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Tides Come Back from 6-0 deficit but Lose as Hinkley gives up 4 runs in 9th Inning

Armando Gabino had his worst outing of the year

On a very warm evening the Norfolk Tides looked like they would get a big comeback win. On their first night with Interim Manager Bobby Dickerson at the helm the Tides opened their four game series against the Buffalo Bisons at Harbor Park where a crowd of 6345 gathered to celebrate “Marine Night.”

The Tides managed to rebound from a 6-0 Buffalo lead only to lose in the 9th inning when Michael Hinckley just promoted to Norfolk from AA Bowie loaded the bases with no outs to give up 4 runs in the top of the 9th inning.

Tides starter Armando Gabino had his worst outing of the season giving up 6 runs on 6 hits, though 2 of the runs were unearned due to a fielding error by Second Baseman Blake Davis in the 3rd inning which opened the floodgates. Gabino got into trouble again in the 4th and was relieved by Jim Miller. Miller would settle things down and pitch three innings before yielding to Ross Wolf in the 7th. Wolf too held the Bisons in check as the Tides offense went to work.

Jim Miller continued good work as a middle releiver

Brandon Snyder ignited the Tides in the 5th inning when with one out he hit a line drive over the right field wall into the Tides bullpen. That hit by Snyder rocked Harbor Park. The fans that had been silenced by the Bisons were back in the game and the effect was electric.  Blake Davis then singled and Michel Hernandez walked.  With 2 on and 1 out Matt Angle singled to drive in Davis to cut the lead to 6-2.  In the 5th inning the Tides scored another run when Josh Bell reached second on a throwing error on an infield ground ball.  Nolan Reimold who seems to be improving after a dismal season in Baltimore followed by a worse start in Norfolk singled to drive in Bell making it a 6-3 game.

Matt Angle with one of his four hits

The Tides tied the game in the bottom of the 7th when with 1 out Michel Hernandez singled and advanced to second on a single by Matt Angle.  Hernandez scored when Robert Andino singled and Matt Angle advanced to second base.  Jeff Salazar singled to drive in Angle and move Andino to third base and would score on a sacrifice fly to center to tie the game at six.

Blake Davis Scores in the 5th inning on a Matt Angle Single

It appeared at this point that the Tides had all the momentum and had the Bisons on the ropes.  In the top of the 9th Michael Hinckley who had just been promoted to Norfolk from Bowie when hard luck Pedro Viola was sent down to Bowie made his first AAA appearance.  He gave up a single to former Tides infielder Justin Turner and a double to Mike Jacobs.  He then walked all time Minor League Baseball Home run king Mike Hessman to load the bases.  Now with the bases loaded he walked Russ Adams to give Buffalo the lead.  At this point Bobby Dickerson brought in former Oriole Cla Meredith hoping that Meredith’s Major League experience would pay off and shut down the Bisons before more damage could be done.  This was not the case as the first batter that Meredith faced Valentino Pascucci doubled down the line in right to clear the bases and give the Bisons a 10-6 lead.  Meredith struck out Andy Green but lost it on a wild pitch which put Green on first and Pascucci on third base.  J R House grounded out to score Pascucci before Meredith got Jesus Feliciano to ground out to end the frame. The Tides went down quietly in the bottom of the 9th and the game ended with the final score Buffalo 11 and the Tides 6.

Buffalo had 11 runs on 12 hits with 1 error and 8 men left on base, the Tides 6 runs on 12 hits and 2 errors with 6 runners left on base.  Bisons’ reliever Bobby Parnell (1-1 4.73 ERA) got the “unsave” and the win and Hinckley the loss giving up 4 runs without retiring a batter.

I did notice a couple of things that I thought were important. First Bobby Dickerson did not wait and wait to make pitching changes; he got pitchers out of the game when they got in serious trouble. Unfortunately in the 9th inning he had misplaced confidence in Cla Meredith. The second thing and this was even more important, the Tides hitters got the team back in the game as relievers Miller and Wolf held the Bisons after they had gotten out to the 6-0 lead.  Another note of interest was the continued hitting of Brandon Snyder and the 4 hits of Matt Angle in the lead off position.

