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The True Harbinger of Spring: Baseball Returns to Hampton Roads

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“That’s the true harbinger of spring, not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of a bat on a ball.”  Bill Veeck, 1976

After a long and hard winter here in Hampton Roads I can day that spring officially arrived on March 29th. Yes I know that spring actually according to the calendar began on the 20th but it really didn’t feel that way until today.

No I can’t say that the weather was that great, it was in the high 60s with rain showers which were heavy at times. However, like the swallows return to Capistrano baseball returned today to Hampton Roads.

Yes it was only an exhibition game between our home town Norfolk Tides and their Major League affiliate the Baltimore Orioles, but it was baseball. It was actually pretty good baseball because the Orioles and the Tides are stacked with some pretty good talent. After years of suffering it appears that we will do well in both the Major League and AAA Minor League levels.

The game was eventually rain shortened because the rain had made the field conditions too hazardous to risk injuries to players so close to Opening Day. The Orioles won 4-3, Matt Wieters hit a 3 run home run in the second inning that helped seal the win.

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For me it was also special because the ballpark is a refuge for me. After Iraq a baseball game remains one of the few places that I feel absolutely safe. The past few years I was in North Carolina and did not get to see nearly as much baseball in person as I would have liked. Before I went there in 2010 on a geographic bachelor tour at the Camp LeJeune Naval Hospital I was a season ticket holder and this year I am again. I know a lot of people in the Tides organization and have seen some of the young Orioles work their way up through the minors at Harbor Park.

So today it really didn’t matter what the score was, or who won or even that the rain shortened the game. What mattered to me was that baseball was back and that with its arrival spring is really here.

Mark Kramer said that “Baseball is a harbor, a seclusion from failure that really matters, a playful utopia in which virtuosity can be savored to the third decimal place of a batting average.” That is something that I have to agree with, it is a safe harbor.

In a couple of days the regular season will begin for the Orioles and the Tides. The 162 game major league regular season and the 142 game minor league season, the latter which begins for us in Norfolk on Thursday April 3rd. Of course I will be catching the first Major League games on television and be there for our home opener on Thursday.

This is a good thing for me, as baseball is a calming influence in my life. I totally agree with Walt Whitman who wrote:

“I see great things in baseball.  It’s our game – the American game.  It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism.  Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set.  Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us.”

And with that I wish you blessings on this night.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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A Midsummer Night Dream: Memories of MLB All Star Games Past and Present

“I think the National League has better biorhythms in July.” – Earl Weaver (1979 All Star Game) 

Before the days of inter-league play and free-agency and the multitude of national and regional television outlets for baseball the All Star Game was the one time outside of the World Series that fans of in a National League town or American League town could watch players from the opposing league play their “boys.”

MVP Melky Cabrera homers in the 4th inning. (Getty Images)

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=22979315&topic_id=34326704

My dad was typical of his generation. He was a National League fan. He grew up with the Cincinnati Reds and when he moved west with the Navy he became a San Francisco Giants fan. When the All-Star Game rolled around at was if time itself would stop as we gathered around the TV as a family to watch it.

Me with Angel’s Manager Lefty Phillips in 1970 at Anaheim Stadium

I think that is in large part why I have such a veneration for this annual event. As I mentioned back then there was no inter-league play and with free agency very limited players spent their careers in the same organization or with teams of the league that they played.

As far as what league I am for it is hard to say. My dad took me to so many California Angels games at Anaheim Stadium when we were stationed in Long Beach in 1970 and 1971 that I became much more familiar with the players of the American League than the National League. That American League attachment grew stronger when we moved to Stockton California where the local minor league team, the Single A Stockton Ports of the California League were then affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles and because of going to Oakland Athletic’s games when the team was in its first era of World Series dominance. He also took me to an occasional Dodger’s game when stationed in Long Beach and sometimes to Candlestick Park to see the Giants but most of the exposure that I had to baseball in my early years was with the American League.

My favorite teams, with the exception of the Orioles tend to be West Coast teams, the Giants and the A’s. My dad was not a fan of the American League, especially of Earl Weaver’s Orioles but between the Ports and seeing the Orioles constantly in the playoffs or World Series in the late 1960s and early 1970s I became a closet Orioles fan. I remember the greats of that team, Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson, Boog Powell, Paul Blair and Pitcher’s like Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar, Pat Dobson and Dave McNally the team was amazing to watch. I became fascinated with the “Oriole way” which to use Cal Ripken Sr.’s phrase “perfect practice makes perfect” really is a model for success in any field.

