Tag Archives: ross wolf

Padre Steve’s Tides and Orioles Report: A Look at Where we Stand

As the Tides get ready for game three of their four-game set with the Syracuse Chiefs there have been some significant personnel moves which involve both the Tides and their parent organization the Baltimore Orioles.  These moves are probably just the start of moves that might take place prior to the trading deadline at the end of the month.  This is the report that I promised back at the All-Star break

To begin in Baltimore the O’s reinstated closer Mike Gonzalez after the completion of his minor league rehab for a strained left shoulder.  They made room on the 40 man roster by moving relief pitcher Jim Johnson from the 15 day disabled list to the 60 day disabled list effectively ending his season.  Johnson has been on the DL since May 28th with right elbow inflammation.  Third Baseman Josh Bell was optioned back to the Tides after going 6 for 19 (.263) in six games for the O’s.  Bell’s return to the Tides will add another strong bat to the order as well as a switch hitter.  On Tuesday the Orioles had optioned Chris Tillman back to the Tides as was reliever Frank Mata on the 19th. While disappointing for these pitchers they are both still on the 40 man roster and their return to the Tides solidifies both the starting rotation as well as the bullpen.

Some Tides are making a difference at Baltimore, especially outfielder Corey Patterson and relief pitcher Alfredo Simon.

In the moves Tides left handed pitcher Troy Patton was recalled to Baltimore after going 6 and 9 with a 4.91 ERA which was 3.44 in the last 18 games. A lot of Troy’s losses came on games where he got no run support or the opposing team was given extra chances through the errors of Tides players.  It the first time that Troy has been at the Major League level since 2007 with Houston.  The move of Patton to Baltimore means that Armando Gabino will be called upon again to make a spot start.

The Tides have 29 players on the roster 3 of which are on the DL so a player will have to be moved to keep the active roster at the 25 man limit.  My recommendation would be Tim Bascom for the time being in order to let his injury heal and to get his confidence back after several outings where he was shelled by the opposition. Pat Egan is another possibility for movement and even potentially Brandon Erbe however I would not want to see that move just yet.  There is the case of Cla Meredith who was sent to Norfolk from the Orioles and cut from the O’s 40 man roster and he has not been effective at all since coming down to Norfolk and my sources tell me that he is extremely frustrated with his situation vice the Orioles.  He could be used to sweeten any deals that the O’s make approaching the trading deadline as I believe that he can be effective at the Major League level despite his struggles here and that a fresh start may be what he needs.  Alberto Castillo has performed adequately with the exception of a couple of bad outings but it is obvious that the 35 year old lefty’s better days are behind him.  Chris George has been solid for the Tides and is good to have in the organization as a left hander and Armando Gabino is the undiscovered gem of the Tides. Gabino has pitched well in starting situations where he is 5-0 and has helped hold the bullpen together in middle to late relief.  Two men that have been up and down between the Tides and Aberdeen which is for all purposes functioning as a taxi squad are relievers Jim Miller and Andy Mitchell.  Both had rough starts to their seasons but have been solid “go to” guys when a starter gets in trouble early in the game and Miller has served well in his natural position of being a closer.  Brandon Erbe has been on the DL and while struggling early has been bereft of run support and as is the case with most of the Tides pitchers victimized by poor defense at critical junctures.  Mike Hinckley appears to have major league stuff but still needs some work as he is inconsistent.  Zack Clark also seems to be solid and except for one bad outing has done well but had almost no run support.  Zack Britton seems to be on the fast track for the majors and I am really impressed by his speed, ball movement and control as well his sense for where he needs to be on the diamond when the ball is in play.  Kam Mickolio has been on the DL much of the year and when he was healthy seemed to struggle. He has major league stuff but something needs to be fine tuned. He has been on the 7 day DL for some time now and since he is on the 40 man roster I wonder if it would not be wise at this point to move him to the 60 day DL if he is not ready in order to free up some room and give him time to heal and get his mechanics right.  He has too much potential just to let go but I wonder about leaving him in the 7 day DL limbo.  Denis Sarfate is another that is overlooked. He has been functioning for the most part as the closer and done well with the exception of one appearance.  He has great stuff with speed, control and good movement throwing in the mid to high 90s with the ability to throw hitters off with an occasional off speed pitch.  Jim Hoey looks to have promise but has not been up long enough to see how he will do in the long run.

