Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
It’s baseball, it’s a short series, and so advantages don’t mean a whole hell of a lot, but another break seems to have come the Blue Jays’ way this afternoon, as Cleveland has been forced to push starter Trevor Bauer back to Game Three in the series because of a cut to his pinkie finger that required several stitches.
According to a tweet from Jordan Bastian, it is a non-baseball injury. (Cue jokes about him injuring it tweeting.)
This means Josh Tomlin will take the ball in Game Two. It also means that, at the risk of contributing to a narrative that’s more feeling than reality, the pressure on Corey Kluber to subdue the Blue Jays tonight in Game One has just been ratcheted up a notch.
With the injuries to Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland was always going to be in tough in this series. But to lose Game One and then be staring at Tomlin? Tomlin whose 4.40 ERA for the season is downright generous to how bad he was in the second half?
Yeah, that ain’t good. For them. And yeah, Tomlin’s post-break ERA was 5.59. Opponents slashed him to the tune of.283/.307/.500.
That said, his last four starts of the regular season were maybe his best stretch of the year (five earned runs over 25.2 innings — albeit against the White Sox and Royals, both twice), and he pitched well in the ALDS-clinching game against Boston. It will be no cakewalk for the Jays, obviously. It could be like Canada Day, when Tomlin started and went six innings, allowing two earned on seven hits with eight strikeouts, or it could be like August 20th, when he couldn’t get out of the fifth inning against the Jays, surrendering six runs over 4.1 and three dongs.
But still. A loss tonight followed by a Tomlin start, then Bauer with his fucked up pinkie, then a bullpen or Clevinger or (let’s be honest) Kluber-on-short-rest start? Not something you want to be staring at if you’re Cleveland. Even a win tonight doesn’t exactly make that feel great.
They don’t play the games on paper, though. Or so I’ve heard. So, y’know, either way, LET’S FUCKIN’ DO THIS!