Tillman's Gem A Familiar Sight
Chris Tillman has a habit of dazzling -- as he did during his first Oriole start in almost a year Wednesday -- right out of the gate.
Tillman's 8.1-inning, two-hit, two-unearned run effort against the Mariners was spectacular. There was also a sense of déjà vu about it. A year ago, Tillman was supposed to start in Triple-A Norfolk, but got the Orioles' second start of the season, going six hitless innings against the Rays. Two years ago, he gave up six hits and two runs during his first start as well.
Tillman starts out of the gate really well. The Orioles were impressed enough with him yesterday that they sent him to Double-A Bowie so he could get another start in and stay on pace to get a start next week when the major league All-Star break is over.
A great effort -- and that's what Wednesday was -- can't be dismissed. It can only be embraced. The Orioles had three great starts during the Mariners series, and how often can you say that? Not very.
Tillman is being given the opportunity that Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter and Brian Matusz have been given this season -- to show he belongs. Tillman has struggled, like them, to maintain superb levels throughout a season. That's why he's spent the better part of a year in Norfolk. Tillman has been the subject of some trade speculation. The Orioles could use an in-house starter that's successful. They're not as well stocked in the young starter department as people like to think.
Tillman's time to shine has come. He has to differientiate himself from Arrieta, Matusz and Hunter. It would be wonderful for the Orioles' season if Wednesday wasn't a fluke, but the start of something great.
Posted July 5, 2012.