In a brand new series here on FROM VA TO THE SHOW, I’m going to introduce my collection of baseball memorabilia of ball players from our state.
David Wright (Chesapeake) rose from Hampton Roads to put together a stellar career with the NY Mets. Before he hit the Big Apple, he played for about 3 weeks with the Norfolk Tides in the summer of 2004. Yes, the same Tides that he grew up watching.
Here is an interesting article from the Virginian Pilot looking back at the great 2015 Tides season, the first playoffs in Norfolk in 10 years.
Norfolk was hitless through 7 innings and only managed two hits total. Columbus eliminates the Tides and moves on to the Governors Cup finals.
Andy Wilkins, on his 27th birthday, delivered a 2-run double in the ninth inning to complete a miracle comeback from a 5-2 deficit and tie the series at 2-2.
Norfolk will play Columbus tomorrow in a fifth and deciding game for a spot in the Governors Cup finals against Indianapolis.
Norfolk notched 11 hits, but only two were for extra bases. Columbus scored all its runs in the first and third innings and Columbus pitcher Will Lamb (Salem/UVA) pitched 5 dominating innings to put Norfolk on the brink of elimination.
In the resumption of Game 2, suspended last night, Tyler Wilson (Midlothian/UVA) took over the pitching and threw 5 solid innings and Henry Urrutia and Christian Walker each homered and combined to drive in 5 runs.
Norfolk salvages the split and the series will now shift to and finish up in Columbus, as it now turns into a best-of-3.
As we are now in the final weeks of the minor league’s 2015 season, the “dog days” of summer for the minors, we take a look at how Virginia’s teams are doing in their push for a spot in their respective league’s playoffs. Such a discussion has to start, or course, with the Triple-A Norfolk Tides (Orioles) club.
The Tides have won 7 of their last 10, have a record of 64-44. stand 6 games ahead in the IL’s South Division, and have the best record in the entire IL.
What has boosted the Tides this year? Probably their pitching. Despite the active shuttle between Hampton Roads and Charm City, there have been some amazing performances by Tides players to put them among IL leaders. Three of the top 8 ERAs in the IL are Tides pitchers-Zach Davies (5th-2.84-since traded to Brewers), Chris Jones (7th-3.00), UVA alum and Midlothian-native Tyler Wilson (8th-3.05). Mike Wright, who has gotten 7 starts in Baltimore this year, has posted an 8-0 record with the Tides and a 2.41 ERA (not enough innings to qualify for league leadership status). 30-yr old career minor leaguer Eddie Gamboa, a 2008 Orioles draft choice, has struggled to an ERA north of 4, but has still won 8 games for Norfolk this year. Led by these guys, the Tides have an IL-best 2.93 ERA, which includes 13 SHO wins. In a testament to how they are doing as a team, only one of their shutouts this year has been a CG. And speaking of their team effort, Naval Academy grad Oliver Drake is third in the league with 17 saves for the Tides.
While you and I both know that minor league baseball is about player development, the Tides are winning right now and have a shot at their first division title since 2005 and their first as an Orioles affiliate. That being said, Norfolk’s run right now means the future is bright in Baltimore.
Stay tuned, Tides and Orioles fans, this will be a fun stretch run.
In the 2015 International League season so far, the Norfolk Tides have had undeniable success. As of July 2, they are 45-36, a record that has them sitting in first place in the IL’s South Division, and the second best record in the league overall. Their 2.90 ERA is tops in the IL, and they are tied with Rochester for tops in the league with 10 Shutout wins. While there are still 2 long months to go until the Labor Day finale, when we know who gets their ticket to the IL postseason, the Tides are doing great and are a legitimate threat to make the playoffs for the first time since 2005, and the first time as an Orioles affiliate.
The great run the Tides have had has not gone unnoticed by the IL powers-that-be. The IL all-stars were announced this week, and for the first time since 2000, Norfolk had 4 all-stars selected.
C Steve Clevenger has hit .331 in 45 games with the Tides this year. Clevenger has announced that, while honored to be selected, he will skip the game and spend the all-star break with his wife, who is expecting the couple’s first child in September.
OF Daniel Alvarez was elected to the squad by the IL’s field managers and General Managers. He is hitting .270 with 12 HR and 26 RBIs in playing every game this season for the Tides. He will also compete in the league’s HR derby that precedes the game.
RHP Michael Bowden is 6-2 with a league leading 2.17 ERA, and RH Oliver Drake, a former Navy standout, is 12-for-12 in save opportunities this year with a 0.67 ERA. Drake is one of 10 pitchers to appear for both the Orioles and Tides in 2015.
Bowden, Drake, and Clevenger were selected by the league to the roster.
The game will pit the IL all-stars versus the PCL all-stars, to take place July 15th in Omaha, Nebraska.
Arguably the number one reason the Baltimore Orioles have become a competitive team again has been their farm system. The farm system has produced some steady bats.
Now they seem to have another stud pitcher.
RH Mike Wright (Tides ’14-’15) continued his fast start Thursday, pitching 5 innings in the second half of a doubleheader against the White Sox, games that were cancelled due to the Baltimore riots. He allowed 3 runs (2 homers) on 6 hits with no walks and 2 strikeouts, the first time he has allowed runs in the big leagues. The Orioles defeated the White Sox 6-3.
Wright is now 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA in 3 major league starts.