Nolan Reimold is hitting .383 and has 2 home runs and 9 RBIs in the last 10 games
The Norfolk Tides were downed by the Indianapolis Indians on Tuesday by a score of 10-6 and Wednesday afternoon 7-4. As was the case in Louisville it was in large part due to pitching though unlike the Louisville series only one of the two games could be held against the starting pitcher. In an unfortunate turn of events for the Tides Chris George was forced from the game after retiring the first two batters in the first inning with an injured elbow. He has not yet been placed on the DL and there is nothing currently on the Tides or Orioles website as to his status and the severity of the injury. In most of his starts this year Chris has been solid and if he is injured it will place even more stress on a struggling Tides starting rotation which could affect the bullpen. The bullpen with the exception of Tuesday’s game against the Indians has been very effective allowing the Tides to stay in games that earlier in the year would have been blowouts.
With Jake Arietta, Alfredo Simon and Armando Gabino now at Baltimore the Tides are without their three most effective starters. Chris Tillman has been affected and he has not been as effective as he was earlier in the year I believe by the constant actions of Orioles management to keep sending Chris up and down between Baltimore and Norfolk. He has had some outstanding games including a no-hitter against the Gwinnett Braves. Troy Patton has improved throughout the year and is now one of the Tides most dependable starters, unfortunately for the Tides he has missed several recent starts due to being called up to Baltimore where he saw no action. Brandon Erbe had a number of rough outings and during his good starts did not have run support from the offense or saw the defense commit errors that resulted in runs. Tim Bascom called up from Bowie in May has struggled his last win occurred on June 27th and was tagged for 7 earned runs in today’s game. Zach Britton who was called up on July 1st has been effective despite a record of 1 win and 2 losses. His worst outing occurred in Louisville where he gave up 5 earned runs in 3.2 innings. Chris George as I mentioned earlier has had a decent but not remarkable season but now the verdict is out concerning the severity of the injury to his elbow that he appeared to sustain Tuesday night.
The Tides and Orioles need to find a solution to the difficulty that the current starters are having in the early innings. Again with few exceptions the bullpen has been solid since the All-Star break but the starting pitching needs to improve. The Tides are now scoring enough runs on a regular basis that they should be winning more games than they are losing. They are losing in the early innings when starters have given up too many runs to opponents. Examples include July 16th when Bascom gave up 6 runs in 1.2 innings, July 24th when Tillman gave up 6 runs in 3.2 innings, the 29th when Tillman gave up 5 runs in 4.1 innings, August 5th when George gave up 6 runs in 3.2 innings, August 6th when Bascom gave up 7 runs in 3.2 innings, the 8th when Britton gave up 5 runs in 3.2 innings and today when Bascom gave up 7 runs in 6 innings. All things considered getting down by that many runs that often makes it very difficult on the offense. It is true that there have been many occasions when the offense failed to produce when starters pitched well but the trend lately is to get behind early and despite solid performances from the offense to score plenty of runs and get plenty of hits and nearly come back to win.
Tides hitters are showing signs of life, in the past 10 days Nolan Reimold has hit .389 with 2 home runs and 9 RBIs, Robert Andino .350 with 5 RBIs, Scott Moore .324 with 2 homers and 6 RBIs, Matt Angle .385 and 5 RBIs. A couple of players hot earlier have cooled down or are slumping but even so in the past two weeks the Tides team batting average has gone up from .248 to .252 with corresponding increases in other offensive categories, a sign that overall the hitting is getting better.
On Tuesday night the Tides lost 10-6 and following the injury to Chris George saw the bullpen not be able to get the job done giving up 10 runs (7 earned) on 12 hits with 2 errors and walking 5 in 7.1 innings, a game ERA of 8.87. Tides hitters had a good night of their own pounding our 6 runs on 12 hits including a home run by Scott Moore, an inside the park home run by catcher Adam Donachie and doubles by Michael Aubrey, Rhyne Hughes and Donachie who had 4 RBIs. Cla Meredith (1-2 7.65 ERA) got the loss for the Tides and Joe Martinez (1-0 4.00 ERA) the win for the Tribe.
Today it was Tom Bascom who was stung giving up 7 runs, )4 in the 4th inning) in 6 innings work relievers Kam Mickolio, making his first appearance since coming off the DL and Denis Sarfate each pitched well, Mickolio allowing a hit but no runs and Sarfate putting the Tribe down in order with 2 strikeouts. Nolan Reimold had two hits one a double with 2 RBIs, Robert Andino had a RBI producing sacrifice fly, Michael Aubrey had a RBI double and Brandon Snyder a double.
The Tides and Indians finish the series Friday night with Rick Vanden Hurk (1-1 2.84 ERA) on the hill for the Tides and Brad Lincoln (6-3 4.17 ERA) up for the Indians.
The Orioles played their second game of a 3 game series against Cleveland and defeated the Indians 3-1 on the strength of a 2 hit complete game shutout by Brad Bergeson. The Orioles are now 8-1 under Buck Showalter and are now 40-74 for the first time during the season not having the worst record in the majors, which is now held by the Pittsburgh Pirates. They are close to overtaking the Mariners and within striking distance of the Indians, Royals, Cubs, Diamondbacks and Nationals. Showalter is a leader a precise man that uses statistics, views of others in the organization and his own observations to evaluate players including their competitive spirit.
Anyway, it is late; I am tired and have an early morning.