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Old 06-01-2006, 06:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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It's two bad for Tomko

There is a fine line, not to mention a vast psychological difference, between one bad start and two for a pitcher.

One bad start, and a pitcher can dip into his volume of cliches, promising to chalk it up, shake it off and turn the page. But two bad starts in a row, and that's when a pitcher's mind can begin to mess with him, when self-doubt can begin to creep in, when not only the pitcher himself but everyone around him can begin to wonder what's wrong.

Brett Tomko crossed that line Wednesday night in the Dodgers' 9-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

The Dodgers' right-hander, who fell behind too many batters on the way to getting pounded in his previous start, threw too many pitches into too many hitters' hot zones on the way to getting pounded again.

But while the underlying problem might have been different, the result was the same: a loss that cooled off the surging Dodgers for at least one evening and left them with a break-even road trip.

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