RHP Chris Tillman tonight makes his Major League debut.
The 21-year-old right-hander was acquired by the O’s from Seattle on February 8, 2008 as part of the Erik Bedard deal.
At 21 years, 106 days old, Tillman will become the youngest Oriole to make his Major League debut since Hayden Penn did so at 20 years, 228 days old on May 28, 2005.
Tillman has had two excellent years pitching in the O’s farm system and is among the best pitching prospects in all of baseball.
This season with Triple-A Norfolk, he is 8-6, 2.70 in 18 starts. In 96 2/3 innings he has allowed 85 hits with 26 walks and 99 strikeouts.
He has allowed 2ER or less in 13 of 18 starts and one earned or less in eight starts. He has pitched without allowing a run in five of his starts.
In nine home Triple-A starts, Tillman went 5-2, 1.82.
Tonight, Tillman will attempt to become the 5th Orioles starter this year to win his Major League debut, following Bergesen, Berken, Hernandez and Uehara.
RHP Zack Greinke (10-6, 2.04) tonight makes his 21st start of this season, his 9th on the road and his 2nd this year vs. the Orioles.
Greinke has been one of baseball’s best pitchers this year. He has recorded five complete games with two shutouts. He blanked Texas on seven hits April 18th and the White Sox on six hits on May 4th.
The 25-year-old got off to an amazing start this season. After his first 10 starts, he was 8-1, 0.84.
Greinke leads the Major Legues in ERA and complete games. He is 3rd in the AL in road ERA, 5th in innings and tied for 7th in wins.
Greinke has not won any of his last four starts, but it’s not because he has not pitched well. He is 0-3 but with an ERA of 2.42 over the four starts with the Royals scoring three total runs in those starts.
He has allowed 2ER or less in five of his last six starts and in 15 of his 20 starts in 2009.
The Royals have not been winning with him lately, despite his impressive numbers. Kansas City has lost four straight Greinke starts and eight of his last ten. On the year, they are 10-10 when he starts.
Right-handed batters hit .228 vs. him and lefties bat .260. He gives up only a .193 average when pitching with runners in scoring position. In eight road starts, he is 4-3, 2.43.
Greinke vs. Baltimore:
2009: 1-0, 1.29, one start (7IP, 6H, 1R-ER, 2B, 6K May 15)
Career: 1-2, 7.43, six games, four starts (23IP, 31H, 7 HR)
The O’s hitters have a career .310 batting vs. Greinke.
How O’s hitters have fared vs. Greinke:
Huff: 6-16, 3 RBI
Markakis: 2-7, HR, 3 RBI