Earlier this week I detailed how Josh Tomlin continues to win with some of the least intimidating stuff in the majors. And he was at it again on Saturday night against the A’s, allowing three runs in six innings for his third straight quality start this season.
Tomlin now has 32 quality starts in 57 career starts for the Tribe, and over the last 50 seasons only 13 Indians have generated a higher quality start percentage (list below).
But the story of the game wasn’t Tomlin, it was the Indians lack of offense. Through two games against the A’s, the Tribe has been outscored 17-3.
Entering Saturday’s game, the Tribe ranked 13th in the AL in batting average. And while the power numbers help slightly—they’re eighth in slugging percentage—they can’t expect to win with a lineup featuring Nick Swisher batting .203, Carlos Santana at .156 and Ryan Raburn at .184.
Unfortunately there’s not much Terry Francona can do about it. He’s stuck with Swisher and Santana, so all he can really do is wait for them to turn it around.
Other notes and thoughts on the game…
- T.J. House made his major league debut, becoming the 18th pitcher the Tribe has used so far this season. For a point of reference, the Indians used 18 pitchers during the entire 1996 season. And as recently as 2010 they used just 22 (and one of them was Andy Marte).
- Swisher saw nine pitches in four plate appearances tonight. He’s typically among the most patient hitters the league, and I have to wonder if he’s starting to press too hard.
- Ryan Raburn is batting .167 against lefties this season. So much for the Raburn/Murphy platoon. It might be time to just stick with Murphy full time (he’s batting .216 against lefties).
- The image below shows the location of the pitch that led to Scott Kazmir’s ejection. Probably not the worst call in MLB history, but he certainly had a right to argue. (Image courtesy of ESPn Stats & Information)