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Scott Moore Leads Tides to 9-4 Victory over Knights, Tillman Gets 10th Victory

Scott Moore hits his first of two 2 run home runs on Sunday night

The Norfolk Tides took their 3 game series against the Charlotte Knights on Sunday night defeating Knights by a score of 9-4 in front of a crowd of 5,011 at Harbor Park.

Chris Tillman got his 10th win of the season

The Knights got to Christ Tillman in the second inning scoring two runs on 4 hits before Tillman regained control of the situation.  Chris would scatter 4 more hits and be charged with 1 more run but kept the Knights in check while the Tides offense went to work.  Charlotte starting pitcher Lucas Harrell retired Paco Figueroa and Jeff Salazar and with 2 outs the Tides came in.  Robert Andino singled and Harrell walked both Michael Aubrey and Nolan Reimold to load the bases. He then balked with Lou Montanez at the plate to score Andino and advance Aubrey and Reimold. With that it was Katie bar the door as Montanez singled to score both runners.  He then stole second base with Scott Moore at the plate before Moore crushed a pitch over the right field wall giving the Tides a 5-2 lead.

Scott Moore about to make contact with his second home run off Lucas Harrell

In the bottom of the 5th inning the Tides rolled again with Scott Moore taking the leading role.  Nolan Reimold walked with one out and then Lou Montanez reached on a throwing error by third baseman Dayan Viciedo which scored Reimold from first.  The brought Scott Moore back to the plate and he launched another bomb over the right field fence for his 2nd two run home run in as many at bats.  Brandon Snyder doubled and moved to 3rd base on an Adam Donachie single. Paco Figueroa grounded into a force which score Snyder to give the Tides a 9-2 lead.

Kam Mickolio held the Knights in the 7th and 8th innings

Charlotte scored twice in the top of the 7th with Tillman leaving after a leadoff single by Brent Morel.  He was relieved by Alberto Castillo who walked Fernando Cortez and after a visit by pitching coach Mike Griffin to the mound struck out Buck Coats.  Jordan Danks singled to score Morel and that was it for Castillo who was relieved by Kam Mickolio.  Kam stuck out Dayan Viciedo before giving up a single to Stefan Gartrell to score Cortez before retiring the side.

That would be all of the scoring as Mickolio sent the Knights down in order in the 8th and Frank Mata retired the Knights allowing a walk but nothing more in the 9th to secure the win for the Tides.

Chris Tillman (10-7 3.51 ERA) got the win becoming the first Tides pitcher to reach the 10 win mark this season.  Lucas Harrell (10-10 4.75 ERA) took the loss.  The Knights had 4 runs on 10 hits and one error leaving 8 men on base.  The Tides had 9 runs on 11 hits with no errors leaving 8 runners stranded. The Tides travel to Georgia to face the Gwinnett Braves in the first of a two game series against their former Richmond rival.

In a personnel move Rick Vanden Hurk was called up to Baltimore to replace Jason Berken who was placed on the DL with a torn labrum and inflammation in his pitching shoulder. It is expected that Berken will be out for the season.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides nip Tribe 2-1 in 11th Inning on solid Pitching and Clutch Hitting

Rick Vanden Hurk pitched 8 innings of 3 hit ball

The Norfolk Tides concluded an otherwise dismal road trip with a 2-1 11 inning victory over the Indianapolis Indians on Thursday night.  The key to the Tides victory was pitching as Earl Weaver said “the only thing that matters is what happens on the little hump out in the middle of the field.”  Starter Rick Vanden Hurk pitched 8 outstanding innings allowing 1 ruin on 3 hits, the run coming on the only hits he allowed in the game, successive singles to Pedro Ciriaco, Brian Friday and Kevin Melillo.  With the exception of a walk to Brian Friday in the bottom of the 6th inning he allowed no other base runners.  He threw 103 pitches with 73 being strikes, an amazing strike to pitch ratio in anyone’s book.

Vanden Hurk came out of the game in the 9th and relievers Alberto Castillo, Frank Mata and Denis Sarfate all pitched an inning of scoreless relief allowing no hits with Castillo and Sarfate each walking a batter.  Mata (3-2 3.07 ERA) got the win and Sarfate (2-1 S15 3.07) got his 15th save of the year.

The Tides got 9 hits but manages just the two runs but that was all that they needed to secure the win.  In the top of the 6th inning Brandon Snyder doubled and moved to 3rd on a sacrifice bunt by Scott Moore and scored on a Paco Figueroa single.

