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Tides Swept by Bats, Orioles continue to win

Michale Aubrey (above) and Brandon Snyder (below) continue to have clutch hits


The Norfolk Tides ebbed out of Louisville Monday morning after having been swept by the red hot Louisville Bats.  They had lost game one on Thursday as they opened the road trip and would drop the final three, all be close margins despite the fact that in each game the Tides starter got knocked around in the early innings bad enough that despite two tremendous comebacks the Tides failed to put anything in the win column.  On Thursday they were shut out by the Bats by a score of 6-0 with Chris George getting the loss.

The next three games were close but the Tides fell short in comeback attempts. On Friday starter Tim Bascom (2-6 7.28 ERA) got the loss and gave up 7 runs on 10 hits in 3.2 innings work and the Tides lost 8-7.  The Tides made it interesting picking up a run in the 5th inning and 6 runs in the 6th but were unable to overtake the Bats.  On Saturday the Tides lost 5-2 with Rick Vanden Hurk giving up 5 runs on 8 hits with the Tides scoring 2 runs in the 7th inning. Vanden Hurk (1-1 2.84 ERA) took the loss.  On Sunday it was another slugfest in which the Tides got out to an early 2-0 lead but saw it melt in a 5 run 5th inning for the Bats against starter Zach Britton.  The Tides would lose by a score of 8-7 when a 9th inning rally fell just short.  Michael Aubrey and Nolan Reimold each had a home run and a double.

The problem for this series was the starting pitching. The four Tides starters gave up 27 (25 earned) runs on 27 hits in a combined 16.2 innings for a 13.88 ERA. Tides relievers on the other hands were very good pitching 15.1 innings allowing 5 runs on 14 hits a 2.98 ERA.  The only reliever that had a bad appearance was Pat Egan who gave up 3 runs on 4 hits in 0.2 innings work in the final game of the series. After Thursday’s shutout the Tides scored 16 runs in the next three games collecting 34 hits.

Jim Miller came back off the Inactive List to provide solid relief work, it’s Miller Time again

This series showed the importance of starting pitching to the Tides. Early in the year Tides starters led by Jake Arietta, Chris Tillman and Alfredo Simon were better than the bullpen much of the time and other starters including Troy Patton and Brandon Erbe often lost games pitching well but getting little in the way of run support.

In Baltimore over the weekend the O’s took 2 of 3 from the White Sox and are playing a close game tied 2-2 in the 9th tonight.  Starting pitching and solid hitting have been the difference since Buck Showalter took over. At the same time Showalter’s arrival coincides with the first time in the season that the Orioles are playing healthy with several positions players including Brian Roberts, Luke Scott and Felix Pie back off of the DL and relievers Mike Gonzalez and Koji Uehara back in the lineup after being on the DL extended lengths of time. .

In personnel matters Troy Patton was sent back down today to make room for Craig Tatum, a move designed to bolster the O’s bench and Adam Donachie was brought back up from double A Bowie to the Tides.

Both the Tides and Orioles continue to play tonight and I will write about those games tomorrow.

Blessings,

Padre Steve+

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Tides Win Monday 4-1 lose bid for Sweep of Indians 5-3 Tuesday Afternoon

Rick Vanden Hurk got the win Monday for the Tides

The Norfolk Tides had a chance to sweep a series but were unable to do so but took the series from the Indianapolis Indians by 3 games to one.  It was an interesting series the Tides took the first two games in comeback winds and on Monday never trailed. Tuesday was another matter as the Tides got behind early and could not come from behind as they had on Saturday and Sunday.

Brandon Snyder hits a 2 run home run in the 4th inning

On a beautiful Monday night newly acquired Rick Vanden Hurk taking the place of new promoted Troy Patton pitched 7 strong innings giving up just 1 run on 4 hits striking out four enroute to the victory. Hewould be backed up by strong relief performances by Frank Mata in the 8th inning and Denis Sarfate closing the game and getting the save by striking out the side in the 9th.

Denis Sarfate got his 14th save striking out Jim Negrych for the final out

The only run given up by Vanden Hurk came in the 3rd inning when Luke Carlin led off the inning with a double and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Friday, He scored on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Melillo before retiring the side.  The Tides took an early lead in the 2nd inning off of Indians starter Michael Crotta. Nolan Reimold walked and Scott Moore singled with one out.  After Brandon Snyder was retired on a fly ball to right catcher Craig Tatum tripled to score Reimold and Scott before Paco Figueroa struck out swinging to end the inning.  The Tides would pick up two more runs in the 4th inning. Nolan Reimold singled and stole 2nd base. He was followed by Brandon Snyder who crushed Crotta’s pitch over the left field wall into the Indian’s bullpen to give the Tides a 4-1 lead which they never relinquished.

