The Norfolk Tides travelled west to Louisville where they began a four game series with the Louisville Bats at Louisville Slugger Park. It was not a night top remember as the Tides were shut out by Cincinnati’s AAA affiliate by a score of 6-0. Chris George started from the Tides and had no trouble in the first inning but the Bats torched Chris in the second for 5 runs. In that inning Todd Frazier homered to lead of the inning on a 1-1 count from then on it was downhill for George who gave up a total of 5 runs on 7 hits including 2 doubles while facing 9 Louisville batters. In the 4th inning George walked the bases loaded and was pulled from the game in favor of Jim Miller, just reactivated off of the inactive roster. Miller gave up a wild pitch which scored a run prior to striking out the final batter. Miller would pitch 2 innings allowing no runs on 2 hits while striking out 4 batters. Tides relievers Cla Meredith and Kam Mickolio would also have good nights each allowing no runs or hits and striking out two men apiece but the damage was done. For Mickolio it was his first appearance since June 11th when he went on the DL for a strained oblique. Tides hitters would scatter 9 hits but plated no one and the game ended with the Tides losing 6-0.
In personnel news the Orioles called up the gem of the Tides pitching staff this year, right hander Armando Gabino. Gabino was 7-0 with 2 saves and had a 2.18 ERA with the Tides when called up by the O’s yesterday. Jim Miller was reactivated from the inactive list and Kam Mickolio as noted above came off the DL.
In Baltimore the Orioles under the leadership of new Manager Buck Showalter completed a 3 game sweep of the Angels. In last night’s game Jake Arietta pitched well enough to win but had the bullpen blow the save. The Orioles would win 5-4 in on a walk off single but the game should have been won before then. It is funny I have said a long time that what Baltimore needed was leadership. I believe that the Orioles have the raw talent to be competitive with most teams in the league. After the dismal 2 and 16 start to the season under Dave Trembley never got off the ground and Juan Samuel though liked and respected by the players was serving in an interim role. I think that players sensed that Trembley was not going to survive and that Samuel was a temp and as a result did not perform as well as they could have, not intentionally, but there is a psychology that affects losing teams that kind of contributes to their losing. It may be because they believe that the manager will make the wrong moves or that something will happen to cause them to lose the game. Just like the military, baseball players respond to leaders that they not only know and respect, but know who have the ability to lead. When I was watching the Orioles this week I saw a different team than was on the field just a week ago. Will the O’s contend this season or even have a winning record? No. However they may be able to play spoiler while they evaluate talent, make changes and plan for a better 2011 season.