Chris Tillman has cruised through the International League this year, but he had more trouble against the World team at the Futures Game. Tillman threw a solid curveball to leadoff hitter Alcides Escobar that Escobar swung over the top of, but Escobar managed too chop the ball right off the plate. U.S. catcher Tyler Flowers pounced on the ball quickly, but fired wildly past first baseman Chris Carter, allowing Escobar to advance to second on an error.
From then on, Tillman struggled with his command. He fell behind Alex Liddi 3-0 and eventually walked him. He bounced a pitch in the dirt that hit Nick Weglarz. A sinking line drive from Babarao Canizares scored one run and a Jesus Montero groundout scored another. Tillman did show a 92 mph fastball and a sharp-breaking, if inconsistent curveball.
What was most impressive about the World team was its speed. On my admittedly non-scout stopwatch, Alcides Escobar was 4.0 from the right side to first place while Tyson Gilles was 4.15 from the left side and Brett Lawrie was 4.15 from the right side. Montero on the other hand was significantly slower (4.65) as you would expect.
And then a storm cloud showed up and a tarp is now on the field. Hopefully this is a brief shower.
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