The Tides and Bisons play tonight at Harbor Park and it will be a hot one with temperatures in the high 80s at game time. Jake Arietta (6-2 1.77 ERA) will be going for his 7th win of the season against Dylan Owen (1-1 4.76).

See you there.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Shelled Thursday: Shut out by Rochester 9-0 and an Orioles Report

Brandon Erbe was Rocked again by the Rochester Red Wings

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.

Dave Trembley: Will he survive the week in Baltimore?

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.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Tides Drop Final Two in Pawtucket on Consecutive Blown Saves; Arietta Wins in Rochester

Robert Andino Got his 6th home run of the year Monday

Brandon Erbe must be wondering what he needs to do to get a win and Armando Gabino making his second start for the Tides taking Chris Tillman’s spot in the rotation must be scratching his head as well.  This weekend each pitcher saw solid performances end in losses when the relief staff could not seal the deal.  For Erbe it looked like after a dismal start to the season when even his good performances could not get a win that he just might get a win in Pawtucket and this Padre was wondering why the Deity did not answer his prayers for Brandon to get the win.  For Gabino who has not delivered a bad performance to date the no-decision result had to be frustrating but most certainly not the frustration experienced by Erbe. On the other side of the coin Jake Arietta continues to win and lower his International League ERA even when he has almost no run support.

Nolan Reimold hit his 2nd home run since his return to the Tides on Sunday

In Saturday’s game Erbe pitched 5.2 innings allowing no runs on 5 hits with 5 strikeouts and just one walk.  He left with a 2-0 lead and at first it looked like the bullpen just might hold things together when Pedro Viola got the final out of the 6th inning.  Viola got into trouble in the bottom of the 7th when Dusty Brown singled and was driven home on a double by Jorge Jimenez and Tug Hulett singled to send Jimenez to third. At this point since Viola has had a number of very rough outings Manager Gary Allenson pulled him for the usually reliable Ross Wolf. Unfortunately for the Tides this was not a good night for Wolf though not entirely of his making.  Wolf walked Angel Sanchez and then Daniel Nava hit into what looked to be a force at second but Blake Davis committed a fielding error allowing Nava on and Jimenez to score. Lars Anderson then doubled to score Hulett and Sanchez but Nava was thrown out on the relay by Josh Bell when he attempted to score. The inning ended with the Tides down 4-2 and Erbe’s chance at a win gone.  Tides hitters mustered nothing more and the game went into the bottom of the 8th with Andy Mitchell coming into the game. Mitchell who has been spot on in mid-relief lately gave up 3 runs on 4 hits leaving the Tides down 7-2.  In the 9th Brandon Snyder got a one out singled but was doubled up when Blake Davis hit into a double play to end the game.

Offensively the Tides had 2 runs on 8 hits and 2 errors leaving 6 men on base. Brandon Snyder, Josh Bell and Rhyne Hughes all having doubles and Blake Davis his first home run of the year, a solo shot in the 5th inning. The Pawsox had 7 runs on 13 hits all 7 runs and 8 of the hits came in the 7th and 8th innings against Tides relievers.  The Sox committed 2 errors and left 9 men on base.

Jake Arietta picket up his 6th win lowering his ERA to 1.77

On Sunday the Tides started Armando Gabino.  Gabino scattered 3 runs, 2 of which were earned on 4 hits striking out 6 and walking 3 in six innings work.  He allowed a first inning two run home run to Daniel Nava and a run in the bottom of the 6th when Lars Anderson doubled and scored on a Josh Reddick single. The Tides offense got a run in the 4th tying together an error which allowed Josh Bell on base with one out, a double by Nolan Reimold and a RBI ground ball by Brandon Snyder to score Bell. In the 5th inning the Tides tied the score when Matt Angle just up from AA Bowie bunted for a single and took second on a throwing error. Robert Andino flied out to deep center allowing Angle to take third. Rhyne Hughes then singled to score Angle.  The Tides would take the lead in the top of the 8th as the offense when a newly hot Nolan Reimold hit a 2 run home run.

