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Tides Lose Saturday 10-3 but Tillman Dominates Toledo on Sunday Tides Win 4-1

Corey Patterson Smacked 3 doubles in Saturday’s loss

The Norfolk Tides won their first series of the season taking three of four at Harbor Park from the Toledo Mud Hens.  After taking the first game of the series in a slugfest 12-7 on Thursday night, the Tides and Toledo battled into the 12th inning on Friday with the Tides getting a 3-2 win on Josh Bell’s walk off home run with no outs in the bottom of the 12th.

Brandon Erbe took his 6th loss on Saturday

On Saturday in front of 6795 fans in warm and windy weather it would turn out to be a different sort of ball game as the Mud Hens got to Tides starting pitcher Brandon Erbe (0-6 7.20) early and often hitting the young pitcher hard for 6 runs on 9 hits in 5.2 innings. After driving Erbe from the game they continued on getting Pedro Viola for 2 runs on 3 hits in 1.1 innings.  They scored another unearned run in the 8th and another earned run off of Kam Mickolio in the 9th.  The Mud Hens pounded out 13 hits and were helped by 6 walks and a hit batsman from Tides pitchers and two errors one of which contributed to the run in the 8th inning. Erbe was pasted with the Mud Hens hitting him for 3 home runs, two by Clete Thomas and two doubles. Although Viola only gave up three hits all went for extra bases two doubles and a triple.

On the offensive side the Tides got 11 hits but only put them together to produce runs in the 1st and the 7th innings.  In the first Robert Andino led off with a double, Corey Patterson walked and Josh Bell singled to load the bases. Scott Moore sacrificed Andino home for the Tides first run.  In the 2nd inning they put the first two men on base but could not get them to the plate. In the 3rd inning Corey Patterson doubled to lead off the inning but was left on base. In the 4th inning Blake Davis tripled with one out and was left on base.  In the 7th things started to turn around Robert Andino singled and with one out Corey Patterson nailed his second double of the night to drive him home. Patterson advanced to second on a ground out by Josh Bell and scored on a single by Scott Moore before Michael Aubrey grounded out to end the inning.  The Tides went down in order in the 8th and with two outs in the 9th Corey Patterson hit his third double of the night but was left on base.

In all the Tides only brought home 2 of 14 runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base. Erbe got the loss his sixth loss of the year.  Alfedo Figaro (4-1 2.55) got the win for Toledo.

Chris Tillman got his third win with a 4 hit 10 strikeout performance on Sunday

On Sunday Chris Tillman got the start for the Tides and while not quite as sharp as his no hitter he was still very much in control of this game pitching seven innings giving up only 1 run on 4 hits while striking out 10. The run came on a 7th inning home run by Jeff Larish.  Alberto Castillo came on in the 8th and allowed a single and two walks before being pulled for Frank Mata.  Mata stuck out Danny Worth and got Larish to ground out to end the inning stranding all three Toledo runners.  Mata came back out in the 9th and though walking Clete Thomas with two outs then stuck out Caspar Wells to end the game and get his 5th save.

Brandon Snyder blasting his 2nd home run of the season in the 5th inning

The Tides got their first run in the 1st inning when Robert Andino walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second on an excellent sacrifice bunt by Joey Gathright. Corey Patterson singled Andino to third and Josh Bell grounded out to score Andino.  The score would remain 1-0 until the 5th inning when Brandon Snyder ended his drought by launching a home run way over the deep left center field wall to extend the Tides lead to 2-0.  In the 6th the Tides added another run. Joey Gathright singled to lead off the inning and went to second on a missed forced attempt when Will Rhymes and Brent Dlugach could not complete the play Rhymes first bobbling the ball and then Dlugach missing the toss from Rhymes.  Josh Bell hit a sacrifice fly to move Gathright to third.  Gathright scored when Scott Moore hit a sacrifice fly to center.  Toledo then got its only run on Larish’s home run in the top of the 7th.  In the bottom of the 7th the Tides added their final run as Brandon Snyder singled and went to second on a ground out by Blake Davis.  Snyder scored on a single by Robert Andino.

Frank Mata got his 5th save

The game ended with the Tides on top with a final score of 4-1.  The Tides have had 4 runs on 6 hits and no errors leaving 5 men on base while the Mud Hens had 1 run on 5 hits and 2 errors with 7 left on base. Chris Tillman (3-3 3.49) got the win and Frank Mata (0-0 S5 1.23) got the save.  Toledo starter Ryan Ketchner (0-1 2.77) got the loss.

