Tides lose series to IronPigs

The Norfolk Tides season has been one of a theme park roller coaster; highs and lows, with some twists and turns in for good measure.

The problem is there haven’t been as many highs as lows, as the Tides still can’t catch a break and get over that .500 mark. With an opportunity to do so against the IronPigs, the Tides came away from the series losing four of the six contests and now are four games under .500.

The offense came to play again, as they scored over four runs in five of the games, with six runs being scored in four games. The problem is, the pitching once again fell short, as the IronPigs scored no less than six runs in each game of the series.

Unfortunately for the Tides, pitching has been a big concern since Grayson Rodriguez was lost for most of the season. With O’s GM Mike Elias and the Orioles paying close attention, pitching will need to step it up in order.to help right the ship going forward.

The Tides offense had an explosion for one game, as they won 10-7 against Lehigh Valley Friday. Norfolk erupted for 21 hits, a season-high, and it’s highest total since April 19, 2016, when they posted 21 as well.

In this game, one of the big stand-outs was Jordan Westburg, who erupted for a career-high five hits in six at-bats. Included in those hits were two doubles and two runs scored.

Of course, the Batman/Robin team continues to assault Triple-A pitching, as Gunnar Henderson would collect three hits in the same game. Henderson would also hit his third Triple-A home run and also score three runs during the game.

If Westburg and Henderson make up Batman and Robin, then Kyle Stowers would be Superman in the Tides’ version of the Justice League, as he would go 4-for-6 in the game, hitting his 13th home run, collecting a double and two RBIs, as well as two runs scored.

Unfortunately, this was the most dominant game from the trio and shades towards how the offense clicks and runs through Westburg, Henderson and Stowers.

In Wednesday’s 7-6 victory, Westburg and Henderson picked up a hit and RBI each, but it was Shed Long Jr. and recent Oriole call-up Jonathan Araúz who both kicked in with a hit and two RBIs a piece.

Mike Baumann had a strong start as the opener in the 10-7 victory. He would pitch three innings, giving up two hits and allowing zero runs and striking out four.

He now has pitched in 10 games for the Tides, compiling an 0-4 record and lowering his ERA to 6.52 across 19.1 innings. He has struck out 25, and his WHIP currently is 1.60.

Beau Susler had a strong showing in Thursday’s 7-6 loss, pitching four innings of scoreless ball, while allowing one hit and striking out three. He threw 53 pitches, registering 31 for strikes.

Susler lowered his ERA to 2.97 across 30.1 innings in nine games. He has struck out 33 and carries a 1.12 WHIP.

Even the best of our pitchers fell short this week. D.L. Hall pitched in two games, garnering starts in both of them. Though he received a decision in one of the two, his line shows the struggles of the week for the entire team.

Hall, across both games, a 10-7 loss Tuesday and a 10-4 loss Sunday, had very poor outings. He went a combined 7.2 innings, allowing 10 hits, 10 walks, 12 runs (nine earned) and struck out five. He threw 178 pitches, with 106 going for strikes (59.6% strike rate).

The Tides will need to figure out their pitching if they intend to be successful going forward. They remain 7.5 games out of first with a 34-38 record and will welcome the Gwinnett Stripers to town Tuesday.

Who stood out to you this week for Norfolk? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter! And make sure to use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content to show your Birdland swag!

Like Stephen’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @SrHeckman

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