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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 Top Braves 4-3 on Solid Pitching and Key Home Runs

Chris George provide 6 innings of solid pitching for the Tides

The Norfolk Tides finished their home stand in convincing fashion defeating the Gwinnett Braves by a score of 4-3 on a beautiful night for baseball at the Church of Baseball Harbor Park Parish.  Chris George of the Tides faced off against Jo-Jo Reyes and tonight would belong to the Tides Left hander backed up by solid relief work by Kam Mickolio, Ross Wolf and closer Denis Sarfate.

Brandon Hicks gets himself thrown out of the game in the 2nd inning

The Braves got off to a 1-0 lead in the first inning without a single hit as Chris George initially struggled with control walking Matt Young and Wes Timmons before getting Freddie Freeman to hit into a double play.  Young advanced to third on the play and scored when a balk was called on George.  In the second inning the Braves threatened and were shut down by the Tides and in the process having their Manager Dave Brundage and Brandon Hicks thrown out of the game.  Mitch Jones doubled and advanced to third on a single by Brandon Hicks.  Jordan Schafer reached first when on a fielder’s choice ground ball Tides First Baseman Brandon Snyder alertly saw Jones attempting to score and gunned him down at the plate. Brandon Hicks then with Luis Bolivar batting attempted to steal third and was thrown out by Tides Catcher Michel Hernandez.  This was a close call and Braves Manager Dave Brundage fiercely argued the call with Hicks.  Both were thrown out of the game after a delay of about 5 minutes.  Bolivar then grounded out to end the inning.

J C Boscan attempts to pick off a Tides runner at 2nd base as Matt Angle attempts to get out of the way

In the bottom half of the 2nd inning the Tides struck back with the suddenness of a thunder storm.  Rhyne Hughes reached on a fielding error by Braves First Baseman Freddie Freeman. The next batter, Brandon Snyder then crushed a pitch over the left field wall deep into the left field picnic area.  Michael Aubrey grounded out to Jo-Jo Reyes and it appeared with the bottom part of the Tides lineup coming to bat that he might escape with no more damage.  However that was not the case as Tides Catcher Michel Hernandez lifted a ball to the opposite field send the pitch into the Straub’s Beer right field party deck to make the score 3-1.  In the bottom of the 3rd inning Robert Andino cracked his 17th double of the year with one out and scored on a single by Jeff Salazar. The Braves plated another run in the top of the 4th inning when Mitch Jones scored from 2nd base on a Luis Bolivar single.

Michel Hernandez got his first home run in Norfolk

Kam Mickolio came into the game in the 7th in relief of George and after allowing a single to Luis Bolivar to lead off the inning got J C Boscan to ground into a 5-4-3 double play and then struck out Matt Young on a 96 mile and hour fast ball.  Ross Wolf came into the game in the 8th and working quickly got Wes Timmons and Freddie Freeman to ground out and Barbaro Canizares to pop out to end the inning.  Denis Sarfate came in to close the game and got Mitch Jones to fly out and then on a low and inside off speed pitch saw Joe Thurston who had replaced Hicks when the latter was tossed in the 2nd inning lift the ball just over the right field wall near the foul pole for a solo home run.  Sarfate wasted nothing else and using high hard heat with every pitch in the mid-90’s blew away Alex Romero and Luis Bolivar to end the game.

The Braves had 3 runs on 8 hits and 1 costly error and left 5 men on base.  The Tides had 4 runs on 8 hits and no errors leaving 6 on base.  Chris George (2-1 3.63) got the win and Jo-Jo Reyes (0-4 5.40) took the loss for the Braves.  Denis Sarfate got his 7th save.  Tonight after a long bus ride west the Tides take on the Columbus Clippers, the AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians who lead the International League West.  Troy Patton (4-7 5.13) will take the hill for the Tides facing Josh Tomlin (5-2 2.89).  In personnel news the Orioles outrighted relief pitcher Alberto Castillo to Norfolk in what seems an endless roller coaster for the left hander.  It was announced as well that Bobby Valentine, Padre Steve’s choice for the permanent managerial post for the Orioles since last season interviewed with Peter Angelos and Andy McPhail yesterday.  If you are an Orioles fan you have to hope that Bobby V will join the Orioles after all one can only hope and after all of the suffering with no name managers through most of the decade it is time that we have a marquis manager with a winning attitude and skill working with young talent, and Bobby V fits the bill.

The Tides finished the home stand with a 4 and 4 record which is remarkable if one remembers that the first three games of the series were lost in slugfests to the Buffalo Bisons.  The remarkable thing about the Tides right now is the change that I have seen on the field in the past week. Hitters are more aggressive, the base running is more aggressive, infielders are communicating better, pitchers are challenging hitters and the team is playing as a team with every member in the game even if they are not on the field.  It has been a remarkable sea change and it looks like the Tides are rolling in and might turn into a Tsunami to wreak havoc on the southern division of the International League.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Blanked by Braves as Resop Pitches One Hitter: Arietta Wins ML Debut against Yankees

Tim Bascom pitched well in his AAA Debut in Norfolk

After a hitting frenzy in the first five games of this home stand there have bee two pitcher’s duels at the Church of Baseball, Harbor Park Parish with the second being even more impressive than the first. What had been scheduled as a match up between the two leading pitchers in the International League, Tides right-hander Jake Arietta and Braves right-hander Chris Resop changed when Arietta had his contract selected by the Orioles and at game time in Norfolk was on the mound in Baltimore pitching in his Major League debut against the World Champion New York Yankees.

