Baltimore Orioles: Walks haunt Chris Tillman

Chris Tillman posted a much better effort for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon at Yankee Stadium than last time out. He had his struggles in this one, but ultimately he put the Orioles in a spot to win following a marathon game on Friday night. Tillman’s line: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 3 K.

Again, he wasn’t perfect. The Orioles need him to go deeper into the games. But he pitched better than the numbers indicate. Tillman gave up two early runs in the second on a two-RBI single by Gardener, however had the ball not ticked off of Chris Davis‘ glove, odds are two don’t score.

But the Orioles came right back. Manny Machado smacked a two-RBI double in the third, and Pedro Alvarez an RBI-double in the fourth. And before you know it, Tillman and the O’s held a 3-2 lead.

However Tillman issued walks in the last of the fifth and the sixth. Both led to New York runs. Judge would bat in a run on a ground out in the fifth inning, and Andujar’s sac fly-RBI would give New York the lead on the last of the sixth. Both runs came off of walks, the one in the sixth inning coming after a lead off walk.

The Orioles have to cut down on free passes if they’re going to be successful this season. That’s been their bugaboo for some time. Now I will say that neither Tillman nor any subsequent Oriole pitcher was given the benefit of the doubt on borderline pitches. They were all called balls. But when you’re giving the impression of nibbling, you aren’t going to get those calls.

Romine would add an RBI-single later in the sixth. Judge’s RBI-double would then run the score to 6-3 in favor of New York. Austin would add a two-RBI single as well, running the final to 8-3. This is a tough game to lose for the O’s because of the quick turnaround after last night. However the good news is that they’re still in good shape to take the series tomorrow afternoon.

Incidentally, I made mention of a few borderline pitches that were called balls against Oriole pitching. First off keep in mind that balls and strikes are judgement calls. The idea is that you want the umpire to be consistent, and for the most part he was. But when you’re trying to hit the black on the plate, you’re leaving things open to interpretation.

The series finale is tomorrow from Yankee Stadium. Mike Wright Jr. gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Jordan Montgomery. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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