Jim Miller replaced Gabino in the 7th and pitches a scoreless inning allowing a single and walk while striking out one batter.  Kam Mickolio came in to pitch the bottom of the 8th giving up 2 runs on 3 hits, walking 1 and striking out two. The Tides would fail to score in the 9th and Mickolio was handed the blown save and the loss, his second in the series against the Pawsox.

The Tides had 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 errors with 9 men left on base, the Pawsox 5 runs on 8 hits and 1 error with 8 runners left on base. Dustin Richardson (2-0 3.21) after blowing the save in the top frame of the 8th; got the win for Pawtucket and Fernando Cabrera got his 7th save.  Kam Mickolio had his third blown save of the season and his record dropped to 1 win and 2 losses with an ERZ of 9.42.

The Tides made the overnight bus ride to Rochester and the Tides pitching heated up with the weather on a warm western New York night with a game time temperature of 84 degrees Jake Arietta took the hill for the Tides and pitched yet another great game against the Rochester Red Wings.  This evening Arietta shut down the potent Red Wing attack allowing one run on 5 hits walking 2 and striking out 7 in 8 innings work. The one run came in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Matt Tolbert tripled to right and scored on a Jason Repko single but that would be all for the Wings.  Denis Sarfate came in to close the game and sent the Wings down in order in the bottom of the 9th. The Tides offense was generated in the bottom of the 7th when Josh Bell doubled and advanced to third on a ground out by Nolan Reimold. He then scored on wild pitch by Anthony Swarzak. In the top of the 8th Robert Andino hit his sixth home run of the season to make the score 2-1.

The Tides had 2 runs on 5 hits with no errors and left 3 men on base.  Rochester had one run on 5 hits and no errors leaving 3 on base. Arietta (6-2 1.77) got the win and Denis Sarfate got his third save of the year.  Rob Delany (5-3 4.40) took the loss for the Red Wings.

The teams match up again Monday with Chris George (1-1 3.96) taking the hill for the Tides and Glen Perkins (0-6 8.47) for the Red Wings.

The Tides parent club the Baltimore Orioles dropped their fifth game in a row dropping their record to 15-36 with a .294 win percentage 18.5 games behind the American League East leading Tampa Bay Rays.

Until tomorrow,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Wings Fly over Tides 9-2 Patton Hammered

Troy Patton was roughed up by the Red Wings on Saturday Night

If you have ever had one of those days that you wish you could do all over again and I know that I have, you may understand what Norfolk Tides pitcher Troy Patton went through on a warm and breezy Saturday night down and the Cathedral on the bank of the Elizabeth River’s East Fork in front of 7592 fans on military appreciation night. Patton had one of those days that many pitchers occasionally have where he was simply hittable.  From my vantage point behind home plate it seemed that his pitches were not moving and the Rochester Red Wings who stocked their batting order with right handed batters did not let up on the young lefty.

Singles in the 2nd inning. He would score from 3rd on an Adam Donachie single

Troy got through the 1st and 2nd innings without surrendering a run but making a lot of pitches will allowing two singles.  The Tides then got him a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 2nd when Adam Donachie singled to score Josh Bell from third. The Tides had 3 hits in the inning and it looked like things might be on track for a fourth straight win at home.

Andy Mitchell gave up no earned runs in 3.2 innings pitched

However in the 3rd inning Patton began to run into trouble.  Toby Gardenhire doubled the first pitch down the left field line to start the inning. Patton was able to get the next two batters out but Gardenhire scored on a ground out by Matt Tolbert.  Brian Dinkleman doubled to right and scored on a single by Danny Valencia but Valencia was thrown out at second by Adam Donachie when he tried to take second on the throw to home to end the inning.  Patton gave up another double with two outs in the top of the fourth inning to Wilson Ramos but no damage was done as Patton got Brock Peterson to pop out to shortstop Robert Andino to ending the inning and the threat.

