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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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Tides Come Back from 6-0 deficit but Lose as Hinkley gives up 4 runs in 9th Inning

Armando Gabino had his worst outing of the year

On a very warm evening the Norfolk Tides looked like they would get a big comeback win. On their first night with Interim Manager Bobby Dickerson at the helm the Tides opened their four game series against the Buffalo Bisons at Harbor Park where a crowd of 6345 gathered to celebrate “Marine Night.”

The Tides managed to rebound from a 6-0 Buffalo lead only to lose in the 9th inning when Michael Hinckley just promoted to Norfolk from AA Bowie loaded the bases with no outs to give up 4 runs in the top of the 9th inning.

Tides starter Armando Gabino had his worst outing of the season giving up 6 runs on 6 hits, though 2 of the runs were unearned due to a fielding error by Second Baseman Blake Davis in the 3rd inning which opened the floodgates. Gabino got into trouble again in the 4th and was relieved by Jim Miller. Miller would settle things down and pitch three innings before yielding to Ross Wolf in the 7th. Wolf too held the Bisons in check as the Tides offense went to work.

Jim Miller continued good work as a middle releiver

Brandon Snyder ignited the Tides in the 5th inning when with one out he hit a line drive over the right field wall into the Tides bullpen. That hit by Snyder rocked Harbor Park. The fans that had been silenced by the Bisons were back in the game and the effect was electric.  Blake Davis then singled and Michel Hernandez walked.  With 2 on and 1 out Matt Angle singled to drive in Davis to cut the lead to 6-2.  In the 5th inning the Tides scored another run when Josh Bell reached second on a throwing error on an infield ground ball.  Nolan Reimold who seems to be improving after a dismal season in Baltimore followed by a worse start in Norfolk singled to drive in Bell making it a 6-3 game.

Matt Angle with one of his four hits

The Tides tied the game in the bottom of the 7th when with 1 out Michel Hernandez singled and advanced to second on a single by Matt Angle.  Hernandez scored when Robert Andino singled and Matt Angle advanced to second base.  Jeff Salazar singled to drive in Angle and move Andino to third base and would score on a sacrifice fly to center to tie the game at six.

Blake Davis Scores in the 5th inning on a Matt Angle Single

It appeared at this point that the Tides had all the momentum and had the Bisons on the ropes.  In the top of the 9th Michael Hinckley who had just been promoted to Norfolk from Bowie when hard luck Pedro Viola was sent down to Bowie made his first AAA appearance.  He gave up a single to former Tides infielder Justin Turner and a double to Mike Jacobs.  He then walked all time Minor League Baseball Home run king Mike Hessman to load the bases.  Now with the bases loaded he walked Russ Adams to give Buffalo the lead.  At this point Bobby Dickerson brought in former Oriole Cla Meredith hoping that Meredith’s Major League experience would pay off and shut down the Bisons before more damage could be done.  This was not the case as the first batter that Meredith faced Valentino Pascucci doubled down the line in right to clear the bases and give the Bisons a 10-6 lead.  Meredith struck out Andy Green but lost it on a wild pitch which put Green on first and Pascucci on third base.  J R House grounded out to score Pascucci before Meredith got Jesus Feliciano to ground out to end the frame. The Tides went down quietly in the bottom of the 9th and the game ended with the final score Buffalo 11 and the Tides 6.

Buffalo had 11 runs on 12 hits with 1 error and 8 men left on base, the Tides 6 runs on 12 hits and 2 errors with 6 runners left on base.  Bisons’ reliever Bobby Parnell (1-1 4.73 ERA) got the “unsave” and the win and Hinckley the loss giving up 4 runs without retiring a batter.

I did notice a couple of things that I thought were important. First Bobby Dickerson did not wait and wait to make pitching changes; he got pitchers out of the game when they got in serious trouble. Unfortunately in the 9th inning he had misplaced confidence in Cla Meredith. The second thing and this was even more important, the Tides hitters got the team back in the game as relievers Miller and Wolf held the Bisons after they had gotten out to the 6-0 lead.  Another note of interest was the continued hitting of Brandon Snyder and the 4 hits of Matt Angle in the lead off position.

The Tides and Bisons play tonight at Harbor Park and it will be a hot one with temperatures in the high 80s at game time. Jake Arietta (6-2 1.77 ERA) will be going for his 7th win of the season against Dylan Owen (1-1 4.76).