The score remained tied until the 11th inning with neither team able to connect the dots to score a run.  In the one out in the top of the 11th Paco Figueroa doubled on a pop up that was missed by Second Baseman Brian Friday.  He advanced to third base on a ground ball out to first base by Jeff Salazar and with Robert Andino at the plate scored on a wild pitch by Indians’ reliever Jean Machi.  The Indians were then sent down by Denis Sarfate to end the game.  The Tides had 2 runs on 9 hits with no errors, the Indians 1 run on 3 hits with 2 errors.  Machi (5-4 4.17 ERA) took the loss for the Tribe.

The Tides return home to Harbor Park tonight for Navy Night against the Charlotte Knights with Troy Patton back on the hill for the Tides facing Brandon Hynick (1-2 7.03 ERA).  On the roster the Chris George who injured his elbow against the Indians on Tuesday was placed on the 7 Day DL.

In other news the Tides and Orioles announced a four year extension of their Player Development Agreement/ Affiliation that will go through the 2014 season.  Double A Bowie and Advanced Single A Frederick announced similar deals.

See you at the Church of Baseball, Harbor Park Parish.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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“The only thing that matters is what happens on the little hump out in the middle of the field.” Tides Lose to Tribe 10-6 and 7-4; Orioles win 3-1

Nolan Reimold is hitting .383 and has 2 home runs and 9 RBIs in the last 10 games

The Norfolk Tides were downed by the Indianapolis Indians on Tuesday by a score of 10-6 and Wednesday afternoon 7-4.  As was the case in Louisville it was in large part due to pitching though unlike the Louisville series only one of the two games could be held against the starting pitcher. In an unfortunate turn of events for the Tides Chris George was forced from the game after retiring the first two batters in the first inning with an injured elbow. He has not yet been placed on the DL and there is nothing currently on the Tides or Orioles website as to his status and the severity of the injury. In most of his starts this year Chris has been solid and if he is injured it will place even more stress on a struggling Tides starting rotation which could affect the bullpen. The bullpen with the exception of Tuesday’s game against the Indians has been very effective allowing the Tides to stay in games that earlier in the year would have been blowouts.

Tim Bascom and other Starters have been hammered over the past few weeks

With Jake Arietta, Alfredo Simon and Armando Gabino now at Baltimore the Tides are without their three most effective starters.  Chris Tillman has been affected and he has not been as effective as he was earlier in the year I believe by the constant actions of Orioles management to keep sending Chris up and down between Baltimore and Norfolk.  He has had some outstanding games including a no-hitter against the Gwinnett Braves. Troy Patton has improved throughout the year and is now one of the Tides most dependable starters, unfortunately for the Tides he has missed several recent starts due to being called up to Baltimore where he saw no action.  Brandon Erbe had a number of rough outings and during his good starts did not have run support from the offense or saw the defense commit errors that resulted in runs.   Tim Bascom called up from Bowie in May has struggled his last win occurred on June 27th and was tagged for 7 earned runs in today’s game.  Zach Britton who was called up on July 1st has been effective despite a record of 1 win and 2 losses.  His worst outing occurred in Louisville where he gave up 5 earned runs in 3.2 innings. Chris George as I mentioned earlier has had a decent but not remarkable season but now the verdict is out concerning the severity of the injury to his elbow that he appeared to sustain Tuesday night.

The Tides and Orioles need to find a solution to the difficulty that the current starters are having in the early innings.  Again with few exceptions the bullpen has been solid since the All-Star break but the starting pitching needs to improve.  The Tides are now scoring enough runs on a regular basis that they should be winning more games than they are losing. They are losing in the early innings when starters have given up too many runs to opponents. Examples include July 16th when Bascom gave up 6 runs in 1.2 innings, July 24th when Tillman gave up 6 runs in 3.2 innings, the 29th when Tillman gave up 5 runs in 4.1 innings, August 5th when George gave up 6 runs in 3.2 innings, August 6th when Bascom gave up 7 runs in 3.2 innings, the 8th when Britton gave up 5 runs in 3.2 innings and today when Bascom gave up 7 runs in 6 innings.  All things considered getting down by that many runs that often makes it very difficult on the offense.  It is true that there have been many occasions when the offense failed to produce when starters pitched well but the trend lately is to get behind early and despite solid performances from the offense to score plenty of runs and get plenty of hits and nearly come back to win.