Rick Vanden Hurk got the win (1-0 1.29 ERA) and Michael Crotta (5-6 4.90 ERA) the loss. Denis Sarfate got his 14th save and lowered his ERA to 3.29.  The Indians had 1 run on 5 hits with no errors leaving 5 men on base.  The Tides 4 runs on 5 hits with 1 error once again relying on the long ball for the win.

On Tuesday afternoon the Tides sent Chris Tillman to the hill. Chris was hit hard in the first inning giving up 4 runs on 6 hits also giving up a wild pitch and a costly throwing error.  He did recover and threw 4 more innings giving up 3 more hits and no runs before being pulled at the end of the inning having throw 81 pitches.  It is my opinion that mentally Chris has not recovered from the last “bungi-cord” trip to Baltimore when in two appearances he threw a magnificent game including 6 no-hit innings on the big hitting Texas Rangers before being hit hard by the Minnesota Twins.  I for the life of me I cannot understand why the Orioles have not been more patient at the major league level with Tillman who is still only 22 years old.  Hopefully he will get his chance under Buck Showalter a manager with much experience dealing with young pitchers.

Matt Angle went 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI on Tuesday

The Tides bullpen had another strong night with Armando Gabino going 2 scoreless innings, Alberto Castillo gave up a run in the 8th facing 3 batters giving up a walk and hit before being relieved by Pat Egan who gave up a double to send one of Castillo’s runners to score with Castillo being chaged with the run.  In the 9th inning Jim Hoey entered the game getting the final two outs allowing no runs and no hits.

The Tides scored their 3 runs in the 6th inning.  Brandon Snyder walked and Michel Hernandez singled. Paco Figueroa laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners.  Matt Angle singled to score Snyder and Jeff Salazar hit a sacrifice fly to score Hernandez. Matt Angle stole second and scored on Robert Andino’s single.  They would not score again and the game and the Tides three game winning streak were over, the Tides going down to the Indians by a score of 5-3.  The Indians had 5 runs on 11 hits with no errors and the Tides 3 runs on 6 hits with 1 error.  Chris Tillman (8-7 3.61 ERA)  got the loss, his third since coming back from Baltimore and Jeremy Powell (8-7 4.79 ERA) the win.  The Tides have Wednesday off and begin a four game series against the Louisville Bats on Thursday.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Go Paco Go! Tides Win on Figueroa’s Walk-off Double with 2 out in Bottom of 11th

Paco Figueroa hits his game winning double

On a beautiful night the fans at Church of Baseball Harbor Park Parish were treated to an outstanding pitcher’s duel and probably the most exciting finish to a game at Harbor Park.  In front of a crowd of 8247 excited fans the Norfolk Tides and the Indianapolis Indians played an outstanding ball game that was full of suspense and excitement.

Tides starter Tim Bascom got off to a rough start walking Kevin Melillo to lead off the inning and with 2 outs give up a home run that banged off of the right field scoreboard to Brandon Moss to give the I-Tribe a 2-0 lead.  After that Bascom settled down giving up only 2 more hits and 2 walks in 6.2 innings work.

Craig Tatum cross home with the winning run

The Indians starter Brian Burres gave up just 1 run on 3 hits in 7 innings work. The Tides got their first run in the 7th inning off of Burres when Nolan Reimold walked and stole second base and with two outs catcher Craig Tatum got his first hit in a Tides uniform a single that scored Reimold.

Tim Bascom pitched 6.2 innings allowing just 3 hits

Alberto Castillo came on with 2 outs in the top of the 7th and retired the side and sent the Indians down in order in the 8th with 2 strikeouts.  Indians reliever Corey Hamman gave up a single to Robert Andino with one out but got out of the inning when Jeff Salazar hit into a double play.  Frank Mata came in at the top of the 9th for the Tides and gave up a walk but allowed no runs or hits.  In the bottom frame the Indians send up Jean Machi to attempt to save the game and secure the win and it looked like he would do it with ease.  Machi retired both Scott Moore and Nolan Reimold but then gave up a single to Rhyne Hughes who stole 2nd base.  Machi then struck out Brandon Snyder on a wild pitch which went to the backstop and Snyder hustled down the line to first base and Hughes alertly took third base.  Craig Tatum then hit a soft grounder to the right side of the infield that Indians First Baseman Jonathan Van Every bobbled for an error allowing Hughes to score and Tatum to take first base.  Still with two outs the Tides sent Paco Figueroa to the plate as the crowd chanted “Go Paco Go!” and on the first pitch Paco hit a sinking line drive that looked as if it would fall for a hit that would score Snyder. Instead Tides fans hopes were dashed for the inning when Right Fielder Mitch Jones made a sliding catch to end the inning.

