SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 28: Starting pitcher Josh Tomlin #43 of the Cleveland Indians is congratulated by a teammate after throwing a complete game 5-0 shutout against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 28, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
As the Indians get set to face Seattle today in the finale of a three-game series, most of the discussion is still about Josh Tomlin’s one-hitter on Saturday.
In Cleveland’s 5-0 win, Tomlin pitched the second complete game of his career but this was the first that was a shutout. It is also the franchise’s first complete game one-hitter since Billy Traber did it on July 8, 2003. It is the 55th in franchise history since 1914.
"He was tremendous. I think an extra day of rest helped him. He showed in enough and commanded tremendously away with his cutter, and his curveball," said manager Terry Francona of Tomlin’s game. "They hit a few balls pretty good to the bigger parts of the ballpark. That’s a lineup that came in feeling really good about themselves."
Tomlin struck out a career-high 11 and walked none. According to Baseball-Reference, there have been only 21 games where a pitcher has thrown a shutout and allowed one hit or less while striking out at least 11 and walking none. The only other time it happened with the Indians was Len Barker’s perfect game on May 15, 1981, against Toronto.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it is also only the third time where an Indians pitcher has faced one over the minimum in a complete-game shutout with 10 or more strikeouts. Barker and Dennis Eckersley’s no-hitter on May 30, 1977, against the Angels were the others.
It is the Indians’ second complete game this season. Corey Kluber had one on April 24 against the Royals in a 5-1 victory.
Said Tomlin of his game: "I don’t know if I sensed it early. Felt good and was commanding both sides of the plate. It was turning out to be a good night.
The most pitches Tomlin threw in any inning was 16 in the first and the fewest were seven in the third. In the other seven innings he was between 11-14 pitches and had three innings where he threw 13. Of the 28 batters he faced, Tomlin threw first-pitch strikes to 18 (11 called, two swinging, two foul, three in play). He got to three-ball counts on only four batters with the first not happening until there were two outs in the sixth.
Of Tomlin’s 11 strikeouts, five of the third strikes came on curve balls. Of his 111 pitches (77 strikes), the biggest surprise might be how much Tomlin went with offspeed stuff.
According to Brooks Baseball, Tomlin threw a season-high 16 changeups. In his previous nine starts he had thrown 11 or more just twice. He also had a season-high 13 sinkers after throwing just 10 coming into the game.
"I just followed Yan (Gomes) all night. We were on the same page," Tomlin said. "I had to have a good changeup to get them off everything else."