‘Riders Rewind – June 10

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: 2

The RoughRiders can taste it now. A 7-2 win over the Midland RockHounds on Tuesday drove the Magic Number down to two. A win by the RoughRiders on Wednesday night against Corpus Christi, combined with a Midland loss to San Antonio, will seal the franchise’s eighth postseason berth. Click here to read Tuesday’s full game recap.

Once again, the new kids on the block for Frisco (38-25) stole the show. Joey Gallo and Chi Chi Gonzalez shone bright and lead the ‘Riders to a 2-2 series split with the ‘Hounds (34-30). The RoughRiders finished 5-3 on the homestand and now embark on a season-long 12-game road swing that straddles the season’s midway point.

The first half officially wraps up after Frisco’s June 17 showdown with Midland from west Texas. Hopefully, the ‘Riders will put an end to the drama well before then; they lead the RockHounds by 4 1/2 games with six to play.

To calculate the Magic Number, determine the number of games yet to be played in the first half (6), add one (6+1=7), and subtract the number of games ahead in the loss column of the standings from the closest opponent (7-5=2).

Star of the Game: 3B Joey Gallo – 2/2, 2R, 2B, HR, 2RBI, 2BB

Everything Joey did on Tuesday came in a tandem. He now has two home runs and three extra-base hits in his first seven Double-A at-bats along with six RBI, three runs, three strikeouts and two walks. His home run on Tuesday went pull-side down the right-field line and snuck inside the foul pole before landing in the CoServ patio. It was little more than a 350-foot pop fly that floated over the fence after Joey sent it a mile high.

In spite of the fantastic start at the plate, the slugger has yet to truly connect on a pitch in Double-A, a sobering thought for opposing pitchers in the Texas League. Joey’s two homers thus far have essentially been misses in which supreme strength has guided the ball out of the park as opposed to square contact made on, say, a 95-mph heater. We aren’t going out of our way to perpetuate the Joey Gallo hysteria here on the ‘Riders Insider Blog, he’s earning the recognition with timely hits and disciplined at-bats in competitive games with a playoff berth on the line.

In case you missed it:

-Chi Chi Gonzalez was excellent in his RoughRiders debut. The 2013 first round draft choice pitched an abbreviated five innings and only threw 61 pitches (38 strikes), but it was more than enough to earn his first career win at the Double-A level. He allowed one hit over five innings with now walks and six strikeouts. His cut fastball is as advertised.

-To elaborate on the sole hit allowed by Gonzalez, it occurred with no outs in the fifth inning after the righty retired the first 12 batters he faced. On a line drive out to left field by Josh Whitaker, Trever Adams dove and appeared to make the play, but the umpiring crew ruled Adams trapped the ball. Gonzalez faced one over the minimum through his five innings of work.

-Jake Smolinski moved to the infield at made his second start of the season at first base. Adams took Smolinski’s customary spot in left field, and Ryan Rua took a turn as the DH.

-The RoughRiders played error-free baseball for the first time in the series.

-Rua extended his on-base streak to 18 straight games on Tuesday with a two-run double in the fifth. He now has 13 doubles and 35 RBI on the season.

-Jake Skole ripped three singles in his first three at-bats and finished 3-for-4 at the plate. Each base knock was sent to a different part of the field. It marked the second three-hit game of the season for Skole (May 31 at Springfield).

Enjoy the highlights, and thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.


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