And by that, I mean please last into the 3rd inning and keep the damage to less than 5 runs. This is the post where I hate on Brett Tomko for giving me less confidence than Dana Eveland, Edgar Gonzalez, or Dan Freaking Giese, which is hard to do. But you see, Tomko pitching well is actually slightly less likely than finding a pitcher named Danegardan Evezoliese, and let's face it: That's pretty unlikely.
Here are some things I'd like to see tonight:
1. Edgar Gonzalez getting loose in the bullpen as Tomko takes his warmups on the mound before the top of the 1st.
2. Kurt Suzuki putting down four fingers, Tomko calling him out to the mound to double-check the sign, and Suzuki explaining, "I'm calling for Mazzaro's fastball; you think I'm gonna call for yours?"
3. Suzuki putting down nine fingers, then one finger, then one finger. Where's On-Star when you need them?
4. A Scotsman on a horse.
5. The A's bring the infield in with a runner at 1st and nobody out, "just to get a head start."
I kid, I kid, I kid. Brett Tomko is not a horrible pitcher, he's just incapable of getting hitters out. He feels he didn't get "a fair shot" with the Yankees, because after posting a 5.23 ERA in 15 games, the Yankees wouldn't let him pitch for them any more. Even though last year he had proven himself with a 2-7 record, 6.97 ERA, and WHIP of 1.53 "pitching" for Kansas City. 60.2 IP, 80 hits, 11 of them HRs. Oops. Sounds like a lot of "shots" that stayed "fair," Brett!
What IS impressive about Tomko, in fairness to the guy, is that he's consistent. Here are his ERAs since 1998: 4.44, 4.92, 4.68, 5.19, 4.49, 5.28, 4.04, 4.48, 4.73, 5.80, 4.61, 6.97, 5.23. That's right, one season with an ERA below 4.44. So essentially, any 2-inning period in which Tomko gives up only 1 run means he's "really on his game right now."
What you'll hear scouts say is that Tomko "has a good arm." But no one ever asks the crucial follow-up question: Which arm? Tomko's left arm is like Derek Holland's back: Hubba hubba, folks. Sadly, the right one produces bombs at a rate rivaled only by CBS' comedy department. ("Tonight on The New Adventures Of Old Tomko: Hilarity ensues when the Yankees find themselves with five baserunners but only three bases they're allowed to be on, and Wanda Sykes has plenty to say about it.")
Go get 'em tonight, Brett! We kid because
we love we're frightened.