After the game, Nick Markakis was asked what he was thinking when he saw Buck Showalter charge out of the dugout after the last of the first.
“I didn’t think it was going to start this early,” Markakis said. “But you have two teams battling for the same thing. Any little thing is going to set it off. Two competitive teams out there and things are going to happen but we got a big win and everything worked out good.”
Markakis was asked if the win was any sweeter coming against CC Sabathia, the pitcher who hit him last Sept. 8 producing an injury that ended his 2012 season?
“We won, that is what makes it sweet. There is a risk going out between those white lines every day. Bad timing. I’m here now and we need to finish up strong.
“No (special feeling beating CC). Another game no matter who it is on the mound. It is a win and a step in the direction we want to go.”
Markakis went 3-for-4 and it was his 11th three-hit game. He also had a few words about Chris Tillman’s outing.
“He’s been like that all year,” Markakis said. “I think the biggest thing is, he knows he has great stuff and we know he has great stuff, he’s just throwing strikes now. Any pitch anytime in the count. As big as he is, throwing downhill plane with three plus pitches, it is going to be tough for the other team.
“It is awesome. That is why we got him. We had high hopes on him and you’re seeing it now. Stuff-wise, it’s always been there. Good for us he’s figuring it out now.”
Tillman had a career mark of 3-4 and ERA of 7.43 in nine career starts vs. New York before pitching a gem tonight to improve to 16-5. He gave up just four hits and two runs over seven innings.
“It went well,” he said. “Took me a little bit to get in synch. Later in the game I had my offspeed pitches going and command of the fastball.
“They are all big this time of the year. I take that approach every game. I get to go out there only once every fifth day, so they are all big.”
Tillman was asked about the Showalter-Girardi incident.
“I didn’t know what to think, didn’t know what was going on. I walked out to the mound and umpire said I was warned.”