On September 11, 2001, I was in my seventh grade English class when I heard about the attack on the World Trade Center. In fact, my dad flew on a plane that day. Fortunately, he landed in Baltimore without consequence. Still, what could have been still gives me chills to this day.
On May 1, 2011, I was watching television in Frisco, Texas, when I heard about the death of Osama bin Laden. It was one of the few news reports since 9-11 that gives me similar chills.
I won’t tell you how to react to this news, nor will I share my beliefs. This isn’t the forum. But this is such a monumental day in this country and this world. I am willing to bet that many will remember where they were when this news broke.
Let’s get you some Facts before tonight’s series finale.
- It will be a fun day at Dr Pepper Ballpark Wednesday. A pair of Texas hurlers–Tommy Hunter and Neftali Feliz–will pitch for the RoughRiders in rehab assignments. Hunter, who has been out since spring training with a groin injury, is expected to pitch three to four innings, and Feliz, who was put on the disabled list April 23 with shoulder inflammation, is slated to pitch one. For what it is worth, Wednesday is Wilfredo Boscan’s turn in the rotation. I’m guessing he will be pushed back a day to accommodate.
- The ‘Riders’ pitching staff has improved greatly. In the last five games, Frisco opponents have scored only 15 runs, and all five starting hurlers have pitched beyond the sixth inning. Those pitchers have a combined earned run average of 2.76. Four of those five starts have resulted in quality starts, and the ‘Riders did not have one of those before this recent run.
- Because of this surge, the RoughRiders are third in the league in ERA (4.56). Frisco is also fourth in the TL in WHIP (1.42).
- And how about the Frisco sticks in the late innings last night. The ‘Riders hit home runs in three consecutive innings for the first time this season, and yesterday’s 9-2 triumph was the fourth time that Frisco had three or more long balls.
- As a team, the RoughRiders are now tied for third in the Texas League in homers with 24. Of those 24, 14 have come from Mike Bianucci and Tommy Mendonca, with Mendonca hitting his seventh yesterday when things were already out of hand. The twosome is only behind San Antonio’s Cody Decker-Jaff Decker duo, which is crushing everyone with a combined 19 homers, for dingers by teammates.
- New RoughRider Travis Adair notched the first two hits of his Double-A career in the victory yesterday. Adair had begun his Frisco stint 0-for-11 before going 1-for-2 yesterday. Adair also walked and put down a sacrifice bunt.
- A key for the RoughRiders in this series, a set that the ‘Riders have a chance to win tonight, has been their ability to slow down the middle of the Corpus Christi order. The 3-4 combination of J.D. Martinez and Jon Gaston has gone just 2-for-22 with one RBI. Martinez alone had a nine-game RBI streak snapped last week.
- More rain for the TL’s North Division. Both games scheduled for tonight have been washed out. This is especially frustrating, I’m sure, for the two teams in Arkansas. The Naturals and Travelers have been slated to play eight times so far this season. They have actually played four times, with two games played on the same day.
The finale of this eight-game road trip comes up tonight at 7:05. Pre-game at 6:35 along the Network. Enjoy!
We have reached the 2000 mark on Twitter. The RoughRiders appreciate all of our followers, but someone had to be special number 2000. That person was @jtexan28.
We thank him for his timely support. Help us get to 3000 by following us @ridersbaseball.
Here are a few Facts on this Sunday.
- How about Jose Felix’s big night. Felix is not a power hitter, but he certainly fooled some people at Whataburger Field yesterday. His two home runs last night pushes his minor league total to seven in 351 career games. He did not have more than two home runs at a single level until yesterday. Now, he has three in Double-A, all with the ‘Riders.
- Another unique happening yesterday was Guilder Rodriguez’s start in center field. Over his ten-year minor league career, that was just his seventh start out there. Not only did he start, but he threw out a runner at the plate. It was his first outfield assist ever, and it was in a huge spot in the game.
- Frisco’s three home runs yesterday pushed the club past Corpus Christi and into sixth in the league with 21 long balls. Only a pair of RoughRiders–Mike Bianucci (7) and Tommy Mendonca (6)–have more than two.
- We’ve talked about this multiple times, but today is another chance for the ‘Riders to earn back-to-back victories, something Frisco has not done since the first two games of the season. In the five losses following standalone victories, the ‘Riders have only been a total of 12 runs worse than their opponent. In fact, the ‘Riders have only allowed 24 runs in those five losses.
- To win divisions, a team must win within its division. That’s exactly what San Antonio has done to take an early three-game lead within the division. The Missions are now 8-2 against the South, including a 5-1 mark against second-place Midland.
- Be sure to take part in today’s Extra Bases Blog. Like last night, team photographer James Garner will be sending in some pictures from Whataburger Field. He made the trek down there for us, so show him some support. He is a great photographer!
- Welcome to the month of May, the busiest of the year for Dr Pepper Ballpark. The ‘Riders are scheduled to play 18 home games this month, beginning Tuesday against San Antonio. For ticket information, be sure to check out ridersbaseball.com.
Enjoy today’s 2:05 game! Follow along on the RBN at 1:35.