Daily Archives: June 7, 2010

Tides Shutout Bisons 6-0: Troy Patton Pitches 7 Scoreless Innings for Win

Troy Patton dominated the potent bats of the Buffalo Bisons Monday

The Norfolk Tides bats remained on fire even as the temperature cooled into the mid 70s in Hampton Roads and today both the defense and the pitching showed up.  After losing five straight to include three high scoring games where the Tides offense produced enough runs to win each handily had pitching, defense or calls by umpires gone their way.  But this Monday was another day and Troy Patton had the answer on to how to shut down the potent offense of the Buffalo Bisons and I do hope that he starts telling other pitchers just how to do this as he went seven innings giving up just three hits with only one walk and three strikeouts to gain the victory.  Patton was aided by Ross Wolf and Mike Hinckley who pitched the 8th and 9th innings without surrendering a hit.

Jeff Salazar hit his 9th home run of the season in the 6th inning

After watching many games where the hitting showed up and the pitching did not, or the pitching showed up only to have the offense go into a coma or the defense to fail it was good to see a game where the fundamentals of the ball game, pitching, hitting and defense came together as the Tides shut down the Bisons 6-0.

Patton surrendered only 3 hits, a double in the second inning and two singles while walking only one in a dominant performance against the hottest hitting team in the International League. The Tides offense continued its strong performance since the arrival of interim manager Bobby Dickerson.  The Tides opened up on the Bisons in the bottom of the 3rd inning when catcher Adam Donachie led off the inning with a double and scored on a single by Matt Angle.  Robert Andino tripled to drive in Angle and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Salazar.  They added two more in the bottom of the 6th inning when Jeff Salazar hit his 9th dinger of the season and Rhyne Hughes launched his 4th of the season both of which were solo shots to make the score 5-0.  The Tides added a final run in the bottom of the 8th when Josh Bell doubled and advanced to third when Rhyne Hughes singled and scored on reliever Michael O’Connor’s wild pitch, the second time that “Wild Thing” O’Connor allowed a run to score at Harbor Park during this home stand but at least he did not bounce it over the screen behind home plate this time….he’s improving.

Rhyne Hughes also homered for the Tides in the 6th inning

The game ended with the Tides winning by a score of 6-0. The Bisons had no runs on 3 hits and one error and left 5 men on base. The Tides 6 runs on 10 hits and no errors leaving four men aboard. Bobby Livingston (2-6 4.43 ERA) got the loss for the Bisons and Troy Patton (4-7 5.13 ERA) got the win for the Tides. Troy had his excellent performance backed up with great run support as well as solid defense to get the well deserved win.

During the series the Tides scored 27 runs on 57 hits including 6 home runs by far their most productive series of the year and a series where for the first time this season they showed consistency on offense over a sustained period and not just a game or two.  Since little has changed in the aspect of Tides offensive personnel with the exception of the addition of Matt Angle and Paco Figueroa but now for the first time that I can remember this season the Tides hitters are hitting with power as well as making contact.  Though it does not seem like much the Tides team batting average has improved from .234 on May 18th to .243 today in fact going up more in the past 4 days than the previous two weeks. While it is still early the only explanation that I can see for this turnaround is Interim Manager Bobby Dickerson.

The Tides open a series against the Gwinnett Braves at Harbor Park on Tuesday at 7:15 and we will see of the Tides can continue this merry offensive romp.  See you at Harbor Park.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Tides Lose in Sunday Afternoon Slugfest 8-6

“The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three run homers.” Earl Weaver

Getting his swing back. Nolan Reimold hammers a deep fly ball on Sunday

The Norfolk Tides lost their 5th straight falling to the Buffalo Bisons in a Sunday afternoon slugfest in which for the third time in three games they collected what should have been enough hits and runs to win. In fact today of the 8 runs scored by the Bisons 3 were unearned coming as the result of poor fielding and throwing by Tides infielders in particular a top of the 8th inning error where shortstop Robert Andino ran past what would have been an easy double play ball off the bat of former Norfolk Tides infielder Justin Turner that scored two runs at a point that the Tides were ahead in the game.  The runs gave the Bisons a lead that they would not relinquish and seal the fate of the Tides on this blistering hot Sunday afternoon.

