Well sports fans I was not able to make the afternoon game at Harbor Park this afternoon a little thing called work got in the way, however between counseling young sailors I was able to listen to the game in the internet and thus still kept my finger to the pulse of the Tides. Speaking of the “pulse” the Tides bats which were dead on arrival last night came back to life as if resurrected by the Lord himself. Part of this may have been due to the weather which was a bit more temperate and a whole lot less wet than last night proving once again if you don’t like the weather in Hampton Roads wait five minutes.
Tides starter and Orioles hot prospect Jake Arrieta pitched seven innings shutting down the Knights allowing only 3 hits while striking out five. Knight’s starter, International League MVP and White Sox prospect Carlos Torres who had shut down the Gwinnett Braves last week in his first start of 2010 allowed 4 runs on 6 hits giving up 3 walks taking the loss in front of 3002 fans and one that was not in the ball park. Guess who?
The game was a study in contrast compared with the last two games against the Knights. Today the Tides could do nothing wrong and the Knights; well their day was very dark, much like the Tides outing last night only this happened in broad daylight. The Knights only got 4 hits and were held to no runs by Arrieta and Ross Wolf and had their usually solid Shortstop Brent Lillibridge make two errors on the way to the loss and the Knights left 6 runners on base. I guess that their prayers to Jobu didn’t get answered.
The Tides barrage began in the bottom of the second inning when Rhyne Hughes singled to right and Michael Aubrey doubled to right. If this had happened last night they would have died on the bases but not today. Robert Andino singled to break his hitless streak and drove in Hughes to give the Tides their first lead in three games. Adam Donachie hit a sacrifice fly to right which scored Michael Aubrey and the Tides were up 2-0. Joey Gathright walked and then Jonathan Tucker flied to center advancing Andino to third. Jeff Salazar singled to center scoring Andino and advancing Gathright to second. Scott Moore kept up his solid hitting singling on a soft line drive to left scoring Gathright. Salazar was out at home trying to score to end the inning.
The third through the bottom of the 7th inning were uneventful for both teams with Arrieta continuing to take down Knights batters although the Tides left 2 runners on base in the bottom of the sixth. Wes Whisler replaced Torres for the Knights in the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the 7th the Tides started took advantage of Whisler surrendering two walks to Jonathan Tucker and Brandon Snyder bringing Rhyne Hughes. Hughes has hit well for the Tides and today crushed a drive over the right field fence for a three run home run making the Tides lead 7-0.
In the 8th the Tides brought in Dennis Sarfate to relieve Arrieta and following his last warm up pitch he came out of the game with an apparent injury to his side. No details have been released on the Tides website or Facebook page so we will have to wait and see what the injury is and hope that it does not stop him as he has pitched magnificently in his first two relief appearances. Ross Wolf then came in to relieve Sarfate. Wolf gave up a single but no runs and the Tides returned in the bottom of the 8th to continue their drubbing of the Knights. Charlotte closer Ryan Braun came in to relieve Whisler and found no success. Robert Andino reached on Lillibridge’s second error of the game going to second on an errant throw to first. Adam Donachie was out on a fly ball to Jordan Danks in center and both Joey Gathright and Jonathan Tucker walked to load the bases. Jeff Salazar then walked to bring Andino across the plate and Scott Moore hit a sacrifice fly to center which scored Gathright. The inning ended when Brandon Snyder flied out to Knights Right Fielder Josh Kroeger.
Wolf came out to finish the game in a non-save situation in the top of the 9th inning striking out Stefan Gartrell and Josh Kroeger to start the inning. Dayan Viciedo singled to right to prolong the inning before Brent Lillibridge grounded to Third Baseman Scott Moore who threw to Jonathan Tucker at second to force out Viciedo to end the game.
Arrieta and Wolf pitched one of the best games for the Tides in recent memory combining for the shutout striking out 8 Knights and walking only 2 while scattering 5 hits. Scott Moore, Michael Aubrey and Rhyne Hughes continue to lead the Tides offense with big hits in key situations.
With the victory the Tides put an end to a three game losing streak and brought their record back to 3 wins and 4 losses. The Tides travel to Durham where tomorrow for a four game series where they will face the Bulls with Alfredo Simon on the hill for the Tides and Jeff Bennett who the Tides kicked around last week on the hill for the Bulls.
On the personnel side of the house Kam Mickolio was promoted to the Orioles to replace closer Mike Gonzales who was placed on the 15 day disabled list by the O’s joining Justin Christian who was promoted when Brian Roberts went on the DL. The Tides return to Norfolk on Monday for a four game home stand against the Gwinnett Braves. In Baltimore the Orioles lost their sixth straight game losing to the Rays 9-1 prior to traveling west for a series with the hot Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners. The O’s are struggling early to find their center. They have a tremendous amount of talent and one wonders what is going on in the minds of the Orioles coaching staff and management. My guess is that if Manager Dave Trembley does not right the ship soon that he may be out sooner rather than later because frankly the Orioles are not this bad of a team.
See you at Harbor Park on Monday where the Weather Channel is predicting a high of 66 with clear skies and evening low of 52. Of course this is Hampton Roads so keep your weather guessing skills sharp as we might have a blizzard or hurricane instead. If you are around section 102 at Harbor Park come up and say “hello” to me.