Chris Tillman must be living a charmed life when he gives up six runs and still registers his 14th win of the season.
As manager Buck Showalter said, the Orioles probably owed Tillman after the way he’s pitched for them this season.
Tillman is 14-3, which currently ranks as the highest winning percentage (.824) in franchise history for a pitcher with at least 15 decisions. He’s ahead of Dave McNally (21-5, .808 in 1971), Jim Palmer (16-4, .800 in 1969), Wally Bunker (19-5, .792 in 1964) and Mike Mussina (18-5, .783 in 1992).
Tillman is 12-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 14 career starts against the American League West. The West is the only division in the majors against which he has a winning record and an ERA below 4.73.
Since the start of 2010, Tillman 11-0 with a 2.02 ERA vs. the West.
Nate McLouth is batting .360 during a six-game hitting streak. He recorded his 32nd multi-hit game of the season last night.
Showalter has a tendency to stray from the original topic during his media sessions, and last night was no exception. Probably because he takes so many mental notes from the dugout, and because he’s irritated by people who focus only on what they see in a box score.
Showalter praised catcher Matt Wieters last night after responding to a question about Chris Davis, who hit his 40th home run.
“Matty had a great night behind the plate,” Showalter said. “He blocked balls that catchers just don’t block. They just don’t block. You get the reverse spin on the curveball that comes back the other way, and to get that much body on it and square it up where it doesn’t go side to side, I can’t tell you how difficult that is. I’m not saying how to do your job, but I tell you, people who miss how hard it is to do what he does, blocking balls, especially with some of the repertoire our guys have, it’s remarkable. Just remarkable.
“I don’t think it’s one of those things you’ll really appreciate for a long time. Hopefully. I’m not going there.”
Yes, that was a playful reference to the USA Today article. We got it.
The reports on Tsuyoshi Wada were extremely favorable after his last start at Triple-A Norfolk, when he struck out 10 in 6 2/3 scoreless innings. For the first time, it really appeared that his stuff would play in the majors.
If it happens again, the Orioles could be facing a difficult decision. There’s no room in the rotation for Wada, but he agreed to extend his stay in Triple-A because he clearly wasn’t ready for a promotion.
Keep in mind that he couldn’t be optioned without his consent, and the Orioles were able to keep him in the minors beyond his injury-rehab assignment.
The easiest solution is to wait until rosters expand in September, if the Orioles have that luxury. It may be up to Wada.
Former Orioles second baseman Billy Ripken spoke to the short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds yesterday. Not surprisingly, he made a tremendous impression. The guy would make an outstanding coach if he wanted to go that route.
Did you know that newly acquired pitcher Bud Norris still has all three minor league options?
Norris will have enough service time down the road to refuse an assignment before a team could use up all three, but I found it interesting that he’s got all of them left.
By the way, take a close look at Norris before he throws his first pitch during his next start. He writes the initials of his grandfather and grandmother on the mound, with the sign of the cross in between.
Scott Feldman is making the start tonight for the Orioles. He’s 5-5 with a 4.05 ERA in 26 career games against the Mariners, including 12 starts.
Raul Ibanez is 5-for-12 with a double and home run against Feldman. Michael Saunders is 3-for-12, but it includes a triple, home run and seven RBIs. Kendrys Morales is 2-for-13.
Erasmo Ramirez is 2-0 in three starts for the Mariners, which is a neat trick when you consider that he’s got a 7.71 ERA and has allowed 14 runs and 21 hits in 16 1/3 innings, with eight walks and 14 strikeouts.
McLouth is 3-for-4 against Ramirez. Ryan Flaherty, who figures to get another start tonight with Brian Roberts on paternity leave, is 1-for-1.
Shameless plug alert: I’m appearing on “Wall to Wall Baseball” from noon-2 p.m. on MASN.