Of position players there are a number that have been struggling or injured that might be moved to Aberdeen as a holding measure including Joey Gathright who has not been the same as he was last year when he hit .325 for the Tides.  Joey still hustles and plays hard but there is something in his mechanics that is limiting his effectiveness at the plate.  Nolan Reimold who the Orioles have invested a great deal of hope in is still only hitting .210 after leading the American League rookies in 2009 in home runs. He too had an injury that he does not seem to have bounced back from and suffered from some personal issues that have taken his focus off the game.  He does not seem to have the winning look in his eyes right now and seems to have his head down a lot.  Orioles and Tides fans really want him to succeed so I don’t know what will be the case.  Michael Aubrey has come on strong hitting 5 home runs in the last 6 games while Jeff Salazar, Matt Angle and Rhyne Hughes stay very productive.  Paco Figueroa  and Blake Davis are coming along and Jonathan Tucker shows promise.  Robert Andino has to improve defensively but he has been a clutch hitter with men in scoring position leading the Tides in RBI production.

I think that there are a good number of Tides with major league potential. Of course their disposition depends on what the Orioles do in Baltimore. The trade deadline is approaching and there are a number of players that could be moved whose moves could affect players in Norfolk and Bowie.  In the system the O’s have players that could be used to sweeten deals and would not have to be their big time prospects. We saw this in the move of Ross Wolf to get Jake Fox from Oakland.

The time has come for Andy McPhail and the Orioles to get a new manager, hopefully Buck Showalter and start shedding unproductive or underperforming players at Baltimore and in their minor league system. The teaching of fundamentals at all levels must be reemphasized especially fielding and various reaction drills.  Bobby Dickerson has really done well in changing how the Tides play, there is a lot more heads up play and players that are not on the field seem now to be in the game.  The team is responding to his leadership where maybe they had gotten used to Gary Allenson and did not respond to him as they should have done.

There is work to be done in the Orioles organization and it has to start from the top, a new manager and possibly new hitting and pitching coaches at the major league level. I think that Showalter need to be hired now and not later and that Bobby Dickerson be announced as the manager and not the interim manager of the Tides.

My prediction is that I think that the Tides will finish the season above .500 and I do not see the meltdown of last year happening with this year’s team. I think that they will finish in either second or third place in the division while Durham wins it.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Batlimore Orioles, norfolk tides

Tides Lose 9-4 on Tuesday but Romp Wednesday in 10-2 Win over Braves Patton Gets 6th Win

Troy Patton notched his 6th win against the Gwinnett Braves

The Norfolk Tides suffered a bit of a letdown after taking the last three games of their seven game set against Charlotte on Tuesday night losing to the Gwinnett Braves by a score of 9-4.  Tides starter Zach Britton (0-1 2.53 ERA) gave up 4 runs, 3 of which were earned on 7 hits while striking out 4 and walking 2. The Tides had 9 hits in the game and collected 5 walks from Braves pitchers but left 9 men on base including 6 left in scoring position the bulk of their runs coming in a 3 run 8th inning but it was not enough as Charlotte hitters dominated Tides pitchers in the first game of their four game series at Cool Ray Field.  The Braves were doing the tomahawk chop on Tuesday on the Tides collecting a total of 14 hits while capitalizing on 2 Tides errors and 6 walks.   Mike Minor (2-0 1.42 ERA) got the win for the Braves.

Robert Andino went 2 for 4 but had 4 RBIs

On Tuesday night the Tides struck back and struck back hard. Behind excellent pitching of Troy Patton (6-8 4.67 ERA) who has continued to get better as the season has worn one and finally is getting run support from the offense.  Patton pitched 7 strong innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits. Walking just 1 and striking out 3. He yielded to Pat Egan who allowed no runs and a hit in the 8th and Denis Sarfate who allowed no hits to close the game in the 9th.  The Braves pitching staff on the other hand was smacked down hard by the Tides hitters. Starter Jo Jo Reyes did a good job lasting 6 innings and giving up just 2 runs on 9 hits striking out 8 Tides batters getting out of a number of jams. However the Braves could not spell “relief” and in the 7th inning Cory Gearrin (0-4 4.80) was blasted for 6 runs on 4 hits including a two run home run by Nolan Reimold and a double by Rhyne Hughes as well as 2 walks. Gearrin lasted but two-thirds of an inning and was relieved by Scott Proctor. Proctor got the 3rd out but gave up a run on 2 hits in the 8th.  Vladimir Nunez came on in the 9th and surrendered another run before getting out of the inning.