The Tides are now 14 and 17 and in third place in the International League South 5 games behind the Durham Bulls. The Tides departed today on an eight game road trip to Syracuse and Buffalo.  Syracuse could be interesting as the Chiefs and the visiting Gwinnett Braves were snowed out today. The Tides return to Harbor Park on the 18th to face the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Tides Win on Bell’s 12th Inning Walk-Off Home Run

Troy Patton pitched 6.2 innings allowing 2 runs on 5 hits but got a no-decision

Josh Bell did something that has seldom happened at Harbor Park.  It was not the walk off home run but it was the feat of having a home run in three consecutive games in a ballpark that is a pitcher’s paradise and a power hitter’s nightmare.  Harbor Park opened in 1993 when the Norfolk Tides were the AAA affiliate of the New York Mets.  The dimensions of the park are very similar to the Mets’ old home Shea Stadium.  The left field line 330 feet, right field 318, and dead center 410 feet.  In fact not very many of today’s Major League parks have as deep dimensions as the home of the Norfolk Tides.  Not only is it a big yard but the prevailing winds during the season also mitigate against a lot of home runs as does the air which often is heavy with humidity.  The winds usually come off the East Fork of the Elizabeth River and blow in knocking down balls hit to right or right center.  Typically the leading Tides home run leader since the team has moved to Harbor Park in 1993 hits an average 16 home runs a season and of course many of those come in other parks.  By contrast the Durham Bulls have averaged over 25 home runs a season since coming into the International League in 1997 the same is true of the Pawtucket Red Sox who have been in the International League since 1993 and the Toledo Mud Hens during the same period average 26. The Buffalo Bisons average 16 per season for their leading home run hitter over the same time period but face some of the worst weather in the league.  The truth is that Harbor Park for its beauty as a ballpark is a pitcher’s paradise and hitter’s nightmare all of which sets the stage for the story of Friday evening’s game between the Tides and the Mud Hens.

Alberto Castillo made his first appearance since returning from Baltimore

With warm and windy conditions in front of a crowd of 5943 the Tides and the Toledo Mud Hens met for the second game of a four game series.  This game was dominated by the pitchers and it was a long night for both teams because of how well the pitchers worked.  Prior to this game only two teams in the International League had not played an extra inning game and both were on the field Friday. I guess it was destiny that the game would go extra innings how could it not? In 12 innings the two teams pitchers allowed a combined 5 runs only 4 of which were earned runs.

Daniel Schlereth after the wild pitch that allowed Michael Aubry to score

After a scoreless first inning the Mud Hens took a one nothing lead in the top of the second when Max Leon singled to score Jeff Frazier. They extended it to 2-0 in the top of the third when Jeff Frazier singled to drive in Brent Dlugach but after that would manage just three more hits as Troy Patton, Ross Wolf, Frank Mata, Alberto Castillo and Jim Miller shut down a potent Toledo line up allowing no extra base hits.

The Tides offensive production also lagged as compared to the previous two outings where they scored a dozen runs per game.  Friday however the Tides hitters were contained by the Toledo pitchers who scattered 9 hits in the 12 innings.  The Tides got on the board in bottom of the 3rd inning when Josh Bell singled to drive in Robert Andino.  The score would remain 2-1 until the bottom of the 6th inning.  Michael Aubrey singled to lead off the inning and then Brandon Snyder stuck out swinging.  The Mud Hens then took out starter Enrique Gonzalez bringing in Daniel Schlereth in relief.  With Blake Davis at the plate Mud Hens catcher Angel Flores allowed a passed ball which allowed Aubrey to take second Troy Patton the Tides starter allowed two walks which placed runners on second and third.  Ross Wolf came on in relief and on his first pitch got Brent Dlugach to pop out to second.  The Tides would have a runner on second in both the 8th and 10th innings bit were unable to bring the runner home.  In the 11th the Tides threatened again. Blake Davis singled and advanced to second on a very well executed sacrifice bunt by Adam Donachie.  Robert Andino hit an infield single which did not advance Davis.  Joey Gathright grounded out to advance Davis to third and Andino to second.  Corey Patterson the grounded out sharply and the 11th inning ended with the teams still tied at two.

Tides players mob Josh Bell after his walk off home run

Jim Miller came on in the 12th inning in relief of Alberto Castillo who in his first appearance at Norfolk since he was optioned back to the team by the Orioles when Koji Uehara completed his rehab work. Miller put the Mud Hens down in order striking out Diek Scram, getting Angel Flores to pop out in foul territory to Adam Donachie and retiring Will Rhymes on a line drive to left fielder Joey Gathright.

In the bottom of the 12th the Mud Hens sent in Jay Sborz to pitch.  The first batter that Sborz faced was Josh Bell who had homered in his last two games at Harbor Park.  Bell slammed the ball to deep center and it kept going out of the park. As Bell crossed the plate he was mobbed by his teammates.

Jim Miller got the win and Sborz the loss. The Mud Hens had 2 runs on 9 hits with no errors with 8 men left on base. The Tides 3 runs on 9 hits and no errors with 13 left on base.

The teams met again Saturday night but that article will be posted sometime later Sunday.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers out there!

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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