Armando Gabino notched his 7th win of the season against no losses

The game entered extra innings and the Tides brought in Armando Gabino to pitch in the 10th inning.  Gabino who has been rock solid and the undiscovered gem of the Tides bullpen blew the Indians down in order in the top of the 10th inning.  In the bottom half of the inning the Tides threatened with Robert Andino and Scott Moore on 2nd and third with 2 outs Nolan Reimold plastered a deep fly ball to left which was caught near the warning track by outfielder Kevin Melillo for the 3rd out.

Gabino gave up a hit in the top of the 11th but pitched out of the inning to keep the score tied at two.  In the bottom half of the 11th and reliever Brian Bass came was sent to the hill by the Indians.  He retired Reimold and Snyder before giving up a walk to Craig Tatum.  With each inning the cheering of the crowd had been getting louder and Paco Figueroa came to the plate with fans chanting “Go Paco Go!”  Figueroa worked the count full Figueroa hit a deep drive to the warning track that went for a double, scored Tatum and ended the game.  The atmosphere in the park was electric as the Tides ran onto the field to congratulate Figueroa and fans standing and cheering.

Armando Gabino (7-0, S2 2.18 ERA) got the win and Bass (2-3 4.11 ERA) the loss. The Indians had 2 runs on 5 hits with 1 error leaving 6 men stranded. The Tides 3 runs on 6 hits with no errors stranding 10.  The teams meet tonight with Zach Britton (1-1 2.28 ERA) pitching for the Tides and Charlie Morton (3-4 4.82ERA) on the hill for the Indians.

In personnel moves the Orioles called up Josh Bell to replace Miguell Tejada who was traded to the Padres. Troy Patton was called up to replace Will Ohman who was traded to Florida for minor league reliever Rick Vanden Hurk with Vanden Hurk being assigned to the Tides.

I’m on the way to the ballpark on a soggy Sunday.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Yankees down Tides 7-1 Thursday and 2-1 Friday

Chris George pitched an excellent game but lost on Friday

After winning on Wednesday to even their series with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees the Norfolk Tides looked to more success sending Chris Tillman to the mound in Thursday night’s game.  Instead the Tides and Tillman went down to defeat 7-1 at the hands of a very good Yankee team. Tillman allowed a run in each of the first three innings and pitched into the 5th inning when after retiring Kevin Russo on a strikeout he gave up a double to Eric Bruntlett and a single to Eduardo Nunez was taken out of the game after having thrown 92 pitches allowing 5 runs, 4 of which were earned on 7 hits, allowing 2 walks while striking out 3 Yankees. Mike Hinckley then entered the game for the Tides and did not get the job done. Hinckley gave up a single to Chad Tracy that scored Bruntlett. The next batter was leading Yankees prospect catcher Jesus Montero and Montero belted a home run over the right field wall to clear the bases and give the Yankees a 7-0 lead.

The Tides bats remained silent until the top of the 9th inning.  They had a chance in the top of the 4th when Robert Andino and Nolan Reimold occupied 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs before Rhyne Hughes popped out to end the inning.  They also got 2 base runners in the top of the 8th but left both aboard.  The Tides final got a run across in the top of the 9th inning.  Nolan Reimold doubled with one out and both Brandon Snyder and Craig Tatum drew walks with two outs. This loaded the bases for Paco Figueroa to single and drive in Reimold and keep the bases loaded. This was Figueroa’s third hit of the evening.  With the bases loaded Matt Angle grounded out to end the inning and the game.

Tillman (8-6 3.40 ERA) got the loss and Jason Hirsch (6-7 4.22 ERA) picked up the win. The Tides had 1 run on 6 hits with no errors and left 9 men on base. The Yankees 7 runs on 12 hits with no errors leaving 6 men stranded.

On Friday it was a pitcher’s duel as Chris George battled Ivan Nova.  George allowed just 2 runs on 5 hits striking out 7 in 7.2 innings work.  The runs came in the 2nd inning when George struck out Jesus Montero but the pitch was wild and Montero took first.  This brought Jorge Vazquez to the plate and Vazquez homered scoring both of the Yankees runs. The Tides got 9 hits of Nova and left the bases loaded twice scoring only once when Michael Aubrey singled in the 5th inning to score Matt Angle.  Jonathan Albaladejo came in for the 9th inning and picked up his 34th save of the year. Chris George (5-5 3.88 ERA) got the loss while Nova (10-2 0.89 ERA) got the win.  The Tides had 1 run on 10 hits with no errors leaving 7 aboard and the Yankees 2 runs on 6 hits with 1 error leaving 3 men on base.  The Tides return to Norfolk on Saturday for a 4 game home stand against Indianapolis.

