Friday, August 17, 2012

Orioles Cannot Complete Sweep Against Red Sox; The Road Trip Ahead...

The Orioles could not finish their three game sweep over Boston, and they lost 6-3 on Thursday night. Chris Tillman had a so-so outing, the bullpen could not hold a tie throughout the middle of last night’s game and the offense got handcuffed after the second inning.

Despite the loss, the Orioles did finish off a successful homestand, going 7-3, and sticking around in the playoff hunt. They still hold one of the two coveted playoff spots heading into today, and trail the Yankees by 6 games in the American League East.

Heading into a critical road trip against the Tigers this weekend and Rangers next week, they are 64-54, ten games above .500 on August 17th.

It is still amazing to ponder that with this team.

Tillman struggled on Thursday night and was just off. He’s been a stabilizing force for a team that has needed pitching and has more or less avoided the problems that plagued in him in the past.

Despite Tillman giving up only a run in the first four innings, his outing was painful to watch. His pitch count approached 90 before the fifth inning, and he was making the same mistakes that we’ve seen in the past.

Tillman was throwing too many balls, not hitting the strike zone at times, and watching some of his at-bats against Boston were a painful experience to watch.

He allowed the Red Sox to tie up the game at three in the fifth inning. Tillaman gave up a wild pitch in the fifth inning that allowed Carl Crawford to score; a few minutes later, Dustin Pedroia crossed home plate on an Adrian Gonzalez sacrifice flyball. He gave up his first run in the second inning as Scott Podsednik plated in Nick Punto – who had walk to reach base.

The young hurler only lasted 4 2/3 innings, and gave up three runs. He threw 110 pitches and threw two wild pitches.

It was not a pretty outing for Tillman. As much as he improved this season, glimpses of the 2010-11 version reappeared, and it was cringe worthy at times. However, he has been a lot more consistent this season, and has bolstered the rotation.

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