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Norfolk Tides 2010: The Season in Review

“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.” A. Bartlett Giamatti

Now that the World Series is over it is time for my annual Norfolk Tides photo essay.  This time of year is kind of sad for me because baseball is over until the Spring and one of my refuges from the storms of life goes away for a time. Baseball has its own liturgical cycle beginning with Spring Training moving to Opening Day, the All-Star Game, the Pennant Race, the Post Season and the World Series.

The season began at Harbor Park with the Home Opener in early April and closed on the Road.  From my vantage point in Section 102 I had the opportunity to watch some great baseball, get some great pictures and become friends with some great people.  These photos chronicle the 2010 season at the Church of Baseball, Harbor Park Parish and is dedicated to the players and management of the Norfolk Tides.

Opening Day

Left-hander Troy Patton had a rough start but finished strong and ended up in Baltimore

Adam Donachie with kids from a “Field of Dreams team”

Robert Andino hammers a double down the left field line

Twilight at Harbor Park

Jake Arrieta comes into field a bunt

Strike three! Alberto Castillo strikes out a member of the Toledo Mudhens

Close call…Steve Lerud gets a brush back against the Durham Bulls

Saluting the Negro Leagues

Muddy Warrior: Michel Hernandez during a rainy game. By the way the Tides had no home rain outs in 2010

The Mascot: Rip Tide

Adam Donachie tags a runner out at home

Chris Tillman had a great year with the Tides including a no-hitter against the Gwinnett Braves and a one-hitter

Andy Mitchell’s flowing submarine delivery continued in 2010 although he struggled at times. He was the go-to man in middle relief for much of the season and saved many bullpen arms.

Close play at 2nd

Adam Donachie guns down a runner at second

Jake Arrieta jams Gwinnett’s Joe Thurston

Call to the Bullpen: Chris George picks up the call

Blake Davis slides head first into home

Mike Gonzalez making a rehab appearance with the Tides before going back up to Baltimore

Robert Andino goes high to keep a throw from the plate from going into center field

Paco Figueroa slides into home

Michael Aubrey slams one of his 22 home runs

Blake Davis slides into home

Elliott the Usher give his opinion on a call

Alberto Castillo played the setup man for much of the season

Nolan Reimold hits a home-run during a season marked with by early struggles and steady recovery of his 2009 Rookie season in Baltimore

Joey Gathright dodges a pitch

Brandon Snyder played a solid first base and became a solid hitter as the season went on

Nolan Reimold and Rhyne Hughes wait for a pitching change

General Manager Dave Rosenfield

Steve Lerud makes the throw to first after making the force at at home

Matt Angle gets out of the way of Gwinnett catcher J. C. Boscan

Robert Andino and a member of a “Field of Dreams” team

Nolan Reimold tosses to Paco Figueroa for the out with pitcher Mike Hinckley looking on

Jim Miller was moved from being a 2009 AAA All-star closer to various places in the bullpen

Before the storm

Chris George moved from the bullpen to a starting slot

Rhyne Hughes looks on incredulously after a bad call

Celebrating a walk off win

Jeff Salazar drives a pitch into right field

Regina blows a kiss at the home plate umpire

Josh Bell worked his way up to Baltimore where he took the 3rd base job

Brandon Snyder makes the putout at first

Zach Britton moved up from Bowie mid-season did very well and may be a mid-season call up to Baltimore in 2011

Matt Angle makes the throw in from right field

Safe at home on throwback night

Josh Bell singles past a Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees pitcher

The bullpen waits for the call

Jim Hoey fires a strike

Bobby Dickerson has a few words with an umpire

Chris Chambliss and Gary Allenson meet with the umpiring crew before a game

Call third strike

Come backer a visiting pitcher dodges a line drive

Rhyne Hughes rounds third

And the rain comes down

After the rain: The grounds crew hustles to dry out the field

Jeff Salazar chase down a fly ball

The Church of Baseball, Harbor Park Parish at night

Brandon Erbe struggled much of the year until an injury put him on the DL for the rest of the season

Brandon Snyder takes a lead at first against Gwinnett

Art the Usher with Cow Ripken  in the background

Robert Andino tags out a member of the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees

Paco Figueroa tagged out trying to crash through an opposing catcher

Marine Night

Jonathan Tucker takes a strike

Jonathan Tucker safe at home

Armando Gabino was a solid spot starter and reliever. He went 7-0 in games that he started

Another shot of Andy Mitchell the Tides winningest pitcher in franchise history. He declared free agency at the end of the season

