After splitting their series with the Seattle Mariners, the Baltimore Orioles headed down to Disneyland – ok, Anaheim, California – to face the Los Angeles Angels.
The series in Seattle for the Orioles, in my mind, was one they could have easily won if the pitching and defense had held their own; however, they bounced back with a 5-1 win over the Angels.
I stayed up and watched the first six innings of the game and amazed by the work of Chris Tillman. Although he has been shaky a bit this season, Tillman looked again like the pitcher who contributed to the playoff run last year by pitching eight shutout innings.
A big complaint of mine with this team over the past month is that the Baltimore starting pitchers have to get deeper into games.
Although Buck Showalter has done a masterful job with the bullpen, you can only use those arms for so long before they tire out.
Tillman gave the bullpen a night off and also showed us all that he can pitch. He used an array of pitches, guile, smarts and also used the entire plate on Thursday night.
Tillman is not an ace yet for Baltimore, and still learning; however, last night was a sign that the last few months of the season may be not a fluke after all for the tall righty.
The Angels – despite their record – still have quite a formidable lineup and Tillman handled them with ease. The opening inning for Tillman was a little concerning with the amount of pitches that he threw, but Nick Markakis’ throw to nail Mike Trout at home perhaps changed the tone for Baltimore.
After that, the Orioles put it together at the plate later as Nate McLouth – who is hotter than hot right now – homered (thanks to a Mike Trout gift) drove in two runs and Manny Machado, Nick Markakis and Chris Davis each drove in a run.
As of today, McLouth, Markakis, Jones and Davis all have averages north of .331 right now. I know many fans were concerned about the offense as the organization didn’t do much in the offseason; however, they are holding their own against everyone.
They are 17-12 and in third place in the division; however, they perhaps blew a wonderful chance against the Mariners to keep up the pace with the surging Red Sox and consistent Yankees.