Tillman Utilizes Off-Speed Stuff For Quality Start
Chris Tillman made his best start of the season today, but will still be winless due to a no-decision. He didn't appear to have his good fastball at the outset - it was 87-88 mph instead of 91-93 - and the announcers said he was stretching something out (leg or back). Tillman (and Wieters, I suppose) worked around that by featuring his off-speed pitches prominently, and his velocity ticked back up in his later innings. Dave Trembley let him come out for the seventh inning despite already having thrown 94 pitches (which I think was the right call), and didn't take him out until he gave up a two-out single (ending with 110 pitches).
Cla Meredtih came in to get the third out on one pitch. Tillman left with the score tied 2-2, and had a solid final line of 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K - the only damage being a two-run homer by Alex Rios in the second inning (on a fastball right down the middle). There were still too many pitches up in the zone in general, but Tillman's change-up and curveball were so good that he didn't get into too much trouble. And the 8-8 groundball to flyball ratio was also very nice to see. He's only 21 years old, but he seemed to pitch like a veteran today.