Josh Bell slides into second

The Tides went quietly in the bottom of the fourth and Joey Gathright replaced Michael Aubrey as the designated hitter. It was in the top of the 5th that Troy Patton’s night became one that he would rather forget as the Wings turned the left field line into a shooting gallery.  Toby Gardenhire led off with a single but was thrown out by Nolan Reimold and that would be the last out that Patton would see.  Jason Repko and Matt Tolbert had back to back doubles both down the line in left with Tolbert’s scoring Repko. After an extended visit to the mound by pitching coach Mike Griffin Patton went back to work as did the Wings.  Brian Dinkleman singled on a line drive down the left field line to score Tolbert and he was followed by Danny Valencia who did the same sending Dinkleman to second.  Matt Macri doubled down the line to left scoring Dinkleman.  Dustin Martin then singled down the left field line to score Valencia. This was enough for Gary Allenson who sent a disappointed and obviously frustrated Patton to the dugout.  Into the carnage Allenson brought right handed submariner Andy Mitchell. Mitchell who until this year had been a starter and shuttled from the roster to the taxi squad and back a couple of times this year while maintaining his poise and composure adjusting to the changes with grace did not disappoint tonight.  With two on and only one out Andy got Wilson Ramos to fly out to right but allowed a single down the left field line to Brock Peterson scoring Matt Macri for the final run charged to Patton’s account.  Andy then retired Toby Gardenhire who had began the inning on a ground ball to first that Brandon Snyder made a great play to get the ball and toss it to Mitchell to end the inning. The Tides mustered nothing in the bottom frame going down one two three.

The Red Wings would pick up an unearned run in the top of the 6th inning but Jeff Salazar led off the bottom frame with a solo home run.  Josh Bell hit a two out double but was stranded at second when Nolan Reimold struck out swinging.  Andy Mitchell sent the Wings down in order in the 7th and allowed a single in the 8th pitching three and two thirds inning without an earned run.  In the bottom half of the 8th inning Jeff Salazar and Robert Andino singled and Rhyne Hughes walked to load the bases with one out. Josh Bell batting right handed struck out and then Nolan Reimold did the same to end the Tides best chance at a multi run inning.

Pedro Viola came into the game in the 9th inning for the Tides in relief of Mitchell and had his best outing of the year since arriving in Norfolk.  After walking the first batter he retired the next three batters in order to close out the top of the 9th.  In the bottom frame the Tides went down in order to end the game but knowing that tomorrow is another day and a chance to get back in the winning side of life.

The Red Wings had 9 runs on 17 hits with one error and left 9 men on base.  The Tides two runs on 8 hits and one error and left 6 runners on base.  Troy Patton (2-6 6.56) got the loss giving up 8 runs on 13 hits in 4.1 innings.  Andy Mitchell had no earned runs in 3.2 innings giving up 4 hits.  Rochester starter Matt Fox (4-2 2.82) got the win giving up 2 runs, only one earned on 5 hits in 6 innings.

In Washington the Orioles lost to the Nationals in their second of three interleague games with the Nats. Tomorrow is the rubber game in the series.

Sunday afternoon the Tides and Red Wings play again at Harbor Park with Jeff Manship (2-2 3.93) taking the hill for Rochester and Brandon Erbe (0-7 6.07) going for his first win of the season.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Defeat Pawsox 5-2 on Tillman’s Pitching and the Long Ball

