Mostly lost in yesterday's game because of Vladimir Guerrero's heroics and Matt Wieters' golden arm was Chris Tillman's uneven outing. Tillman allowed one run on six hits and two walks over five innings. He was fortunate to avoid further damage -- the Nationals went 1-for-8 against him with runners in scoring position -- and the downside was he needed 97 pitches to navigate through five innings. I have been pretty negative about Tillman at times, and some posters -- and even some members of the Orioles' clubhouse -- maintain that I've been unfair to the 23-year-old. I disagree with the latter sentiment, but beyond all that, I do see him making strides. There's no question that he's frustrating to watch at times because he's always falling behind hitters and working deep in counts. There's no excuse to walk No. 9 hitter Alex Cora in any circumstance, as he did yesterday. Like many Orioles officials, I also struggle to comprehend why his fastball velocity fluctuates so much from start to start and inning to inning. But yesterday, Tillman's stuff, for the most part, was better than what I've seen from him in a long time, an observation supported by Orioles manager Buck Showalter and Wieters. The sequence that followed the one-out walk to Cora and the double by Roger Bernadina was a good example. Tillman threw two really nice cut fastballs that Ian Desmond flailed at and then a nasty breaking ball to send Laynce Nix to the bench. It was a really nice sequence for a pitcher who is learning to compete and make adjustments. To this point, I have mostly disagreed with the line of thinking that Tillman has nothing left to prove in the minors and you need to keep running him out there every five days against big league hitters to see how he develops. My take was that you owe it to the rest of your team to give them a chance to win and it just isn't fair to the hitters to keep being put into a big early hole and for the bullpen to keep having to come in so early in the game. However, I'm coming around to that line of thinking, mostly because I do see signs of progress from Tillman, even if all the results don't necessarily indicate it.