‘Riders Rewind – June 9
Miss 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.
Magic Number: 4
The RoughRiders took a hack at the Magic Number on Monday like Joey Gallo took a hack at a Seth Frankoff changeup. Click here to read the full game recap.
The ‘Riders were fortunate to have the top of the order due up in the ninth and a pair of pristine bunt singles put two men on with nobody out. Working against one of the top closers in the Texas League in Seth Frankoff (a 2014 midseason All-Star with 11 saves this season), Joey Gallo punched a 2-0 changeup to the opposite field and the rest, as they say, is history.
With seven games to play in the first half, Frisco (37-25) holds a 3 1/2 edge over Midland (34-29). The teams still have three more head-to-head matchups, including Tuesday at Dr Pepper Ballpark, before the midway marker.
To calculate the Magic Number, determine the number of games yet to be played in the first half (7), add one (7+1=8), and subtract the number of games ahead in the loss column of the standings from the closest opponent (8-4=4).
Frisco bookended its scoring with four runs in the first inning and three more in the ninth. Luke Jackson delivered a dichotomous outing with nine strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings, but allowed four runs, two walks and threw two wild pitches in his final 1 1/3 innings.
This game read like many others in the season series between Frisco and Midland: intense, competitive and zany. After the ‘Hounds rallied from another early deficit, the game was once again decided in the ninth inning or later for the fourth time in eleven meetings.
Props to the platoon bullpen effort of Keone Kela, Wilmer Font and Ryan Bores, who collectively preserved the 4-4 tie long enough to give Gallo & co. the chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth. Each reliever allowed at least one baserunner, but neutralized the Midland threats in every instance.
Star of the Game: 3B Joey Gallo – 1/5, HR, 4RBI
Hard to snub Gallo here given the timeliness of his first Double-A home run. The towering lefty appears to be as advertised at the plate (in addition to the homer, he struck out three times). His first RBI crossed in the first inning when he grounded out to first base with a runner on third. Gallo’s reputation preceded him in the Texas League; Midland’s pitchers rarely offered fastballs, and in typical Oakland A’s fashion, the RockHounds used an exaggerated shift against the slugger.
In case you missed it:
-With Gallo at third base on Monday, Ryan Rua shifted to first base and Trever Adams batted as the DH. Midland’s first batter of the game, Billy Burns, reached first on an error charged to shortstop Guilder Rodriguez, but the ball popped out of Rua’s glove at first. In the seventh inning, Gallo nearly flubbed a groundball at third from Jefry Marte, but kept the ball in front of him and flashed his impressive arm strength on the in-time rifle to first.
-Gallo becomes the second player to wear number 24 for the RoughRiders this season. Rougned Odor was the first.
-Midland employed a shift against Gallo on Monday as well and placed three infielders to the right of second base. Second baseman Connor Crumbliss essentially served as a second right fielder and stationed in the grass. The RockHounds employed a less exaggerated shift against Drew Robinson.
-Frisco won its first game via walk-off since May 5. On that night, Robinson’s RBI single sent the ‘Riders to a 7-6 victory over…Midland.
-In the season series between Frisco and Midland, four games have ended with a walk-off and the teams have scored in the ninth inning in 8-of-11 total meetings.
-Rua extended his on-base streak to 17 straight games on Monday with an RBI single in the first inning. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.
-Guilder Rodriguez hit his second extra-base hit of the season with a scratch double to center in the sixth. G-Rod finished the night 4-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. He is batting .348 with 39 hits and 17 runs and 11 RBI in 30 games and has a .430 on-base percentage. Equally impressive is the veteran’s stretch of four multi-hit games this month and two four-hit outings in the last nine games.
-Adams also had a monster night at the plate and went 3-for-4 with a home run, two scores, two RBI and a walk. He dropped one of the beautiful bunts in the ninth inning and reached when Frankoff could not corral the ball on the first base line. Adams’ batting average is north of .300 for the first time this season (.301), good for eighth in the Texas League.
Enjoy the highlights, and thanks for tuning in,