Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's Tillman Time!

This is the moment O's fans have been waiting for since... 1991 when Mike Mussina debuted? When was the last time the O's had a pitching prospect this touted? Regardless, I'll be live blogging Chris Tillman's debut tonight. We're finally getting our first glimpse at the pitching talent that has me so excited, and I wish I could be at the ballpark. Alas, I'll be sitting on the couch and bringing you my thoughts live! Check back frequently for updates.

7:07 PM: I'm sipping my Clipper City Heavy Seas Loose Cannon from my Sports Legends glass, reflecting on the symbolism in Chris Tillman wearing #54 and anxiously awaiting the first pitch... and here comes the tarp. Let's hope this isn't symbolic, too.

7:48 PM: And we're back! First pitch strike. 92 mph fastball.

7:49 PM: DeJesus gave one a ride to center, but Adam Jones ran it down and makes a fantastic catch over his shoulder in deep center. I like watching him play center field.

7:53 PM: That was a great change-up to Butler to put Tillman ahead 0-2. Tillman then induces a sinking liner to shortstop, and Tillman's first inning is in the books. He threw nearly all fastballs between 92 and 95 mph, and that one devastating change-up at 82 mph. So far, so good.

8:02 PM: Adam Jones just turned in a great at-bat, making a nice adjustment to Greinke's slider early in the at-bat and then fouling off some impressive offerings before driving a homer into the seats in left center. I don't know how he got the barrel on that pitch, much less hit it for a homer. Did I mention I like watching him hit, too?

8:04 PM: Markakis follows up with a double off the left-field wall. If Matt Wieters and Nolan Reimold followed, my head might explode.

8:09 PM: Reimold just turned in a high quality at-bat, drawing a full count walk. He's not going to be a star, but Reimold's emergence is one of most important developments of this season. He is exactly the type of hitter good organizations produce on a regular basis.

8:12 PM: Ty Wiggington lofted a soft fly ball to right field for the second out of the inning, but Nick Markakis shows some heads up baserunning (shocking for the O's, I know). Bloomquist held the ball just a bit too long, and Markakis moved up to third base. This first inning has featured a nice catch in center field from Adam Jones, a 1-2-3 inning from Tillman, a lead-off single from Brian Roberts, a home run from Adam Jones, and double from Nick Markakis, a quality at-bat from Nolan Reimold and now heads up baserunning from Markakis. Yeah, the future is bright.

8:17 PM: Unfortunately, Greg Zaun strikes out with the bases loaded to end the inning. Not gonna lie, I would have liked to see the full youth movement tonight with Matt Wieters behind the plate. Still, the O's made Greinke throw 34 pitches in the first.

8:33 PM: I'm a bit late here (love DVR), but Tillman just gave up his first major league hit, run and home run. His fastball to Callaspo caught a whole lot of the plate and ended up on Eutaw Street. He bounces back with an easy strike out of Mike Jacobs. Unfortunately, I know he'll give a home run next, too.

8:37 PM: Some quick fast forwarding catches right back up to live TV. DeJesus hit one to the wall in left that Nolan Reimold tracked down for the first out in the top of the third. It looks like the ball is really carrying tonight; that's twice DeJesus has hit one that carried much farther than it looks like it should have.

8:43 PM: Tillman's change-up has some serious fade to it. He's thrown a few nice ones to Butler tonight, and now another to Teahen. With the 10+ mph separation between his fastball and change-up, it can be a real weapon for him. So can a high fastball you blow by hitters, just like the one Teahen just waved at on which Bloomquist was caught stealing.

9:09 PM: Tillman gave up another homer, this time to Mike Jacobs on a hanging breaking ball. He's basically made three bad pitches tonight, each of which was smacked for a long ball. Welcome to the Big Leagues.

9:30 PM: Trembley tried to get Tillman through five innings, but instead pulls him with runners on the corners and two outs in the 5th. Not a great outing, but he definitely flashed the ability that makes him a top prospect: a fastball that sits in the low- to mid-90s, an impressive change-up and the makings of a good curveball. I'm already looking forward to his next start. And, with that, I'm signing off the blog for tonight.

1 comment:

Legends said...

Early thoughts on the Sherrill deal?