It was clear early on that it wasn’t Chris Sale’s night. Since it became clear shortly thereafter that it was Chris Tillman’s, Sale was removed early and allowed to watch the Sox offense struggle with the rest of us. Tillman carved through the Southside lineup for 7 innings, issuing the occasional walk and stranding those poor souls so falsely filled with hope right there where they stood. One hit is all that would be mustered against him as Tillman fulfilled some of the promise Baltimore fans have been waiting for.
White Sox (71-57): 0
Orioles (71-57): 6
Sale wasn’t locating, it’s as simple as that. He benefited from some borderline calls early in the 1st, and that only postponed the Orioles attack by a single inning. Come the 2nd, a pair of walks bookended by a couple hits produced all the offense that Baltimore would really need. Sale would stay on through the 4th inning and then that would be that.
Chris Tillman was once a big chip. He was part of the trade that brought Adam Jones to Baltimore from Seattle and big things were expected of him. He struggled mightily in his first few years of action, coming on strong in his 2012 debut and then appeared to be fading back to that lost promise pitcher. Tonight he regained a bit of that shine by holding the White Sox to just the one hit over his 7 innings. After his exit, Brian Matusz, who was the 4th overall pick in the 2010 draft also had expectations, and also struggled to live up to them (I mean, there he is in the bullpen), also had no problem keeping the Sox in check. Though in his 2 innings the poor bastard did allow a hit.
July 29th, 2007 Lew Ford hit a HR in the 9th inning off of Rafael Betancourt. That was the last one he hit until last night. And tonight against Chris Sale he made it 2 nights in a row. You’re welcome, Lew Ford.
Plus: Philip Humber was, like, serviceable in his 4 innings. So there’s that.
Minus: Not that it was a turning point, but A.J. Pierzynski swinging at the first pitch with runners on when Chris Tillman was clearly battling control issues at the moment was probably not wise. There is so much nonsense in a game that produced only 2 hits that I can’t really yell about it. Just evidence that A.J. is in a serious funk right now and will need to come out of that as soon as possible.
Player of the Game:
Alexei Ramirez – .072