Tag Archives: garrett atkins

Aubrey’s Assault Continues: 2 Home Runs and 6 RBIs in Tides 10-7 Win over Chiefs Gabino Gets 6th Win

Michael Aubrey hits his second of two home runs in the 4th inning

Michael Aubrey has been locked on of late and tonight against the Syracuse Chiefs he continued his recent rampage.  In the past 6 games he has hit 7 home runs and driven in 16 RBIs.  In the past 10 games he has a .314 batting average a .395 on base percentage and an astronomical .971 slugging percentage. After having struggled through much of the first half of the season battling injury and his mechanics the Tides slugger who hit .290 for the Tides last year and .289 for the Orioles as a September call up and before the terrible decision to sign Garrett Atkins in the off season was expected to be the Orioles starting First Baseman but instead was sent back to Norfolk.  Michael Aubrey is locked on like no one in a Tides uniform that I have seen in recent years.

Armando Gabino pitched his way to his 6th victory

Meanwhile on that little hill in the middle of the Diamond Armando Gabino (6-0, S2 2.34 ERA) continues to rack up wins as a spot starter for the Tides tonight getting the win pitching 6 innings giving up 1 run on 2 hits surrendering 2 walks and striking out 7 before yielding to some rather inadequate relief pitching by Pat Egan, Jim Hoey and Frank Mata.  The trio of relievers combined to allow 6 runs on 7 hits and surrendered 4 walks to make the game a lot closer than it needed to be.  The biggest disappointment continues to be Pat Egan who gave up 3 of those runs on 5 hits and a walk.  Egan’s ERA is now 8.18 and in 11 innings work has given up 20 hits and 10 runs.  He seems to have no movement on his pitches and every time that I have seen him he has been tattooed by opposing hitters.

Jonathan Tucker scores in the 7th inning

The Tides hitters led by Aubrey lit up Chiefs pitchers beginning in the first inning where after singles by Robert Andino and Joey Gathright Nolan Reimold walked to load the bases for Michael Aubrey who plastered a pitch by Chiefs starter Jason Jones (1-5 6.21 ERA) over the right field wall for a grand slam home run and fast 4-0 lead.  The Tides added another run after Paco Figueroa doubled and was driven home on a Michel Hernandez single.  In the 2nd inning Matt Angle scored on a Nolan Reimold single.  In the 4th inning the Tides extended their lead to 9-0 when Robert Andino hit his 11th home run with one out followed by a two run shot by Michael Aubrey.  The Tides scored their final run in the bottom of the 7th when Jonathan Tucker and Joey Gathright singled off of reliever Josh Wilkie. Robert Andino singled to score Tucker and Gathright was thrown out at third to end the inning.

Robert Andino homers in the 4th inning

In the 5th inning Gabino made his only mistake when he gave up a home run to Luis Ordaz.  Gabino left after completing the 6th inning and was relieved by Pat Egan who allowed 2 runs in the 7th and another in the 8th before yielding to Jim Hoey with one out in the 8th. Hoey put down the Chiefs’ threat in the 8th but walked two and was replaced by Frank Mata making his first appearance since being optioned back to the Tides.  Mata was shaky in his return allowing a double and a single as well as giving up two wild pitches scoring both of the runs charged to Hoey and one of his own before striking out Justin Maxwell to end the game.

Gabino got the win his 6th of the year and Jason Jones the loss. The Chiefs had 7 runs on 9 hits with no errors leaving 7 on base while the Tides had 10 runs on 13 hits and no errors stranding 8 runners.  Four Tides Gathright, Andino, Aubrey and Tucker had multiple hits and Aubrey was responsible for 6 of the Tides 10 runs.

Fair Winds and Following Seas…the Tides release Joey Gathright

The game would be the last for Joey Gathright in a Tides uniform as he was released today. Joey is a class individual and was well liked in Norfolk.  In 2009 he hit .325 with 106 hits for the Tides before being traded to the Red Sox in September.  He returned to the Tides this year and was not the same spending time on the DL.  It was a disappointing and frustrating time for Joey but he conducted himself with a great deal of poise and grace even when struggling.  He left on a good note going 2 for 3 with a run scored.  I hope that someone picks up the 29 year old Gathright and wish him well. Zack Clark was assigned from the Tides to single A Frederick and Troy Patton called up to Baltimore to sit in the bullpen on the 21st was optioned back to the Tides following the O’s game against Tampa.