Nolan Reimold beats out a ground ball at first base

Michael Aubrey and Paco Figueroa shift as an opposing hitter hits a ground ball

An opposing batter swings over a pitch

Dennis Sarfate led the Tides in saves and had an outstanding year, he is now a free agent

Kam Mickolio fires a strike

Harbor Park at dusk

A member of the Charlotte Knights looks on after a called strike

Jeff Salazar greets a runner at home

A season draws to an end

Rip Tide loses again in a race around the bases

Alfredo Simon warms up in the bullpen. Simon went from starter with the Tides to sometimes closer with the Orioles

The season at home comes to an end

Chris Tillman pitches a win against the Detroit Tigers on October 3rd at Camden Yards

And so the season ended and this team will go different ways, many players that I consider friends will move on and others up.  New prospects will come up and some of the team will be back. To my friends and all the 2010 Norfolk Tides have a great off season and my best to you and your families.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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The Change in Baltimore Begins….Now

Armando Gabino was one of 4 Orioles called up the last day of the season

This is my first post season Orioles and Tides report, it is short but as you can see the Orioles are wasting no time in getting ready for the 2011 campaign following one of the most remarkable turnarounds in baseball history.  The final day of the season the O’s called up pitcher’s Armando Gabino, Kam Mickolio and Frank Mata as well as first baseman Rhyne Hughes not to report. All are on the O’s 40 man roster.

Michael Aubrey who led the Tides in Home Runs and Slugging percentage declared Free Agency

Gabino was the treasure of the Tides this year where he went 7-0 in spot starts and pitched well throughout the season as a starter and reliever with a 2.37 ERA. But in Baltimore he was rung up hard in 5 appearances.  Mickolio started the season in Baltimore but only made 3 appearances.  In 23 Major League appearances over the last 3 years he is 0-3 with a 4.32 ERA.  He was injury prone and went down to Norfolk. He seemed to struggle with his confidence much of the season. However the 6’ 9” right-hander was throwing hard in the 95-98 MPH range and having more good outings than bad toward the end of the season.  He finished with a 4-3 record and 6.37 ERA after a horrible start.  One place where he excelled was strikeouts where in 35.1 innings he had 48 K’s.

Big right-hander Kam Mickolio got the end of the season call up

Mata was up and down during the year but he generally has good stuff although he was not very effective in 15 games having a 7.79 ERA in the Majors. At Norfolk Mata finished with a 5-3 record and 3.16 ERA. Finally Rhyne Hughes who was acquired from the Rays organization at the end of 2009 was called up. He went to the Orioles where he appeared in 14 games and hit .213. He struggled at the plate in Norfolk much of the year and was platooned at first base and designated hitter with Brandon Snyder and Michael Aubrey. At Norfolk Hughes played in 104 games and hit .258 getting better as the season progressed. He had 10 home runs and 39 RBIs and had a .314 On Base Percentage and a .410 Slugging Percentage.

Scott Moore hitting a home run here also declared Free Agency

A number of Tides were offered minor league deals but refused the assignment and are now Free Agents.  First Baseman Michael Aubrey who led the team in home runs (22) and slugging percentage (.485) and had a .310 On Base Percentage.  However he only hit .235 in 102 games as opposed to 2009 when he hit a combined .290 with Columbus and Norfolk.  I think that he has major league potential and I expect him to find a home.  Scott Moore was on the 40 man roster and played some in Baltimore this season. Moore had spent the majority of 2009 on the DL and did very well with the Tides this year. Moore’s problem is that the Orioles don’t seem to have a place for him except in the minors. In 41 games with the Orioles this year Scott hit .209 with 3 home runs and 10 RBIs.  In 61 Games at Norfolk Scott hit .280, had a .345 OBP and a .473 Slugging Percentage. He hit 11 home runs and 45 RBIs in 225 plate appearances. I also expect Scott to find a home.

Journeyman Alberto Castillo refused a minor league assignment to become a Free Agent

Two pitchers, relievers Cla Meredith and Alberto Castillo also declined minor league deals to become free agents.  Meredith has a number of years in the Majors one of which was outstanding. In 2006 with the Padres Meredith went 5-1 with a 1.07 ERA in 45 appearances.  Since then his Major league record has gone down. In 2007 he went 5-6 with a 3.50 ERA in 80 appearances, in 2008 0-3 with a 4.09 ERA in 73 appearances and in 2009 pitching for the Padres and Orioles he went 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA.  In 21 appearances in Baltimore in 2010 he went 0-2 and had a 5.40 ERA.  His record as a reliever in the Majors is 14-14 with a 3.62 ERA. In 20 appearances at Norfolk he was 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in 27 innings of work. I do think that he will also find a home as his numbers are not that bad all things considered. The question for me is if his performance in 2006 and 2007 is indicative of his potential or if those years were an aberration.

