The Associated Press

5h ago

Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images Sport / Getty

CHICAGO – 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.

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.

“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 pinkie 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.

Tomlin knew nothing would stop his dad, who fell ill at work in August and initially thought he was having stomach problems. However, doctors were examining him when he lost all the feeling in his lower body from a condition that affects blood vessels on his spine. Surgery saved his life, and Josh left the Indians to be with his dad following the operation.

“He’s called me a couple times. Never complaining,” Jerry said. “I told him just go back to work and do what you do. Quit worrying about your dad and go get ’em.”