Tides hitters are showing signs of life, in the past 10 days Nolan Reimold has hit .389 with 2 home runs and 9 RBIs, Robert Andino .350 with 5 RBIs, Scott Moore .324 with 2 homers and 6 RBIs, Matt Angle .385 and 5 RBIs.  A couple of players hot earlier have cooled down or are slumping but even so in the past two weeks the Tides team batting average has gone up from .248 to .252 with corresponding increases in other offensive categories, a sign that overall the hitting is getting better.

On Tuesday night the Tides lost 10-6 and following the injury to Chris George saw the bullpen not be able to get the job done giving up 10 runs (7 earned) on 12 hits with 2 errors and walking 5 in 7.1 innings, a game ERA of 8.87.  Tides hitters had a good night of their own pounding our 6 runs on 12 hits including a home run by Scott Moore, an inside the park home run by catcher Adam Donachie and doubles by Michael Aubrey, Rhyne Hughes and Donachie who had 4 RBIs.  Cla Meredith (1-2 7.65 ERA) got the loss for the Tides and Joe Martinez (1-0 4.00 ERA) the win for the Tribe.

Today it was Tom Bascom who was stung giving up 7 runs, )4 in the 4th inning) in 6 innings work relievers Kam Mickolio, making his first appearance since coming off the DL and Denis Sarfate each pitched well, Mickolio allowing a hit but no runs and Sarfate putting the Tribe down in order with 2 strikeouts.  Nolan Reimold had two hits one a double with 2 RBIs, Robert Andino had a RBI producing sacrifice fly, Michael Aubrey had a RBI double and Brandon Snyder a double.

The Tides and Indians finish the series Friday night with Rick Vanden Hurk (1-1 2.84 ERA) on the hill for the Tides and Brad Lincoln (6-3 4.17 ERA) up for the Indians.

The Orioles played their second game of a 3 game series against Cleveland and defeated the Indians 3-1 on the strength of a 2 hit complete game shutout by Brad Bergeson.  The Orioles are now 8-1 under Buck Showalter and are now 40-74 for the first time during the season not having the worst record in the majors, which is now held by the Pittsburgh Pirates.  They are close to overtaking the Mariners and within striking distance of the Indians, Royals, Cubs, Diamondbacks and Nationals.  Showalter is a leader a precise man that uses statistics, views of others in the organization and his own observations to evaluate players including their competitive spirit.

Anyway, it is late; I am tired and have an early morning.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Swept by Bats, Orioles continue to win

Michale Aubrey (above) and Brandon Snyder (below) continue to have clutch hits


The Norfolk Tides ebbed out of Louisville Monday morning after having been swept by the red hot Louisville Bats.  They had lost game one on Thursday as they opened the road trip and would drop the final three, all be close margins despite the fact that in each game the Tides starter got knocked around in the early innings bad enough that despite two tremendous comebacks the Tides failed to put anything in the win column.  On Thursday they were shut out by the Bats by a score of 6-0 with Chris George getting the loss.

The next three games were close but the Tides fell short in comeback attempts. On Friday starter Tim Bascom (2-6 7.28 ERA) got the loss and gave up 7 runs on 10 hits in 3.2 innings work and the Tides lost 8-7.  The Tides made it interesting picking up a run in the 5th inning and 6 runs in the 6th but were unable to overtake the Bats.  On Saturday the Tides lost 5-2 with Rick Vanden Hurk giving up 5 runs on 8 hits with the Tides scoring 2 runs in the 7th inning. Vanden Hurk (1-1 2.84 ERA) took the loss.  On Sunday it was another slugfest in which the Tides got out to an early 2-0 lead but saw it melt in a 5 run 5th inning for the Bats against starter Zach Britton.  The Tides would lose by a score of 8-7 when a 9th inning rally fell just short.  Michael Aubrey and Nolan Reimold each had a home run and a double.

The problem for this series was the starting pitching. The four Tides starters gave up 27 (25 earned) runs on 27 hits in a combined 16.2 innings for a 13.88 ERA. Tides relievers on the other hands were very good pitching 15.1 innings allowing 5 runs on 14 hits a 2.98 ERA.  The only reliever that had a bad appearance was Pat Egan who gave up 3 runs on 4 hits in 0.2 innings work in the final game of the series. After Thursday’s shutout the Tides scored 16 runs in the next three games collecting 34 hits.

Jim Miller came back off the Inactive List to provide solid relief work, it’s Miller Time again

This series showed the importance of starting pitching to the Tides. Early in the year Tides starters led by Jake Arietta, Chris Tillman and Alfredo Simon were better than the bullpen much of the time and other starters including Troy Patton and Brandon Erbe often lost games pitching well but getting little in the way of run support.

