Apr 6, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman (30) pitches against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Tillman Looks to get Orioles Back to Even


 

After Thursday’s off day, the season continues on Friday evening with game 10 against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Baltimore Orioles have won three of the past four games to pull themselves to a record of 4-5 in the AL East, where all five teams are within a game of each other. The Orioles will look to improve upon their 10-9 record against the Jays in 2013.

The day off allows the Orioles to pitch Chris Tillman in the opening game of the series on his normal five-day schedule. Bud Norris will bump back with two extra days and pitch on Saturday, while Ubaldo Jimenez goes Sunday with one extra day.

The most recent two games in New York seemed to feature the rediscovery of the Orioles offense, and that makes all the difference. The bottom of the order has been especially effective, and I suppose that any team that had their 7-8-9 hitters go 12-for-27 over a two-day period is going to have a lot of success.

It is also presumed that J.J. Hardy will likely be recovered sufficiently from his back spasm issues to play again, and likewise David Lough has hopefully put the concussion-like symptoms behind him and can play at a high level.

The Orioles will be facing Toronto hurler Dustin McGowan in the first game of the series. Other than Adam Jones being 4-for-5 off him, there is not much else in terms of optimistic numbers … though few have faced him many times. However, Delmon Young is only 1-for-14, Nick Markakis is 0-for-10, and Nelson Cruz 0-for-5. Ryan Flaherty has a homer in two at bats, and he will surely be facing McGowan.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

Delmon Young

14

12

1

0

0

0

1

1

3

.083

Nick Markakis

12

10

1

0

0

0

0

2

1

.100

Nelson Cruz

5

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.000

J.J. Hardy

5

5

1

1

0

0

1

0

2

.200

Adam Jones

5

5

4

1

0

0

1

0

0

.800

Matt Wieters

4

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

Ryan Flaherty

2

1

1

0

0

1

1

1

0

1.000

Steve Clevenger

1

1

1

1

0

0

2

0

0

1.000

 

McGowan has only pitched once this season, when on April 4th against the Yankees he gave up four runs on eight hits over just 2.2 innings, taking the loss in a game with a final score of 7-3.

Tillman has established his team ace credentials in his two outings to kick off 2014. In the final game against Detroit and Justin Verlander, Tillman pitched what might have been his best game ever – going 8.1 innings and giving up only a solo homer and one run on five hits. This followed his opening day start against Boston with a run over five innings. So his current ERA is 1.35.

Over his career, Chris Tillman is 3-3 in 10 games against the Jays, with an ERA of 3.86 and an excellent WHIP of 1.170. A number of the Toronto hitters have pretty decent career numbers against him. Cody Rasmus is 6-for-14 with two homers, while Jose Bautista is 6-for-18 with two long balls as well…

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

Adam Lind

29

27

8

0

0

0

2

2

7

.296

Edwin Encarnacion

26

25

7

1

0

1

1

1

3

.280

Jose Bautista

21

18

6

1

0

2

4

2

8

.333

Colby Rasmus

14

14

6

2

0

2

4

0

1

.429

Brett Lawrie

13

13

3

0

0

1

1

0

3

.231

Melky Cabrera

12

11

3

1

0

1

4

0

2

.273

Ryan Goins

6

6

1

0

0

0

1

0

1

.167

Maicer Izturis

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

.000

Dioner Navarro

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

 

So even though the long-term career numbers favor McGowan in this game, I am thinking the more recent performances of each gives Chris Tillman and the Orioles in Camden Yards the advantage.

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