Perhaps Josh Tomlin was indeed nervous prior to making his major-league debut last night against the Yankees and birthday boy Alex Rodriguez. Or maybe he remembered the league bylaw that states the Yankees must turn into a CYO team whenever facing a pitcher for the first time. Either way, Tomlin impressed, taking a shutout into the eighth and allowing just one earned run on three hits and no walks to earn the win over ace CC Sabathia.
Sabathia hadn’t lost a game since the first Subway Series back in May, though in this one, he was let down a bit by his defense: Asdrubal Cabrera scored the Indians’ first run when Francisco Cervelli — who started in place of Jorge Posada, a late scratch with soreness in his left knee — couldn’t hang on to the ball when applying the tag on a play at the plate. Then later in the fourth inning, Robinson Cano, attempting to turn a double play, took his foot off the bag too early on what would have been the second out, allowing Austin Kearns to reach second safely and Matt LaPorta to drive in the Indians’ second run on a sacrifice fly. (Brett Gardner, however, saved a run earlier in the game by gunning down Shin-Soo Choo at home in the first. So perhaps these things even out.)
Once the pitcher with no big-league experience left the game, the Yankees woke up a bit: They scored a run in the eighth (charged to Tomlin, who surrendered a double to Cano) on a wild pitch and a groundout, then brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth with nobody out. But Nick Swisher struck out, Mark Teixeira popped out, and Rodriguez, given another dramatic spot in which to hit his 600th home run, hit an easy ground ball to short to end the game, a 4-1 Indians win.