Despite this I also love the National League primarily because it does not use the designated hitter and there is more emphasis on pitching and because the San Francisco Giants are a National League team.

Both Leagues have had eras where they dominated the game. Between 1963 and 1982 the National League won 19 of 20 games and the American League won 12 of 13 between 1997 and 2009, the only game that they did not win was the 2002 debacle where Commissioner Bud Selig ended a tie game in the 11th when the teams ran out of substitute players, the only previous tie was in 1961 when rain stopped a tie game in the 9th inning at Fenway Park.

There are some All-Star Game moments that stand out to me more than most. The was Pete Rose plowing over Ray Fosse in the 1970 All-Star Game.

Pete Rose collides with Ray Fosse in the 1970 All Star Game

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=5766041

I remember reverently casting my ballot at Anaheim Stadium that year, which was the first time that fans voted in for All-Stars since 1957 when after a ballot box stuffing scandal by Cincinnati Red’s fans caused then Major League Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick to end the practice. I still remember taking that paper ballot and putting it in that box and those votes probably were more important than any political ballot that I have cast, at least I felt like my vote mattered.  Of course now the vote early vote often philosophy which has exploded on the internet takes away some of the reverence that I have for the All Star voting process, but at least no-one checks your ID to vote.

In 1971 I remember the massive home run hit by Reggie Jackson off Dock Ellis at Tiger Stadium, the longest home run in the history of the game, a home run that had it not hit a electrical transformer on the roof was calculated as a 532 foot home run.

Reggie Jackson’s massive home run in the 1972 All Star Game

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I remember the 1973 All-Star Game which was the last for Willie Mays, it was his 24th trip to the game, a record that still stands.

The 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park was one that brought tears to my eyes. It was magical as Major League Baseball announced its “All Century Team” including the great Ted Williams.  It was an exceptionally emotional experience for me as I watched many of the living legends who I had seen play as a child walk out onto the field.

Ted Williams at the 1999 All Star Game where the All Century Team was Inducted

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=5570299

But I think one of the most memorable for me was watching Cal Ripken Jr. in his final All-Star Game when Alex Rodriguez insisted that Ripken start the game at Shortstop where he had played most of his career and when Ripken went yard in his final All-Star Game plate appearance.

Alex Rodriguez pushes Cal Ripken Jr. to Short in the 2001 All Star Game

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unF087sArpg

Tonight’s game was played in Kansas City, a town with a remarkable Baseball history especially with the Negro League Kansas City Monarch’s. The Negro Leagues were founded in Kansas City in 1920 and it is the home of the Negro League Hall of Fame. The Athletics played there between their time in Philadelphia and Oakland, and the Royals began as an expansion team in 1969 and opened Kaufman Stadium in 1973. I saw the Royals play for the first time in Anaheim against the Angels.  The Stadium was unique in its era because it was the last non dual-purpose stadium built until Oriole Park and Camden Yards opened in 1991. As such it was and is a beautiful yard and with the renovation completed in 2007 is still among the most beautiful parks in the Major Leagues and there is a seat designated in honor of the late Monarch’s player and manager Buck O’Neil and the home of such greats as Satchel Page.

Buck O’Neil

Tonight  like most All-Star Games I was torn my feelings. Unlike my dad I am not an exclusivist regarding the American or National League. I have favorite teams and players in both leagues. Tonight my Giants have a number of starters on the field including the Starting Pitcher Matt Cain, Catcher Buster Posey, 3rd Baseman Pablo “The Panda” Sandoval and Outfielder Melky Cabrera.  The Giants contingent aided by the ballot stuffing San Francisco Fans dominated the game.

On the other hand the American League had three Orioles on it for the first time in a long time, Closer Jim Johnson, Catcher Matt Wieters and Outfielder Adam Jones. There are future Hall of Famers on the field including Atlanta Braves 3rd Baseman Chipper Jones who is played in his final All-Star Game and got a soft single in the top of the 6th inning.

Chipper Jones 

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=22978231&source=MLB

Justin Verlander was hit hard giving up 5 earned runs in the top of the 1st and Pablo Sandoval had a bases clearing triple. Joe Nathan of the Rangers pitched the 2nd inning and David Price of the Rays pitched the third while Matt Cain pitched 2 shut out innings and was relieved by Gio Gonzalez of the Cardinals. I hope that the game produces a great moment that will be replayed forever.

Managing the game for the National League is Tony LaRussa the now retired former Manager of the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. The American League Manager is Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers.

