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Indians' Josh Tomlin just the latest to shut down Yanks in debut

Jul 28, 2010, 12:46 AM EST

I haven’t done the research, but it’s always seemed to me that patient offenses struggle when facing a pitcher they’ve never seen before. It’s a small sample size for sure, but for what it’s worth, the Yankees have been pretty miserable in facing pitchers making their major league debuts.
That’s not how it should work, right? The Yankees’ lineup has been loaded for 15 years now, and pitchers making their debuts can be overwhelmed by the experience. However, the 11 pitchers since 2000 to make their major league debuts in starts against the Yankees are 7-3. Seven of the pitchers allowed zero or one earned runs and only one allowed more than three. Here’s the list:
Paul Rigdon (Indians, 2000) – 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 K – Indians win 6-1
John Parrish (Orioles, 2000) – 7 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 9 K – Yankees win 4-3
Brian Sikorski (Rangers, 2000) – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 5 K – Rangers win 5-0
Jake Peavy (Padres, 2002) – 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 4 K – Yankees win 1-0
Eduardo Villacis (Royals, 2004) – 3 1/3 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 0 K – Yankees win 12-4
Gustavo Chacin (Blue Jays, 2004) – 7 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 K – Blue Jays win 6-3
Anibal Sanchez (Marlins, 2006) – 5 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 H, 2 K – Marlins win 5-0
Daryl Thompson (Reds, 2008) – 5 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 K – Reds win 6-0 (no-decision)
Koji Uehara (Orioles, 2009) – 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 K – Orioles win 7-5
Jake Arrieta (Orioles, 2010) – 6 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 6 K – Orioles win 4-3
Josh Tomlin (Indians, 2010) – 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 K – Indians win 4-1
Outside of Peavy, it’s not exactly the most illustrious group. Sanchez is the only other pitcher to have a prolonged career as a major league starter, though Arrieta should as well. Villacis, the lone pitcher to struggle, was a bizarre callup in the first place and he never made another appearance in the majors.
Tomlin was a surprise choice to get the ball for the Indians. A 19th-round pick in 2006, he had a record of 51-24 in the minors, with a 3.20 ERA in 87 starts and 57 relief appearances, but he was never taken very seriously as a prospect because he doesn’t throw hard. Next time the Yankees see him — if he does in fact stick around that long — the Yankees could well have his measure and knock him around. However, with nothing but some printouts and maybe some grainy video to go on, they couldn’t do much of anything against him tonight.

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  2. quint - Jul 28, 2010 at 4:47 AM

    as a Red Sox fan, my belief is pitchers of both the Sox and Yankees do worse the more they face the opposing lineup.
    Obviously this excludes Rivera who does not conform to the rules for humans.
    I would be more confident pitching Casey Kelly in a must win game against the Yankees than Beckett for example. Against literally any other team in baseball it would be Beckett.

  3. Jonny5 - Jul 28, 2010 at 8:32 AM

    What about how they let Jamie Moyer shut them down this season too? They didn’t look too patient with the old man tossing 65-80 mph meatballs past them for strikes swinging and looking.

  4. Old Gator - Jul 28, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    The Borg must see the Rays in their rearview mirror this morning months after they figured they had flushed them once and for all. But here they come, looking outsized like that eyeball in the Far Side cartoon. All of a sudden, they’re less the Tampa Bay Rays than the Mekong River Giant Stingrays. Len, your guys are gonna have to take these suckers down mano-a-mano if you’re gonna take ‘em down at all. And you’re gonna have to do at least half the job eating off a buffet catered by the Department of Health’s worst ranked concessionaires in all of designatedhitterball.

  5. Larry_Koestler - Jul 29, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    Hey Matthew,
    I did a similar post on my blog yesterday, although only took it back through 2001, and you can make the case that Josh Tomlin’s superb performance was the most dominating start by a pitcher making his Major League debut against the Yankees of the last 10 years.

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