On paper, the Jake Peavy/Brett Tomko matchup looked like a bit of a mismatch. Peavy is one of the game's brightest young stars. Tomko is a pleasant fellow. Peavy has great stuff, and he uses it to accrue great numbers. Tomko is armed with an expired tub of I Can't Believe It's Not Great Stuff!, which fooled -- or convinced, if you're still a believer -- taste-testers everywhere into thinking his breakthrough last year was for real. Tomko's numbers are less than great.
But for seven innings, it was a great game; quick, crisp, and great pitching all around. Tomko was giving up screaming line drives early, but they all found mitts. After the initial shakiness, he started matching Peavy frame for scoreless frame. After an Omar Vizquel error -- tallied as a single by the official scorer -- Tomko fell apart. The idea of Vizquel flubbing two plays in the game, both directly leading to runs, was too much to take. The stunned look on Tomko's face seemed to imply the true nature of time and space were revealed, and every physical reality he had known was proven to be a lie. Vizquel making an error? That's unpossible!
In the open thread during the game, there were allusions to Tomko's fragile psyche. Last year, a lot of credit for his turnaround went to the sessions he had with a sports psychiatrist. If that's the driving force behind the post-All Star Break Tomko, and I'm definitely skeptical, then the answer is simple. Tomko needs to put his goldfish in a jar, tie the jar around his neck, and find his psychiatrist again. If that isn't the answer, one needs to be found soon. We can't expect Tomko to be as good as Peavy, but he should be better than what we've seen so far. We already have a Kirk Rueter.