Demoted from the 40 man roster earlier in the season Cla Meredith declared Free Agency rather than take a minor league assignment in pitching deep Orioles organization

Alberto Castillo is a journeyman who has spent the majority of his career in the minors including 7 seasons in the independent leagues. He has played parts of 2008, 2009, and 2010 with the Orioles and for a time was on the 40 man roster. In 62 appearances during those seasons he went 2-0 and had a 4.81 ERA. His record in 3 seasons at Norfolk is 6-6 with a 3.20 ERA in 108 games.  In his time at Norfolk he pitched 118 innings giving up 111 hits, 38 walks, allowed 42 earned runs but struck out 123.  He is 35 years old but has had no injuries while with the Orioles organization and the fact that he is a left-handed reliever who can go with a submarine delivery when needed he might fit the need of an organization for a left-handed reliever.

Rhyne Hughes will get another chance with the Orioles in 2011

The Orioles will not stop here, expect them to shell out the money for some big hitters and if needed package some of their young talent to get it. I will write more as things develop.

Frank Mata got the call to Baltimore

Now back to the NLCS games.

Peace

Padre Steve+

 

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Tides Drop Final Two Games in Durham Finish Season 67-77

Former Tides Outfielder Nolan Reimold now in Baltimore homered on Tuesday as the Orioles defeated the Yankees 6-2

The Norfolk Tides entered Sunday with a five game winning streak hoping to finish the season on a winning note by defeating their International League South nemesis the Durham Bull’s.  The Tides had taken the first game of the series 7-6 on Saturday behind the hitting of Third Baseman Scott Moore with Frank Mata getting the win in relief.

On Sunday the Tides sent Armando Gabino to the and the right hander making a spot start had a 5-3 lead when he came out of the game at the end of the 5th inning. Kam Mickolio pitched two innings. In the 7th Kam sent the Bulls down in order but in the 8th game up a walk and a single and was replaced on the hill by closer Dennis Sarfate who has set down the opposition like clockwork with 20 saves this season.  However Sunday the usually reliable Sarfate, who has pitched the Tides out of numerous jams in the late innings did not have a good day. After striking out Kyle Holloway, Sarfate gave up a triple to Tide Killer Elliott Johnson to score both runs which were charged to Mickolio.  With the score tied and Johnson on third base intentionally walked the hot hitting Chris Richard to get to Joe Dillon. Dillon hit a sacrifice fly ball to center which scored Johnson to give the Bulls a 6-5 lead before Leslie Anderson grounding into a force out to end the inning. In the top of the 9th innings the Tides got Jeff Salazar aboard on a two out single but Michael Aubrey struck out on a long at bat against Joe Bateman to end the game. Sarfate (2-2, 20S 2.73 ERA) got the loss and Bateman (7-0 1.66 ERA) got the win for the Bulls.  The Tides outhit the Bulls but came up short having 5 runs on 10 hits with 1 error leaving 8 men on base. The Bulls 6 runs on 6 hits with no errors leaving 3 aboard.

On Sunday the Tides suffered another disappointing 12 inning loss to the Bulls. The Tides sent Tim Bascom who of late had pitched very well against the Bulls but the young right-hander was roughed up giving up 5 runs on 11 hits in 5.2 innings work. Tides relievers Pat Egan and Jim Hoey held the Bulls as did Mike Hinckley who pitched three innings but gave up a leadoff double to Justin Ruggiano in the bottom of the 12th inning. Ruggiano advanced to 3rd on a sacrifice bunt by Nevin Ashley. Hinckley then intentionally walked Joe Dillon before giving up the game winning single to Leslie Anderson.  Hinckley (1-4 4.19 ERA) who pitched well got the loss for the Tides in his first appearance after coming off of the DL while Paul Phillips (1-0 1.69 ERA) picked up the win for the Bulls. The Tides had 5 runs on 12 hits with 2 errors leaving 8 runners stranded.  The Bulls had 6 runs on 17 hits with 1 error leaving 12 men on base.

