Oakland 6, Baltimore 2
Box Score / Play-By-Play / AP Recap
Baltimore had their winning* streak snapped in Oakland, as the A's pushed across three runs in the 6th to go ahead for good. Chris Tillman once again kept Baltimore in the game, but averaged just under 25 pitches per inning before being lifted in the fifth with one out. This season has been a mixed bag for Tillman, who has seen an overhaul in his mechanics that has lead to more consistency in his secondaries, but a drop-off in his fastball velocity. A polling of the die hard fans populating the message boards would likewise turn-up mixed feelings, with a number encouraged by his progress and plenty of others turned-off by the upper-80 velocity readings.
The takeaway for the fanbase has to be that prospect development is seldom linear -- particularly for a pitcher who pushed his way to the Majors just a couple months past his 21st birthday. Tillman is doing what every promising young arm needs to do: adjusting. The game that allowed him to carve-up A/AA/AAA hitters as a teen did not translate perfectly to the Major League level, and the young arm is making the tweaks he needs to make to tackle this next challenge. This season his curve is less recognizable out of the hand, and his change is finding more consistence in its fade and late tumble. It is a testament to the Orioles front office that they are finally giving Tillman the extended time he needs to tackle Major League hitters and work through his adjustments. The sooner Orioles fans understand and accept this process, the sooner they will, as a group, be able to better enjoy Tillman's starts (which have been some of my favorite to watch throughout the year).
Stat of the game
The number of extra base hits Baltimore was able to muster against five innings of less-than-stellar Gio Gonzalez and four innings of Oakland bullpen.
Orioles Game ball
Matt Wieters (2-4, triple-slash on the season now sits .272/.339/.404)
MiLB game balls
Norfolk (Box) - Brian Matusz, LHP (5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO) Next stop, Baltimore!
Bowie (Box) - Xavier Avery, CF (2-3); Last 10, 16-36, .444/.512/.667, 2 2B, 1 3B, 5 BB/3 SO
Frederick (Box Game 1) - Steven Bumbry, CF (2-3, 2B (9), HR (3), 2 BB)
Frederick (Box Game 2) - Clayton Schrader, RHP (2 IP, 1 BB, 2 SO); through 36 IP, 56 SO
Delmarva (Box) - DJ Fergusen, RHP (3 IP, 1 H, 3 SO, W (1))
Three Morning Links
Jim Callis at Baseball America has Baltimore selecting Dylan Bundy (rhp, Owasso HS, Owasso, Okla.) in his lastest mock draft (list only here; list with comments -- subscription required -- here).
Is Brian Matusz ready for his 2011 MLB debut? Jeff Zrebiec of The Sun weighs in.
Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com gets Matt Wieters's thoughts on the Posey injury and potential rule changes regarding home plate collisions, and touches on a potential Matusz return.
Brad Bergesen (143 ERA-, 98 FIP-, 4.48 xFIP) will attempt to even the series against Josh Outman (35 ERA-, 96 FIP-, 5.57 xFIP).
* - the original article accidentally wrote that the losing streak was broken instead of the winning streak