Nolan Reimold got his 5th Home run

Besides the Tides pitching the story was the hitting of the Tides. The Tides relentlessly pounded out 17 hits in the game in scoring the 10 runs.  For the first time that I can remember every Tides batter had a hit and a good number multiple hits.  Matt Angle went 3 for 4, Robert Andino 2-4 with 4 RBIs, Rhyne Hughes 2-5 with an RBI, Adam Donachie 3-3 with an RBI and Jonny Tucker 3-4 with 3 RBIs.  Nolan Reimold had a single hit the home run while Paco Figueroa and Blake Davis each picked up hits.

The Tides scored twice in the 3rd inning on a series of singles, but the big damage came in the 7th inning against Cory Gearrin.  Jonny Tucker walked and went to third on a wild pitch. Matt Angle walked and was followed by Robert Andino who singled to score Tucker.  Michael Aubrey came to the plate and singled to score both Angle and Andino taking 2nd on an error by Center Fielder Jordan Schafer.   This brought up Nolan Reimold who belted a home run to left field scoring him and Aubrey.  Rhyne Hughes then doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Adam Donachie.  Tucker doubled to lead off the 8th inning advanced to 3rd on a Matt Angle single and score on a sacrifice fly by Robert Andino. In the 9th inning Adam Donachie doubled and scored on a single by Blake Davis.

All told Troy Patton (6-8 4.67 ERA) got the win, Cory Gearrin (0-4 4.80 ERA) got the loss. The Tides had 10 runs on 17 hits and committed 2 errors leaving 8 men stranded.  The Braves had just 2 runs on 5 hits and an error leaving 5 men on base. The Tides travelled to Durham where tonight they face the division leading Bulls with Zach Clark (0-3 3.06 ERA) on the hill for the Tides and Richard D. De Los Santos (6-4 4.20 ERA) pitching for the Braves.

Chris George was reassigned to AA Bowie and former Tides reliever Ross Wolf who had been traded last month to the A’s AAA farm team the Sacramento River Cats had his contract purchased by the A’s and is now on that major league club. All the best to Ross in Oakland.  Brandon Erbe, Kam Mickolio and Brandon Snyder all remain on the disabled list.

Until the next time,

Peace

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Batlimore Orioles, norfolk tides

Tides Rally for 5 Runs in 8th Inning beat Mud Hens 6-3

Ross Wolf  came in relief and held the Mud Hens striking out 5 in 3.1 innings

After being blanked by the Columbus Clippers on Tuesday the Norfolk Tides opened their four game series with the Toledo Mud Hens with a come from behind with at 5th 3rd Stadium in Toledo.  The Tides got out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the 3rd inning when Matt Angle got a bunt in for a hit and took second base on a throwing error by Toledo Pitcher Ryan Ketchner.  He the stole third base on the first pitch by Ketchner to Robert Andino and scored on the next pitch when Andino hit a sacrifice fly to Center Field.

Unfortunately Tides starting pitcher Brad Bergeson making his first appearance for the Tides since being optioned from Baltimore after a dismal performance.  Bergeson who had been successful in 2009 until being injured has not been nearly as effective in the big leagues and was sent down earlier in the year for a tune up with the Tides.  During that stint he won the one game that he started and returned to the Orioles.  Obviously that was what the desire was for Thursday night but Bergeson struggled allowing 3 runs on 5 hits with 2 walks with 3 of the hits and a walk in the 3rd inning using 65 pitches before being pulled out of the game with 2 outs in the 3rd inning.