Former Tide Jake Arrieta got the Win in Yankee Stadium Tuesday

The Tides finished the year tied with Charlotte for 3rd in the IL South with 67-77 records.  The day following the game the Orioles called up Troy Patton.  On Monday and Tuesday the Orioles defeated the New York Yankees in New York with former Tides figuring in the wins especially on Tuesday as Jake Arrieta got the win aided by a home run by Nolan Reimold and some outstanding defense including that of Robert Andino at shortstop.

In the coming days and weeks I will do some analysis of the Tides 2010 season.   I will miss this year’s Tides players many of whom that I gave come to know over the past two years. The Orioles have stated that the off season will be very active and that will certainly affect the careers of some of these young men that I count as friends.  It is my hope and prayer that they will all continue in baseball and make the Majors at some point be it with the Orioles or another organization. Some of those that are getting older may not continue but I hope that they too will be able to remain in baseball in the professional or collegiate ranks managing, coaching or scouting as so many others have done.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Win in 10: Defeat Bulls 7-6

Scott Moore went 3 for 5 with a grand slam home run and 5 RBIs

The Durham Bulls have been the nemesis of the International League for the last 3 years. The reigning IL Champions and AAA World’s Series winner from 2009 are poised to repeat again as they head into the post season as IL South Champions, a crown that they have worn since 2006.  This year the Bulls have pretty much owned the Tides going 14 and 5 against Norfolk going into today although 7 of those losses were by two runs or less.

Zach Britton struck out 9 Bulls but had a no decision

The Tides started Zach Britton against Durham starter Ramon Ortiz.  The Tides offense jumped Ortiz in the 1st inning. Ortiz walked Paco Figueroa with one out and then gave up a single to Jeff Salazar.  He then committed an error missing a catch at first to allow Michael Aubrey aboard and load the bases.  Scott Moore then took a 2 and 0 pitch over the over the right field wall for a grand-slam home run to give the Tides a 4-0 lead.  Rhyne Hughes came to the plate and singled before Ortiz was pulled in favor of Dale Thayer having given up 4 runs on 3 hits registering only 1 out. Thayer got Buck Britton to ground into a double play to end the inning.  The Bulls took two of those runs back in the bottom of the 1st inning when J.J. Furmaniak singled to lead off the inning.  Britton struck out Omar Luna before giving up a single to Elliott Johnson to put runners at first and second with 1 out. Britton then tossed a wild pitch to move the runners to second and third. Chris Richard singled to drive in both runners before Britton retired Joe Dillon and Leslie Anderson on strikes.

In the bottom of the 2nd inning Britton hurt himself in allowing a third run. He gave up a leadoff single to Nevin Ashley and stuck out Bobby Livingston. He then got Fernando Perez to ground out sending Ashley to 2nd.  With Omar Luna batting catcher Adam Donachie then allowed a passed ball to get Ashley to third before making a wild pitch to score Ashley. He then stuck out Luna to retire the side with the score 4-3. The Tides scored a run in the top of the 3rd inning as with 1 out Jeff Salazar walked and stole second. Michael Aubrey flied out bringing up Scott Moore who doubled to drive in Salazar to make the score 5-3 but Moore was thrown out going for third to end the inning.

The score would remain 5-3 until the top of the 8th inning.  Britton left the game after 6 innings having given up 3 runs, 2 of which were earned on 4 hits striking out 9 bulls while walking two. Pat Egan relieved Britton in the 7th sending the Bulls down in order. In the top of the 8th the Tides scored again when with one out Paco Figueroa singled and advanced to second on a passed ball.  Jeff Salazar singled to send Figueroa to 3rd and with runners on first and third Michael Aubrey hit a sacrifice fly to score Figueroa and the lead was 6-3.

At this point the Tides bullpen got into trouble.  J.J. Furmaniak singled to lead off the inning and Egan then retired Oamr Luna on a fly ball to right and Elliott Johnson on a ground ball which advanced Furmaniak to second.  Alberto Castillo relieved Egan and unlike his appearance against Charlotte on Friday night was beaten about by the Bulls. Chris Richard took Castillo’s first pitch over the right field wall to make the score 6-5.  Castillo then gave up consecutive singles to Joe Dillon and Leslie Anderson before he was pulled for Frank Mata. Mata got Ashby to ground into a force at second to end the inning.

