Chris Tillman came into this season largely considered a bust or an underachiever for the Baltimore Orioles. He started the season with the Norfolk Tides and did not start well with the Tides.
Last season, Tillman finished the year with a 5.52 era and his velocity seemed to come and go. He would pitch with a fastball around 87-89 mph and his delivery was always moving around.
Tillman worked hard though, learning new pitches and even changed his deliver and looks like the prospect that the Orioles got from the Seattle Mariners. Tillman changed his deliver to make it more compact and it has brought his velocity back to 92-96 mph.
Now Tillman is going strong with a career high four-game winning streak and a 2.38 era. Tillman is 5-1 and has earned a decision in each of his starts. It took Tillman part of three seasons to record his first five wins. He only recorded two wins in each of his first two seasons with the Orioles.
Tillman was very young when he made it to the big leagues, he was 21 years old. He earned his way to the big leagues, he was lights out at every level in the minors but he rarely had his good stuff in the majors.
The Orioles have to be pleased with how he has preformed, last night was another outstanding game from Tillman. Last night, Tillman went 7 1/3rd innings and allowed only one run against the Mariners, his former team. Tillman looks like the one member of the “Calvary” that has had the light bulb turn on.
At the very least Tillman has provided a spark for the Orioles as they continue to end their long losing season streak.
Watch the highlights from this gem Tillman threw.
The Orioles dropped their fourth straight game, falling 8-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays Monday night at Camden Yards.
O’s starter Chris Tillman took the loss, after lasting just 2 1/3 innings and giving up all eight runs on seven hits, four walks and a hit batter. The bullpen allowed just two hits and two walks over the final six frames, but Tampa’s seven-run third inning proved to be the difference in the ballgame.
What happened to the O’s offense? The team has come back from the break looking just like they did during the early months of the season. The Birds had seven hits but managed just one run for the second straight game. It’s almost an unbelievable statistic: over the last two games (both blowout losses) the O’s have collected 19 hits but have scored just two runs…
After heading into the break on an impressive four-game winning streak, the O’s have now dropped four straight at home. The Orioles scored 23 runs in the four games against Texas, but have scored just six runs in the last four contests.
And the Birds (29-63) still own the worst record in all of baseball…
The O’s send Jake Arrieta to the mound on Tuesday night to try and right the ship…here’s hoping the team can pick up win number 30.
(stats according to orioles.com)
Zach Britton. Heard of him? If you haven’t yet, you will soon. Britton has been tearing it up all season long in both Bowie and Norfolk where he has made 3 starts already. In his last ten starts in the minors, Britton is 6-1 with a miniscule ERA of 1.11. That’s on the same level as a guy you may have heard of…Stephen Strasburg. Now to sit here and proclaim that Zach Britton would be the next Strasburg is foolish. But he is showing that he has awesome stuff in the minors. He also just finished up pitching in the Futures Game.
In his most recent outing for the Tides, Britton tossed 7 1/3 innings of scoreless ball against the Columbus Clippers. The Clippers also have the highest batting average in the entire International League in AAA. Now that’s impressive.
If he does join the O’s rotation, Britton would join the likes of Matusz, Arrieta, and Tillman as extremely youthful starters in Baltimore. Should all of these young pitchers reach their stride, the O’s will have a dominant rotation for many years.
Look for Britton to make an appearance somewhere on the Major League roster either in the bullpen or even making a start or two, later this year.
Adam Jones- The power has been there but sometimes he looks like a catcher playing center field. He has regressed in the field and has not improved at the plate. He swings at too many balls to be elite. Grade: D+
Nick Markakis- Markakis has done everything he can for this team. The home run numbers have dropped but he is still hitting doubles and has a career high in batting average. Grade: B+
Corey Patterson- Who would’ve thought Patterson would be intentionally walked so the pitcher could face Miguel Tejada; this happened against the Texas Rangers several nights ago. Patterson has provided more than a spark, he has been one of the best hitters for the Orioles. Grade: A
Ty Wigginton- Ty might’ve been the lone Orioles All-Star, but his offense has dropped since the start of the season. He has been a great team player for the Orioles and provided power. Grade: B
Luke Scott- Stats-wise, Luke may be hitting well, but he does not always show good plate discipline. He is a veteran that should know what pitches to swing at and in what counts. Striking out after getting a 3-0 count makes it hard to give Scott a high grade. Grade: C
Matt Wieters- His defense has been great but his offensive numbers have dropped from last year. He started off the season well so maybe his offensive struggles are from wear-and-tear. Grade: C
Cesar Izturis- He gets a higher grade than some players that have higher offensive numbers because his job is to play good defense. His bat has been better than I expected and he has had to work with a lot a variety of second basemen. Grade: C+
Miguel Tejada- Miggy’s defense has been terrible and his offense has not been consistent. Not the player he used to be. Grade: C
Nolan Reimold- This one hurts, I almost want to give him a pass with all the things that have been going on with him. Grade: F
Felix Pie- He would be getting a solid A+ if he could stay healthy. Grade: B
Kevin Millwood- He started off the season pitching great, but was let down his teammates lack of run support. Who knows, his inability to secure a win early on might have worn on him. With that being said, he has been good at eating up innings. Grade: C+
Craig Tatum- For a backup catcher Tatum has done everything anyone could ask of him. Grade: B+
Jeremy Guthrie- He has pitched better than I thought he would and like all the other Orioles pitchers has had little run support. Grade: C+
Brian Matusz- Again, in what seems like a recurring theme: has had very little run support. Matusz has had his ups and down but for the most part, he has been average to above average. Grade: C+
Jason Berken- Is there a higher grade than A+? I’ll admit it, I wrote this guy off last year after getting rocked as a starter. Without a doubt, he has found his niche in the bullpen. Grade: A++
David Hernandez- Much like Berken, he could not make it as a starter but has found a home in the bullpen. Grade: B
Alfredo Simon- For a starter to be thrown into the closer’s role right after Tommy John surgery, you can not ask for much more from Simon. Grade: B+
Chris Tillman- He showed huge improvement in his last start, taking a no hitter into the seventh inning against a vaunted Rangers offense. If this success continues in the second half, an A might in store for him. Grade: D+
Julio Lugo- This guy represents everything that is what is wrong with the Orioles. His attitude has got to change. Grade: F
Mark Hendrickson- In short, he is worse than last year. His responsibility is to be an innings eater and has failed to do so many times this season. Grade: D
Garrett Atkins- It pained me to even type his name. If it was a number rating it would be in the negatives. Power hitter that can not hit for power or average. Grade: Z
Matt Albers- If only he could pitch the way he eats. In all honesty, Fatt Alb…I mean Matt Albers has pitched better lately. Grade: E+
Brad Bergesen- Two freak injuries have really messed up his mechanics. What a shame. Grade: D
Jake Arrieta- He has had his struggles but has also shown great potential. Grade: B
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