Jeff Salazar steps on home plate following his 7th inning home run

Tides starting pitcher Chris George gave up 5 runs, 4 of which were earned in 5.2 innings work and Zack Clark so new to the team from AA Bowie that he went out in a jersey without his name affixed to it gave up 3 runs in 2.1 innings of which only 1 was an earned run.  Ross Wolf pitched the 9th inning coming in with two on and two out. He got J R House out while trying to bunt and made an excellent play to field the ball and throw out Valentino Pascucci at third. He then got Jesus Feliciano to ground into a double play to end the inning.

Brandon Snyder bunts for a hit

The big damage to the Tides came from the extremely potent Buffalo offense. For once the Bisons’ parent organization the New York Mets has invested in putting experienced and potent offensive force together despite a dearth of young prospects. The Bisons pack a huge offensive punch including Mike Hessman the all-time Minor League home run king but the Chief Tides basher has been Mike Jacobs who has beaten Tides pitching about in a rude and nearly ruthless manner over the past two days as well as former Tides catcher J R House who today had a home run, double plating 3 of the Bisons runs.

However if there is a silver lining in the past three games it is for the first time this season the Tides seem to be hitting the ball consistently using both contact and power to make things happen. The Tides picked up their first run in the bottom of the 2nd inning one singles by Rhyne Hughes, Brandon Snyder and Michel Hernandez. The Bisons collected two in the top of the 3rd inning when Andy Green reached on an error J R House doubled and Jesus Feliciano singled to drive in both Green and House.

The Tides tied the score in the bottom of the 4th as Rhyne Hughes and Brandon Snyder singled and Michel Hernandez sacrificed to right field to score Hughes.  Buffalo then scored 3 runs in the top frame of the 6th driving Tides starter Chris George out of the game and it was as the sage Earl Weaver mentioned, the part about the three run home runs as   J R  House clubbed a three run homer off of George with one out.  However the Tides did not roll over and die as they had in so many games earlier in the season and in the bottom of the 7th the now scrappy Tides offense plated 4 runs.  Michel Hernandez, Blake Davis and Matt Angle singled to load the bases. Robert Andino then hit into a double play but Hernandez scored.  Jeff Salazar then hit a 2 run home run off of Pat Misch to tie the game. Nolan Reimold and Rhyne Hughes singled and Brandon Snyder singled to drive in Reimold before Blake Davis grounded out to end the inning.

Chris George allowed 4 earned runs in 5.2 innings getting no decision

In the top of the 8th the Bisons took the lead when Robert Andino missed what looked to be an easy grounder that easily could have been a double play, the ball rolled into short left field and two runs scored and the Bisons were back in the lead and add an insurance run in the 9th to make the final score 8-6.

The Bisons scored 8 runs on 11 hits with 1 error and 11 men left on base. The Tides 6 runs on 15 hits and 4 errors leaving 8 on base including 5 left in scoring position with 2 outs.

While the Tides offense has come alive the pitching has been weak and they were not helped by four errors which allowed three unearned runs.  In spite of this the Tides are showing signs of life under Interim Manager Bobby Dickerson who took on an umpiring crew that made three obviously bad calls that cost the Tides runs the most egregious being a hit by J R House in the top of the 2nd which should have been a foul ball that was ruled fair and went for a double, a force at second in the top of the 8th which the 2nd base umpire ruled that second baseman Blake Davis who was plowed over at second had been pulled off the bag.  Later in the 8th Mike Hessman was ruled hit by a pitch which had all the marking of a ball that hit the bat before striking him. The last call got Dickerson tossed by Home Plate Umpire Chris Conroy.  Dickerson does not just manage but he leads and appears to inspire. Players that have not been performing have been benched and for the first time in recent memory the Tides took infield practice on a game day. What appears to be the new mantra in the Orioles organization is accountability and chemistry.  Things are not better yet but if I were the Orioles I would make Dickerson the permanent manager of the Tides tomorrow.  It takes time to get the pitching right and I do not see a quick fix to that with the probability that Arietta will be in Baltimore possibly within the week, however it appears that he is bringing some discipline and order back to a team that has a lot of talent but not achieved the success that it is capable of accomplishing. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming days and weeks as Andy McPhail and the Orioles begin to make the hard choices regarding players and ultimately who will remain in Baltimore and on the 40 man roster.

The Orioles defeated the Red Sox today at Camden Yards 4-3 in 11 innings with David Hernandez getting his first win of the season in relief.

The final game of the season series between the Bisons and Tides will be on Monday at 12:15 as Troy Patton (3-7, 5.73 ERA) will take the hill for the Tides against former Tide Bobby Livingston (2-5, 4.18 ERA).

Peace

Padre Steve+

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