Chris Tillman pitched seven shut out innings to get the win

After losing the opening game of their series against the Pawtucket Red Sox the Norfolk Tides dominated the Boston Red Sox AAA affiliate on a beautiful Wednesday night.  Baltimore Orioles General Manager Andy McPhail and 3872 of his closest friends, except the Pawsox fans enjoyed the moderate temperatures and light winds which made the night a beautiful night for a ball game.  Tonight it was Chris Tillman (4-4 3.31) who shut down the Pawsox for seven innings allowing no runs and only three hits striking out 4 and walking only 2.  Tillman was followed by Pedro Viola in the 8th inning and Viola made things a bit sporty for the Tides allowing a run on two hits before retiring the side.  Denis Sarfate entered in the 9th inning and after retiring Aaron Bates walked Dusty Brown and then gave up a single to Lars Anderson who with a name like that needs to be on the Norwegian Biathlon Team.  After a visit to the mount by manager Gary Allenson Sarfate walked Tug Hulett to load the bases with one out.  Allenson then took Sarfate out for closer Frank Mata (0-0 1.96) who got Bubba Bell to ground out to first which allowed Brown to score and then struck out Ryan Khoury to end the game and notch his 8th save of the year.

Adam Donachie Singles and Justin Turner Drives him in

And They Come across the plate


Tonight the Tides hitters finally started hitting the long ball and it began with Scott Moore who crushed a 2-0 pitch over the right field wall which drove in Nolan Reimold who had walked.  In the 3rd inning Adam Donachie singled and Justin Turner blasted a one out shot over the left field wall bouncing the ball off a picnic table in the left field picnic area to score two more runs for the Tides extending their lead to 4-0.  That score would remain until the 6th inning when Scott Moore did not leave us waiting from more but smashed a two out 2-0 pitch from Sox starter Michael Bowden which left the ballpark completely passing over the bullpen in the direction of the East Fork of the Elizabeth River. Good thing there were no boats passing by or we might have needed a rescue team.  That ended the scoring for the Tides and though the Pawsox attempted a comeback they fell short.

Scott Moore crosses home plate after his second home run of the night

The Tides had 5 runs on 7 hits and an error leaving two men on base. The Sox had 2 runs on 6 hits and no errors leaving 7 runners on base.  On Thursday the Tides and the Sox meet again at Harbor Park with Tides ace Jake Arietta (3-2 2.20) going up against Fabio Castro (2-2 6.56).   Hopefully the Tides will take advantage of the momentum generated tonight and transfer it into solid pitching and hitting on Thursday night at Harbor Park. The weather should be excellent to see a game so see you there.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Blown Out of Buffalo 11-4: Northern Road Trip Ends with Tides Losing Six of Eight Games….Is there any Hitting in the House?

Frustrated Hitters like Joey Gathright have not had a Good Season so far in 2010

The Tides first northern expedition of the year ended badly in Buffalo on Monday night. On a cool, cloudy and breezy Buffalo night the Tides fell to the Bisons by a score of 11-4.  The game was actually relatively close and could have gone to extra innings but for the 7 runs allowed by the Tides in the 7th and 8th innings.  Tides Starter Troy Patton (2-5 5.53)  gave up 4 runs, three earned on 8 hits in 5.2 innings work.    Jim Miller came into the game to relieve Patton in the bottom of the 6th with 2 outs and retired the first batter that he faced.  Miller gave up a solo home run to Jason Pridie in the bottom of the 7th before retiring the rest of the order.  However the 8th inning was the inning of doom for the Tides as the Bisons’ bats lit up Miller and Pedro Viola for 6 runs on 4 hits which included home runs by Russ Adams and Mike Jacobs and a double by Jesus Feliciano each of which scored two runs.  The Tides tried to rally in the top of the 9th but the rally fell very short with the Tides scoring 2 runs on a series of singles by Josh Bell, Michael Aubrey, Brandon Snyder, Robert Andino and Adam Donachie.  The Tides had scored two runs early in the game when Michael Aubrey hit a two run home run in the top of the 2nd inning.

Rhyne Hughes leads the Tides in batting averaage

The road trip was difficult for the Tides especially in the hitting department. The Tides scored just 21 runs on 57 hits and only 2 home runs.  They were shut out twice with one of those a complete game for the opposing pitcher.  They now sit at the bottom of the International League in the team batting average with a .234 team average and an On Base Percentage of just .299 also the lowest in the league.  They rank third from the bottom in run production with a total of 157 runs in 39 games with a Slugging Percentage of .366 the second lowest in the league.   In some ways the Tides hitting mirrors that of their parent club the Baltimore Orioles.  Who have a .251 average a .310 OBP and scored just 133 runs next to last in the American League with a fourth from the bottom Slugging Percentage of .384.    It is obvious that the Orioles and the Tides need to improve markedly in hitting and run production if they ever want to be competitive.

