Cleveland Indians Game 3 starter Josh Tomlin will need to be at his best Friday against a lethal Chicago Cubs lineup.
The Chicago Cubs 5-1 drubbing of the Indians Wednesday tied the historic Fall Classic at one game apiece. With the series heading to Chicago, I believe the winner of Game 3 will hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy. The Cubs will give the nod to Kyle Hendricks, the majors ERA king (2.13).
Tomlin has an uphill battle against the Cy Young candidate, but has been a godsend to an injury ravaged rotation.
The Little Cowboy from Tyler, Texas, is 2-0 with a 2.53 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in 10 2/3 innings pitched this postseason- including earning the victory in the Indians Game 3 ALDS clinching defeat of the Boston Red Sox. Opponents hit .269 against Tomlin in the regular season. That number has dropped to .184 in the postseason.
Tomlin is pitching the best baseball of his life at the perfect time.
The Cubs present a new set of challenges to the 32-year-old hurler, but being the underdog is nothing new for Tomlin. Furthermore, his dad, Jerry, who has been paralyzed due to a rare condition, arteriovenous malformation, will be in attendance.
The emotional boost will undoubtedly comfort Tomlin in a hostile environment. But most of all, command and execution will be the deciding factor Friday night.
There are plenty of reasons to have faith in the veteran- but three in particular standout.