Mike Hinckley picked up his first win for the Tides

Now behind by a score of 3-1 the Tides brought in Jim Miller to relieve Bergeson.  Miller pitched well going 3.1 innings allowing only 1 hit while striking out 5 Mud Hens.  He was relieved in the 7th inning by Mike Hinckley who put the Hens down in order.In the 8th inning the Tides sent 11 men to the plate as the diamond resembled a merry-go-round of Tides players.  Paco Figueroa led off the inning with an infield hit and followed by Matt Angle who was walked by reliever Daniel Schlereth who had entered the game at the top of the inning.  Robert Andino then singled to load the bases for the Tides. Jeff Salazar reached on a failed force attempt by Mud Hens First Baseman Jeff Frazier which scored Figueroa to make the game a 3-2 game with the bases still loaded.  Josh Bell struck swinging bringing Michael Aubrey to the plate.  After a called strike Schlereth threw four straight balls to walk Aubrey and score Matt Angle to tie the game. The walk was the signal for a new pitcher and Scott Drucker replaced Schlereth. Nolan Reimold who continues to work his way out of the ooze of his slump doubled on a 1-0 count to Left Field driving in Andino and Salazar and giving the Tides a 5-3 lead.  Drucker then intentionally walked Rhyne Hughes to get to weak inning catcher Adam Donachie.  Donachie hit a sacrifice fly to Left to score Aubrey before hitting Paco Figueroa with a pitch to reload the bases before getting Matt Angle to ground out to short to end the inning.

Now with a 6-3 lead the Tides brought in Ross Wolf to pitch the 8th inning and Wolf pitched a scoreless 8th allowing only a single by Casper Wells.  The Tides had 2 runners on with 2 outs in the top half of the 9th inning but did not add any insurance.  This sent the game into the bottom of the 9th where Bobby Dickerson brought in Denis Sarfate allowed a one out walk before striking out Scott Sizemore and Brent Dlugach to end the game.

The Tides had 6 runs on 12 hits and 2 errors leaving 9 men on base.  The Mud Hens had 3 runs on 7 hits with 3 errors and left 8 men stranded.  The wining pitcher was Mike Hinckley (1-3 7.71 ERA) Denis Sarfate got his 9th save.  The Tides and Mud Hens face each other tonight with Chris George on the hill for the Tides facing Rudy Lugo.

In personnel news pitcher Andy Mitchell was placed on the 7 day Disabled List.

Until next time peace,

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Batlimore Orioles, norfolk tides

Tides Clipped by Clippers 6-2 and 5-4 in Columbus

Michael Aubrey homered in Saturday’s game in Columbus

After taking 3 of 4 from the Gwinnett Braves at home the Norfolk Tides began their first excursion to visit the teams of the Western Division of the International League. They began the trip in Columbus on Saturday  where the Tides faced the Columbus Clippers the AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians who like their parent club are hard hitting team and have the second highest team batting average (.283) in the International League at Huntington Field.

Mike Hinckley was tagged with the loss in relief on Saturday and Sunday

Despite this the Tides and Clippers have not see the kind of fireworks that dominated the first part of the Tides home stand.  On Saturday Troy Patton got the start and pitched 4.1 innings giving up 1 run on 3 hits with 5 strikeouts before being pulled for Mike Hinckley.  Hinckley struggled giving up 3 runs on 2 hits and two walks in one inning.  The Clippers added two more runs off Jim Miller who gave up those runs on 3 hits in the bottom of the 7th inning.

The Tides led the game early on 3rd inning home runs by Michael Aubrey and Blake Davis but the game slipped away in the 6th and 7th innings.  Andy Mitchell entered the game in the 8th inning and sent the Clippers down in order but the damage was done and the Tides fell to the Clippers by a score of 6-2 on Saturday evening.  The Tides had 2 runs on 5 hits and gave up no errors stranding 2.  The Clippers had 6 runs on 8 hits and 2 errors leaving 6 men on base.  Justin Germano (2-1 3.46) got the win in relief for the Clippers and Mike Hinckley (0-2 9.64) took the loss for the Tides.

On Sunday the Tides and Clippers played into extra innings.  Brandon Erbe started for the Tides still seeking his first AAA win for the Tides.  Brandon has been pitching well as of late getting the game into the middle to late innings but not getting the win due to errors or blown saves.  Sunday was little different. Erbe sent the first 15 Clippers that he faced down in order before giving up back to back home runs in the bottom of the 6th.  Andy Mitchell relieved Erbe and stopped the Clippers.

Robert Andino continued his clutch hitting

The Tides bats were not idle. In the 3nd inning Matt Angle walked and Robert Andino singled him to third base advancing to second on an errant throw and Angle scored on a ground ball by Rhyne Hughes.  In the 5th they scored again.  Michel Hernandez singled and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Paco Figueroa.  Matt Angle then singled and sent Hernandez to 3rd.  Robert Andino grounded into a force out scoring Hernandez for the 2nd run.  In the top of the 6th the Tides scored a third run to give Erbe a 3-0 lead when Josh Bell and Nolan Reimold got aboard on walks and Bell scored on a sacrifice fly by Michel Hernandez.