Well my friends, we’ll have more in my next post about Thursday afternoon’s series finale.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Batlimore Orioles, norfolk tides

Road Trip to See the Stockton Ports

Bakersfield Blaze outfielder David Paisano slides in ahead of the throw to third in the 1st inning

With my dad’s memorial service now in the past and having done all that I can do in fighting through government and business bureaucracies I went to see my old “home town” team play at Banner Island Park. As you all know by now baseball is one of the few things that help bring order to my world in times of stress, grief and loss which pretty much describes the past week.

My association with the Ports goes back to the days in the early 1970s when they played a Billy Herbert Field and were the “Single-A” affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.  They enjoyed that relationship from about 1958 to 1972.  The fact that they were an orioles farm team and that on “hat day” they gave away Orioles caps caused me to have some interest in the Orioles throughout my life to the point now that I can say that with the Giants and A’s that they are one of my favorite ball clubs despite the fact that they have not had a winning season in 13 years.  The Ports now belong to the Athletics’ organization playing in the California League which along with the Carolina League are consider “High Single A” leagues, so they have some good talented players that do have a legitimate chance to get to the big leagues.  Their new home which replaced the venerable Billy Herbert Field is a marvelous facility that sits on the Stockton Channel with a “splash down” area over the right field wall and concourse. It is a wonderful venue to see a ball game and I recommend it if you are ever around Stockton when the Ports are in town.

Ports Catcher Ramon Soto after applying the tag at home to Andres James in the 2nd inning

Tonight the Ports played the Bakersfield Blaze of the Texas Rangers farm system the first game of a three game home stand prior to the July 4th Weekend. I got to the park a bit early and got my ticket for a seat directly behind home plate in the first row. Like about any minor league park on a really hot day, it was well over 100 today in Stockton, but no humidity, the Monday night crowd was sparse and I sat near some gents that knew the Ports, California League and the A’s system well. I also as is my custom struck up a conversation with one of the ushers as well to ensure that I could move around to get some photos.

Michael Madsen gets a called strike against a Blaze hitter

The game was low scoring; the Blaze scored one run in the 1st inning when John Whittleman singled off of Ports starting pitcher Michael Madsen to score David Paisano from third. They scored another in the second when Andres James doubled to score Doug Hogan who had been hit by a pitch with two outs.  Apart from those two runs the pitching staff of both teams shut down the offense of the other team. The Ports mounted no real threat and scattered only 6 hits scoring none of the 4 runners that reach scoring position.

Ports relief pitcher Scott Deal fields a sacrifice bunt by Andres James in the 7th inning

While I was at the game I found out that former Norfolk Tides infielder Brandon Pinckney who hails from Elk Grove up by Sacramento had just been picked up by the Athletics and signed to a minor league free agent deal with the Ports. At the end of last season Brandon became a free agent and signed with the Phillies who released him on the 15th of June.  After the game I was able to welcome Brandon back to California where while it is definitely hot in Stockton there is no humidity.  Once the sun set tonight the temps were very comfortable.

In Norfolk the Tides dropped the final game of their home stand to the Louisville Bats by a score of 7-2 and in Baltimore, don’t look now but the Orioles have won 4 in a row sweeping the Nationals in Baltimore this weekend and face the Athletics tomorrow at Camden Yards. The Orioles designated First Baseman Garrett Atkins for assignment.

Tomorrow my Road trip continues and I will see the Ports take on the Blaze in a game that will be nationally televised on the MLB Network at 11:05 Pacific Standard Time and 2:05 Eastern Standard Time. I will be wearing my Norfolk Tides black road jersey and hopefully will have a sign to say hello to any of my friends watching the game. I will be attending it with an old high school classmate and retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Tony Melendez.

See you there.

