Orioles minor league rundown - 4/15/14

Not a great night for Kevin Gausman - Christopher McCain/Norfolk Tides

The rain that canceled the Orioles game last night washed away three of the four affiliate games as well, so you're treated to a full-length Tides recap today. Unfortunately it wasn't good news for Kevin Gausman.

Norfolk 0, Gwinnett (Atlanta) 15

Kevin Gausman got the start for the Tides and I was watching via MiLB.tv. Things started relatively benignly. In spite of walking the lead off batter in the 1st & 2nd innings he worked around the trouble and retired the side in order afterwards each time. The fastball was showing good downward plane, and he was commanding it at the bottom of the zone quite well. The announcer only gave one radar gun reading during this time, a 96 mph FB. So, that's good.

It was in the 3rd inning where signs of trouble began to revael themselves. A lead off Jeter'd bloop single into shallow RCF, followed by a sac bunt put a man on 2nd w/ 1 out. The defense decided to play trickster here, as a routine ground ball to 2B was turned into an infield single thanks to first baseman Brett Wallace's vision quest through the right side of the infield. Not sure what he was doing, but he ranged towards the ball as it went by, seemingly thinking he was going to make a play on it, I suppose. The gears begin to slowly turn in his head as he makes this long, lazy, looping arc once he realizes his proper place in the universe is with his foot stuck to the 1B bag. Well, he doesn't get there in time and the runner is safe. So instead of 1 on with 2 outs, Goose finds himself with runners at the corners with just 1 out.

The next batter hits a loooooooooooooooong flyball to deep CF. Julio Borbon does a nice job of tracking it down and makes an overhead catch on the warning track. But the sac fly allows the first run of the game to score. No big deal. Tis just a flesh wound! Well, it would have been, but Goose began to unravel at this point. A walk to the next batter then led to a hard line drive single into RF for another RBI. A soft pop out by the next batter to SS would bring the inning to a close.

The 4th is where our drama ends. A lead off HR to deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep LF. That was a bomb off an 89 mph Change. oops. This was followed by another long fly to deep LF, though the park held this one for just a double. This came via a hanging curve. Then the defense decided to screw with Goose yet again. A sharp line drive single into LF, the runner from 2B initially holds at 3rd. But LFer Quintin Berry lollygags getting the ball back in, and then just softly lobs it to 2B. The runner goes and scores easily.

Goose's night is done at this point. His final line: 3+IP, 7 H (1 HR), 4 ER, 3 BBs, 1 K. 67 pitches, 40 strikes. 5 groundouts to 1 flyout. As I stated earlier, his FB was good, though he did have trouble getting it by the first batter of the game, who was peskily swatting it foul numerous times before drawing a walk on a breaking ball well outside. And this is where the real problem was for Goose on the night: he had no breaking ball. I can't recall seeing even one that was near the zone enough to put some doubt in the hitter's head. And though there were a couple of nice change ups, even that pitch didn't seem particularly effective overall this night. It's just one outing. He'll be fine in the long run. But it certainly is frustrating to see when a potential rotation slot in Baltimore dangles ever so close for him to grasp.

As for the rest of the game: the bullpen sucked, allowing 11 runs over 5IP. (LHP) Kelvin de la Cruz hasn't taken his dfa-ing in stride. He allowed 6 H and 5 ER over his 1+ IP of work. That's 8 ER in 6.1 total IP thus far, with 6 BBs to 7 Ks. Just added to the roster ( C ) Brian Ward even got a chance on the mound in the 8th. He went 1 IP, 4H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 Ks. The offense did bupkis, K'ing 14 times to drawing 4 walks and getting 5 hits. blah.

Today's games:

The Delmarva Shorebirds are playing a double header that begins at 5:05 p.m. Game one will be a prospect matchup with Hunter Harvey for the Shorebirds and Lucas Giolito for the Hagerstown Suns.

Frederick is on the road and will also play a double header, this one starts at 11 a.m. Per MiLB.com, Matt Taylor will start game one for the Keys, Jesse Beal game two.

The Bowie Baysox send Tyler Wilson to the mound for a game at noon against the Erie Seawolves.

And finally, knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa will make the start for the Norfolk Tides at 7 p.m. against the Durham Bulls.

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