitchers to give up as many runs (14) as Mazzaro did, the last one in 1998.  He was also the first Relief Pitcher to give up 14 runs since 1942.  It was just an epic offensive performance by everyone.




Another sub-story here is how Josh Tomlin performed.  Not many people expected Tomlin to grab a spot in this rotation before the year started, let alone be the Indians' most consistent starter.  The classic pitcher generally throws hard and is able to get strikeouts or ground balls.  Tomlin however bucks the trend and doesn't get a lot of strikeouts.

Tomlin was never a big recruit prospect because he doesn't throw hard.  Terry Pluto goes into it more in depth here.  Tomlin does everything scouts don't like; he doesn't strike out players, he throws soft, he gets too many fly balls and yet he is doing well in the majors. He has superior control which allows him to place the ball in places where the hitter doesn't want it and is good at keeping runners on base.




It may surprise many fans out there, but Tomlin right now is the Indians best starter, and its not even close.    He has the lowest amount of walks and hits given up per inning (WHIP, 0.85).  All of his starts have been "quality starts" (6+ innings, 3 or less earned runs) & he has the Indians' lowest Earned Run Average of 2.56.  


He is Josh Tomlin, he is an enigma; he shouldn't be doing this well.  They said the same about Mark Buehrle , but now he has over 150 career wins.  Control is an underrated part of baseball, and sports in general: the control-oriented guys like Tomlin or Colt McCoy often get undervalued.

But back to the game, it was a nice statement.  Recently, Indians fans heard the news that Grady Sizemore was going to be on the Disabled List again.  Since activated, he has been one of the Indians best hitters.  Even after losing one of their best sluggers, the Indians can score 19 runs.  They are a true team with solid hitting throughout the order and good pitching throughout their rotation.  

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