The Louisville Bats’ offense has not supported Brett Tomko all season. Nothing changed to that affect Wednesday night as the Bats fell to the Syracuse Chiefs 2-1. Tomko tossed his fifth consecutive quality start, going 6-2/3 innings giving up just two runs on six hits, walking two and striking out three, but saw his record fall to 0-6.
Tomko was an out away from matching his season-long start of seven innings but came up just short.
After a smooth diving play by Kristopher Negron at third to get Jarrett Hoffpauir and a three pitch strikeout of J.R. Higley, it looked as if Tomko would get through the seventh with ease. But after James Skelton doubled, Juan Rivero blooped a pinch hit RBI single to break a 1-1 tie and put Tomko, once again, on the short end of the scoreboard. Such has been Tomko’s luck all season.
“I can’t say that I’m not frustrated,” Tomko said. “What I can handle is go out there and pitch. After that, it’s not always up to me.”
The Bats fell to 2-8 in Tomko’s starts. They have scored a total of 21 runs in those games and have tallied just 10 times while Tomko is the pitcher of record.
“I go out there and try to pitch my game,” Tomko said. “Guys are going out there and trying to play hard. That’s just the way it is.”
Tomko’s game has been stellar all season. He has not allowed more than three runs in any of his ten starts and has pitched at least six innings six times. Tomko has now pitched four games in which he has given up two runs or less and suffered the loss.
“It’s probably the best April-May I’ve had of my whole career.” Tomko said. “My off-speed is probably better than it’s ever been. I think I’m a more well-rounded pitcher.”
The Chiefs got on the board first in the fourth on an RBI single from Hoffpauir. It was the 36th time in 54 games the Bats have given up the first run of the game. They are 7-29 in such contests.
Tomko took the offense into his own hands in the fifth. With two on and one out, Miguel Rojas grounded to short for the second out of the inning. That brought Tomko to the plate who ripped an RBI single to center to tie the game. Tomko’s last RBI came May 9, 2007 when he was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Tomko’s is scheduled to start again June 4 against the Durham Bulls.
The Bats (17-37) fell 20 games under the .500 mark for the first time since the end of the 1997 season when the Louisville Redbirds finished 58-85. They look to split the series with the Chiefs Thursday. Pedro Villarreal (2-1, 3.70 ERA) takes the hill for the Bats against Yunesky Maya (3-4, 2.57 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05. Gates will open at 5:30 for Budweiser Game Time Happy Hour.