MacLane had to settle for 7-1/3 strong innings of one-run, three-hit
ball on Friday, but the effort came with his eighth victory, further
continuing a breakout season for the soft-tossing left-hander.
MacLane is 8-7 with a 3.95 ERA in 18 starts at Triple-A after
beginning the year at Double-A Binghamton. Regarded as owning the best
change-up and some of the finest control in the Mets system, MacLane
struck out six in his effort Friday, walking three.
In 109-1/3 innings this season, MacLane has walked 33 and struck out
61, but he had struggled lately.
A 25th round pick in the 2003 draft, MacLane started 6-0 at Norfolk
before losing his next five decisions from June 15 through July 14,
including four in a row. This month, he is 1-1, having allowed seven
runs and eight hits at Buffalo on Aug. 3.
Going deep, then going for X-rays: 35-year-old catcher Sandy Martinez played the hero on Saturday, slugging a game-winning homer in
the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Norfolk over Toledo.
His glory didn't last long. Martinez took a foul ball off his right
thumb Sunday and was taken to an area hospital for X-rays, the
Virginian Pilot reported. Martinez leads Norfolk with 10
State of the Tides: Norfolk goes for their fourth straight
victory on Monday afternoon against Columbus, which would tie the
Tides' longest win streak of the season. The struggling Tides have
been left to play for pride in the International League South,
residing in last place with a 46-75 record, 25 games behind first
place Charlotte (71-50).
Tides leaderboard - offense: No Norfolk player ranks in the
system's top 10 in batting average, home runs, RBI or stolen bases. As
a team, Norfolk is batting .240, fifth in the organization.
Tides leaderboard - pitching: Evan MacLane's 11 victories
(three were at Binghamton) are tied with Binghamton's Mike Devaney and
Hagerstown's Jonathon Niese for the system lead ... Heath Bell's 10
saves rank fourth in the system ... Mike Pelfrey struck out three in
his Triple-A debut Aug. 7, giving him 106 in the minors - third in the
system. MacLane's 86 strikeouts rank fifth. ... Norfolk's 4.44 ERA is
the highest among long-season clubs and only lower than the GCL Mets'
4.71 ERA. The Tides have allowed 1,131 hits, most in the system.
ON THE RISE
After a slow start, Edgardo Alfonzo is showing he's still got a little
pop left in his bat - perhaps helping his cause for a major league
promotion once rosters expand on Sept. 1.
The 32-year-old Alfonzo has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games at
Norfolk, including going 2-for-4 with an RBI in the Tides' victory
over Columbus on Sunday. The string has raised his average to .265
(22-83), rescuing his mark from its .195 status on July 30.
Alfonzo has been mostly playing third base at Norfolk, but he has also
made three appearances at second base.
Right-hander Jose Lima was ejected following his start on Saturday
against Toledo for arguing balls and strikes. The veteran had allowed
four runs and seven hits in 5-1/3 innings, walking three and striking
out five. He was chased after allowing all of the runs in the sixth
Overall, Lima hasn't pitched poorly at Triple-A, despite his
considerable struggles at the big league level this year. He's 6-6
with a 3.86 ERA in 21 games, but hasn't won since June 19 vs.