Here it is:
|1986 Topps # 312|
Innocent looking enough right? Another pitcher on an 80's Blue Jay squad, especially in the mid 80's when the Jays were loaded with names like Stieb, Clancy and Key.
Then I took a look at the back of the card.
Just your average stuff, until I looked closer at the 1985 season.
7-0 record, started 9 games out of the 11 he appeared in, but only pitched 48 2/3 innings.
Wait a minute I think, he started 9 games, but only pitched 48.2 innings? Won 7 games?? OK, something isn't right here.
Time to hit baseball reference.com and take a look at how he won these 7 games.
His first start was a no decision on July 9th, giving up a run in 3.1 innings.
July 22nd, wins his first game by 1 hitting the Mariners over 7 innings.
July 27th, goes to 2-0 giving up 2 runs in 6 innings over the Angels.
August 1st, moves to 3-0 giving up 0 earned runs in 5.2 innings versus the Orioles.
August 8th, moves to 4-0 giving up 4 earned runs in 6 innings versus the O's (Tom Henke pitches a rare 3 inning save).
August 13th, is now 5-0 after giving up 3 earned runs in 5.1 innings at Texas.
August 18th, improves to 6-0 after pitching 5.1 innings and allowing 5 earned runs at home versus the Royals
August 23rd, improves to 7-0 after pitching 5 innings and allowing only 2 ER to the White Sox.
His next start, August 27th, he lasts 1 inning retiring the Twins 1-2-3 and leaves the game.
pitched an inning of relief on September 18th, giving up 3 runs to Boston...
pitched 3 innings of scoreless relief against Boston on September 25th.
Literally, Tom had the month of his career, winning 7 straight decisions pitching a grand total of 40.1 innings, or less than 6 innings per start. It never hurts to have that kind of luck when you're on a team that won 99 games that year, then sadly lost in a classic 7 game series to the Kansas City Royals.
Tom wound up missing the 86 season due to injury, and didn't return to the bigs until 1988 when he spent parts of the next 3 seasons with the Brew Crew. His final season in the majors was 1992 with the Mets.
OK...that satisfied my curiosity...hopefully the crickets aren't chirping too loudly in the background.
Thanks for reading, Robert