The Norfolk Tides recovered from the loss of the first two games to the Rochester Red Wings by taking games three and four of the series, each by a score of 2-1. On Tuesday Afternoon the Tides evened the series with a win. Once again it was pitching and defense that did the job for the Tides with just enough situational offense to win the game. Unfortunately Padre Stevem had this little thing called work to do and could not attend in person but was able to catch parts of the broadcast on his computer in between group sessions and individual counseling sessions with patients at the Medical Center’s Substance Abuse Treatment Center.
Jake Arietta took the hill for the Tides facing a Rochester team that until Chris Tillman shut them down Monday had pulverized Tides pitchers. Both Tillman and Arietta showed that they are not your typical run of the mill AAA pitchers but rather something special. Both are power pitchers, both have become more confident and more patient, maturing immeasurably since the 2009 campaign. The two could when they both get to Baltimore be something akin to Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale and when combined with a maturing Brian Matusz and Jeremy Guthrie could become one of the most feared pitching rotations in baseball.
On Tuesday Arietta pitched 7 innings allowing 1 ruin on 7 hits with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts lowering his ERA to 1.86, the best in the International League. In fact of AAA level starters in the International and Pacific Coast Leagues with over 60 innings work only Luke French of the Seattle Mariners affiliate the Tacoma Rainiers has a better ERA. The only Rochester run came in the top of the 5th when Jason Repko bunted his way aboard and then stole second. He was singled home by Matt Tolbert and that was all the scoring that the Red Wings mustered for the Day. Arietta was followed by Kam Mickolio who again had a good outing after a rough start mowing down the Wings in order in the 8th. Denis Safate came in to get the save striking out the first two batters that he faced, but then allowing a single to Dustin Martin who then went to second on a wild pitch and followed that with a walk to Brock Peterson before retiring Jason Repko on a routine fly ball to left fielder Danny Figueroa.
The Tides offense also came in the 5th inning when Anthony Swarzak walked Michel Hernandez and was pulled in favor of Jose Lugo. The first batter that Lugo faced was newly called up outfielder Danny Figueroa, twin brother of Tides second baseman Paco Figueroa. Danny had been called up to replace the struggling Nolan Reimold who was placed on the temporary inactive list due to the birth of a baby. Figueroa didn’t take long to figure out Lugo and promptly blasted the first pitch into the Straub Beer party deck in right field. Tides reliever Jim Miller traded a couple of balls for the one Danny hit into the deck from fans so that Figueroa could have a memento of his first AAA level home run.
The Red Wings had 1 run on 8 hits and 1 error leaving 9 men on base, the Tides 2 runs on 4 hits with no errors and 5 men left on base. Jake Arietta (5-2 1.81) got the win and Jose Lugo (0-3 6.54) the loss. Denis Sarfate (0-0 S1 1.54) got the save. The Tides have a travel day Wednesday and open a 4 game series in Pawtucket against the Pawsox on Thursday with Chris George (1-1 4.22) starting for the Tides and Boof Bonser (0-2 10.61) taking the hill for the Sox.
There has been quite a bit of action in the personnel department for the Tides and Orioles even since last week. Michael Aubrey was placed on the 7 Day DL on the 24th retroactive to the 23rd. Ross Wolf was assigned to Aberdeen while Jim Miller was recalled from Aberdeen; Alberto Castillo returned to the Tides but was called back up the 25th along with closer Frank Mata whose contract was selected by the Orioles. Danny Figueroa was promoted to the Tides from AA Bowie and Nolan Reimold placed on the temporary inactive list. Up in Baltimore David Hernandez was moved to the Bullpen a move that the Orioles say will be for the rest of the season which could open the way into the rotation for Chris Tillman. On a further note infielder Justin Turner who was designated for assignment last week was signed by the New York Mets and assigned to AAA Buffalo. I would expect that due to the Mets’ personnel; situation that Turner could be playing in New York by mid-summer.
Until the next time peace my friends,