Former Tides Pitcher Alfredo Simon got the win in Relief in Baltimore while Corey Patterson (below) had a game tying home run in the bottom of the 8th

In the pitching department the Tides are part of the middle of the pack in the International League with an ERA of 4.27.  In a number of pitching categories the Tides are competitive however they have given up 142 walks the most in the League other than Pawtucket and are in the top third of the league in terms of home runs, runs and earned runs.  With the exception of the final game of the series in Buffalo the pitchers kept the Tides in the games despite giving up the long ball in inopportune moments.

While the Tides pitching could improve the pitchers are on the whole improving but the hitters are struggling and players that hit for good averages last year are not getting it done this year. In 2009 Joey Gathright hit .325, Justin Turner .300, Michael Aubrey .290, Scott Moore .254 and Brandon Snyder .248.   By comparison Gathright is hitting .184, Turner .250, Aubrey .266, Moore .256 and Snyder .202.  The team batting average in 2009 was .272 and currently in 2010 .234.  On base percentage 2009 was .330 and this year .299, slugging percentage in 2009 .389 and 2010 just .366.  The Tides have to figure out a way to hit this year otherwise even the improving pitching staff will continue to lose games that on other teams that they would win.   Certainly the talent is there and the hitters are capable of better.  Could it be the change in the hitting coach that occurred with Richie Hebner replacing Dallas Williams who had held the job for four years?  If it is not Hebner certainly there has to be an explanation for this slump.  At the beginning of the season I was not concerned but coming up on a third of the way into the season I am becoming concerned about despite a number of games where the Tides appeared to have broken out of this collective slump but then lapsed back into it.

The Tides played tonight against the Pawtucket Red Sox and lost by a score of 6-0, more on this game tomorrow.

Meanwhile in Baltimore the Orioles defeated teh Royals by a score of 4-3 in the bottom of the 10th inning. Luke Scott hit 2 home runs off of last year’s Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke.  Former Tides outfielder Corey Patterson hit a home run in the bottom of the 8th inning to tie the game and give the O’s another chance to win.  Former Tides starter and now Orioles closer Alfredo Simon got the win.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Northern Road Trip gets Frosty: Cold Tides Lose 5-3 and 4-0 in Buffalo

Mike Hessman in his Toledo Mud Hens uniform the all time Minor League Home Run King victimized Chris Tillman and Jake Arietta (James Venes photo 2007)

The Norfolk Tides have dropped their last four consecutive games on their northern road trip. After the last two games of their series against Syracuse including the heartbreaking 2-1 loss on Thursday the Tides have lost two more this time to the Buffalo Bisons the AAA affiliate of the Tides former parent club the New York Mets.  With cool weather and blustery winds the two teams faced off at Coca Cola Field and the Bisons took both Friday and Saturday’s games with Mike Hessman the all time minor league home run king victimizing Chris Tillman and Jake Arietta for his 11th and 12th home runs of the season.

On Friday night in front of 5729 with temperatures in the 50s and winds blowing 17 miles an hour the Tides started Chris Tillman (3-4 3.83) who as of late has done quite well.  Friday was a different matter. Tillman allowed 5 runs 4 of which were earned runs on 8 hits including two home runs in six innings work.  The damage started in the third inning when Tillman allowed a single to Alex Cintron who went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ruben Tejada. Tillman struck out Jason Pridie but then balked which allowed Pridie to advance to third. Jesus Feliciano then bunted for a single to score Pridie before Tillman got out of the inning getting Mike Jacobs to fly out to right fielder Blake Davis.

