Written by Chris Slade
Today's rubber match kicked off at 2:05 ET with Chris Tillman opposing Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka. The Orioles struck first in the 3rd with a solo homer from Jonathan Schoop. Scoring halted from there until the 7th inning when Schoop hit an RBI groundout followed by a sac fly from Caleb Joseph to give a 3-0 lead. The Orioles put the game out of reach in the 8th when J.J. Hardy came through with a clutch three run double to clear the bases. Manny Machado added an RBI single in the 8th and Joesph hit his first career homer in the 9th as the Orioles went on to win 8-0.
Tanaka hasn't allowed more than three runs all season and that proved to be the case again today, meaning the Orioles needed Chris Tillman to be at his best today to give them a chance at a series win. Tillman did just that, tossing one of his best outings of the year. His velocity appeared to be up a few ticks today as several fastballs clocked in at 94-95 mph. He also had plus movement on his 12-6 curveball and showed improved commad of the pitch from recent outings.
Patient eyes from the likes of Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and others led to four walks on the day and just two strikeouts but Tillman's pitch command was above average throughout most of his quality outing. After Gardner's double in the first, Tillman shut the Yankees down from there, allowing just three more hits, all singles, and no runs to score through seven innings of work. He picks up a much deserved 6th win of the season.
Final Line: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, Win
T.J. McFarland looked good in relief today, pitching two scoreless frames in the 8th and 9th to finish off the Orioles shutout win.
The title of this recap is a reference to Adam Jones' comments back in April when the Orioles first faced Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this year so I'm not trying to slight him but he's also not invincible and the Orioles were able to muster up three runs against him today which proved to more than enough with Tillman's stellar outing.
The bottom four of the order did most of the damage and was responsible for driving in all eight Oriole runs. J.J. Hardy drove in three on his double in the 8th and finished 2-for-4.
Manny Machado doubled in the 7th and drove in Hardy on an RBI single in the 8th.
Jonathan Schoop homered and drove in another run on a groundout.
Caleb Joseph finally hit his first tank, a no doubter off releiver David Huff in the 8th and drove in another run on a sac fly in the 7th.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
Tillman made a nice heads up catch on a liner right at him from Kelly Johnson to end the 5th inning, stranding runners at the corners.
Nick Markakis received an outfield assist on the play in the first in which Brett Gardner was called out at third after video review.
A Chris Davis fielding error in the 7th allowed Ichiro to reach base. Thankfully, he didn't score.
Key Moments In The Game
The game may have gone differently if not for the overturned instant replay call on the the very first batter. Brett Gardner led off the game with a triple that he was ruled out at third on because his hand came of the base after he slid in.
Runs are always hard to come by with Tanaka so it was impressive to see the Orioles take advantage of a runners on second and third situation with no outs in the 7th. Jonathan Schoop and Caleb Joseph were able to "small-ball" those runs in on an RBI groundout and sac fly.
Other Notes/ Musings
Chris Tillman is now 6-0 on the road as opposed to 0-4 at home. The bizarre part is that entering today's game his road ERA was 6.33 and his home ERA was 2.78.
Apparently, the Orioles are bringing Randy Wolf (recently released by the Marlins) back into the fold on a AAA contract. I really thought that guy's career was done after he was with the O's in 2012.
Jonathan Schoop now has two of his six home runs off Masahiro Tanaka. Making them count.
Always love a series win at New York and the O's were just one unfortunate pitch away from a sweep in the Bronx. Let's keep that momentum gouing against the White Sox who are coming to Baltimore tomorrow.
The O's will send Wei-Yin Chen to the mound against another ace, lefthander Chris Sale.
Visit the Orioles Hangout Message Board