August 2011

RoughRiders Playoff History

In case you missed it, the RoughRiders have clinched a playoff spot for the sixth time in franchise history. Frisco will square off with San Antonio in the first round beginning September 7.

How have the ‘Riders fared in the playoffs over the years? Here are the year-by-year results.

2003:
Divisional Round: Defeated Wichita 3-0
Championship Series: Lost to San Antonio 4-1
In the RoughRiders’ first season, they qualified for the playoffs and made quick work of the Wranglers in the first round. In 2003, like this season, San Antonio was an all-timer of a team. The Missions went 88-51 in the regular season and cruised past the ‘Riders for the title.

The RoughRiders celebrate their 2004 Texas League championship.

2004:
Divisional Round: Defeated Tulsa 3-0
Championship Series: Defeated Round Rock 4-1
After a third-place finish in the first half, the RoughRiders blew away the competition en route to their first and only Texas League championship. Frisco went 45-25 in the second half to punch its playoff ticket. In their three-game sweep of Tulsa, the ‘Riders scored 28 runs. In the championship series against Round Rock, Frisco’s pitching staff gave up only 20 runs. This remains the lone banner in the RoughRiders’ tenure in the Texas League.

2007:
Divisional Round: Lost to San Antonio 3-0
Following their title in 2004, the RoughRiders missed the playoffs in ’05 and ’06. They made up for lost time with a record of 85-55 during the 2007 regular season, which was ten games better than any other team in the Texas League. However, the ‘Riders did not translate their regular season success into the playoffs. The Missions outscored Frisco 19-8 in the sweep. San Antonio went on to win the TL title.

2008:
Divisional Round: Defeated San Antonio 3-0
Championship Series: Lost to Arkansas 3-2
For the second straight season, the ‘Riders posted the best record in the Texas League (84-56). This time, the ‘Riders made quick work of San Antonio in the first round. In fact, Frisco’s sweep of San Antonio was more lopsided than the Missions’ broom job in ’07, as the ‘Riders outscored the defending champs 20-5. The championship series went back and forth, with Frisco taking Game 2 and Game 4. However, the Travelers dominated the deciding Game 5 11-3 to win their first outright title since 1989.

2010:
Divisional Round: Lost to Midland 3-1
Skipper Steve Buechele led the RoughRiders to the playoffs in his first season at the helm, but the RockHounds won back-to-back games at home after the two clubs split the two games at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Midland lost to Northwest Arkansas in the championship series.

All-Time Record (Games): 17-14
All-Time Record (Series): 4-4

- Brian

RoughRiders Clinch Playoff Berth

For the sixth time in the franchise’s nine-year history, the RoughRiders have qualified for the Texas League playoffs.

San Antonio defeated Midland 8-2 tonight to officially clinch the second-half South Division title. Because the Missions also finished at the top of the South in the first half, the ‘Riders earned a wild card berth because they will finish second in the overall division standings.

The ‘Riders and Missions will meet in the divisional round of the Texas League playoffs, which is a best-of-five series beginning Wednesday, September 7. Game 3 and, if necessary, Game 4 will be at Dr Pepper Ballpark Friday, September 9 and Saturday, September 10.

Frisco is 17-14 during five other trips to the postseason, which includes the RoughRiders’ 2004 Texas League championship.

San Antonio won the season series with a 19-13 mark against the ‘Riders this season. Frisco managed a split in the 16 games played between the two squads at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

The RoughRiders become the fifth Rangers affiliate to earn a postseason spot here in 2011. Triple-A Round Rock won its division for the first time since 2006. High-A Myrtle Beach and Low-A Hickory claimed first-half titles. The AZL Rangers earned a division crown, too.

Short-season Spokane, the only club in the Rangers’ minor league system that has not guaranteed a playoff berth, entered play tonight tied for the wild card spot in the Northwest League’s East. Overall, Texas’ farm system owns the best record in baseball (412-319; .564 winning percentage).

Click here for ticket information for all playoff games at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

- Brian

RoughRiders Roundtable Podcast, Episode #4

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

The latest episode of the RoughRiders Roundtable Podcast is now yours to listen to and download on iTunes.  As always, a big thanks to our producer Ted Price, Jason Cole of LoneStarDugout.com, and Brian.

In this episode we discuss the rumored call-up of Leonys Martin and Mark Hamburger (at time of publication this still has not been made official). We also chat about Tommy Mendonca being named a Texas League Post-Season All-Star, Robbie Ross thriving in Double-A, and Renny Osuna’s future in the Rangers’ system.

