Tillman ends on a high note

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Chris Tillman ended a rocky 2010 season with one of his best starts, holding the Tigers to one run on three hits over seven innings in Friday’s Game 1, 10-6 win of a doubleheader. Due to the short turnaround time, most of these quotes didn’t make it in the game story, but here’s what Tillman said.

on ending the year strong.. 

I think it is huge. That last start of the year is always a big boost to the offseason. Last year, I had that tough one going into the offseason and it kind of sat there with me the whole offseason. It kind of gave me an extra kick in the butt though. It’s a lot better to end the season on a good note.
 
On improving his consistency…
That’s what I worked on coming into this year, too, is being consistent. With that new pitch this year, it has come a long way and I think it showed it today. I think that was one thing I needed to work on and hopefully now the whole package is there and  the consistency will be there next year.
 
Using the cutter

It’s been my best pitch this last go-around. I think it’s been one of my best pitches, yeah, and definitely today, throwing it for strikes whenever I need to throw it in the zone. I think it was my best pitch.
 
On his confidence
Its been a rollercoaster year. Those good [starts] are so good and those bad ones you’re kind of down low. But I think the key is to stay consistent. .. I think that’s something I’ll take with me into the offseason.
 
Why has the cutter improved so much?
 [I've got] confidence in throwing it. I’ve never thrown it before. I came to spring training, it was a new pitch. [Pitching coach Rick Kranitz] told me you need to throw it. Throw it as much as you can. And today actually he told me he wanted me to go to the cutter instead of the curveball when I got ahead of guys as my putaway pitch. I did that.

Tillman also said he will work out in California with fellow Orioles starter Brian Matusz in the offseason.

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