In Baltimore over the weekend the O’s took 2 of 3 from the White Sox and are playing a close game tied 2-2 in the 9th tonight.  Starting pitching and solid hitting have been the difference since Buck Showalter took over. At the same time Showalter’s arrival coincides with the first time in the season that the Orioles are playing healthy with several positions players including Brian Roberts, Luke Scott and Felix Pie back off of the DL and relievers Mike Gonzalez and Koji Uehara back in the lineup after being on the DL extended lengths of time. .

In personnel matters Troy Patton was sent back down today to make room for Craig Tatum, a move designed to bolster the O’s bench and Adam Donachie was brought back up from double A Bowie to the Tides.

Both the Tides and Orioles continue to play tonight and I will write about those games tomorrow.

Blessings,

Padre Steve+

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Tides Win Monday 4-1 lose bid for Sweep of Indians 5-3 Tuesday Afternoon

Rick Vanden Hurk got the win Monday for the Tides

The Norfolk Tides had a chance to sweep a series but were unable to do so but took the series from the Indianapolis Indians by 3 games to one.  It was an interesting series the Tides took the first two games in comeback winds and on Monday never trailed. Tuesday was another matter as the Tides got behind early and could not come from behind as they had on Saturday and Sunday.

Brandon Snyder hits a 2 run home run in the 4th inning

On a beautiful Monday night newly acquired Rick Vanden Hurk taking the place of new promoted Troy Patton pitched 7 strong innings giving up just 1 run on 4 hits striking out four enroute to the victory. Hewould be backed up by strong relief performances by Frank Mata in the 8th inning and Denis Sarfate closing the game and getting the save by striking out the side in the 9th.

Denis Sarfate got his 14th save striking out Jim Negrych for the final out

The only run given up by Vanden Hurk came in the 3rd inning when Luke Carlin led off the inning with a double and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Friday, He scored on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Melillo before retiring the side.  The Tides took an early lead in the 2nd inning off of Indians starter Michael Crotta. Nolan Reimold walked and Scott Moore singled with one out.  After Brandon Snyder was retired on a fly ball to right catcher Craig Tatum tripled to score Reimold and Scott before Paco Figueroa struck out swinging to end the inning.  The Tides would pick up two more runs in the 4th inning. Nolan Reimold singled and stole 2nd base. He was followed by Brandon Snyder who crushed Crotta’s pitch over the left field wall into the Indian’s bullpen to give the Tides a 4-1 lead which they never relinquished.

Rick Vanden Hurk got the win (1-0 1.29 ERA) and Michael Crotta (5-6 4.90 ERA) the loss. Denis Sarfate got his 14th save and lowered his ERA to 3.29.  The Indians had 1 run on 5 hits with no errors leaving 5 men on base.  The Tides 4 runs on 5 hits with 1 error once again relying on the long ball for the win.

On Tuesday afternoon the Tides sent Chris Tillman to the hill. Chris was hit hard in the first inning giving up 4 runs on 6 hits also giving up a wild pitch and a costly throwing error.  He did recover and threw 4 more innings giving up 3 more hits and no runs before being pulled at the end of the inning having throw 81 pitches.  It is my opinion that mentally Chris has not recovered from the last “bungi-cord” trip to Baltimore when in two appearances he threw a magnificent game including 6 no-hit innings on the big hitting Texas Rangers before being hit hard by the Minnesota Twins.  I for the life of me I cannot understand why the Orioles have not been more patient at the major league level with Tillman who is still only 22 years old.  Hopefully he will get his chance under Buck Showalter a manager with much experience dealing with young pitchers.

Matt Angle went 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI on Tuesday

The Tides bullpen had another strong night with Armando Gabino going 2 scoreless innings, Alberto Castillo gave up a run in the 8th facing 3 batters giving up a walk and hit before being relieved by Pat Egan who gave up a double to send one of Castillo’s runners to score with Castillo being chaged with the run.  In the 9th inning Jim Hoey entered the game getting the final two outs allowing no runs and no hits.