Pablo Sandoval hits a bases clearing Triple off Justin Verlander in the 1st Inning (Photo Getty Images)

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=22978523&topic_id=34326704

Well the National League won 8-0 led by a home run by Melky Cabrera in the top of the 4th inning. Five of the 8 National League runs were produced by members of the San Francisco Giants.  Cabrera was the Most Valuable Player and Matt Cain got the win.  It was a long night for the American League  especially with the pitchers due to pitch including National’s Stephen Strasburg, Met’s Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, Dodger’s ace Clayton Kershaw, and three closers, Jonathan Papelbon of the Phillies, Ardolis Chapman of the Reds and Craig Kimbrel of the Braves.  As Earl Weaver said “The only thing that matters is what happens on the little hump out in the middle of the field.”

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Orioles Down Yankees in the Bronx Go to 16-9

The Baltimore Orioles are one of the pleasant surprises of the first month of the 2012 baseball season. The team is winning they now are 16-9 and took two of three from the New York Yankees in the Bronx. In those three games Orioles pitchers held the Yankees to just 3 runs while the scored 13 runs in the series. Earlier in the season the Yankees took three from the Orioles in Baltimore but two of those were in extra innings where in both cases the Orioles failed to score with runners in scoring position in the 9th and 10th innings.

The Orioles pitchers are holding up well with the 4th best ERA in the Majors at 2.92 with their starters and relievers doing very well. Pitching has been a major problem for the Orioles the past few years and if the young pitchers, particularly Jake Arrieta who pitched an 8 inning shutout tonight continue to pitch well they O’s will make the American League East a much more interesting division this year.  Now led by Jason Hamel (3-1 1.97 ERA) the Orioles starters are making some quality starts. With Jim Johnson as their closer and other relievers pitching well the team is much deeper than in years past.

The Orioles also have hitting and are hitting with power, 3rd in the majors in home runs (33) and 6th in the majors for in slugging percentage (.446).  The Orioles have a number of potential All Stars including former All Stars Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Nick Markakis. Second Baseman Robert Andino is having a stellar start to his season as is Left Fielder Nolan Reimold. Shortstop J.J. Hardy and First Baseman Mark  Reynolds are providing additional power in the lineup.

At with a 7-5 record against their AL East rivals so far they are doing much better in the division. The are 6-1 against the AL Central and 3-3 against the West.

The Orioles head to Boston to begin a 3 game series with the Red Sox at Fenway beginning on Friday. They will then travel to play the red hot Texas Rangers in Arlington before returning home to face the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays who I think are the best team in the division. Taking 2 of 3 from the Yankees, which included Manager Buck Showalter’s 1000th managerial win in New York was important. If the Orioles can continue what they are doing it will be an exciting year for all of us Orioles fans.

The season is still young but this year I think is the year the Orioles become a real force in the AL East and the League.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tillman Sharp as Tides end Skid Defeat Indians 9-1; Orioles take 3 of 4 from White Sox and crush Tribe Tuesday 14-8

Chris Tillman got his 9th Win on Monday

Chris Tillman pitched well on Monday night in Indianapolis to pick up his 9th win of the season and his first in four starts since returning from Baltimore. Tillman pitched 6.2 innings allowing 1 run on 8 hits, striking out 9 and walking only one in the outing.  The Tides hitters continued to hit well pounding out 9 runs on 15 hits tearing up the Indians pitching staff. Matt Angle went 4 for 5 with a double, triple and 2 RBIs, Robert Andino went 2 for 5 but had 2 triples and an RBI, Brandon Snyder went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and 2 RBIs while Adam Donachie had an RBI double and Scott Moore a 2 run home run.

Brandon Snyder doubled twice with 2 RBIs Monday

The Tides took a 2-0 lead on Scott Moore’s 6th home run of the season in the second inning and never looked back. They added another in the 3rd when Robert Andino tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Salazar.  The 4th inning was a big inning for the Tides as they sent 8 batters to the plate and scored 4 runs.  Brandon Snyder led off the inning with a double and Scott Moore walked. Adam Donachie laid down a sacrifice bunt to send the runners to 2nd and 3rd base with 1 out. Paco Figueroa singled to score Snyder and send Moore to 3rd base.  Matt Angle tripled to score Moore and Figueroa.  Starter Jeremy Powell then hit Andino and was replaced by Dana Eveland. Jeff Salazar had a sacrifice fly to score Angle before Nolan Reimold grounded into a force out to end the inning. The Tides scored an insurance run in the 6th when Matt Angle singled and scored on Robert Andino’s second triple of the game and a final run in the top of the 9th when Brandon Snyder hit his 2nd double and was driven in by Adam Donachie who doubled.

