Baltimore Orioles: Chris Tillman continues to lead the Orioles unpredictable rotation
All-Star or not, Orioles ace Chris Tillman continues to prove he’s one of the league’s premiere pitchers.
Right-hander and Baltimore Orioles ace, Chris Tillman, concluded the first half of the season with 12 wins, surpassing his total wins from a year ago along with a 3.41 ERA. Tillmans’ 12 wins at the time, ranked third best in the majors but apparently it wasn’t enough for Tillman to earn his second All-Star selection. Tillman is only one of six players in the majors with at least 12 wins and is a huge reason why the Baltimore Orioles found themselves in first place at the midway point of the season.
In his first start after the All-Star break, Tillman continued his red-hot July. On Saturday, the right-handed joined Chicago White Sox’s Chris Sale as the only two American League pitchers with at least 13 wins. Tillman notched his 13th win after pitching seven excellent innings with three strikeouts and only yielding a run in a 2-3 win against the Tampa Bay Rays. Not only does Tillman’s 13 wins rank second in the American League, but is also second best in the entire Major League. The Orioles ace joins San Francisco Giants Johnny Cueto and Washington Nationals Stephen Strasburg as the only 13-game winners.
Following an up and down June, Tillman has tossed seven innings and an earned run in each of his July starts. The 28-year-old in three starts in July is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA and a .169 opponent batting average. Better yet, Tillman is undefeated (6-0) in nine starts against American League East opponents tossing 54.1 innings with a 3.48 ERA. The O’s have won all nine of those games as well.
With a Baltimore Orioles team still without a steady starting five in their rotation, Tillman has delivered a welcome source of comfort to the team. In Tillman’s 20 starts this season, 13 of them have been quality starts, and it is worth noting Tillman’s first start of the season against the Minnesota Twins was cut short due to rain after striking out five of the six batters he faced. The rest of the Orioles pitchers who have started a game this year have just a combined 28 quality starts in 70 starts.
Tillman has accomplished some impressive feats so far this season that includes breaking a Baltimore Orioles all-time record on June 19th as the quickest Baltimore Orioles pitcher to 10 wins since Jimmy Key did it in 1997. Also, his 12 wins pre all-star break is Tillman’s career best. Not only that, but the Orioles ace leads the team’s starters in wins (12), ERA (3.41), games started (19), innings pitched (113.1), strikeouts (98), opponent batting average (.232), and WHIP (1.23). Without Tillman, the Orioles likely would not be in first place in the American League East entering the second half of the season.
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After Tillman and Kevin Gausman, the Baltimore Orioles rotation is a complete mess. With the trade deadline just about two weeks away, the contending Baltimore Orioles are in demand to acquire a starting pitcher to patch up their rotation holes. According to Oakland Athletics beat writer, Susan Slusser, there were a collection of scouts on hand including the Orioles on Sunday to watch the A’s starter, Rich Hill. Another name the Orioles have shown interest in is Minnesota Twins Ervin Santana, according to Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo.
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With 13 wins so far this season, Tillman is on pace to shatter his career-high 16 wins. Tillman’s next start is on Thursday against division rival New York Yankees as he looks to earn his 14th win of the season.