Chris TillmanI’ve been very critical of Chris Tillman‘s performance this season. I just don’t think his record has been indicative of his performance on the mound. However, Thursday night in Boston, Tillman threw an absolute gem in one of the Orioles most important games of the season. In doing so, he becomes the first Orioles starter to record a 15 win season since Erik Bedard in 2006.

Tillman limited the Red Sox to two runs on six hits over seven clean innings of work. My favorite stat though; he struck out eight and walked none. It’s just the second time this season that he’s held a team walk-less (May 24 in a five inning effort against the Blue Jays).

As’s Roch Kubatko points out, Tillman is 12-2 in his last 18 starts and the Orioles are 14-4 over that stretch. He’s been the most consistent starter in one of the league’s worst starting rotations.

Tillman’s 3.61 ERA this season is amazing for a guy with a 1.23 WHIP. His 4.51 FIP suggests that Baltimore’s top rated defense have helped his numbers tremendously.

Still, Tillman is 3-1 with a 2.98 ERA and .192 opponents batting average after the All-Star break. If the O’s find themselves in the Wild Card play-in game, he’s got to be one of the top contenders to get to nod.

About The Author

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.


  1. Tillman gives me a glimmer of hope,,,,,,,,if he shows consistency he will be as close to an Ace as we will ever see,,,,,I just hope he doesn’t get so good the O’s can’t keep him,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  2. I’m a big advocate of advanced stats, but tossing out a FIP as an indicator of a pitcher’s quality, without digging deeper, is not really a valid way to use the stat. Some recent studies seem to indicate that infield fly ball % may be a repeatable “skill” for some pitchers, allowing them to consistently outperform their FIP and xFIP. Matt Cain is a good example. For comparison, Tillman has posted 13% IFFB rate in 2012 and 11% in 2013. Cain’s career IFFB is 12%. Tillman may be the kind of pitcher who gets a lot of weak pop-ups.

  3. …in fact, the number show that he also gets more pop-ups and fewer FBs (hence, fewer HRs) with men on base. Is that sustainable? I don’t know.

    Even if we disagree on how much luck has played into his performance, you have to be encouraged by his performance since the break: 55.1 ip, 24% k rate, 7% bb rate, 0.99 whip, 3.67 FIP. If he keeps pitching like that he will definitely keep up the success.

    • and end up in pinstripes………………..

      • Tillman won’t end up in pinstripes. We have him under control for 2 more seasons. He is the guy we build around for pitching.

        • Dream on incher , you and I both know Angelos will not pay Tillman , enjoy him while you can. Having said this , I totally agree with you , he should be kept here to build the staff around , unfortunately we have a , I like my trust fund better than pitchers , owner.

    • Jeremy, you need to get yourself a girlfried…

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