Tomkocycle Diaries 

It was movie night in Maloville last night. The g-f put the hammer down and insisted on dinner and a DVD, all snuggled up on the couch while unbeknownst to me, Brett Tomko was doing his Jason Schmidt (ca. summer 2004) imitation.

While we watched Gael García Bernal depict the young Ernesto "Che" Guevara's soft-focus spiritual journey from rich medical student and rugby player to pan-Latinist and socialist revolutionary, Tomko was throwing off the oppressive fetters of his inner voices ("Dude, arrgh! Durham's definitely not getting a charcoal pony sketch for his birthday"). The psychological liberation did not go unnoticed in the Pirates clubhouse: "We never got to him," said Pittsburgh first baseman Daryle Ward. "We never got him frustrated to where he might hang a pitch. You've just got to give it to Tomko today."

And thus, señoras y señores, The Book on Tomko. We all knew this, but it's interesting to hear a major leaguer come right out and say it: He's usually easy to rattle.

The Rattle (which includes, free of charge, A Meltdown) could have happened last night: Six hits through 3 innings, an RBI single by the pitcher with the 3-for-89 lifetime batting average. But there's something about the Pirates that soothes Tomko's savage beast. No freak-outs, no pouty lips, no exasperated glances skyward.

Noah Lowry's body language is interesting to watch, too. He was entirely cool last year, but this year he's snapping his glove at the throws back from the catcher, pacing and fidgeting more. He's not comfortable in his own skin. He says he's made an adjustment and will keep his change-up around the knees. Let's see how he fares tonight.

Fun stat of the day:

Tomko vs. PIT 4/29: 9 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K (game score = 77)
Tomko vs. PIT 5/9: 9 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 7 K (game score = ?)

One less run, two more hits: which game was better pitched?


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