The Tides surrendered the lead in the 7th inning with Cla Meredith on the hill in relief of Mitchell.  Meredith gave up 2 runs after loading the bases with one out.  He would get only two Clippers out and Ross Wolf came in to close out the inning but not before the damage had been done.  Meredith has not been impressive since being optioned to Norfolk and he gave up 2 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks raising his ERA to a whopping 16.88.  Wolf would pitch the Tides through the 8th and 9th innings as well allowing only a walk in 2.1 innings work lowering his ERA to 2.17.

The Tides tied the game in the top of the 9th.  Paco Figueroa singled but was out at second on a force out by Matt Angle.  Angle then was put out on a force out at second on a ground ball by Robert Andino.  This put the Tides down 4-3 with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th. Rhyne Hughes then reached on a fielding error and Andino advanced to second.  This brought up Josh Bell who singled scoring Andino to tie the game.

Ross Wolf continued to make strong relief appearances

With Wolf holding the Clippers tight in the bottom of the 9th the game went into extra innings.  The Paco Figueroa singled with 2 outs but was erased on a force out by Matt Angle.  Mike Hinckley came into the game in the 10th to relieve Wolf who as I said has shut down the Clippers from the 7th inning on.  Jose Constanza got a base hit bunt and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Michael Brantley.  Brian Brixler flied out to right fielder Rhyne Hughes for the 2nd out.  Hinckley then hit Nick Weglarz with a pitch and gave up a walk off single to Matt LaPorta which scored Costanza to end the game.

Norfolk produced 4 runs on 11 hits with 1 error left 12 men on base.  The Clippers had 5 runs on 7 hits and no errors but benefited on getting three walks by Cla Meredith which gave Columbus the lead in the 7th inning and the hit batsman by Hinckley in the 10th.  They left 5 men on base.  Carlton Smith (1-0 6.43) got the win in relief for the Clippers while Hinckley took his second consecutive loss bring his record to 0-3 with a 10.13 ERA since coming up from Bowie.

The Tides and Clippers play tonight in Columbus with Armando Gabino (2-0 2.56) facing Carlos Carrasco (5-2 4.12) on the hill for the Clippers.

On the personnel front the Orioles optioned Brad Bergeson to Norfolk, his second trip down of his troubled season and the Tides placed Kam Mickolio on the 7 Day Disabled List with a strained right shoulder.  I had noticed that in his last two appearances despite pitching well that Kam left one game and been talked to by Bobby Dickerson on the mound in an appearance when he was shutting down Gwinnett.

In other notes Andy Mitchell has appeared in the first two games allowing no runs or hits in either appearance.  Robert Andino now has 36 RBIs on the season to lead the team.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Batlimore Orioles, norfolk tides

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+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Batlimore Orioles, norfolk tides

Tides Win Pitcher’s Duel: Hughes Powers Offense

Rhyne Hughes leaving the batters box as he hits his 4th inning home run

The Church of Baseball, Harbor Park Parish has seen its share of slugfests this home stand in which Norfolk and their opponents scored a combined 80 runs saw instead a pitcher’s duel as the Tides defeated the Braves 3-1.  The story for the Tides on a sultry humid Tidewater Wednesday night  was pitching which had been problematic over the home stand with only Troy Patton’s 3 hit blanking of the Buffalo Bisons on Monday being a notable pitching performance. That changed Wednesday night as Armando Gabino, Mike Hinckley, Ross Wolf and Denis Sarfate combined to pitch a 7 hit game giving up only one run to the Gwinnett Braves.

Armando Gabino got his 3rd win of the 2010 campaign

Scoring was sparse last night and there were no crooked numbers on the scoreboard.  In the bottom of the 2nd inning Rhyne Hughes tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Michael Aubrey.  The Tides scored again in the bottom of the 4th inning thanks to Hughes who belted a solo shot over the right field wall.  The Braves got a run in the top of the 5th inning when after retiring the first two batters Gabino hit Braves catcher Clint Sammons with a pitch.  Sammons stole second base and went to third on a single by Matt Young.  Sammons scored on the next at bat when Wes Timmons singed before Feddie Freeman struck out to end the inning.  The Tides final run came in the bottom half of the inning. Michel Hernandez reached on a throwing error by Braves shortstop Brandon Hicks.  Blake Davis grounded into a force out with Hernandez being put out a second base.  Matt Angle grounded out to first base and Davis advanced to second.  Robert Andino who had 5 RBIs in Tuesday’s game then singled to score Davis.  Neither team would score again.

