CHICAGO -- Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Josh Tomlin has seen just about every kind of atmosphere in Major League Baseball, but Wrigley Field in the postseason is one of those environments he has yet to experience.
That is until now.
Tomlin will take the ball for the Indians in Game 3 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs, and will do so in front of more than 41,000 red-white-and-blue clad Chicagoans hungry to cheer on a team that has not played this far into the postseason since 1945.
“I want them to leave unhappy, but it's going to be a crazy atmosphere,” Tomlin said. “You know, they have a great fan base, and we know that. So do we, so it's loud when we play. It's going to be loud. It's just another game with a certain type of atmosphere that you don't get in the regular season, so it will be a lot of fun.”
In Tomlin’s only other road start this postseason, he allowed just four hits, two runs and one walk over five innings of work in a close-out win over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in the American League Division Series.
Known for allowing home runs during the regular season, Tomlin has allowed just three earned runs and no round-trippers in 10.2 innings of work in the postseason.
“The stuff you can't control is stuff I'm not going to concern myself with at the moment,” Tomlin said. “My job is to keep the ball down in the zone and try to induce groundballs and quick outs and try to keep them off the barrel.
“Whether the wind's blowing out, in, sideways, up, I don't know. I really don't care. My job is to go out there, pound the strike zone, get outs as quick as I can, and that's it.”
Although Tomlin is focused on the task of winning and helping the Indians retake a lead in the 2016 Fall Classic, he did acknowledge that tonight’s start will be a special one for his family.
Tomlin’s father suffered a debilitating health crisis in August, and the result of tangled blood vessels on his spinal cord was paralysis from the chest down. While Tomlin’s father has yet to regain the ability to walk, he will be in attendance to watch his son make the Game 3 start.
“It means a lot,” Tomlin said. “He hasn't been to a game in quite a while, and it wasn't looking like he was going to get to come to a game at all. So to have him here and just to be able to see him is the thing I'm most looking forward to, but the fact that we get to experience the World Series together is pretty neat.”