It's all in Chris Tillman's hands today, which, well... you know. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Three wins in a row for the first time in a month, with three straight quality starts from the pitchers for the first time in nearly two months. Chris Tillman, now it's your turn.
We have had feast and famine with Tillman - his brilliant outing against Seattle, then failing to make it out of the first inning against the Twins. Pretty big difference. Tillman's season line does not look ugly because only one of the runs in the Minnesota game was earned. In fact, he has a 1.00 ERA. Do not let the arcane technicalities of baseball statistics fool you: Tillman completely melted down after some poor defensive play did, to be fair, hurt him. The potential is always there for the Orioles' defense to destroy a pitcher. Some seem to be able to battle, like Hammel and Chen and (dare we hope) Gonzalez - others look like they belong in the minors. Hopefully Tillman won't have any of those moments tonight, but seriously - it's the Orioles. He'll have those moments.
Today, Tillman will be dueling against one Zach McAllister, who has had a nice year in limited big league action. Over eight starts, McAllister has a 3.17 ERA and is averaging just more than six innings per start. Well, that doesn't suck. What's interesting about McAllister is that he's gotten a nice number of strikeouts - 46 in 48.1 IP while also seeming to be a fly ball pitcher. His ground ball rate is 34.5%! This is all very small sample size. He only has 66 innings in the big leagues.
Fangraphs gives him a four pitch arsenal - a fastball averaging 92, with a slider, curveball, and changeup mixed in. The fastball and curve appear to be his best pitches in terms of results, but again, this is all SSS material. He will get a bit more of a sample against the Orioles today, and hopefully that will suck for him.
The Orioles offense... who even knows what to say about these guys? Well, they lit up the junkballing Lowe yesterday, so that was good. We would not be totally surprised if they were shut out for the next three games following that outburst. The consistency just isn't there, except for when it's consistently bad. Starting today, it will feature Omar Quintanilla on the bench. He will be sitting in the spot previously occupied by Steve Pearce, who has been designated for assignment.
I could write a lot of other stuff but the game is in the hands of Chris Tillman. This fact probably does not gladden you in any way, shape or form. Maybe he will surprise us. That would be nice.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||CLEVELAND INDIANS|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Shin-Soo Choo - RF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Asdrubal Cabrera - SS|
|Jim Thome - DH||Jason Kipnis - 2B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Michael Brantley - CF|
|Matt Wieters - C||Carlos Santana - C|
|Wilson Betemit - 3B||Travis Hafner - DH|
|Chris Davis - LF||Johnny Damon - LF|
|Mark Reynolds - 1B||Casey Kotchman - 1B|
|Ryan Flaherty - 2B||Jack Hannahan - 3B|