Despite Kevin Gausman‘s talent, he has been struggling picking up wins in Norfolk this season. As a matter of fact, in his first seven games started for the Tides this season, Gausman did not record a single win. Going into Sunday’s game against Gwinnett, Gausman had to “get the monkey off his back” so to speak and achieve that first win in order to move forward as a pitcher.
He did just that. Gausman threw 6.1 innings of work and recorded the win after Norfolk won by a score of 8-2. This was the longest he has gone into a game with Norfolk this season.
In those innings, he only allowed four hits with no earned runs. He gave up no walks and struck out three batters. Throwing only 93 pitches, this was Gausman’s most dominant performance of the season.
Gausman made sure Gwinnett was not able to put together a rally while he was on the mound. Gausman’s main key to success today was keeping his pitch count down per inning.
- First Inning: 11 pitches
- Second Inning: 17 pitches
- Third Inning: 15 pitches
- Fourth Inning: 17 pitches
- Fifth Inning: 12 pitches
- Sixth Inning: 16 pitches
- Seventh Inning: 5 pitches (Pitching change after Gausman forced the leadoff hitter to ground out)
Getting a lot of run support early was also important in settling down Gausman on the mound and allowed him to pitch more relaxed knowing his team was up.
Norfolk struck first in the second inning with three runs. After a walk to Brian Ward with the bases loaded scored a run, Julio Borbon drove in a run when he grounded into a force out that scored the runner from third. The second inning was then capitalized by Jemile Weeks who hit a line drive single to center field, scoring Buck Britton from third in the process.
The Tides were smart at the plate and played to the old adage: “Hit it where they ain’t.” A scoring play for the Tides did not come from anything more than a single. In fact, five of the Tides’ eight runs came from RBI singles. The other three runs were scored on a walk, a force out at second, and a sacrifice fly ball.
The Tides’ hitting was highlighted by Francisco Peguero and Weeks who both went 3-5 Sunday with two RBIs a piece.
With Gausman’s solid outing, he improved his ERA in Triple-A to 2.41 on the year. Also, Sunday marked Gausman’s fifth game this season where he did not allow a single run to score while he was pitching. This type of performance is something that will get him noticed by the big league club in Baltimore.