Chris Tillman

With last night's win against Cliff Lee and the Texas Rangers, Chris Tillman and the Orioles have made me so proud because they emerged against guys whose averages are mostly around the .300's. Tillman also gets his first win of the season after a see-saw of bad starts or silent bats. But with an almost no hitter and almost complete game for Tillman, the whole hoopla still surrounded Cliff Lee who has been recently acquired from the Mariners less than 48 hours before game time. With Lee's seemingly "bad" start, commentators (ie: ESPN's Baseball Tonight) still pointed at how Lee's presence in the Rangers clubhouse became a way for the bullpen to have their break. Silly!

But I am not here to bash them some more, I, as an Orioles fan would like to look at another point instead. Chris Tillman and how he manages to spoil the fun for home team fans. If last night's game at the Rangers Ballpark was all about Cliff Lee's start and how I can imagine most fans must be crazy the whole time about this, I look back at Chris Tillman starting during their Sept 11, 2009 game at the Yankees Stadium. It was the night that everyone went to see Derek Jeter break Lou Gehrig's hits record, and lots of fans came their way just to see it. It was all about Jeter that night, and even after a rain delay of about more than an hour, no one retreated and stayed until a final word was out about how the weather should affect the game (I should know, I was there!). After a memorable 1st inning (to us near foul pole coz A.Rod hit his homer and I wished the ball landed on my lap), and after Jeter just hit 2722 on his 2nd at bat, the Orioles supported Tillman's strong innings (though the 4 Yankee runs that night came from his outing) with 7 runs towards the sixth, and 3 more the rest of the night. It felt great! It felt great to be an Orioles fan on the midst of a sea of Yankees fans (I was the only Oriole fan on my section), plus during the 6th inning rally, I watched the game on the lower section nearest to field level (after getting some snacks), and cheered loudly while a burly Yankee guy shouted "who's that cheering?" which freaked me out but I laughed to myself at how brave I was to cheer for them besides being alone (note: there were 6 guys in between me and burly Yankee guy). The game ended at around 1 AM and a WIN for Tillman.

These wins are indeed memorable as we get to cherish how this young team is still a source for enjoyment and hope that the clubhouse will be picking up pieces and soon bring back the magic that should have been there the whole time. How will we know that we've managed to emerge from the slump? Get runs to earn wins to earn standings to earn our time during Baseball Tonight, after that we can all be proud and say, "Y'all just suck it!"

Good luck always Orioles team and fans. May the magic and force be always with y'all.

(Thanks to MLB At Bat Gameday for some recall.)

Links to: O's @ Yankees 091109 and 9/11/09 @ Yankee Stadium

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