After all the time spent waxing rhapsodic over Monday night's game, the Giants make a point to exhibit some of the ugliest baseball they can muster. It was like the end of Casablanca, if only after the "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship" line, Bogie picked his nose and ate what he found.
Brett Tomko doesn't come off as some non-caring goof, ready to mail in the season with 70% effort outings. He wants to do well for the sake of doing well. If that couldn't motivate him, even the most craven of human beings could look toward the offseason, with a potential contract bonanza waiting for him. As of now, that contract bonanza is probably loosely defined as "Tampa Bay" or "Kansas City". St. Louis already tried their magic with Tomko. Maybe that should have been a clue. It's hard to guess where Tomko will land.
If you are a contender, you don't want Tomko on your team. You don't want his picture hanging in the clubhouse. It's unfair to label Tomko a choker after his brilliant and crucial start in Los Angeles last September. Were it not for a bullpen eight hundred million billion times worse than even this year's bullpen -- you can look it up -- we might have at least one really fond memory of the man. But you don't want to put yourself in a situation where you have to trust him.
As it stands, and I'll repeat this until he's gone, you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. Tomko is almost what we need from a fifth starter. He can pitch 200 innings, and has a fair chance to surprise. If Jason Schmidt and Noah Lowry come back as the one-two anchor, and the Giants magically pulled competent third and fourth starters from their backside, I would almost welcome Tomko back. Perhaps under the pseudonym of Branford Lionpitch, so we can pretend we haven't seen this act before.
It's unfortunate Tomko didn't pass through waivers because, according to my sources, we would have traded him for Ryan Howard. That would have gone a long way to settling the roster of the future, and...hold on, my sweat must have smudged the ink on my notes.
Oh, wait, my sources said we would have been able to trade Tomko for Ron Howard. That's a bit different, but still an upgrade. One is responsible for wholesome, crowd-pleasing entertainment, the other nihilistic horror flicks. We've seen the latter. It couldn't hurt to switch things up. Grab a mitt, Opie.