Frank Mata got the win in relief for the Tides

Winston Abreu came into the game in the 9th giving up a 1 out walk to Adam Donachie before getting Miguel Abreu to ground into a double play to end the inning. Mata came back out in the bottom of the 9th to attempt the save. Kyle Holloway came into the game as a pinch hitter for Bobby Livingston who hammered Mata’s first pitch into left for a leadoff double. Fernando Perez bunted to sacrifice Holloway to third for the first out.  J.J. Furmaniak singled to score Holloway before Mata retired the side sending the game into extra innings knotted at six.

Abreu remained in the game for the Bulls and issued a leadoff walk to Blake Davis. Davis advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Paco Figueroa and to third on a ground out by Jeff Salazar. Now with two outs and Davis on third Michael Aubrey came to the plate. Abreu tossed a wild pitch to score Davis before giving up a single to Aubrey before retiring Scott Moore on a comebacker. The Bulls came to bat in the bottom of the 10th against Mata who walked Chris Richard but then sent down Joe Dillon, Leslie Anderson and Nevin Ashley in order to end the game with the Tides winning 7-6.

Frank Mata (5-3 3.16 ERA) got the win in relief for the Tides while Winston Abreu (0-4 2.28 ERA) got the loss for the Bulls. The Tides had 7 runs on 10 hits with no errors leaving just 4 runners on base. The Bulls had 6 runs on 10 hits with an error leaving 7 runners stranded.  The teams will play this evening with the Tides starting Armando Gabino (7-0 2.29 ERA) on the hill against Brian Baker (9-5 3.56 ERA). Chris Tillman was called up by the Orioles to start against the Rays where he left the game with 5.2 innings pitched giving up 3 runs and ending up with a no decision in his first appearance in front of Buck Showalter in a game that is still underway as this post is published.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides down Braves 5-2 as Tillman Picks up 11th Win: Orioles Promote Reimold, Andino and Snyder

Tides First Baseman Brandon Snyder was one of Three Tides called up by the Orioles Wednesday. He had a 2 run home run in hte 2nd Inning on Tuesday

The Norfolk Tides returned home to the Church of Baseball, Harbor Park Parish and got back on the winning track defeating the Gwinnett Braves by a score of 5-2.  In a game that featured strong pitching by Tillman and the Tides relievers as well as tremendous defensive play especially by Robert Andino who despite his error filled season is when he wants to be is a superb defensive shortstop.

Back in the Big Leagues: Nolan Reimold triumphed over adversity to get himself back to Baltimore

Tillman set and the defense set the pace early by shutting down the Braves until he was relieved for the pitch count and number of innings thrown as he will likely be recalled to Baltimore.   Of note was a tremendous double play began by Robert Andino on a ball hit softly well to his right which he fielded, made a perfect throw to Second Baseman Paco Figueroa who in turn threw a strike to Brandon Snyder at first base to double up Luis Bolivar and Clint Sammons.

The Tides struck early in the second inning off Braves starter Jose Oretgano.  Ortegano walked Nolan Reimold and then Brandon Snyder hit what appeared to be a routine deep fly ball that just kept going until it landed in the Straub Beer Party Deck to give the Tides a 2-0 lead.  In the 6th inning the Tides stretched the lead. Matt Angle got aboard when Braves Center Fielder Antoan Richardson who dropped a routine fly ball.  Robert Andino then had an infield single to advance Angle to second base.  Ortegano then tried to pick off Angle and threw the ball away, Angle went to third and then Shortstop Joe Thurston rushed the throw to third and threw the ball away allowing Angle to score to give the Tides a 3-0 lead.

Robert Andino proved to be a clutch hitter despite problems in the field

Tillman struck out the first two batters that he faced in the 7th inning and was relieved by Armando Gabino who retired Antoan Richardson to ground out to shortstop Robert Andino for the third out.  The Tides added two insurance runs in the bottom half of the inning. With one out catcher Adam Donachie walked and Paco Figueroa then doubled to score Donachie and advanced to third on the throw home.  Figueroa scored on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Salazar who had come into the game as a defensive substitution for Matt Angle in the top of the 7th inning. In the 8th Gabino ran into a problem walking Wes Timmons with one out and the giving up a 2 run home run to Joe Thurston before pitching out of the inning.

The Tides sent Dennis Sarfate to the hill to close the game and Dennis struck out the side on 11 pitches to get his 19th save of the year.  Chris Tillman (11-7 3.34 ERA) got the win giving up 5 hits in 6.2 innings work striking out three braves.  Jose Ortegano despite on giving up 3 hits in 5.2 innings work got the loss with his record going to 3-10 with a 6.12 ERA.  The Tides had 5 runs on 5 hits with no errors leaving 3 men on base. The Braves had 2 runs on 7 hits leaving 7 men aboard but made three critical errors that helped give the Tides some additional help.