Frustration at the plate: Nolan Reimold bounces a pitch foul

Instead of this highly anticipated match up the Tides started Tim Bascom who had been called up Thursday from AA Bowie and Bascom performed magnificently in his AAA debut for the Tides.  However it was Resop that stole the show last night pitching to the minimum 27 batters allowing just one hit with eight strikeouts and no walks to shut down a Tides offense that had been running roughshod over opposing pitching most of this home stand.  Bascom went 7 innings allowing 3 runs on 6 hits with 6 strikeouts and tendered just one walk.  He would be followed by Jim Miller who pitched well but had problems with his throws to first on two bunts which resulted in errors and allowed runners placed on board by Bascom to score.

Chris Resop was just about perfect in Thursday’s game

There was not much offense for either team. The Tides had just the one hit by Rhyne Hughes which was negated when Braves outfielder Mitch Jones made an incredible defensive play to rob Brandon Snyder of extra bases and then caught Hughes who had passed second base off of first for a double play the Tides were robbed by Jones twice late in the game on sharply hit fly balls that looked as if they would fall for singles or extra base hits.  The Braves got a run in the top of the 3rd inning which Elliott the Usher and I both felt should not have happened had Left Fielder Nolan Reimold caught what appeared to be a very catchable fly ball off the bat of Matt Young. Reimold did not make the play and one has to wonder what is going on with last year’s hot rookie.  Reimold has struggled with injury to his heel and I wonder if he is still having problems with it or if there is something going on in his life that is hurting his game.  Anyway, Young would score on a sacrifice fly by Freddie Freeman and the score would remain 1-0 until the 8th inning.  In the 8th Bascom who had not allowed a run or for that matter not much else gave up an infield single to J C Boscan and an infield single to Matt Young.  Reliever Jim Miller came into the game with two on and no outs and faced Wes Timmons.  Timmons also bunted a beauty; Miller did a great job getting to the ball but hurried his throw which got past First Baseman Brandon Snyder allowing Boscan to score and Young to advance to third base.  Freddie Freeman then hit a sacrifice fly which scored Young. Miller picked off Timmons and retired Mitch Jones to end the inning.  The Braves got an insurance run in the 9th when Joe Thurston bunted and for the second time Miller fielded the ball well but his throw went awry allowing Thurston on base.   Jordan Schafer then bunted sharply past the mound and Robert Andino made a great play to get Schafer but Thurston was running hard for third.  Brandon Snyder saw this and made a strong throw to third which had it been on target would have nailed Thurston, but the throw went high over the head of Paco Figueroa and Thurston scored.  Victimed by three errors in two innings the Tides lost 4-0.Chris Resop (5-2 1.84) got the win and Tim Bascom (0-1 3.86) got the loss.  The Tides had no runs on one hit and three errors and left no men on base.  The Braves had 4 runs on 8 hits and no errors leaving 6 men on base.  The teams will conclude their series tonight at Harbor Park with Jo-Jo Reyes (0-3 5.94) on the hill for the Braves facing Chris George (1-1  3.71)

Jake Arietta notched his first Major League win against the Yankees in Baltimore Thursday

In Baltimore Jake Arietta was the story pitching 6 innings and getting his first Major League win against the New York Yankees by a score of 4-3 with some help by some of his Norfolk Tides team mates.  Scott Moore who went to Baltimore last month from the Tides who hit his first Major League home run, Frank Mata came in to shut down the Yankees in the 7th and David Hernandez notched his first Major League save as the closer.  The O’s broke a 10 game losing streak against the Yankees with the win.

See you tonight at Harbor Park,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Tides Fall Thursday and Friday to Braves to End Road Trip Even

Just a short article as I didn’t get a chance to post anything about the last two games of the Norfolk Tides southern road trip to Charlotte where they faced the Knights and Lawrenceville Georgia where they faced the Gwinnett Braves.

Chris Tillman dominated the Knights and no-hit the Braves on the road trip

In Charlotte the Tides took three out of four from the Knights with dominant pitching and excellent hit production including 9 home runs.  Against the Brave the Tides did not fare as well dropping three of four games to the Braves and only hitting well in the second game.  Against the Braves the Tides left significant numbers of base runners in scoring position.  The highlight of the series in Georgia was Chris Tillman’s no-hitter on Wednesday night.

