Tides report: MacLane wins again
Left-handed pitcher Evan MacLane of the Norfolk Tides (Photo: Norfolk Tides)
Inside Pitch Magazine
Posted Aug 14, 2006


Evan MacLane continues to impress as a member of the Norfolk Tides' pitching staff, carrying a one-hitter into the eighth inning last week against the Toledo Mud Hens.

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 homers.

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.

TOUGH TIMES

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 inning.

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. Louisville.


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