The second expedition of the Norfolk Tides to the great north ended on a cloudy and cool afternoon in Rochester as the Red Wings hammered the Tides to split the four game series. Unlike the first three games of this series this game took an ugly turn in the 6th inning when the Wings scored 6 runs. Tides starting pitcher Brandon Erbe’s woes continued as the young right hander was hit hard giving up 5 runs 4 of which were earned runs on 5 hits in 5 innings before being pulled in the 6th after facing four batters without getting any out. Erbe (0-9 6.14 ERA) was followed by another pitcher that most thought last year would be in the Orioles bullpen possibly as a closer and that is Kam Mickolio (1-2 10.43 ERA). Mickolio gave up 2 runs on 4 hits getting just one batter out before being replaced by Andy Mitchell. Mitchell gave up 2 runs on 3 hits in 1.2 innings work before Pedro Viola (0-2 15.23 ERA) entered the game in the bottom of the 8th giving up no runs on 1 hit. Rochester starter Jeff Manship (3-2 3.64 ERA) pitched 9 innings of scoreless ball scattering just 4 hits, walking none while striking out 6.
The Red Wings runs came the 5th, 6th and 7th innings. In the 5th the Wings scored a run on 3 singles, an error and a wild pitch. In the 6th inning they scored 6 runs on 8 hits against Erbe and Mickolio and in the 7th 2 runs on Mitchell. Of the 16 hits produced by the Wings 13 were singles and the three extra base hits were all doubles.
The Norfolk offense was non-existent today just the four singles to Robert Andino, Jeff Salazar, Nolan Reimold and Blake Davis.
The Tides return to Harbor Park on Friday to play the Buffalo Bisons at 7:15 on Marine Night, a tradition here in Norfolk where the Tides honor “the Few, the Proud, the Marines” that serve in our midst.
As for the Orioles one commentator referred to them today as “hapless” after losing 6-3 and being swept by the Yankees. They fall to 15-39 with a .278 win percentage 21 games behind Eastern Division leader Tampa Bay. The O’s go into a 3 game series against the Red Sox at home on Friday with Chris Tillman on the mound hoping to help the Orioles turn things around.
I doubt if Dave Trembley will be around much longer as the Manager of the O’s, some are speculating that he will be relieved of his duties as early as today or tomorrow. It will be a sad day for the O’s as Trembley is well liked who always tries to be positive about things even when you can see the suffering on his face, night after night and loss after loss. He has been saddled with a near impossible task for the past number of years, working on a rebuilding program but having to call up many of the Orioles best prospects before they are ready to play every day in the toughest division in baseball. Since the end of the last campaign I have felt that he needed to be let go but I feel bad for him and the team, especially all the young players who look up to him and his caring leadership. Trembley never had enough of a solid veteran nucleus to build around and had to throw his young guys into situations that were often impossible. They now need someone that can turn the organization around someone who can combine patience with urgency and caring with cold steel and blazing fire. The Orioles need to move some of the non-producing veterans and pick up some winners who will help the team win now and serve as mentors to the young players. They also need to look at their 40 man roster as there are some hard decisions that will have to be made there as they cannot afford to keep players on the 40 man roster that cannot consistently perform at the AAA level. This includes some of the Norfolk pitching staff. I find it notable that the Tides pitchers having the most difficult time and the worst seasons imaginable are all on the 40 man roster while the ones performing really well to include Jake Arietta and Denis Sarfate are not on it.