Thursday, April 14, 2011

Taking Another Look at the Tillman Debacle

So I went back and watched Tillman's brief performance in the Bronx last night...and I have to say that while it was not good, it was not as bad as it looked initially.

And I'm sure I will be labelled a Tillman apologist but here it goes.

The first three Yankee batters reached via ground ball hits. Like Scott Erickson used to say, I can make them hit it on the ground but I don't know where it's going to go. If someone makes a play on one of those balls, maybe the inning goes differently. Or maybe the A-Rod homer is a 2-run job instead of a 3-run shot.

Secondly, there were two fly balls to left that I think Felix Pie would have had a very good shot at catching. They weren't easy plays but they were impossible for Scott who gets good jumps but does not have Pie's speed. And then there was Jeter's lucky infield hit in the second inning.

Don't get me wrong. It was not a good outing and he had some hard hit balls. And even if things broke his way, I'm not sure he pitches into the 5th inning last night.

But he gave up some hits on weakly hit balls, grounders and nubs. It was not as bad as the box score looks.

Even after last night, Tillman's FIP and xFIP are 4.87 and 4.89 respectively. He's not giving up a bunch of homers and he's stopped walking people at ridiculous rates. He has not been good but he has been pretty unlucky too.

Again, for the third was NOT a good performance last night. But it wasn't the unmitigated disaster it looked to be at first blush. And his season so far has been OK regardless of what his ERA reads right now.

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