Feel free to leave a comment on this page if there’s a topic in the future you’d like us to discuss.

Thanks for downloading and listening!

-AG

RoughRiders’ Travel Stats

Baseball is a game of numbers.  Batting average, fielding percentage, home runs, total bases, etc.  There’s a value and a statistic for virtually everything.  However, some of the most interesting numbers for the ‘Riders this season have come off the field. Like every baseball team, the ‘Riders spend a lot of time traveling.  How much?  I’m glad you asked.

Road games: 70

Road trips: 12

Total miles driven: 10,449

Total time on the bus: 178 hours, 45 minutes (approx. 7.5 days)

Gallons in the bus’ fuel tank: 250

Miles per tank of gas: 1,200

Bus MPG: 4.8

Cost of diesel fuel per gallon: $3.86

Gallons of gas used this season: 2,177

Total cost of gas for the season: $8,403

Total time in Midland, TX: Approx. 336 hours

Episodes of Entourage watched on the bus: All of them

Total number of card games played: 1,284

Shortest trip: Northwest Arkansas to Tulsa (1 hour, 45 minutes; 109 miles)

Longest trip: Midland to Corpus Christi (7 hours, 30 minutes; 475 miles)

Average time of arrival: 4:42 a.m.

No doubt, this has been a fun year for the ‘Riders.  But as you can see, there’s a lot that goes into getting the guys around the Texas League.  Big thanks to Carlos Coleman, the best driver in the Texas League.

The current road trip is almost halfway over.  Then it’s off to Corpus Christi for four games, then back home to finish of the regular season.  After that?  We’ll jump on the bus for San Antonio and the playoffs.

318 miles, 5 hours and 30 minutes.

-AG

Playoff Push: Why Rooting for San Antonio Is OK

With the RoughRiders’ 3-1 win over Midland and San Antonio’s 6-0 victory over Corpus Christi, Frisco is closing in on its sixth ever playoff appearance. Ultimately, the ‘Riders’ standing in the second-half race means nothing at this point because they already have the wild card spot secured if one is needed.

The first-half champion meets the second-half champion in the Texas League’s divisional round. However, San Antonio won the first half and lead the second half by six games with nine to go. This is where the wild card comes into play.

When one team wins both division titles in a season, the team with the second best overall record punches a ticket to the postseason. Frisco (73-58) already has the second-best mark clinched in the South Division, with Midland (59-72) and Corpus Christi (48-83) well below .500.

The only thing that can prevent the ‘Riders from going to the playoffs is a huge comeback by Midland for the second-half crown (Corpus has already been eliminated from the race). Midland’s “elimination number,” which is calculated just like a magic number but isn’t nearly as magical, sits at three. Thus, if the number of Midland losses plus San Antonio wins from now until the regular season equals or surpasses three, San Antonio wins the second half and Frisco claims the wild card.

Former RoughRider Robbie Erlin can help the 'Riders inch closer to the playoffs (James Garner).

With that being said, let’s set the table for the two games that matter tonight:

Frisco (Ben Snyder; 9-5, 4.21) vs. Midland (Gary Daley; 6-5, 4.50)
6:00 p.m. – Citibank Ballpark

The ‘Riders have owned Midland this season, posting a 15-8 record against the men from the Permian Basin. Four of Ben Snyder’s nine wins have come against the RockHounds, and his ERA sits at 4.26 in his eight appearances against them. However, Gary Daley loves facing the ‘Riders. Daley is 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA in 22 2/3 frames in three starts against Frisco in ’11. The rest of Midland’s pitching staff has an ERA of 5.68 against the ‘Riders.

San Antonio (Robbie Erlin; 0-0, 2.12) v. Corpus Christi (Erick Abreu; 6-6, 4.07)
6:05 p.m. – Whataburger Field
The Padres monitor their minor league pitchers’ innings more than most systems, so Robbie Erlin has only worked 17 innings in his four starts with the Missions. In his last two efforts, Erlin has tossed only five innings, so don’t expect a workhorse-like effort from the former RoughRider tonight. Abreu has labored against San Antonio this year (7 IP, 7 ER, 11 H). The Missions have a 19-4 mark against Corpus this season, which is the second-most lopsided season series in the TL (Frisco’s 10-2 record against Tulsa is the most lopsided).