The Indians scored just 1 run in the bottom of the 4th inning on consecutive singles by Brandon Moss, John Bowker and Mitch Jones.

The Tides rolled to the win with Chris Tillman (9-7 3.45 ERA) notching the victory and Jeremy Powell (8-8 5.24 ERA) the loss.  The Tides had 9 runs on 15 hits and no errors leaving 11 men on base, the Indians 1 run on 8 hits with 8 runners left stranded.  The Tides sent 47 batters to the plate in the effort.

Jake Arietta got his 4th win as the O’s won their 7th win under Buck Showalter

In Baltimore the Orioles closed out their series with the White Sox winning on a walk off home run by Brian Roberts to give the O’s their 6th win in 7 games and a series win over the Sox following their sweep of the Angels. The Orioles played tonight in Cleveland winning 14-8 with Jake Arietta getting the win. The O’s had home runs from Felix Pie, Luke Scott, Matt Wieters and Corey Patterson. The O’s had 13 hits in the effort and improved their record to 39 and 74 and are not far from climbing out of the Marianas Trench of Major League Baseball.  It is amazing to see the turn around on the O’s since the hiring of Buck Showalter as manager making their record under him 7-1.  The Orioles hitting has come alive after a relatively dismal season and now their starting pitchers are getting good starts.

The Tides are losing 10-6 in Indianapolis as this is published.

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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Tides Win 7-6 take series from Syracuse

Michael Aubrey had an RBI single as well as a double and a walk in Thursday’s win over Syracuse

On a brutally hot and humid day at Harbor Park the Norfolk Tides defeated the Syracuse Chiefs in what cannot be described as either a pitcher’s duel or defensive gem.  The Tides started Zack Britton who had his worst outing of the year giving up 2 earned runs on 6 hits with 3 walks in 4 innings of work.  Of course in Britton’s favor was the fact that the Tides made two critical first inning errors that led to Chiefs runs  Britton allowed 3 runs in the inning only one of which was earned and he faced the entire Chiefs batting order before retiring the side.

The Tides got 2 runs back in the bottom of the 1st when Matt Angle singled, and advanced to second on a throwing error by Justin Maxwell.  He took third on an errant pickoff attempt and scored on a sacrifice fly by Robert Andino.  Chiefs’ starter Shairon Martis then walked Michael Aubrey and gave up consecutive singles to Josh Bell and Nolan Reimold to load the bases. Aubrey then scored on a Rhyne Hughes sacrifice fly before Martis retired the side.  The Tides scored 2 more runs in the 4th inning.  Jonathan Tucker doubled and scored on a 1 out double by Robert Andino and Michael Aubrey batted in Andino with a single off of Martis to give the Tides the lead.

Rhyne Hughes had a single and RBI sacrifice fly

The Chiefs struck back in the top of the 5th inning when Britton gave up a leadoff double to Justin Maxwell doubled to lead of the inning. Bobby Dickerson brought in reliever Cla Meredith and Meredith promptly gave up a single to Kevin Mench and a triple to Luis Ordaz to score 2 runs and then a sacrifice fly to score Ordaz giving the Chiefs a 6-4 lead.  Meredith retired the side and the Tides got nothing in the bottom frame.  In the 6th inning Meredith gave up a leadoff double to former Tide Chase Lambin but pitched his way out of the jam retiring Jason Botts, Pete Orr and Kevin Mench.

The Tides came back in the bottom half of the 6th scoring 2 runs to tie the game.  Robert Andino got aboard on an error by third baseman Seth Bynum and moved to third on a Michael Aubrey double. Reliever Collin Ballester gave an intentional pass to Josh Bell to load the bases for Nolan Reimold. Reimold took Ballester to a 3-2 count before walking to score Andino.  The Chiefs then brought in Atahaulpa Severino to face Rhyne Hughes who he walked.  The Chiefs were spared further damage when he got Paco Figueroa and Adam Donachie to both hit into force plays to end the inning.

Denis Sarfate got his second win in relief

Alberto Castillo came on in the 7th and pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief before yielding to closer Denis Sarfate with 2 outs in the 8th inning.  With two men on base Sarfate struck out Kevin Mench to end the inning.  The Tides got the go ahead and what turned out to be the winning run. Rhyne Hughes singled and stole second. Paco Figueroa walked and Adam Donachie singled to load the bases. Jonathan Tucker grounded in to a force out to third baseman Seth Bynum who threw to home to cut down Hughes but catcher Jamie Burke attempted to double up the speedy Tucker at first but the ball struck Tucker and went into the outfield allowing Figueroa to score.  Sarfate set the Chiefs down in order in the top of the 9th striking out Luis Ordaz and Jamie Burke in the process.