The Bisons added three more in the 4th inning beginning with Mike Hessman hitting a home run to left to lead off the inning.  Valentino Pascucci then popped out and Tillman walked Russ Adams.  J R House a former member of the Tides from 2007 who was just signed by the Mets to a minor league contract after playing with the Astros and the Astros organization singled Adams to second.  Alex Cintron grounded to Brandon Snyder at first which Snyder misplayed allowing Adams to score and House to advance to third. Meanwhile Cintron attempted to stretch his good fortune but was thrown out at second by right fielder Blake Davis who had fielded the ball after it got away from Snyder.  Ruben Tejada then singled to score House before Tillman retired Jason Pridie on a pop up to Justin Turner at second.

The Tides came back to score 3 runs in the top of the 5th.  Blake Davis singled to center and went to second on a passed ball. Robert Andino grounded out to second moving Davis to third. Catcher Michel Hernandez grounded out for the second out and Davis had to remain at third.  With two out Joey Gathright reached on an error by second baseman Alex Cintron and Davis scored.  Gathright then stole second and was driven in by Justin Turner who singled to center. Jeff Salazar then singled to right and Turner went to third. Josh Bell singled to score Turner before Nolan Reimold in his first game with the Tides since being optioned by Baltimore to Norfolk grounded into a force play to end the inning.

It seemed that the Tides were back in the game and that their dormant bats were alive again.  However in the bottom of the 6th inning Valentino Pascucci hit a leadoff home run to increase the lead to 5-3.  This was not an insurmountable lead but the Tides managed just one more hit the rest of the game going down in order in the 7th and 8th innings and only managing the hit, a single by pinch hitter Michael Aubrey  with two outs in the top of the 9th.

In the end the Tides had 3 runs on 9 hits and allowed an error the Bisons 5 runs on 11 hits and 1 error. Tillman (3-4 3.83) got the loss and knuckleballer R A Dickey (4-2 2.23) got the win for the Bisons.

The Tides fared worse on Saturday.  Today the Tides would scatter just four hits and only get one runner into scoring position and were shut out by the Bisons 4-0.  Jake Arietta (3-2 2.20) took the hill for the Tides going up against Pat Misch (3-0 3.30). Arietta gave up a run in the 1st inning when Mike Hessman who had victimized Chris Tillman on Friday singled to drive in Jesus Feliciano. The Bisons scored another run in the bottom of the 2nd inning after Arietta walked Andy Green to start the inning and Green advanced to third on a single by Ruben Tejada. He would score on a ground ball by Jason Pridie.  In the bottom of the third the Bisons scored again when Mike Hessman homered to lead off the inning. Hessman was drafted by the Braves in 1996 and has played 15 years in the minors 9 years at the AAA level getting to the majors in only four seasons for a total of 77 games hitting 13 home runs.  Hessman is interesting, he played on the 2008 Bronze Medal US Olympic team has hit 323 home runs in the minor leagues and holds the minor league record for home runs.  The shot in the 3rd inning was his 12th of this season.

The Bisons added a final run in the bottom of the 6th inning when Andy Green homered off Arietta.  Even though Pedro Viola and Denis Sarfate held the Bisons to no more runs once again the Tides could manage no offense and they fell to the Bisons by the score of 4-0.  The Tides final line was 0 runs on 4 hits with one error, the Bisons 4 runs on 5 hits and no errors.  With the loss the Tides drop to 15-22 having lost five of the first six games of the northern road trip and into the cellar of the IL South.  The Tides and Bisons will square off Sunday afternoon. The pitchers are not announced but the number three man in the Tides rotation Chris George was placed on the seven day DL which could move Troy Patton up in the rotation as the Tides have no real starters in the bullpen.  Short reliever Jim Miller was brought back up from Aberdeen.

Up in Baltimore the Orioles who had won their last three games relearned the hard lesson that you have to get 27 outs to win the game. The O’s blew a 2-0 lead to the Cleveland Indians in the 9th inning with Alfredo Simon and Cla Meredith each allowing four runs in an 8 run rally once again denying Brian Matusz his first win of the season.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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