The Tides dropped the final two games of the series against the Braves.  Each night the Tides had good numbers of runners in scoring position and they left 20 men on base. On Thursday Jake Arrieta got his first loss of the year as the Tides lost 6-1.  Jake gave up 4 runs, three of which were earned on 5 hits with 4 walks in 6 innings pitched for the loss.  Three runs came on a home run by Mitch Jones who has 237 minor league home runs to his credit since being drafted by the Yankees in 2001.  In the final game Chris George making his first start for the Tides gave up 2 runs on 2 hits including and was victimized by Mitch Jones for a two run homer.  Jim Miller coming in during the 7th gave up 3 runs on 3 hits including a home run by Barbaro Canizares.  The Tides lost the game 5-1.

Tonight the Tides begin a four game set against the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees at Harbor Park. The Orioles will have Koji Uehara pitch an inning tonight as he continues his rehab in the minor leagues. See you there.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides fall to Braves 8-3 Erbe gets Third Loss

Jeff Salazar seen on Tuesday hit his second home run in as many days

After winning convincingly on Wednesday night the Norfolk Tides could not repeat and fell to the Gwinnett Braves 8-3 on a sunny spring afternoon at Harbor Park in front of 4375 fans.  While fog enshrouded the home of the Tides in the morning it had dissipated by game time to reveal a beautiful day for a baseball game. I personally don’t give a kilo of Limburger cheese if the rest of the country is focused on the NFL Draft tonight as I prefer Gordon Biersch draft beer, preferably Czech Pilsner and the Church of Baseball to football in general.  However I also enjoy the seasonal so long as it is not a Weizen and my mind and heart still believe the baseball is the true love of the Deity Herself and that she finds football in all forms only a mildly interesting metaphor for the Valley of Megiddo, but I digress.

After a convincing win on Wednesday night Tides starter Brandon Erbe (0-3 7.98) gave three runs in the top of the first inning on three hits and two more in the fourth on three hits.  All told Erbe gave up 5 runs on 7 hits however he gave up two home runs to Tides killer Freddie Freeman who hit his third home run of this series and doubles to Gregor Blanco, Mitch Jones and Jean Boscan.  The Braves would score 3 runs off of reliever Andy Mitchell before Jim Miller stood into his closer role in the bottom of the eighth giving up one hit and no runs.

Brandon Erbe continues to struggle

The Tides did have some hitting; Jeff Salazar hit a two run shot in the bottom of the third driving in Joey Gathright.  Rhyne Hughes hit a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the fourth.  The Tides would muster no more runs although Joey Gathright would double in the fifth.  The Braves had 8 runs on 13 hits with no errors and the Tides 3 runs on 8 hits with two errors one of which a throwing error by Second Baseman Blake Davis resulted in a Braves run.

Brandon Erbe took the loss, his third of the young season and one has to wonder if it is a matter of confidence or mechanics that is the root cause of his lack of success. I would lean toward being uncomfortable in his first start and then lost his confidence and has not regained it. Andy Mitchell gave up one earned run on 3 hits in two innings of relief work and Jim Miller reprising his closer role from the first half of 2009 where he made the International League All-Star team allowed no runs on one hit.

With the loss the Tides fall to 5 wins and 10 losses falling 7 games behind the Durham Bulls who appear to a be the league Leviathan who are 12-3 and have scored 98 runs on 155 hits devastating many of their opponents with lopsided double digit wins.  Their pitching has been equally dominating allowing the fewest hits and the second best ERA in the League.  With the Tampa Bay Rays looking good and appearing deep the Bulls could well be on their way to repeating their 2009 AAA Championship and lead their nearest division competitor the Charlotte Knights by five games.

International League Southern Division April 22nd 2010

TEAM         W      L      PCT       GB

Durham     12      3     .800         –

Charlotte    7       8     .467     5.0

Gwinnett    6       9    .400      6.0

Norfolk       5     10   .333       7.0

Unfortunately I had to work and had to catch snippets of the game between meetings and patient visits on MiLB Game Day.  The Tides will travel to Charlotte for a four game set against the Knights beginning Friday night which kicks off an eight game road trip which will also take them to Gwinnett. Chris Tillman (0-3 8.38) will try for his first win of the year going up against Charlotte’s Lucas Harrell (1-1 5.82) who defeated the Tides on the 13th allowing no runs and five hits in six innings work.

The Tides have added Left Handed Pitcher Pedro Viola who the Orioles picked up off waivers from Cincinnati.  Viola provides a badly needed left handed arm for the Tides bullpen and will be on the Orioles 40 man roster.  With Alberto Castillo and Kam Mickolio called to Baltimore and Dennis Sarfate on the DL the Tides bullpen has lost some of its power pitchers and the Tides have but two left handed pitchers on their roster.

The Tides for better or worse are inexorably bound to the fortunes of their parent club the Baltimore Orioles who have taken some major losses to injuries and are struggling.  While I believe that they will recover for the time being they have been forced to call upon the Tides incredibly early in the season for position players as well as pitchers, something that was not expected.  will return to Harbor Park on May 1st to face the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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