Tillman had a....weird outing. He seemed determined to keep the ball out of the center of the plate (which is good), but he seemed to be just a little too careful. He walked three and went to a three ball count on a number of others. The end result was that he DID get through the game without allowing a homerun, but also didn't manage a strikeout until the 6th inning. He was effective through the first five though, as the Twins got just three singles in the first five innings, but things got dicey in the 6th. Alexi Casilla led off with a triple past Felix Pie in centerfield and scored on a wild pitch that could have been blocked by Wieters. Back-to-back singles and a stolen base put runners on 2nd and 3rd with Joe Mauer up. Tillman stepped up and struck out the AL's best hitter, which was pretty exciting. After the IBB to Morneau to load the bases, Trembley pulled Tillman. Hendrickson allowed a sacrifice fly on the next batter before the side was retired.
The O's bullpen held the Twins to just those two runs as Cla Meredith pitched 1 inning and Chris Ray pitched 1.1. Meredith walked two but didn't allow a hit and the awesome-again Chris Ray was perfect.
I mentioned in the game thread that Scott Baker is better than his ERA indicates, and he showed it tonight. His biggest mistake in his 7 innings was allowing a double to Brian Roberts that scored Michael Aubrey. But then, everyone allows doubles to Brian Roberts. He faced a bit of trouble in the 7th inning as well, allowing singles to Luke Scott and Matt Wieters to put runners on first and third with two outs, but Melvin Mora (surprise!) grounded out to end the inning.
Joe Nathan closed out the game for the Twins, striking out Cesar Izturis and Luke Scott (on the worst AB in the history of baseball, according to O'sFan21). He also made Nick Markakis look totally foolish on a few swings, but Nick worked him for a walk. Nolan Reimold had a fine AB against Nathan and also worked a walk, but Matt Wieters struck out to end the game. Joe Nathan has an ERA+ of 250 this year. That seems pretty good except last year it was 305, so he's obviously slacking.
Just as an aside, a few years ago the Twins were playing the Orioles and Joe Nathan was away from the team because his wife was having a baby. The Twins won the game and I guess Joe had arrived before the end of the game and he walked onto the field in his street clothes while the Twins were shaking hands and handed out cigars. I thought it was so great that I've always liked Joe Nathan after that.
O's lose. Brian Matusz takes the mound tomorrow vs. Armando Gabino, who is making his major league debut. And in case you didn't see what Jake Arrieta did tonight, here it is: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K.
Who was tonight's Most Birdland Player (MBP)?
Brian Roberts (48th double, game's only RBI) (36 votes)
Chris Tillman (5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 3 BB, K) (53 votes)
Chris Ray (1.1 perfect innings, has allowed 1 R in 14 IP since coming off DL) (45 votes)
Nobody! Yuck. (23 votes)
157 total votes