The Braves had 1 run on 7 hits and an error the Tides 3 ruins on 6 hits and no errors.  Armando Gabino (3-0 2.56 ERA) got the win, Denis Sarfate got his 6th save of the year and Tim Gustafson (5-4 5.40 ERA) took the loss for the Braves.  The teams meet tonight at Harbor Park where Tim Bascom making his AAA debut for the Tides will face Chris Resop (4-2 2.10).

See you there.

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Batlimore Orioles, norfolk tides

Tides Shutout Bisons 6-0: Troy Patton Pitches 7 Scoreless Innings for Win

Troy Patton dominated the potent bats of the Buffalo Bisons Monday

The Norfolk Tides bats remained on fire even as the temperature cooled into the mid 70s in Hampton Roads and today both the defense and the pitching showed up.  After losing five straight to include three high scoring games where the Tides offense produced enough runs to win each handily had pitching, defense or calls by umpires gone their way.  But this Monday was another day and Troy Patton had the answer on to how to shut down the potent offense of the Buffalo Bisons and I do hope that he starts telling other pitchers just how to do this as he went seven innings giving up just three hits with only one walk and three strikeouts to gain the victory.  Patton was aided by Ross Wolf and Mike Hinckley who pitched the 8th and 9th innings without surrendering a hit.

Jeff Salazar hit his 9th home run of the season in the 6th inning

After watching many games where the hitting showed up and the pitching did not, or the pitching showed up only to have the offense go into a coma or the defense to fail it was good to see a game where the fundamentals of the ball game, pitching, hitting and defense came together as the Tides shut down the Bisons 6-0.

Patton surrendered only 3 hits, a double in the second inning and two singles while walking only one in a dominant performance against the hottest hitting team in the International League. The Tides offense continued its strong performance since the arrival of interim manager Bobby Dickerson.  The Tides opened up on the Bisons in the bottom of the 3rd inning when catcher Adam Donachie led off the inning with a double and scored on a single by Matt Angle.  Robert Andino tripled to drive in Angle and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Salazar.  They added two more in the bottom of the 6th inning when Jeff Salazar hit his 9th dinger of the season and Rhyne Hughes launched his 4th of the season both of which were solo shots to make the score 5-0.  The Tides added a final run in the bottom of the 8th when Josh Bell doubled and advanced to third when Rhyne Hughes singled and scored on reliever Michael O’Connor’s wild pitch, the second time that “Wild Thing” O’Connor allowed a run to score at Harbor Park during this home stand but at least he did not bounce it over the screen behind home plate this time….he’s improving.

Rhyne Hughes also homered for the Tides in the 6th inning

The game ended with the Tides winning by a score of 6-0. The Bisons had no runs on 3 hits and one error and left 5 men on base. The Tides 6 runs on 10 hits and no errors leaving four men aboard. Bobby Livingston (2-6 4.43 ERA) got the loss for the Bisons and Troy Patton (4-7 5.13 ERA) got the win for the Tides. Troy had his excellent performance backed up with great run support as well as solid defense to get the well deserved win.

During the series the Tides scored 27 runs on 57 hits including 6 home runs by far their most productive series of the year and a series where for the first time this season they showed consistency on offense over a sustained period and not just a game or two.  Since little has changed in the aspect of Tides offensive personnel with the exception of the addition of Matt Angle and Paco Figueroa but now for the first time that I can remember this season the Tides hitters are hitting with power as well as making contact.  Though it does not seem like much the Tides team batting average has improved from .234 on May 18th to .243 today in fact going up more in the past 4 days than the previous two weeks. While it is still early the only explanation that I can see for this turnaround is Interim Manager Bobby Dickerson.

The Tides open a series against the Gwinnett Braves at Harbor Park on Tuesday at 7:15 and we will see of the Tides can continue this merry offensive romp.  See you at Harbor Park.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Batlimore Orioles, norfolk tides