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

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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.

Video: Adrian Beltre belts a walk-off home run on Monday against the Athletics

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 25:  The Texas Rangers celebrate the two-run walk off homerun by Adrian Beltre #29 against the Oakland Athletics at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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The Rangers found themselves in a 5-1 hole after three innings against the Athletics on Monday, but scratched out some runs in the middle innings. That allowed them to enter the bottom of the ninth inning trailing by only one run, 6-5, facing A’s closer Ryan Madson.

Adrian Beltre, who hit a solo home run in the seventh inning, stepped to the plate with a runner on first base and two outs. He was the Rangers’ last hope to keep the game alive. The veteran third baseman swung at Madson’s first pitch, a 96 MPH fastball, and drilled it to left-center field for a walk-off two-run home run.

Beltre now has nine walk-off home runs in his career. While the 37-year-old isn’t quite the offensive dynamo he was even two years ago, his numbers are still respectable. He’ll head into Tuesday’s action batting .281/.334/.468 with 16 home runs and 63 RBI in 392 plate appearances.

Jay Bruce: “This is such a fleeting game. It’s so unforgiving.”

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 25:  Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds swings and watches the flight of his ball as he hits a two-run homer against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the fourth inning at AT&T Park on July 25, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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Outfielder Jay Bruce was the catalyst in the Reds’ 7-5 victory over the Giants on Monday night, drilling a pair of two-run home runs. It’s good timing for the Reds, as the trade deadline is six days away. The Reds might prefer to get a prospect or two for Bruce rather than pick up his $13 million club option for 2017 or buy him out for $1 million and let him walk into free agency.

It was only a year ago that it seemed like the Reds would have to settle for next-to-nothing to get rid of Bruce. He posted career-lows across the board in 2014, including a .654 OPS and 18 home runs. He improved last season, returning to 26 home runs, but came with an uninspiring .729 OPS.

This year is another story. Bruce is currently hitting .272/.326/.564 with 23 home runs and a league-best 77 RBI. He’s on pace to set career-bests in a lot of categories if he’s able to stay healthy.

Bruce was honest about his resurgence, though, admitting that he doesn’t know why he’s so much better this year as Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

This is such a fleeting game. It’s so unforgiving. You’re never settled. You’ve never got it. You’ve never figured it out. It’s like a puzzle that never has all the pieces to it. You might get close and feel pretty good about your progress, but you never are going to have the puzzle put together.

Bruce, who welcomed a child into the world back in April, also discussed the difficulties of hearing his name bandied about in trade rumors once again.

It’s harder this year. I have a family I have to focus on now. Logistically, it’s much more intricate. I know the skit. I know how it goes. But it will be nice when it’s passed because we’ll have a plan of attack on whether my family is staying where they are in Cincinnati or elsewhere.

This is a point of view that is not often covered. This time of the year can be very difficult for players who may be traded, as they await a phone call that could send their lives into upheaval. It may mean being away from their families for three months. It means living out of a hotel room or finding a place to live on very short notice. Even Bruce’s comments about his success this year are illuminating about the mental strain of the game.

As usual, great reporting by Buchanan. His full article is worth your time.