The Norfolk Tides are in a battle against themselves, as the try to reach the .500 mark.
For the second series in a row, the Tides had the chance to hit the .500 mark and eclipse it, only to split the series and remain two games below the mark.
Against the Worcester Red Sox, there were three pitching duels, one blow out and two games where the Tides couldn’t match the offensive output. It was a microcosm of the season, as strengths and weaknesses were on display.
Gunnar Henderson was one of the most positive hitters, even though he played only three games due to being picked to play in the Futures Game.
Henderson would collect three hits, with his best game coming in the second game of a doubleheader July 14. In the Tides’ 11-4 victory, Henderson would bat leadoff, collecting a walk and a triple while scoring two runs and collecting two RBIs.
Henderson is now hitting .270 for Norfolk with 22 walks to help propel his .393 OBP. He has five home runs, three triples and five doubles in 32 games. He has scored 28 runs, bringing home 19 as well.
Where hitting wasn’t the highlight this week, there was pitching that stood out, and one player who continues to impress and make his push for a promotion is lefty D.L. Hall.
Hall, MLB’s No. 66 prospect, would pitch five stellar innings in the Tides’ 1-0 victory Sunday. Though he didn’t pick up the win, he would strike out 10, allowing just two hits on 81 pitches, with 51 going for strikes.
For the week, Hall pitched a combined 10.2 innings, allowing four hits, one run (unearned), while striking out a combined 18 batters. He also lowered his season ERA to 3.51 in Triple-A and parlayed his dominating week into being named the International League Pitcher of the Week.
Hall now has struck out 111 (third in Triple-A with 99 strikeouts) batters in just 66.2 innings on the year, as he is making his case for the Orioles to give him a call.
Nick Vespi would pitch in two games, his first games since being optioned back to Triple-A.
Vespi would pitch a total of two innings, striking out one and allowing one hit while picking up a save. He still has yet to allow a run in Norfolk this season, as he continues to dominate.
On the season, Vespi is 2-1 across 18 games. He’s pitched 20.1 innings, while striking out 27, as his ERA stands at 0.00, and his WHiP is an insane 0.59.
The Tides are back in play Friday, July 22, as they travel to play the Durham Bulls for a three-game set. Will they climb the mountain to .500 or fall short again?
Who stood out to you for the Tides this week? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!
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