Major League Baseball World Series 2016

With dad in stands, Josh Tomlin comes through for Indians

Indians take 2-1 lead in World Series with win at Wrigley Field

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 October, 2016, 12:18pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 November, 2016, 4:11pm

When Josh Tomlin’s night was done and he made the walk to Cleveland’s dugout, his eyes scanned the Wrigley Field crowd searching for his dad.

Jerry Tomlin was there – at the World Series – just like they both had dreamed.

With his dad watching from a wheelchair, Tomlin pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings Friday night as the Indians spoiled a game Chicago fans had waited 71 years to see by blanking the Cubs 1-0 in Game 3 to take a 2-1 lead in the Series.

On a historic night in one of baseball’s grandest ballparks, the Tomlins’ story was as sweet as it gets.

Jerry Tomlin nearly died two months ago from a circulatory malformation that has left him paralyzed from the chest down. He spent two months in the Baylor Rehab Institute in Dallas before being released on Josh’s birthday, which happened to be the day the Indians clinched the AL Pennant.

And although he can’t walk, and faces a daunting future, Jerry wasn’t going to miss seeing Josh pitch in the Series.

He made it all right, and as he sat in Section 122 swallowed by an ocean of Cubs fans, the elder Tomlin couldn’t stop smiling.

“It’s hard to put into words,” he said about 30 minutes before Josh threw his first pitch. “I didn’t know what I was going to say when I got here and I still don’t. The way everything planned out and the way people helped me to get here, man, it’s definitely a dream come true.

“There was no way I was going to miss this.”

Tomlin was accompanied by his wife, Elena, who stood in the aisle as game time approached.

“We both have butterflies,” she said. “This is a day [Josh] has been waiting for since he was 4 years old. He’s been playing baseball his whole life. What more can you ask for than when your kid gets to live his dream?”

Tomlin came through once again for the Indians, holding the Cubs without a run on two hits before he was lifted by manager Terry Francona, who gave him a hug before taking the ball.

The Indians entered the postseason down two starters as both Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar were injured in September, and then when Trevor Bauer cut his finger open while repairing one of his drones, Cleveland’s chances to go very deep in the postseason seemed remote at best.

But Tomlin has delivered, entering Friday’s game with a 2-0 record and 2.53 ERA.

He’s been a rock, just like his dad always has been for him.