The teams meet tonight at Harbor Park for the final time of this season with Tim Bascom (3-7 7.31 ERA) coming off an excellent start against Charlotte on the road pitching for the Tides against Erik Cordier making his first start at the Triple-A level.

In personnel moves the Orioles called up Robert Andino and recalled both Nolan Reimold and Brandon Snyder in the first of their September call-ups. I expect that Chris Tillman and at least two other pitchers will be called up, my money would be on Armando Gabino and either Dennis Sarfate, Kam Mickolio or Frank Mata.

See you at the game,

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Comeback! Strong Relief Pitching and Timely Hitting power Tides past Knights

Jim Hoey was one of a trio of relievers including Frank Mata and Dennis Sarfate (below) who kept the Tides in the Game


The Norfolk Tides travelled to Charlotte from Durham to play the Knights on Thursday and it would be a game that surprised those in attendance. The Tides started their ace Chris Tillman who will be certainly is a September call-up by the Orioles having pitched very well this year including a no-hitter and a one-hitter.  However Chris was roughed up by the Knights lasting only 2.2 innings facing 16 batters giving up 6 runs 4 of which were earned runs on 8 hits including a home run and 2 doubles.  Chris was replaced by Jim Hoey who was followed by Frank Mata who would get the win and Dennis Sarfate who would notch the save.  The trio of relievers pitched 6.1 innings giving up no runs on just 4 hits issuing 2 walks and striking out 9 Knights to keep the Tides in the game.

Michael Aubrey’s 19th Home Run of the Season, this time as a pinch hitter gave the Tides the lead and the win

The Tides got on the board in the 5th inning when Blake Davis singled and Adam Donachie walked.  They advanced to 3rd and 2nd when Paco Figueroa grounded out. Matt Angle reached and took second on a throwing error by Knight’s second baseman Fernando Cortez. Davis scored and Donachie went to 3rd.  Robert Andino grounded out to score Donachie and the Tides were back in the game.

The Tides scored 3 more in the 6th inning off of reliever Jhonny Nunez when Nolan Reimold walked and scored on a Rhyne Hughes double aided by a fielding error by Charlotte Center Fielder Alejandro De Aza.  With Blake Davis batting Nunez threw a wild pitch to send Hughes to 3rd with one out and then Davis doubled off of Nunez to score Hughes.  Adam Donachie popped up for the second out bringing Paco Figueroa to the plate. Paco doubled to right to score Davis before Matt Angle lined out to end the inning.

Clevelan Santeliz came in for Nunez in the 7th and took the Tides down in order leaving the score at 6-5.  However in the 8th inning things changed in an instant.  Greg Aquino relieved Santeliz and immediately stuck out Rhyne Hughes and Brandon Snyder.  Blake Davis then singled his 3rd hit of the game to keep the inning going. The brought up pinch hitter Michael Aubrey who blasted Aquino’s first pitch over the right center field wall to give the Tides a 7-6 lead.

Dennis Sarfate then pitched the 8th and 9th innings for the Tides notching his 17th save of the season.  Frank Mata (4-3 3.50 ERA) got the win for the Tides while Aquino (1-5 5.21 ERA) took the loss for the Knights. The Tides had 7 runs on 11 hits with the one error leaving 6 men on base. The Knights had 6 runs on 12 hits with 2 errors stranding 7 runners on base.  Of note was Blake Davis’ performance going 3 for 4 with an RBI the night following his grand slam in Durham. The Tides had doubles from Davis, Brandon Snyder, Paco Figueroa and Rhyne Hughes while Michael Aubrey had hit his 19th home run of the year which gave the Tides the lead and the win.  The relief pitching was superb and gave the Tides hitter the opportunity to make the comeback. The teams square off tonight in Charlotte.  Tim Bascom (2-7 7.95 ERA) will take the hill for the Tides and face the Knights’ Jeff Marquez (8-7 4.51 ERA.)  In personnel moves the Orioles optioned Armando Gabino to the Tides to make room for set up man Jim Johnson who has been on the DL much of the year.  That should help the Tides as Gabino was 7-0 and 3 saves with a 2.12 ERA.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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“The only thing that matters is what happens on the little hump out in the middle of the field.” Tides Lose to Tribe 10-6 and 7-4; Orioles win 3-1

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.

Tim Bascom and other Starters have been hammered over the past few weeks

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.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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