If the ‘Riders win and the Missions lose tonight, then Frisco can clinch a playoff spot as early as tomorrow. Then, it’s time to think playoffs in North Texas for the second straight season.

- Brian

Mendonca Named Post-Season All-Star

Frisco third baseman Tommy Mendonca was named the designated hitter on the Texas League Post-Season All-Star Team, the league office announced.

(Photo: James Garner)

The league’s Player of the Month for June, Mendonca is currently fourth in the TL in home runs (25), second in RBIs (87), and tied for eighth in runs scored (73). Mendonca is batting .283 this year, his first at the Double-A level.

Mendonca has hit at least four home runs and driven in at least 11 runs in all five months this season. Before the All-Star break, Mendonca was among the league’s leaders with a .324 batting average.

The Turlock, Calif., native hit three home runs against Corpus Christi July 22, a night that saw the ‘Riders match a franchise high with 19 runs. Mendonca also has 40 multi-hit games and 20 multi-RBI games.

Mendonca is the only RoughRider to earn a spot on the 18-player All-Star Team. Former RoughRider Joe Wieland, now a member of the San Antonio Missions, was one of the six pitchers honored. The quartet of Arkansas, San Antonio, Springfield and Tulsa led the way with three representatives.

Arkansas right-hander Matt Shoemaker earned the TL’s Pitcher of the Year, while Springfield’s Triple Crown candidate Matt Adams is the Player of the Year. San Antonio skipper Doug Dascenzo, who has led the Missions to the best record in full-season minor league baseball, is the Manager of the Year.

The ‘Riders are back in action tonight against Midland. First pitch is set for 7:00, and pre-game coverage along the RoughRiders Baseball Network begins at 6:30.

- Brian

GAME PHOTOS: Frisco vs. San Antonio, August 26

The ‘Riders took on the Missions Friday night for the final time in the regular season. The Missions jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before Frisco scored one in the fifth. Game photos courtesy of Alex Yocum-Beeman.

Frisco started, Robbie Ross was on the mound to make his fifth career double-A start.

Shortstop, Renny Osuna attempts to slap the tag on Ali Solis after Jose Felix threw down to second.

Second baseman, Davis Stoneburner singles in the fourth inning.

-Stephen

VIDEO: Joe Wieland Warming up in the Bullpen

Here is a video of former RoughRider, Joe Wieland warming up in the bullpen before Thursday’s game. Wieland, who already threw a no-hitter for Frisco against San Antonio in July before being traded, yielded only two hits over five shutout innings against his former team last night.

Wieland’s Return to Frisco

July 31 was a big day for both the RoughRiders and the San Antonio Missions. Two days after Joe Wieland pitched a no-hitter in San Antonio, Wieland and Robbie Erlin made the surreal walk from the visitor clubhouse to the home clubhouse at the Wolff. Wieland and Erlin were traded to San Diego for big league reliever Mike Adams.

Joe Wieland blanked the 'Riders over five innings Thursday night in Frisco (Alex Yocum-Beeman).

Erlin squared off against the ‘Riders August 8 and held them to one run on two hits in six innings. Last night at Dr Pepper Ballpark, Wieland was just as good.

Wieland blanked his former club over five quick innings. The right-hander struck out three and walked two. He only allowed one runner to reach third base. Before he threw pitch number one, the Missions led 3-0. After an inning and a half, San Antonio extended that lead to 8-0.

When you combine his stats during his time in Myrtle Beach, Frisco and San Antonio this season, Wieland is 13-3 with a 1.79 earned run average. In 150 2/3 innings, Wieland has struck out 144 and walked 18. In his first four starts with the Missions, Wieland is 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA.

Yesterday, Wieland was our pre-game guest. He discussed his comfort level in San Antonio, his excitement for the playoffs, and his scheduled start in game one of the first round of the playoffs, which will most likely come against the ‘Riders.

You can listen to Wieland’s interview below.

- Brian

VIDEO & PHOTOS: Frisco vs. San Antonio

The ‘Riders were back in action Thursday night in the third of four games against the San Antonio Missions. Here are some photos of the game courtesy of Alex Yocum-Beeman and a video of Justin Miller’s interview from Reid Copeland.

Corey Young pitched 3.2 scoreless innings of relief.

Joe Wieland surrendered two hits over five shutout innings.


Davis Stoneburner makes the play at second.

-Stephen

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