June 15th, 2011

Realignment Upon Us?

Baseball will get the sports stage largely to itself for a few months once the Canucks and Bruins finish up the Stanley Cup Finals tonight. Right now, the popular story is the possibility of realignment in Major League Baseball. There is talk about division-less American and National Leagues with Houston moving to the A.L. Even the popular site Deadspin facetiously talked about a second professional sports team going from Seattle to Oklahoma City.

This could also bring about an expanded postseason. I’m a fan of the current eight-team format because making the playoffs in this structure is truly special; however, more postseason chances would open up the doors for some smaller markets.

But think about it—last year, all eight teams had a special storyline going into the postseason: Texas (aiming for first playoff series win), New York (defending ’09 title), Tampa Bay (second ever playoff appearance), Minnesota (trying to finally beat the Yankees in the playoffs), Atlanta (last go-around for skipper Bobby Cox), Philadelphia (striving for third straight World Series appearance), Cincinnati (first playoff appearance since 1995), and San Francisco (looking for first title since 1954).

For now, I hope baseball stays the same. An eight-team playoff is fine with me.

Onto today’s Facts, with plenty of numbers on the RoughRiders’ recent offensive surge.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • Before we get into the offense, Brandon Webb tossed three scoreless innings for the RoughRiders in a rehab start yesterday. Here is the write-up from yesterday on the blog detailing a very positive showing from the former Cy Young Award winner.
  • The RoughRiders have scored 23 runs in the last two games, which is the second-highest number in consecutive days for the club this season. In those two games, Frisco has banged out 36 hits, including a season-high 20 Monday night in the 13-6 win.
  • As a club, the ‘Riders are hitting .290 in the month of June. In those 13 games, the RoughRiders are averaging 6.7 runs per game. The big performer during the month has been Tommy Mendonca, who is hitting .411 (23-for-56). In this series at Midland, Mendonca is 10-for-14 with five RBIs and five runs scored.
  • Against Midland, Frisco is 9-2, which is the best showing against a certain squad in 2011. The team’s batting average is .310, and eight “regulars” boast individual averages at .286 or better.
  • The RoughRiders have scored more runs in the last two games (23) than they have in an entire series against Midland since June 21-24, 2010. That period spans seven different series, including last year’s postseason set between the ‘Riders and ‘Hounds.
  • San Antonio’s season has been incredible. Today, the Missions can earn their fifth sweep of the season with a win at home over reeling Corpus Christi. Also, a win would push the Missions above the .700 mark in winning percentage, a plateau that is only surpassed by the San Jose Giants (high-A, San Francisco) in the California League and the Daytona Cubs (high-A, Chicago Cubs) in the Florida State League. San Jose enters play today with a minor league-high 47-17 mark (.734).
  • Time is running out for you to get your chance to watch world-class boxing at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Fight Night is this Friday, and you can get more information here.

Pre-game coverage begins at 6 p.m., with the ‘Riders hoping to notch another series win. Tune in along the RoughRiders Baseball Network. Enjoy!

- Brian

Brandon Webb’s Rehab Start

Right-hander Brandon Webb tossed three scoreless innings in a rehab start Tuesday night for the RoughRiders against the Midland RockHounds at Citibank Ballpark.

Webb set down the first seven he faced before giving up a single and a walk. He left those two runners on second and third.

In the outing, Webb induced six ground-ball outs, two fly-ball outs and a strikeout. He threw 42 pitches, and 27 of them were strikes. He left the game with the ‘Riders leading 6-0.

It was the second rehab start of the season for Webb, who suffered a loss May 30 against Tulsa. In that outing, Webb allowed five runs on eight hits in three and a third innings of work. He struck out two, walked two, and hit a batter.

Before these two outings, the former National League Cy Young Award winner had not made a competitive start since an Opening Day effort for Arizona in 2009.

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