Peace

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Batlimore Orioles, norfolk tides

Woe Woe Woe the O’s Woes Continue to Grow

Earl Weaver like him or not knew how to manage and motivate

“The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three run homers.” Earl Weaver

Well if you are an Orioles fan like me you have got to be wondering what is going on in Birdland.  The Orioles sports fans are losing and are patently not following the advice of their legendary Orioles skipper Earl Weaver. After a perfectly miserable 2009 season the Orioles looked like they had righted the ship and were ready if not to be competing for the AL East title at least to be competitive and playing .500 ball.  Veteran hitters like Miguel Tejada and Garrett Atkins were added to the line-up and last year’s crop of rookies including Catcher Matt Wieters and Nolan Reimold were expected to start shining.  Additionally with Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis  and Felix Pie in the lineup the hitting drought of last year was expected to end.  In the pitching department great things were expected as the young arms of the O’s supplemented by veteran Kevin Millwood acquired from the Rangers over the winter were also expected to perform at a higher level than last year.

Matt Wieters is developing well for the O’s

Unfortunately no plan survives first contact with the enemy and it looks like the Orioles who definitely have the talent and potential to be competitive need to find a way to win.  After losing their opener in Tampa they won the second game in that series but haven’t seen a win since. They lost the third game in Tampa and returned home to be swept by both the Blue Jays and the Rays before losing last night in Oakland to the surging Athletics.  With a 1 win and 9 losses the O’s are tied with the Houston Astros for the Marianas Trench of Major League Baseball and as of the moment show no sign of coming out of this crash.

Miguel Tejada brought back for his bat leads the O’s in RBIs but is not hitting well for average…yet

The team batting average is only .232 and the have scored a total of 29 runs in their first ten games and their on base percentage is a mere .309.  Neither are they stealing bases with only 3 stolen so far this year. Felix Pie is leading the team in hitting at .400 with a on base percentage of .455 and slugging percentage of .650.  Miguel Tejada leads the team in RBIs with 7 nearly a quarter of the Orioles total run output.  Matt Wieters is showing signs of maturity at the plate hitting .313 and an OBP of .405.  However some of the bats which are expected to deliver have not woken up yet and maybe it is time to invoke prayers to Jobu to wake them up.  Brian Roberts is now on the 15 day Disabled List and has been replaced at second by Justin Turner called up from the O’s AAA affiliate the Norfolk Tides.

Big Righthander Kam Mickolio was Brought up for injured Mike Gonzales

The pitching staff widely regarded as having some of the best arms and potential in the majors has fared no better with a 4.89 ERA giving up the most hits with 97 hits to their opponents in these ten games and they have allowed 32 walks. In one area the pitching staff is doing well, the can strike out opponents ranking third in the majors with 80.  Kevin Millwood leads the staff with a 2.13 ERA while rookie Brian Matusz has the team’s only win and leads the team with 15 strike outs.  The biggest disappointment has been newly acquired closer Mike Gonzalez.  Gonzales has blown two saves and lost both games and has an 18.0 ERA.  He is on the 15 day DL and the O’s have called up Kam Mickolio from Norfolk as a middle relief man while moving Jim Johnson to the closer role.

Now it is certainly very early in the season but losses in April count just the same as losses in September and losing nine of your first ten games puts you in a very deep hole to start the season.  However at this point one has to start asking what is going on. The O’s are a very talented team and by all rights should be doing much better than their record and statistics suggest.

Orioles Manager Dave Trembley….”Nice guys…finish last?”

At the end of last year I laid the blame on Orioles Manager Dave Trembley.  As I said then:

“The one spot that I think that the team needs a change is the Field Manager Dave Trembley.  Trembley seems to be a good teacher but is not terribly inspirational.  Admittedly he began the year with a weak squad but something is not working and I do like his calm, but I wonder if the teams needs fire rather than calm right now.  My choice would be for the O’s to make a serious offer for Bobby Valentine now that he has returned from Japan.”

From “Oh, Oh, Oh O’s….The Orioles Skid Continues….” September 29th 2009 at  https://padresteve.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/oh-oh-oh-o%e2%80%99s%e2%80%a6-the-orioles-skid-continues-but-there-are-some-bright-spots/

Please do not get me wrong. I think a lot of Dave Trembley, however the team seems to have little life and it is my opinion that a very motivational manager with proven success at all levels of baseball like Bobby Valentine would be an ideal choice to manage the Orioles.  With so much of the season left I do not think anything is gained by keeping Trembley at the helm.  Now is it possible that Tremblay and his managerial style could turn the team around….certainly.  He is popular with the players a gentleman and a very nice person but I’m not so sure that he is the man to make this happen.  In addition to Valentine Clint Hurdle who has managed at Norfolk and led the Rockies to the World Series in 2007 is coaching at Texas and if one wanted a Baltimore connection there is Don Baylor who is currently the hitting coach for the Rockies.  If an interim manager is needed the Orioles could reach down to AAA Norfolk for Tides manager Gary Allenson who has the advantage of having worked with many of the younger O’s for the last four years and managed the Bluefield Orioles of the Appalachian League as well as the Ottawa Lynx before they moved to Norfolk and became the Tides.  He has a long history of managing in the minors and it may be his time to hit the bigs.