See you there.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Edge Bisons 5-4 Gabino gets Win and Reimold Homers in Victory

Armando Gabino got his first win as a starter for the Tides

The Norfolk Tides broke a four game losing streak against the Bisons in Buffalo on sunny and mild Sunday afternoon in front of 5819 of the Bison’s’ “Herd.” Today the Tides had enough offense combined with effective pitching to edge the Bisons by a score of 5-4 at Coca Cola Field in Buffalo.

The Tides started Armando Gabino (2-0 1.89) today as their regular number three starter Chris George had been placed on the 7 day DL.  Gabino who had not started a game for the Tides working middle to late relief this year got his second win of the season holding the Bisons to one run on 5 hits in 5 innings striking out 6 in six innings of work in this his longest outing of the season.  Tides relievers managed to hold the potent Bisons offense with Ross Wolf, Denis Sarfate and Frank Mata combining to hold the Bisons to 3 runs on 3 hits with Mata (0-0 S7 2.04) getting the save.

Jeff Salazar had an RBI double

The Tides offense was powered by Nolan Reimold who had a 2 run home run in the 6th inning, Josh Bell with a double and 2 RBIs and Jeff Salazar with a double and an RBI.

The Tides jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning when Justin Turner doubled, Jeff Salazar walked and Josh Bell doubled to drive both men in for a 2-0 lead.  In the bottom of the second the Bisons got one of those runs back when Russ Adams doubled and was driven in by Andy Green who also doubled.  The score would remain 2-0 until the 6th inning when Nolan Reimold in his second game with the Tides and his first play first base since 2005 hammered a 2 run home run to give the Tides a 4-1 lead. The Bisons got both of those back in the bottom frame when Mike Jacobs doubled and Mike Hessman the all time Minor League home run leader walked both to be driven home when Russ Adams doubled.  In the top of the 7th inning the Tides scored again as Justin Turner singled and stole second base. Jeff Salazar then doubled to score Turner and extend the Tides lead to 5-3.  Valentino Pascucci homered in the bottom of the 8th inning against Denis Sarfate to narrow the lead to 5-4. Frank Mata came into the game to end the 8th inning and close in the 9th where he got Andy Green to fly out to Joey Gathright in center, Ruben Tejada to line out to Josh Bell at third where bell made a great stop diving to his right to catch the ball for the put out and prevent an extra base hit. Mata then got Jason Pridie to fly out to Gathright to end the game.

Bobby Livingston (1-5 4.35) took the loss while Gabino got the save. The teams complete the series on Monday night with Troy Patton should go to the hill for the Tides while the Bisons starter is not named on their website.  After that game the Tides will travel back to Norfolk to face the Pawtucket Red Sox in a 4 game series beginning Tuesday.

In Tides and Orioles personnel moves Alberto Castillo was called up to the Orioles while Andy Mitchell was brought back off the “taxi squad” while officially being assigned to sing “A” Aberdeen and Rhyne Hughes was optioned back to the Tides from the Orioles.

Alberto Castillo was called back up to Baltimore

In Baltimore the Orioles dropped their second game in a row to the Indians by a score of 5-1.

Until the next time,

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Northern Road Trip gets Frosty: Cold Tides Lose 5-3 and 4-0 in Buffalo

Mike Hessman in his Toledo Mud Hens uniform the all time Minor League Home Run King victimized Chris Tillman and Jake Arietta (James Venes photo 2007)

The Norfolk Tides have dropped their last four consecutive games on their northern road trip. After the last two games of their series against Syracuse including the heartbreaking 2-1 loss on Thursday the Tides have lost two more this time to the Buffalo Bisons the AAA affiliate of the Tides former parent club the New York Mets.  With cool weather and blustery winds the two teams faced off at Coca Cola Field and the Bisons took both Friday and Saturday’s games with Mike Hessman the all time minor league home run king victimizing Chris Tillman and Jake Arietta for his 11th and 12th home runs of the season.

On Friday night in front of 5729 with temperatures in the 50s and winds blowing 17 miles an hour the Tides started Chris Tillman (3-4 3.83) who as of late has done quite well.  Friday was a different matter. Tillman allowed 5 runs 4 of which were earned runs on 8 hits including two home runs in six innings work.  The damage started in the third inning when Tillman allowed a single to Alex Cintron who went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ruben Tejada. Tillman struck out Jason Pridie but then balked which allowed Pridie to advance to third. Jesus Feliciano then bunted for a single to score Pridie before Tillman got out of the inning getting Mike Jacobs to fly out to right fielder Blake Davis.

