Even without best stuff, Chris Tillman streaking into Orioles history

September 15, 2014|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman didn’t have his best outing Sunday night against the New York Yankees, but he still extended his remarkable streak of consistency that has now lasted more than three months as he has solidified his spot as the club’s ace.

After allowing one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings in the Orioles' 3-2, walk-off victory over the Yankees, Tillman has recorded 19 straight starts of allowing three earned runs or fewer. That mark ties him with Milt Pappas (1965) for the third-longest streak in club history. Dave McNally owns the Orioles record with 25 consecutive starts of three earned runs or fewer.

After allowing a leadoff homer to Martin Prado in the second inning, Tillman found himself in a jam after yielding back-to-back singles to Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira. But he then went on to retire the next 10 Yankees batters and 17 of 19 before coming out of the game with a man on second base and two outs in the seventh after retiring Stephen Drew.

“You think about how important these games are to New York, and they’re giving you their best shot,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Tilly’s just been solid. He’s one of those guys who bends. You’ve got a shot at him at some point. I was going to try to let him pitch the seventh clean and tried to give him one more hitter, but I just didn’t like where he was. He kind of emptied the tank there with Drew.”

Tillman walked just one batter -- Chris Young with one out in the seventh.

“Command is big for me,” Tillman said. “First thing I’ve got to work on is command. I didn’t really have it in my last outing. I had it before. [Pitching coach] Dave [Wallace] and [bullpen coach] Dom [Chiti] did a great job in between starts. They saw something, we worked on it, and it got better.”

But when you look at the run, Tillman is on, you see how rare it is. No Orioles pitcher has recorded 19 or more starts of allowed three runs or fewer since McNally did it in 1968. And it’s only been done five times previously, even dating back to the days of the St. Louis Browns.

Here’s a look at that list:

Most consecutive starts allowed three earned runs or fewer in franchise history

Pitcher               Year(s)       #      Dates                              Record   ERA     CG 
Dave McNally       1968        25      May 19-Sept. 8, 1968       17-5      1.89    14
Carl Weilman*     1914        25      April 14-Aug. 19, 1914      13-6      1.50    15
Eddie Plank*        1916-17   21     June 28,’16-June 20,’17     13-6      1.61    16
Steve Barber        1965-66   20     Aug. 17,’65-June 4,’66      9-3        1.65      7
Milt Pappas          1965        19     April 14-July 21, 1965       10-3       1.67     7
Chris Tillman        2014        19     June 10-Sept. 14, 2014     7-3        2.18     0  
*For the St. Louis Browns.  

eencina@baltsun.com

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