The Tides scored their 3 runs in the 6th inning.  Brandon Snyder walked and Michel Hernandez singled. Paco Figueroa laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners.  Matt Angle singled to score Snyder and Jeff Salazar hit a sacrifice fly to score Hernandez. Matt Angle stole second and scored on Robert Andino’s single.  They would not score again and the game and the Tides three game winning streak were over, the Tides going down to the Indians by a score of 5-3.  The Indians had 5 runs on 11 hits with no errors and the Tides 3 runs on 6 hits with 1 error.  Chris Tillman (8-7 3.61 ERA)  got the loss, his third since coming back from Baltimore and Jeremy Powell (8-7 4.79 ERA) the win.  The Tides have Wednesday off and begin a four game series against the Louisville Bats on Thursday.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Go Paco Go! Tides Win on Figueroa’s Walk-off Double with 2 out in Bottom of 11th

Paco Figueroa hits his game winning double

On a beautiful night the fans at Church of Baseball Harbor Park Parish were treated to an outstanding pitcher’s duel and probably the most exciting finish to a game at Harbor Park.  In front of a crowd of 8247 excited fans the Norfolk Tides and the Indianapolis Indians played an outstanding ball game that was full of suspense and excitement.

Tides starter Tim Bascom got off to a rough start walking Kevin Melillo to lead off the inning and with 2 outs give up a home run that banged off of the right field scoreboard to Brandon Moss to give the I-Tribe a 2-0 lead.  After that Bascom settled down giving up only 2 more hits and 2 walks in 6.2 innings work.

Craig Tatum cross home with the winning run

The Indians starter Brian Burres gave up just 1 run on 3 hits in 7 innings work. The Tides got their first run in the 7th inning off of Burres when Nolan Reimold walked and stole second base and with two outs catcher Craig Tatum got his first hit in a Tides uniform a single that scored Reimold.

Tim Bascom pitched 6.2 innings allowing just 3 hits

Alberto Castillo came on with 2 outs in the top of the 7th and retired the side and sent the Indians down in order in the 8th with 2 strikeouts.  Indians reliever Corey Hamman gave up a single to Robert Andino with one out but got out of the inning when Jeff Salazar hit into a double play.  Frank Mata came in at the top of the 9th for the Tides and gave up a walk but allowed no runs or hits.  In the bottom frame the Indians send up Jean Machi to attempt to save the game and secure the win and it looked like he would do it with ease.  Machi retired both Scott Moore and Nolan Reimold but then gave up a single to Rhyne Hughes who stole 2nd base.  Machi then struck out Brandon Snyder on a wild pitch which went to the backstop and Snyder hustled down the line to first base and Hughes alertly took third base.  Craig Tatum then hit a soft grounder to the right side of the infield that Indians First Baseman Jonathan Van Every bobbled for an error allowing Hughes to score and Tatum to take first base.  Still with two outs the Tides sent Paco Figueroa to the plate as the crowd chanted “Go Paco Go!” and on the first pitch Paco hit a sinking line drive that looked as if it would fall for a hit that would score Snyder. Instead Tides fans hopes were dashed for the inning when Right Fielder Mitch Jones made a sliding catch to end the inning.

Armando Gabino notched his 7th win of the season against no losses

The game entered extra innings and the Tides brought in Armando Gabino to pitch in the 10th inning.  Gabino who has been rock solid and the undiscovered gem of the Tides bullpen blew the Indians down in order in the top of the 10th inning.  In the bottom half of the inning the Tides threatened with Robert Andino and Scott Moore on 2nd and third with 2 outs Nolan Reimold plastered a deep fly ball to left which was caught near the warning track by outfielder Kevin Melillo for the 3rd out.

Gabino gave up a hit in the top of the 11th but pitched out of the inning to keep the score tied at two.  In the bottom half of the 11th and reliever Brian Bass came was sent to the hill by the Indians.  He retired Reimold and Snyder before giving up a walk to Craig Tatum.  With each inning the cheering of the crowd had been getting louder and Paco Figueroa came to the plate with fans chanting “Go Paco Go!”  Figueroa worked the count full Figueroa hit a deep drive to the warning track that went for a double, scored Tatum and ended the game.  The atmosphere in the park was electric as the Tides ran onto the field to congratulate Figueroa and fans standing and cheering.

Armando Gabino (7-0, S2 2.18 ERA) got the win and Bass (2-3 4.11 ERA) the loss. The Indians had 2 runs on 5 hits with 1 error leaving 6 men stranded. The Tides 3 runs on 6 hits with no errors stranding 10.  The teams meet tonight with Zach Britton (1-1 2.28 ERA) pitching for the Tides and Charlie Morton (3-4 4.82ERA) on the hill for the Indians.

In personnel moves the Orioles called up Josh Bell to replace Miguell Tejada who was traded to the Padres. Troy Patton was called up to replace Will Ohman who was traded to Florida for minor league reliever Rick Vanden Hurk with Vanden Hurk being assigned to the Tides.

I’m on the way to the ballpark on a soggy Sunday.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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