The Bisons added three more in the 4th inning beginning with Mike Hessman hitting a home run to left to lead off the inning.  Valentino Pascucci then popped out and Tillman walked Russ Adams.  J R House a former member of the Tides from 2007 who was just signed by the Mets to a minor league contract after playing with the Astros and the Astros organization singled Adams to second.  Alex Cintron grounded to Brandon Snyder at first which Snyder misplayed allowing Adams to score and House to advance to third. Meanwhile Cintron attempted to stretch his good fortune but was thrown out at second by right fielder Blake Davis who had fielded the ball after it got away from Snyder.  Ruben Tejada then singled to score House before Tillman retired Jason Pridie on a pop up to Justin Turner at second.

The Tides came back to score 3 runs in the top of the 5th.  Blake Davis singled to center and went to second on a passed ball. Robert Andino grounded out to second moving Davis to third. Catcher Michel Hernandez grounded out for the second out and Davis had to remain at third.  With two out Joey Gathright reached on an error by second baseman Alex Cintron and Davis scored.  Gathright then stole second and was driven in by Justin Turner who singled to center. Jeff Salazar then singled to right and Turner went to third. Josh Bell singled to score Turner before Nolan Reimold in his first game with the Tides since being optioned by Baltimore to Norfolk grounded into a force play to end the inning.

It seemed that the Tides were back in the game and that their dormant bats were alive again.  However in the bottom of the 6th inning Valentino Pascucci hit a leadoff home run to increase the lead to 5-3.  This was not an insurmountable lead but the Tides managed just one more hit the rest of the game going down in order in the 7th and 8th innings and only managing the hit, a single by pinch hitter Michael Aubrey  with two outs in the top of the 9th.

In the end the Tides had 3 runs on 9 hits and allowed an error the Bisons 5 runs on 11 hits and 1 error. Tillman (3-4 3.83) got the loss and knuckleballer R A Dickey (4-2 2.23) got the win for the Bisons.

The Tides fared worse on Saturday.  Today the Tides would scatter just four hits and only get one runner into scoring position and were shut out by the Bisons 4-0.  Jake Arietta (3-2 2.20) took the hill for the Tides going up against Pat Misch (3-0 3.30). Arietta gave up a run in the 1st inning when Mike Hessman who had victimized Chris Tillman on Friday singled to drive in Jesus Feliciano. The Bisons scored another run in the bottom of the 2nd inning after Arietta walked Andy Green to start the inning and Green advanced to third on a single by Ruben Tejada. He would score on a ground ball by Jason Pridie.  In the bottom of the third the Bisons scored again when Mike Hessman homered to lead off the inning. Hessman was drafted by the Braves in 1996 and has played 15 years in the minors 9 years at the AAA level getting to the majors in only four seasons for a total of 77 games hitting 13 home runs.  Hessman is interesting, he played on the 2008 Bronze Medal US Olympic team has hit 323 home runs in the minor leagues and holds the minor league record for home runs.  The shot in the 3rd inning was his 12th of this season.

The Bisons added a final run in the bottom of the 6th inning when Andy Green homered off Arietta.  Even though Pedro Viola and Denis Sarfate held the Bisons to no more runs once again the Tides could manage no offense and they fell to the Bisons by the score of 4-0.  The Tides final line was 0 runs on 4 hits with one error, the Bisons 4 runs on 5 hits and no errors.  With the loss the Tides drop to 15-22 having lost five of the first six games of the northern road trip and into the cellar of the IL South.  The Tides and Bisons will square off Sunday afternoon. The pitchers are not announced but the number three man in the Tides rotation Chris George was placed on the seven day DL which could move Troy Patton up in the rotation as the Tides have no real starters in the bullpen.  Short reliever Jim Miller was brought back up from Aberdeen.

Up in Baltimore the Orioles who had won their last three games relearned the hard lesson that you have to get 27 outs to win the game. The O’s blew a 2-0 lead to the Cleveland Indians in the 9th inning with Alfredo Simon and Cla Meredith each allowing four runs in an 8 run rally once again denying Brian Matusz his first win of the season.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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