Chris Tillman had his faults in yesterday’s game, however in my personal view he pitched better than the numbers indicate. Tillman’s line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R (3 earned), 4 BB, 3 K. Tillman had a bit of a rough first inning, but then settled in. Again in my view, he put the Orioles in a spot to win the game.
Tillman did give up two early runs which in a way set the tone for the game. Bradley’s two-RBI single in the first inning gave Boston a 2-0 lead. The Orioles were able to garner an out on the play however, as Moreland was tagged out at third base trying to advance – ending the inning.
But it also appeared that Boston’s Sale was going to struggle on this day as well. Before anyone knew it, the game was tied following Chris Davis‘ two-RBI single in the last of the first. Later in the inning Jonathan Schoop would double Davis home, and the O’s held a 3-2 lead.
And it appeared that Tillman was settling in on this Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately he gave up a solo homer to Benintendi in the third, which tied the game. However he did continue to record outs, and looked good in doing so. For the most part, base runners which he did allow were erased – until the sixth.
On one hand, it’s nary impossible to blame a pitcher when runs score due to an error…especially when said error comes as a result of a ball that wasn’t even in play. However it could also be said that had runners not been on base, nothing would have happened. You just never know what can happen, so when guys get on base they could end up getting home in any fashion.
Sure enough in the sixth, Boston had two runners in scoring position. Catcher Fransisco Pena had a shot at picking off Sandoval at third. In fact, he probably had him picked off…if not for the fact that the throw was errant and ended up in left field. Two runs scored on that E2, and Boston had a 5-3 lead. Benintendi would homer in the seventh, and smack an RBI-single in the ninth and Boston took the game 7-3.
So as seems to be the case in many four-game series’, the Orioles split this one with Boston two games a piece. Again, anything can happen when guys get on base. While those two runs are unearned, they are charged to Tillman. Yet they didn’t score as a result of anything that he did. That’s baseball sometimes.
Yesterday’s game was also the last one in the career of Orioles’ radio voice Fred Manfra, who is retiring and moving to Tampa, FL. It’s the end of a 50-year career in broadcasting for Manfra, which took him to NBA Finals, NHL Stanley Cup Finals, Triple Crown Races, and to the Orioles broadcast booth. He began with the Orioles in 1993, and has been a fixture in the radio booth ever since, being paired with the likes of John Miller, Jim Hunter, and of course Joe Angel.
Manfra will be missed, both by fans and by his co-workers. Angel said it’s been like calling games with his best friend for all the time they’ve worked together. Manfra’s a Baltimore native, and attended Patterson High School. And as I said, he will be missed.