Zack Clark deserved a win on Sunday night but did not get one. Clark allowed just one run in the 2nd inning a run that very well should not have scored. With runners on first and third with one out and Columbus catcher Lou Marson batting Clark got Marson to hit a ground ball to second base setting up what appeared to be a easy double play that would have ended the inning. Jonathan Tucker playing his first game at 2nd Base for the Tides made the play and threw cleanly to Shortstop Robert Andino coming across the bag. Andino fumbled the ball, Wes Hodges scored and all runners we safe. It was Andino’s 20th error of the season a stat that makes him the league leader in errors with only Toledo Shortstop Brent Dlugach being close with 19. Andino has committed 22% of all errors committed by position players on the Tides this year and in many cases those errors have hurt the team giving the opposition additional opportunities to score runs and frequently torpedoing otherwise excellent pitching performances by Tides starting pitchers.
The run was the only run scored in the game. Clark worked his way out of a number of jams as did Alberto Castillo (1-0, S3 4.37 ERA) . The Clippers got 10 hits, 4 walks and had two runners reach on errors but scored just the one run leaving 8 men on base. The Tides made 3 key double plays which squelched scoring opportunities for the Clippers and both pitchers aided by a strong wind coming in from right field kept the long ball at bay.
While Clark and Castillo kept the Clippers from scoring any more runs the Tides offense was shut down by Clippers starter David Huff who until he jumped the gun on the Indians press department by announcing on Facebook that he would start against Detroit Sunday and because he had broken team policy was kept with the Clippers. Huff (4-0 3.14 ERA) pitched 7 innings allowing just 2 hits while striking out 3 and walking 3 during the game. The Clippers gave the Tides three gifts in the form of 3 errors but the Tides failed to capitalize and left 6 men on base in a very disappointing night. With the loss the Tides go 3 and 5 against the Clippers for the season. The Clippers can help Norfolk this week as they play the IL South Division leading Durham Bulls beginning tonight. The Bulls and Clippers match up well so it should be a good series.
The Tides host the Syracuse Chiefs beginning tonight in a 4 game set. The Chiefs are another outstanding team with the 4th best record in the International League. Chris George (4-4 4.36 ERA) will take the hill for the Tides and face Jeff Mandel (4-4 4.96 ERA) and though their records are similar George may have the edge as opponents are hitting .255 against him while Mandel’s opponents are .307 against him. For once as well the Tides match up better offensively in most categories against the Chiefs than their recent opponents while Syracuse has a decided edge in team pitching over the Tides being second in the league in their team ERA. Up at Baltimore the Orioles activated Luke Scott from the DL and optioned reliever Frank Mata back to Norfolk. Mata who did well for the Tides was roughed up on a number of occasions in pitching 17.1 innings in 15 games with a record of 0-0 and ERA of 7.79. He allowed just 1 run in his first 7 appearances after being called up on May 26th but in his past 4 games in 5.1 innings has given up 8 earned runs. Orioles closer Mike Gonzalez remains with the Tides on a rehab assignment after Gonzalez’s extended time on the DL. Kam Mickolio, Brandon Erbe and Brandon Snyder remain on the DL for the Tides. It should be an interesting series.
Peace, Padre Steve+