As I sit here on this lovely Wednesday evening, watching the Dodgers give a shellacking to the Phillies 15-3 (payback’s a bitch, isn’t it, Philadelphia?!), including seeing the best lineup of the year, watching Kemp go 4-6, Ethier going 2-4 with a HR and 3 RBI’s, scoring a season high in runs, I didn’t think anything could damper my night…
PHILADELPHIA — The Dodgers apparently haven’t given up on Brett Tomko, and he hasn’t given up on himself.
The day after Tomko’s record fell to 2-11 with a loss to the Phillies, manager Grady Little said Wednesday that he still planned to start the right-hander Sunday night against the Mets.
Aww… isn’t this nice? Tomko might have a 5.80 ERA, he might have a 1.59 WHIP, a 77 ERA+… he might get lit like every time he steps on a mound… but you know what? He still believes in himself and so do the Dodgers.
“Yes, he’s one of our five starters right now,” said Little. “Anything is subject to change. I don’t look for it to change between now and Sunday.”
There remains a chance that the Dodgers sign David Wells, recently released by the Padres. But Little shot down the possibility of promoting 22-year-old right-hander James McDonald from Double-A.
“It’s not going to happen,” Little said. “When he’s ready, he’ll be here like the other young players.”
Yes, what a shame it would be to give a young kid who is posting a 11.17 K/9 rate and 1.40 ERA at Jacksonville a chance to claim the #5 job because the Dodgers really need Brett Tomko in the rotation. Granted, there have been reports of McDonald’s velocity dropping recently, but even D.J. Houlton – currently sporting a 3.69 ERA in the PCL, although a 1.40 WHIP – should have a chance to claim the #5 spot over Tomko.
Look, I realize that I’m beating a dead horse with this, but seriously… how much more rope can Tomko get? It’s utterly comical at this point. Sure, I know some might say “well, he’s all we have,” but there’s no reason not to give Houlton or McDonald – if his current velocity issues aren’t Schmidt-esque – a chance. What’s the worst that can happen? That they end up sucking and putting up like a near 6 ERA? Oh wait… don’t we have that already? At least there is still the chance of possible upside with the kids. Tomko has not provided that in his entire career; sorry, folks, this is about as good as he’ll get.
Tomko went back over video of Tuesday night’s loss and compared it to last year, when he started the season 5-1. He said he spotted mechanical flaws that made him “look like a completely different pitcher.
Alas, the last time he WAS a completely different pitcher was back in… oh, 1997, when he put up a 3.43 ERA. Overall for his career: a 4.62 ERA with a 93 ERA+. Keep trying, Brett.
But, hey, look on the bright side: he believes in himself.