It was a pity that George had to lose, he pitched an excellent game apart from two pitches allowing few hits that hte Yankees starter and striking out more.

In Baltimore the news was that Buck Showalter has been hired by the O’s and will take the helm Tuesday at Camden Yards. Juan Samuel will resume his 3rd base coach job should he desire and Gary Allenson will return to the Tides. In trade news the O’s traded Miguel Tejada to the Padres for minor league pitcher Wynn Pelzer.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Drop Pair over Weekend to Iron Pigs

Chris George struck out 11 but left with no decision on Sunday

The Norfolk Tides win streak and hitting barrage stopped on Saturday as the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs defeated the Tides 6-4 on Saturday and 3-2 on Sunday.  On Saturday Chris Tillman made his first start since returning from Baltimore and was hit hard giving up 6 run on 8 hits.  Chris was stung by the long ball giving up a solo shot to John Mayberry in the 2nd inning and a two run homer to Ozzie Smith Chavez in the 3rd inning.  In the 4th inning Tillman gave up a double and three singles before being pulled in favor of Mike Hinckley.  Tillman left the game and relievers Mike Hinckley and Cla Meredith held the Iron Pigs scoreless for the remainder of the game.

Matt Angle has made a lot of money for the Tides as the lead off hitter and leading base stealer

The Tides scored four runs the first coming in the 1st inning when Matt Angle helped manufacture a run by walking, stealing second base and eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly by Michael Aubrey. The Tides came up with nothing more until the 6th inning when Robert Andino singled and stole second and then advanced to third on a wild pitch by Lehigh Valley starter Nate Bump.  He scored on a single by Josh Bell.  Nolan Reimold singled and Michael Schwimer replaced Nate Bump. Schwimer threw a wild pitch and which allowed Bell and Reimold to advance.  Brandon Snyder singled to score both men before Schwimer struck out Adam Donachie swinging to end the inning.  The Tides went quietly in the last three innings and the Tides went down to a 6-4 defeat. Chris Tillman (8-5 3.14 ERA) got the loss and Nate Bump (8-4 3.33 ERA) the win.  The Tides had 4 runs on 9 hits with 1 error leaving 4 men on base. The Iron Pigs 6 runs on 11 hits and no errors leaving 6 runners stranded.

Sunday evenings game Chris George faced off against Drew Carpenter. The Tides struck first with 2 runs in the top of the 2nd inning when Michel Hernandez singled and stole second base and came home on a Matt Angle single with Angle advancing to second on the throw.  Robert Andino singled to drive in Angle and the Tides had a 2-0 lead.

Chris George pitched five scoreless innings before giving up 2 runs in the 6th inning.  He allowed 9 hits but struck out 11 Iron Pigs and walked none.  Chris gave up the runs on a single by John Mayberry a double by Chris Aguila which scored Mayberry and an RBI single to Neil Sellers.  Chris would yield in the 7th to Alberto Castillo who put the Iron Pigs down in order striking out 2 batters.

The game would remain tied until the bottom of the 8th inning. Frank Mata who has not been effective since his return from Baltimore walked Mayberry who stole second base and took third on a wild pitch by Mata. Neil Sellers singled to bring Mayberry home before Mata retired the side on a double play. The Tides went down in order in the 9th and to their second defeat in as many days.  Mata (2-2 3.52 ERA) took the loss while reliever Michael Stutes (2-0 3.63 ERA) got the win for the Chiefs with Antonio Bastardo got his 3rd save.  The Tides had 2 runs on 9 hits with 1 error and left 10 men on base.  The Iron Pigs 3 runs on 10 hits and 1 error with 8 men left on base.

These losses have hurt as the Iron Pigs are one of the weaker teams in the league and the Tides had a chance to gain ground or keep even with their Southern Division rivals.  They lead Gwinnett by 1.5 games and trail 2nd place Charlotte by 4.  The formidable and seemingly unstoppable Durham Bulls are up by 10 over the Knights and 14 over the Tides.  The teams will meet Monday with Tim Bascom (2-5 7.39 ERA) on the hill for the Tides while Joe Savery (1-8 5.01 ERA) starts for Lehigh Valley.

In Baltimore Matt Wieters returned to the lineup from the DL and the Orioles optioned catcher Craig Tatum to the Tides. The move is unpopular with many Orioles fans as Tatum is hitting .271 and has played well behind the plate. Kam Mickolio, Brandon Erbe and Jeff Salazar remain on the Tides Disabled List.

Until tomorrow my friends, peace,

Padre Steve+

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