Chris Tillman gave the Baltimore Orioles his best outing of the still young season this afternoon at Camden Yards. It wasn’t great, however it wasn’t a total disaster either. Tillman’s line: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 5 K.
Chalk this one up as one of those “in between” type starts. Somewhere between good and poor, that is. Tillman had some good moments for sure. However they say that solo homers won’t beat you. That’s actually not true if you give up multiple solo shots. It really doesn’t matter if you give up three solo homers or one three-run homer; it’s still the same number of runs.
However Tillman also got no help from Oriole bats, who were stymied all day by Cleveland starter Clevinger. The Birds didn’t get their first hit of the game until the fourth inning. And that makes Tillman’s outing look worse than it really was.
The Orioles are still in a spot whereby they seem to have no margin for error. Tillman walked a hitter in the first, who later went to second on a base hit and third on a wild pitch. Brantley would later ground into a fielder’s choice, scoring that runner. The Orioles on the other hand are held to attest to almost every mistake in the games that they make. And as they say, nothing good ever happens after a walk.
Clevinger kept the O’s off the board, which means that the lone run the Tribe scored in the first inning in theory would have been enough. Cleveland got a solo homer from Gomes in the fourth, and Ramirez and Alonso in the sixth. And there was really nothing the O’s could do, given Clevinger’s performance.
Clevinger is a fast worker who seemed very happy to go along with the fact that the Orioles were an aggressive team who wasn’t very patient. And I think it’s probably a situation whereby the Orioles all but out-thought themselves. Clevinger was pitching-to-contact, and I suspect that the game plan after awhile was to just keep putting the ball in play. And while they did get a base runner on an error at one point, in putting the ball in play the O’s kept hitting it to Cleveland infielders.
The Orioles kept Trey Mancini out of today’s lineup, and he could miss a few extra days as well. His CT scan came back clean, but the O’s wanted to be sure his knee wasn’t cut down to the bone. Mancini on his injury (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
It’s really sore today. Just four inches or so under the wall that isn’t padded is where my knee hit. It obviously doesn’t feel too good, but luckily avoided anything too serious there, like no tears, no break. I just had to get a couple stitches and it’s just really swollen today and it’s tough to bend my knee, but I’m hoping within a couple days it will be good