Sarfate got the win his second of the season while Jason Bergmann took the loss.  The Chiefs had 6 runs on 11 hits but made 4 errors and their pitchers allowed 10 walks. They left 12 men on base.  The Tides had 7 runs on 13 hits with 2 errors and left 16 men aboard.  The Tides go to Allentown Pennsylvania to face the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs at Coca Cola Field for a 4 game set tonight.  The Iron Pigs have a 4 game win streak going into the series and the Tides have won 5 of their last 8. Troy Patton (6-9 4.91 ERA) who had the bungee jump trip to the majors this week will start for the Tides and face Brian Mazone (5-10 3.90 ERA).

In Orioles news which will likely affect the Tides roster, 2nd Baseman Brian Roberts on the DL since April was activated and will start against the Twins in Baltimore tonight.  It is also expected that Catcher Matt Wieters will come of the DL soon.  The Orioles designated infielder Scott Moore for assignment and if Moore clears waivers he may be resigned by the Orioles to a minor league contract.  Brandon Snyder was activated from the DL and will start for the Tides tonight.

Until the next time, peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Shut Down by Carrasco and Clippers 6-1

Carlos Carrasco held the Tides to just 2 hits

There was a pitcher’s duel on Thursday night at Harbor Park but it occurred in the 4th, 5th and 6th innings between Columbus Clipper’s starter Carlos Carrasco and Norfolk Tides reliever Jim Miller.  Apart from Miller the Tides pitchers did not show up and without Matt Angle’s lead off single and a throwing error by Clipper’s catcher Lou Marson in the 1st inning the Clippers would have had a shutout.

Jim Miller pitched 3 innings of 1 hit scoreless relief

The game featured Carrasco going up against Tim Bascom and in their previous starts against the opposing team neither had done well leading me to believe that the game had potential to be a high scoring game.  The game started favorably for the Tides as Bascom set the Clippers down in order in the top of the 1st and the Tides scored an unearned run when Angle singled, stole second and advanced to third on Marson’s throwing error. He then scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Aubrey.  The Tides would then go 19 outs without a hit when Rhyne Hughes singled with 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th.  A further hit was added by Angle in the bottom of the 9th.

Matt Angle slides into 3rd in the 1st inning

The Clippers did not have a problem with Bascom scoring 3 runs in the top of the 2nd and forcing the Tides to get relievers up in the bullpen.  Bascom threw 40 pitches in that frame giving up the 3 runs on 3 hits which included a ground rule double and a 2 run home run.   Bascom was able to get through the top of the 3rd inning but he struggled giving up another double and throwing 20 pitches driving his pitch count to 75 pitches in just three innings work.  Bascom left the game and Jim Miller entered to pitch three scoreless innings giving up just 1 hit and striking out 3 Clippers.

Columbus 1st Baseman Wes Hodges comes down with a high throw to put out Nolan Reimold

Miller was followed by Mike Hinckley who also struggled.  Hinckley gave up 2 runs on 3 hits walking 2 and striking out 1 in 2 innings of work.  This made the score 5-1 and the Clippers added an insurance run in the 9th against equally ineffective Cla Meredith and save for a double play to end the inning the damage could have been worse.

Interim Manager Bobby Dickerson was on leave and the team seemed to be flat and have little energy.  The Clippers had 6 runs on 11 hits with 1 error and left 7 men on base. The Tides 1 run on 3 hits with no errors leaving 3 runners stranded.  The game was winnable for the Tides until the 7th as Miller held the Clippers and had the Tides offense been able to get in gear likely would have provided the edge in a possible win.  The winning pitcher was Carrasco (8-4 4.10 ERA) while Bascom (2-4 6.15 ERA) took the loss.

In personnel matters Andy Mitchell was reassigned to Aberdeen to make room for Jim Hoey up from Bowie and Josh Bell was recalled to Baltimore as Matt Wieters is now on the disabled list with a pulled hamstring injury.

The teams meet again at Harbor Park tonight with Dan Huff (3-0 4.15 ERA) pitching for the Clippers against lefty Troy Patton (6-9 4.67 ERA) on the hill for the Tides.  As of late Patton has been pitching well winning three of his last 5 decisions with an ERA of 3.68. Huff is back down at AAA after going 2-9 with a 6.04 ERA in 13 appearances for the Indians.

I’ll be there to watch.

Blessings

Padre Steve+

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