The Cleveland Indians took game 1 last night of the 2016 ALCS, and face the Toronto Blue Jays again later today. I’m excited because I get to watch Josh Tomlin start game 2 of the ALCS. I consider Tomlin the MVP of this team. I know your saying “Randall you think Tomlin is the MVP of the 2016 Cleveland Indians, your crazy?” Yea I know that Mike Napoli had 34 Home runs and 101 RBI’s along with having a party at his house all summer long. Francisco Lindor has done everything asked of him and more while becoming one of the top young players in the game. Corey Kluber has pitched well enough to anchor this rotation and possibly win another CY Young award. And lets not forget Jose Ramirez who might not have left a runner on base all year long. Ok maybe that’s a stretch but I’m sure he lost his helmet running the bases more time than runners he left on base. Would someone buy that guy a chinstrap!
Side Note: My Tribe friend Bobby Jo who sits behind me at the games one day mentioned how she thinks Ramirez looks like George Jefferson the way he struts around. I at first laughed because it is true, but then I remembered an at bat last year when Ramirez came to the plate and his walk up music was The Jefferson’s theme song – “Movin on up, to the Top”. I was laughing my rear end off and couldn’t believe that they actually played that song for a player at a MLB game. It all makes sense now. I just wish they still played that for him when he comes to the plate. No matter, It’s playing in my mind now when he comes up.
Ok back to the topic. Yea plenty of players of had big years and have been instrumental in the Tribe playing in the ALCS. But it is Josh Tomlin who is my MVP. OK Tomlin has become one of my favorite players and maybe I’m bias. A couple of years ago this is what I wrote in my blog about Tomlin
“Tomlin is smartest pitcher on the staff and does the most with the least “stuff”. Tomlin is a pitcher that Francona and other managers love.”
Not only does the manager love him but so do the other players. They know how valuable “The Little Cowboy” is to the team.
Here is my reasoning for Tomlin as MVP:
Tomlin started the season as the Tribe’s 5th starter. He proceeded to go 9-2 in the first 3 months of the season and one of those losses was a 3-2 loss to Kansas City where Tomlin left the game after pitching 7 innings and giving up just 1 run. Not to bad you say. Take a closer look at who he beat in those first 3 months.
April 16th Matt Harvey and the Mets: Harvey didn’t have the best year this year but he was a core member of the Mets starting rotation that was just coming off a World Series appearance. Tomlin goes 5 innings giving up 1 run.
April 22nd Justin Verlander and the Tigers 2-1: The 1st game against Detroit this season in which the Tribe won the first 11 and went 14-4 overall. Tomlin goes 6 innings giving up only 2 runs
May 3rd Justin Verlander and the Tigers 2-1: Again the 1st game of the series Tomlin defeats Verlander who went 16-9 on the season with a 3.04 ERA.
May 24 Chris Sale and the White Sox: Tomlin goes 8 innings giving up 2 runs and beating probably the premier lefty in the league.
June 26 Verlander and the Tigers: Tomlin pitches 8 innings giving up 3 runs and beating Verlander for the 3rd straight time. Verlander would have probably been a Cy Young canidate if not for 3 games against Tomlin and the Indians.
Through August 4th Tomlin was 11-3 with a 3.43 ERA and he had walked a total of 12 batters in 19 games. August hit and Tomlin ran into a rough stretch going 0-5. Tomlin was removed from the starting rotation for a couple of starts. I heard reports that his father was sick and he was dealing with that. As September came the Tribe lost Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar to injury along with Kluber the last week and 1/2. Tomlin was forced back into the starting rotation as the Indians were trying to hold off a charging Detroit Tigers team. Tomlin proceeded to pitch 25.2 innings and give up 5 runs in 4 starts, thus helping assure the short handed Indians that they would win there first division title since 2007. Tomlin goes into the ALDS as the #3 starter for the Cleveland Indians. He proceeds to shut down the Boston Redsox high scoring offense by pitching 5 innings and giving up 2 runs, helping assure that the Tribe advances to the ALCS.
Today the pitcher who was the #5 starter at the beginning of the season is the #2 pitcher in the ALCS vs another very good hitting team in the Toronto Blue Jays. This alone shows how much Tomlin has meant to this team.
What do I expect to happen today? I’m not sure if the Tribe will win but I bet Josh Tomlin does everything in his power to put them in a position to win. Just like he has done all year long.
Josh Tomlin my MVP