Norfolk Tides Manager Gary Allenson might be a good interim manager should the Orioles fire Trembley

Regardless of what course the Orioles take it is imperative that they start winning. Success breads success and as Chuck Tanner said: “I don’t think a manager should be judged by whether he wins the pennant, but by whether he gets the most out of the twenty-five men he’s been given.” Unfortunately I don’t think that Dave Tremblay is getting the most of this very talented young team and even though it is very early in the season it is not too soon to make the change at the top.  As Leo Durocher said “What are we out at the park for, except to win?”

I’m hoping that the Birds will turn it around soon.

Peace

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Batlimore Orioles

Opening Day at the Church of Baseball at Harbor Park

Another season begins at Harbor Park in Norfolk Virginia tomorrow evening.  The weather looks decent but in the evening there is a 30% chance of scattered storms with the chances going up after 10 PM.  Last year we were rained out and hopefully this will not be the case this year.  Both the Tides and their parent club the Orioles are much improved in terms of depth compared to last year.  The Orioles have solidified their offense with a number of solid veterans as well as had a number of last year’s crop of rookies to include Matt Wieters and Nolan Reimold as well as the youthful All-Star Adam Jones and their pitching staff is deep with many young arms.  The Baltimore outfield in particular has depth and could in the long run produce a number of All-Stars with Reimold, Jones and Nick Markakis.  The infield with veterans Brian Roberts, Garrett Atkins and Miguel Tejada and Caesar Izturis The pitching staff is still young but should they mature this year could be a formidable staff.  Added to the mix this year is Brian Matuz who went from AA Bowie directly to the Orioles at the end of last season and veteran Kevin Millwood. Waiting in the wings is another bumper crop of young pitchers who in not too much time could easily be starters or relievers on the O’s or used to help the team acquire other personnel through trades.

The Tides roster is deep.  Last year the Tides were amazing until an injury riddled Orioles team with little depth was forced to call up many of the Tides by the end of May.  Prior to the massive number of call ups the Tides were playing well over .700 baseball and routinely crushing their opposition. The pitching staff suffered similarly to the hitters and after the call ups the power evaporated and even with decent hitting the tables were turned. This year the Tides are deep, many young prospects as well as some seasoned young players who have some major league experience.  I have had the pleasure of meeting many of the young Tides pitchers last year and most are returning this year.  The Tides are stocked with young players with some Major League experience thanks to last year’s call ups. They are deep in pitching and have many excellent position players.  Since the Orioles have some depth at the Major League level the Tides, baring an epidemic of injuries at Baltimore should keep a solid team together for much of the year and with that win the International League South and possibly compete for the Governor’s Cup Championship.  That is great for the fans but even more important is the chance to groom the members of this team for service on the Orioles without having to rush them into service as was the case in 2009.  The Orioles are also deep to the AA level with a number of players at Bowie who will certainly fleet up to the Tides and perhaps like Matuz head up to the Orioles if needed.

Baltimore will probably do much better than last year and while they may not be ready to challenge the Yankees or Red Sox this year could well by 2011.  If the Orioles were not in the same division as New York and Boston they might even this year compete for a playoff spot if they were in the AL Central or the AL West.

Tomorrow I will go and take my seat in Section 102 Row B seat one as the Tides pitch Chris Tillman against Durham.  It should be good as I meet up with the faithful including Elliott and Chip the Ushers, Ray, John and the Vietnam Veterans of America chapter who man the beer stand behind home plate, Marty the Card Dealer, Kenny “Crabman” the Pretzel Guy as well as General Manager Dave Rosenfield and the rest of the staff. I think that it will be a great year for the Tides a good year for the Orioles.

Peace

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball