May 21, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman (30) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Tillman Implodes, Orioles Fall Short in 9-8 Loss


Chris Tillman only lasted one inning as another team’s number one pitcher got roughed up this week, and the Orioles came back twice but couldn’t do it a third time Wednesday night.

Game 44 – Baltimore Orioles 8 (23-21) Pittsburgh Pirates 9 (19-26) F

W: Bryan Morris (4-0, 3.50)

L: Ryan Webb (2-1, 3.66)

S: Mark Melancon (7, 2.14)

MVP: Starling Marte 3-4, 2 RBIs, 2 R, 1 3B,

The GOOD: Not the pitching. Ok, that isn’t entirely true. Brad Brach had a huge outing. Sure, he allowed two inherited runners, but that was coming in with no outs in the second and bases loaded. Brach pitched four scoreless innings, and his gift will likely be a trip to Norfolk for a long reliever. But it was a job well done.

The Orioles’ offense is alive. Only two starters did not have a hit, Caleb Joseph, who again worked a key walk, and Adam Jones. Nelson Cruz hit another home run, and was a triple short of the cycle. J.J. Hardy is swinging the bat well, and Chris Davis had two more hits, one of which was a double.

Also, Manny Machado got his first of what will likely be many doubles of the year in this one.

The Orioles went 7-14 with runners in scoring position. Great numbers, although they did leave ten on base.

The BAD: Chris Tillman. Ugly, ugly outing, and you have to wonder if his groin injury issue had something to do with it. To say Chris was bad is an understatement. It was another extended first inning against the Pirates, throwing almost 35 pitches and allowing four runs. The Orioles then got him six runs, and Tillman couldn’t even get an out in the 2nd inning.

There were other minor issues in this game, including Ryan Webb’s shaky 7th inning which ended up being the deciding run of the game, but Tillman’s off day was so bad, it should have the bad column to itself.

Although one does have to mention the out the Orioles ran into in the 7th inning, when J.J. Hardy was out by a mile at the plate. Who knows if the Orioles could have scored more if he had stayed at third base.

What’s NEXT: The Orioles travel back home to Camden Yards on the short flight from Pittsburgh tonight. Their four-game series against the Indians starts at 7:05 p.m. Thursday.

The Indians are 22-25, one of the worst teams in the AL Central. However, they just swept the Detroit Tigers, who had just finished sweeping Baltimore and the Red Sox.

The Orioles have only won 3 of their last 10 games, not good for a team struggling at home. The 23-21 Orioles will send Wei-Yin Chen (5-2, 3.69) to the mound. Chen has done well lately and the team has done well in his starts.

The Indians expected starter for Thursday, Josh Tomlin, won Wednesday’s 13 inning marathon against Detroit, in which Cleveland used nine pitchers. That makes the Orioles four they used on Wednesday pale in comparison. Still, I expected both teams to be adding pitchers before Thursday’s game, with T.J. MacFarland the likely option for the Orioles. Trevor Bauer could go on short rest for Cleveland, or they will have to go down to AAA to find their starter.

 

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Tags: Baltimore Orioles Brad Brach Chris Davis Chris Tillman J.J. Hardy Nelson Cruz