Errors and unearned runs have been the bane of the Norfolk Tides this year. On a beautiful night in from of 3292 fans the Tides lost a game despite excellent pitching for their starting pitcher on an unearned run. Last night the Tides lost 4-3 to the Braves but gave up three unearned runs and tonight the Braves scored the deciding run on a throwing error by Tides Second Baseman Scott Moore to first. Tides starter Alfredo Simon pitched a solid game surrendering just one earned run in the first inning on a little twisting fly ball that was knocked down by the wind and fell in front of Jonathan Tucker by Brent Clevlen which scored Matt Young. Simon would give up just that one earned run on 7 hits with 5 strike outs in the loss. Simon had an excellent night continues his solid performance for the Tides and might wind up with a mid or late season call up.
For the second night in a row the Tides gave up three errors. Some of this is due to players like Moore playing out of position. Moore had not played the middle infield before this season and obviously has not adjusted to it. Of course he is there because Justin Turner was called up to Baltimore when Brian Roberts was injured.
Gwinnett was the beneficiary of an outstanding start by Todd Redmond who pitched 7.1 innings giving up one earned run on 6 hits with 4 strike outs. Scott Proctor got the two outs in the 8th and Craig Kimbrel got his third save of the year taking the Tides down in order in the ninth.
The Tides woes at the plate continued Joey Gathright, Scott Moore and Brandon Snyder all were hitless in 4 trips to the plate each. Robert Andino doubled deep to left center with 2 outs in the bottom of the eighth to drive in Adam Donachie.
The loss drops the Tides to 4 and 9. The anemic Tides hitting has driven the team batting average to .230 which is third from the bottom in the International League and their team on base percentage is a miserable .304. In 13 games the Tides have given up 68 runs on 131 hits while scoring 55 runs on 99 hits.
Now the Tides have already felt the ripple effect of the glut of injuries at Baltimore. Lou Montanez, Justin Turner and Kam Mickolio have all replaced injured O’s and Tides Alberto Castillo was brought up when Brad Bergeson was optioned to Norfolk. The talk is that if Bergeson can get his sinker and confidence back that he may go back up to Baltimore on May 1st to face the Red Sox. If he is not ready the belief is that Tides starter Jake Arrieta who is not on the 40 man roster could make his major league debut on that day. In one other personnel move Blake Davis was promoted to the Tides from AA Bowie.
Although the season is very early it appears that the depth, talent and youth of the Tampa Bay Rays organization is paying off big for their International League affiliate the Durham Bulls. The bulls lead the league in almost every offensive category. Durham’s pitching is solid giving up only 4 earned runs on 95 hits. In the past four games the Bulls have produced 39 runs compared with 5 by their opponents. When one looks at the Rays and the Bulls it is clear that unless both are hit with a ton of injuries that the Rays could challenge the Yankees in the AL East and the Bulls could well repeat as the Governor’s Cup Champion.
On Wednesday the Tides will send Troy Patton (0-2 11.12 ERA) against the Braves’ Ryne Reynoso (0-2 6.30) The weather might be on the soupy side with temperatures in the 60s and 50s and a 50% chance of rain showers. I’ll be there and hope that you are too!