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Norfolk Tides Roundup: 5-14 August

The Tides spent the past week and a half battling against affiliates for the AL East giants, with back-to-back series against the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. With their former big guns now holding spots in the Orioles rotation they're reduced to Jake Arrieta, Troy Patton, and a band of misfits as their starting pitchers.

In the 4 game set against Pawtucket the Tides went 3-1 with their only loss in game three, started by Radhames Liz. I don't feel the need to spend much time on Liz considering I hope to never see him on the Orioles again. He's been in the starting rotation since May 27th, splitting time between Bowie and Norfolk. I have no idea what they're doing with him unless they've decided he's never going to make it so they are sticking him where they need a warm body, because if he IS ever to find big league success, it'll be as a reliever.

To start the series, the Tides won a slugfest 8-7, overcoming another bad outing by Troy Patton (3.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 0 K). Offensive star for the game was minor league-lifer Brandon Pinckney who went 4-5 with 2 2B. They took the second game in the series 5-3 behind a strong outings from David Pauley and Brandon Snyder (see sickuvitall's Fan Post). The fourth game was the sweetest victory as Jake Arrieta earned the win at the Fenway Futures game. Jake pitched 6 innings, allowing just 2 ER on 6 hits with 4 Ks and 0 BBs. Here's hoping we see plenty of Arrieta wins at Fenway Park in the future.

The Tides followed that series with four games at home vs Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Game three of the series was rained out twice and the Tides dropped the series 1-2.  They lost game one 6-1 as Andy Mitchell gave up 5 runs in 5.2 innings and the Tides offense snoozed the day away, managing just 3 hits off the starting pitcher Anthony Claggett. Game two was even worse, with the Tides being held to just 2 hits the entire game as ex-Orioles Russ Ortiz pitched 7 shutout innings. It appears Russ found the perfect place for his skills, doesn't it? The Tides avoided the sweep with a 4-2 win in the finale headlined by Blake Davis's 2 hit, 2 RBI day.

Performances worth noting:

  • In these two series, 1B Brandon Snyder went 8-24 (.333) with 2 2B, 4 BB, and 4 K.
  • I've taken a liking to 1B/OF/DH Michael Aubrey. It won't be long until I'm telling you all that he can hit and you should deal with it. He played in 5 of the 7 games in these two series, going 7-19 (.368) with a 2B, 2 BB, and 2 K.
  • 2B Justin Turner had a great time in these series, going 9-22 with 5 2B, 6 BB, and 1 K. 
  • Unjustly sent down Kam Mickolio has made four appearances since his demotion, pitching 5 innings and allowing 3 hits and 3 ER (all in one outing) while walking two and striking out 6.
  • Dennis Sarfate has been with the Tides since July 24th and has pitched 8.2 innings over 8 appearances. He's given up 8 ER on 9 H, striking out 8 and walking 2.  5 of those runs and 5 of those hits came in one 0.2 IP performance on July 31st.

Tonight the Tides start a series on the road against the Charlotte Knights. Jake Arrieta looks to turn in a second consecutive strong performance as he faces off against Daniel Hudson. Hudson has had a very interesting year. The 22 year old was drafted in the 5th round of the 2008 draft by the White Sox. He started the year in A ball where he made four starts, striking out 30 and walking only 2. He was the promoted to A+ where he made 8 starts, including a game against the Frederick Keys in which he struck out 8 over 7 innings. He then started 9 games at AA where he put a a K/9  of 10 and a K/BB of 6.3. He's made one start so far in AAA, allowing 8 hits and 4 runs in 4 innings on August 9th with just 2 strikeouts, tying his lowest total in a game this year (in his season debut). On April 30th he struck out 13 in 7 innings. On April 24th he struck out 11 in 5.2 innings. This is a hell of a pitching matchup.