April 9th, 2011
For some, Twitter is a great way to post news and notes on various subjects. Others use it to tell the world about their thoughts and feeling. And there are plenty of people who think it is just a really weird word.
Here with the RoughRiders, we are all over Twitter at http://twitter.com/ridersbaseball. There, you can find links to some of our game stories and blog posts, plus in-game updates for all 140 games. Feel free to send us a question on Twitter during the games, as well. We will try to answer as many as possible.
Unfortunately, I am the only one on the media relations/broadcasting staff who has a Twitter. (Quick shameless plug: http://twitter.com/BrianBoesch) But I am trying to convince Aaron and Reid to get on there as well.
After all, @RidersVoice is an available username for Aaron, and Reid’s favorite musical group (Tech N9ne) has one. I suspect they will come around soon.
Without further ado, here are today’s Facts.
- It’s easy to think back to the offensive surge from last night’s 7-6 comeback victory over Springfield. But those battle-back opportunities came about because of the RoughRiders’ stellar pitching down the stretch. The ‘Riders retired the final 14 Cardinals they faced. Adalberto Flores retired five in a row after allowing a run in the sixth, Mike Perconte set down six straight, and Mark Hamburger dealt a 1-2-3 10th.
- Delving deeper into that stretch, only three Cardinals got the ball out of the infield, and five went down on strikes. All of this followed the first six innings, when Springfield scored in every frame but the first and had chances for more. During the span, they stranded eight runners, five of which were in scoring position when the inning ended.
- The comeback had legs once Tommy Mendonca went to the opposite field for a two-run homer, his first at the Double-A level, to trim Frisco’s deficit to one in the eighth. Springfield turned to Ryan Kulik, a fellow left-hander, for a same-side match-up. Mendonca’s lefty/righty split was negligible last year in high-A Bakersfield (.253 v. LHP/.247 v. RHP). However, nine of his ten home runs came against right-handed hurlers.
- If you spell it out by home runs per at bat, Mendonca went yard every 36 at bats against righties while hitting only one in 93 ABs versus lefties. Overall, that was just Mendonca’s second home run against lefties in 155 minor league at bats.
- Mendonca was also the man who put down the bunt that eventually resulted in a throwing error and a Frisco win. It was a great bunt down the first base line, but it turned out to be much more meaningful for the ‘Riders. “When I was running, I saw the first baseman jump,” Mendonca said. “First time I’ve had a walk-off bunt. It was a great win. We pulled together.”
- Manager Steve Buechele on the victory: “The guys battled hard. It was a good crowd, and it was a great win for us.”
- All of this overshadowed the debut of the Rangers’ top prospect–lefty Martin Perez. Perez threw three innings, giving up five hits and two runs. In those three frames, Perez amassed 71 pitches, or 23.7 per inning. The pitch count was the reason Buechele lifted Perez after the third. He had to face 15 batters.
- Another day, another juggle to the starting lineup. No surprise here with the season just underway. The top five stay the same (Osuna-Beltre-Butler-Bianucci-Mendonca), but Robbie Diaz gets his first start at catcher and in the six hole. Jose Ruiz is back in the lineup, hitting seventh like he did Thursday. David Paisano falls another two slots to eighth, with Davis Stoneburner rounding it out.
- Jake Brigham gets the call today for the ‘Riders on the bump. Brigham struggled in his appearance in Sunday’s exhibition against Round Rock, surrendering six runs (five earned) on eight hits in two and two-thirds. This will be his Double-A debut.
- There are three unbeaten teams in the Texas League so far. Frisco is tied with Midland at the top of the South. The RockHounds have pulled away from Arkansas in the first two games of their three-game set. And Tulsa paces all North clubs after a pair of one-run victories over Corpus Christi.
- Congratulations to Northwest Arkansas outfielder Nick Van Stratten, who made ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays with a dazzling catch in left field during last night’s victory over San Antonio. The catch was the number three play on the countdown.
Catch all of the play-by-play action tonight at 6:35, as the RoughRiders aim for their first series sweep since June 25-28 of 2010 at Corpus Christi. As always, you can listen online here. Enjoy!