May 4th, 2014

‘Riders on the Record – Road Weary

‘Riders on the Record is a weekly rundown of the pregame interviews recorded by broadcasters Alex Vispoli and Chris Vosters with RoughRiders players and coaches and occasionally a special guest. You can find all previous editions by clicking here.

The RoughRiders reopened Dr Pepper Ballpark for the first time in nine days on May 3. The team wrapped up its second road trip with a 3-5 record, which on paper seems like a stark contrast to the 6-0 record posted on the first venture outside the Metroplex.

The ‘Riders split a four-game set with Corpus Christi at Whataburger Field and then dropped a four-gamer with San Antonio three games to one. The Missions have the lowest team batting average in the eight-team Texas League and as of May 4, had the second-worst record. At one point, immediately prior the series with Frisco, San Antonio ripped off 40 straight innings without scoring a run.

For the first time this season, the pitching staff ran into a few bumps along the road. Luke Jackson suffered his first loss in 2014, while Kyle Lotzkar, Alec Asher and Edwar Cabrera each struggled in respective outings. Even the bullpen blinked a couple times on the road, giving up four runs in a in 9-7 loss to the Missions on April 29. Matt West allowed his first run of the season in nine appearances, and Jon Edwards gave up six runs in 3 2/3 innings of work. That’s not to take anything away from Jerad Eickhoff, who pitched brilliantly in the lone win of the series against San Antonio.

But the staff certainly doesn’t assume complete responsibility. Far from it, in fact. Against the Missions, the ‘Riders scored first in every game, but scored a total of one run after the fourth inning. It puts a lot of pressure on the ‘pen when a team only scores runs in the first half of each game. Rougned Odor went 2-for-16 against the Hooks, before turning it on against San Antonio. Drew Robinson donned the infamous “golden sombrero” with a four-strikeout night on April 29.

And yet, the ‘Riders battled in every game, save the 11-2 whitewashing from Corpus Christi on a getaway day. They rallied for three runs over the final two innings in a 6-4 loss to the Hooks on April 25. In the three losses to San Antonio, Frisco took one game to extras, and even in an 8-3 loss on May 2, the ‘Riders trailed by three in the fourth inning when a double-play opportunity went awry and allowed the Missions to pull away.

The horsemen have a chance to regain control of the Texas League South with a series win against the Midland RockHounds. They took a solid first step in that regard with a 3-1 win on Saturday night.

It is in this vein we present the latest edition of ‘Riders on the Record, featuring highlights from the eight-game road swing. Hitting coach Jason Hart makes his first appearance on the program to talk Ryan Rua (on-base streak at 26 games through this publication). Former major league shortstop Tony Fernandez, now a special assistant to Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels, joined the team on the trip and also makes an appearance. He lends an interesting anecdote about a young shortstop for the New York Yankees named Derek Jeter, with whom Fernandez played at the end of his career. Enjoy!

Hitting coach and former RoughRider (class of ’05), Jason Wyatt Hart:

 

Special Assistant to General Manager Jon Daniels, Tony Fernandez, talks about the organization’s top prospects with the ‘Riders:

 

Catcher Tomas Telis, who will surprise you with his speed around the bases:

 

Rougned Odor makes his debut on ‘Riders on the Record. Thanks, Roogie!

 

Edwar Cabrera reflects on his last two starts on the mound and his recovery road following shoulder surgery in 2013:

 

 

As always, thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

‘Riders Rewind – May 3

Crew_DeuceMiss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

The RoughRiders opened a four-game series against Midland with a 3-1 wire-to-wire victory on Saturday night. Frisco outhit the RockHounds 10-5 and received a stellar outing from starting pitcher Alec Asher. The big righty went seven innings and allowed no runs on four hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Click here to read the full game recap.

Jake Smolinski and Luis Sardinas teamed up twice as a run-scoring tandem in the win. “Smo” sacrificed Sardinas home in the first on a fly ball to deep left field, and scored “Sardi” for a second time on an RBI single in the third.

Sardinas, who played at second base last night for the first time this season, finished 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs and a home run shy of the cycle. His RBI triple in the fourth put the ‘Riders up 3-0.

Francisco Mendoza earned his fourth save of the season. The righty pitched the ninth and gave up the only Midland run of the game on an RBI single by Jefry Marte. Mendoza allowed the first three men he faced to reach base, but rallied and recorded three consecutive outs after the Marte base hit.

‘Riders have a chance to regain the lead in the Texas League South Division with a win on Sunday afternoon against the RockHounds. Coverage starts at 1:40 p.m. on www.ridersbaseball.com

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

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