If there's one thing the Orioles have been able to count on in his career, it's been Chris Tillman's dominance of the franchise that traded him. He will get another chance to shine against the Mariners in Camden Yards tonight.
Will there be any bonus good vibes in the air from the ceremony for Roberto Alomar's induction into the Orioles Hall of Fame that will take place before the game tonight? Perhaps so, perhaps not. The Orioles had a good record on the days of last year's Legends statues celebrations, but that had more to do with them being a good team than any other thing. This year they have been a good team with an occasional frustrating tendency towards losing to terrible teams and terrible pitchers.
Oh, look, they'll be up against Aaron Harang tonight. That's just what they needed. They previously scored two runs in six innings off of Harang in Seattle back in May, getting only four hits. That was awful. Not being far removed from a shutout mostly pitched by the great Brett Oberholtzer, it is again one of those matchups where you can't really be confident. At the very least, he isn't a lefty, but that may not matter.
Tillman is working on a stretch of solid starts where he hasn't gone fewer than five innings in his last ten starts and has earned a quality start in eight of his last ten. He was credited with a win in nine of those ten games. In that time, he's pitched 63.1 innings and has a 2.98 ERA with opponents batting .232/.309/.364 against him. He has not faced the Mariners yet this season.
There is still an outside chance of Tillman winning 20 games, and he could get himself even closer if he pitches well enough, doesn't suffer bullpen shenanigans, and if the hitters give him the kind of run support he's tended to get. Pitcher wins are meaningless, of course, but it would be cool if he somehow lucked or skilled his way into 20 wins on the season.
Matt Wieters is in an 0-for-22 slump, which means if he gets a hit in his first at-bat people will say he broke out of an 0-for-22 slump, but then he'll be in a 1-for-23 slump, which also sucks. Let's stop talking about him heating up in the second half. He has a .710 OPS. It isn't pretty. He hits for some power, but not average, and is not getting on base. I don't want to hear about how great someone is at hitting when they are hovering at or below a .300 OBP. The same is true about J.J. Hardy.
Anyway, score some runs tonight and get a sweep started of the Mariners, please? We all know Boston and Tampa Bay will never lose again unless they play each other, so seriously, beat the bad teams and keep pace.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Nate McLouth - LF||Brad Miller - SS|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Nick Franklin - 2B|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Kendrys Morales - DH|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Raul Ibanez - LF|
|Matt Wieters - C||Michael Morse - RF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Justin Smoak - 1B|
|Henry Urrutia - DH||Michael Saunders - CF|
|Ryan Flaherty - 2B||Humberto Quintero - C|