Scranton, Norfolk Pitching — Part 3
The least impressive starting pitching from the recent Scranton – Norfolk series at Harbor Park — at least in the games I saw — was on the Monday, May 3 game. It was still impressive.
May 3 — Scranton — Ivan Nova — 7 9 3 1 2 4 (Game Score 53) (Winning Pitcher)
Ivan Nova, in some ways, pitched better than his line looks. The two unearned runs came when the center fielder dropped a routine two-out fly ball. The only baserunner he allowed in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings was on another error. While he didn’t wow anyone with his stuff, he managed the game well and gave the Yankess a chance to win (which they did). I can easily see Nova at the back end of a major-league rotation, although probably not the Yankees’.
May 3 — Norfolk – Chris Tillman – 5 8 2 2 2 3 (Game Score 44) (No Decision)
In his previous start, Chris Tillman had pitched a complete-game no-hitter at Gwinnett, and the fans attending the game on an overcast night had hopes for another historic performance. Those hopes lasted three batters, when the Yankees’ got their first hit with two outs in the first. The first inning exemplified Tillman’s night — usually in trouble but never in serious trouble. Of the ten baserunners he allowed in his five innings, seven came with two out; and one of the other three was eliminated on a double play.
Tillman, of course, is one of the Orioles Pitchers of the Future, and he just turned 22 in April. He didn’t have his best command, perhaps not surprising in the game after his longest and best outing ever. If this were the only game I had ever seen him, I wouldn’t think he has ace potential, but because he pitched this well on a night he didn’t have his A game, he definitely will be in a big-league rotation (assuming he stays healthy.)