The Orioles beat White Sox ace Chris Sale, which is good, and now they have a lead of 7.5 games in the American League East, which is also good. Still, it was only one game, and they've still got another 39 left to play. They don't have to win them all, and they might not even have to win most of them. They've got to win enough, though - why not start tonight?
LHP Jose Quintana, White Sox
2014: 25 GS, 154.2 IP, 3.14 ERA, 136 SO, 46 BB, .242 BAA, 1.23 WHIP
Last start (at Giants): 6.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO
Quintana is also pretty good, it turns out, if not near-2 ERA good. The Orioles rotation could use a Quintana. He would probably like being on the Orioles, too, given that he's saddled with a 6-9 record on the season despite his solid pitching numbers. Actually, the White Sox have scored more runs than the Orioles on the year, so it must just be that for some reason they hate Quintana.
With an average fastball velocity of 91.5mph, Quintana doesn't exactly fit in the dreaded soft-tossing lefty category, and anyway, as crazy as it is to contemplate, the Orioles are 20-15 against left-handed starters this year. Wow!
RHP Chris Tillman
2014: 26 GS, 156.2 IP, 3.68 ERA, 105 SO, 53 BB, .238 BAA, 1.26 WHIP
Last start (vs. Yankees): 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 HR, 0 BB, 3 SO
One Tillman subplot is whether or not he will record another 200+ inning season. He is close, but he'll have to average at least 6.1 IP/GS for seven starts to get the rest of the way there. And if he only makes six more starts, he'll have to average over 7 IP/GS to get over 200. If he's able to go that deep into the rest of his games, that'll be a good sign for the Orioles.
Tillman has not allowed more than three earned runs in a start since his one inning clunker against Texas on June 5. That's a stretch of 13 starts. Keep it going tonight, Chris.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||CHICAGO WHITE SOX|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Alejandro De Aza - LF|
|Steve Pearce - 1B||Alexei Ramirez - SS|
|Adam Jones - CF||Jose Abreu - 1B|
|Nelson Cruz - LF||Adam Dunn - DH|
|Delmon Young - DH||Avisail Garcia - RF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Conor Gillaspie - 3B|
|Chris Davis - 3B||Tyler Flowers - C|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Jordan Danks - CF|
|Nick Hundley - C||Gordon Beckham - 2B|
|Chris Tillman - RHP||Jose Quintana - LHP|
In August, Nick Markakis is batting .415/.493/.615 and he's in the midst of a ten-game hitting streak. This is a good time to get hot. He won't stay that hot for the rest of the season, but if he keeps at a more normal pace even after this streak, that'll be something good.
If someone had told you in spring training that in mid-August, the Orioles would field a lineup featuring Steve Pearce and Delmon Young, and also had Chris Davis playing third base, would you have guessed they would be holding a strong lead in the division? Me either, and yet, here we are. Birdland has been a magical place.