June 15th, 2014
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.
The RoughRiders left Corpus Christi with the sweet taste of victory on their tongues, having licked the Hooks by a 10-2 margin. Anything left behind in the visiting team’s clubhouse or at the hotel can be collected in a mere four days’ time when the ‘Riders boomerang right back to south Texas for their second four-game series with the Hooks in 12 games. Only in the Texas League! Click here to read the full game recap.
It’s the most lopsided win of the season series for Frisco, who now leads 10-6 over Corpus Christi in 2014. However, the Hooks own the most decisive victory this year by way of an 11-2 blowout on April 28.
Star of the Game: RHP Jon Edwards – 3.0IP, 0H, 0R, 1BB, 6K
Edwards ferried the ‘Riders from the sixth through the eighth innings on Saturday in perhaps his finest performance of the season. His efforts were part of a collectively splendid night by Frisco’s pitching, which held Corpus Christi to just one hit in the game. The right-hander allowed only one baserunner when he walked Nolan Fontana in the sixth. One batter later, Andrew Aplin grounded back to the mound and Edwards triggered the double play to end the inning. He faced just nine batters over his trio of innings and sat down the side in order on strikes in the eighth.
After a rocky start to the season, Edwards kept a cool head on his shoulders and has allowed one run in his last seven appearances (11 1/3 innings pitched). Now that his high-octane fastball is landing for strikes on a more consistent basis, Edwards’ slider has emerged as a pitch with which to be reckoned. At least of his six strikeouts on Saturday came via the slider.
In case you missed it:
-The RoughRiders now have 40 wins with two games to play in the first half of the season. Frisco has attained 40 or more wins by the midway point in six of its 12 seasons as an organization.
-For the first time this season, field manager Jason Wood left Jake Smolinski off his lineup card. Smolinski was in a three-way tie with Rymer Liriano (San Antonio) and Alex Yarbrough (Arkansas) for most games played in the Texas League this season (66). He is now tied with Yeison Asencio (San Antonio) and Lane Adams (Northwest Arkansas) for second place.
-Luke Jackson won his eighth game on the mound last night, the most in the Texas League. Conversely, Brady Rodgers suffered his ninth loss, also tops in the league.
-Gallo watch: 1/5, 2K…he now has 87 singles and 87 home runs in his professional career (all in the Rangers organization).
-Trever Adams’ two-run home run in the fifth was his seventh of the season and broke an 0-for-12 slump at the plate.
-Drew Robinson’s two-run home run in the ninth was his sixth of the season and first since May 22.
-Ryan Rua’s on-base streak ended at 21 games as the designated hitter went 0-for-5 with a pair of strikeouts. Another impressive run for Rua, who now has multiple on-base streaks of 20 or more games.
-Rua was the only batter in the ‘Riders lineup without a hit on Saturday.
-The RoughRiders ripped off five straight base hits at one point in their active fifth inning. During that run, three hits deflected off either the glove or the person of starting pitcher Brady Rodgers.
-Jake Skole’s RBI single in the fifth broke a ten-game RBI drought.
Enjoy the highlights, and thanks for tuning in,
March Madness 2015 is nine months away. Regardless of how your team fared in the tourney this year, it’s never out of season to relive the highlights with the “One Shining Moment” montage produced by CBS every year since 1987. For 11 of the past 12 years, the video has featured the dulcet tones of Luther Vandross (the lone exception being 2010 when Jennifer Hudson voiced the lyrics). Vandross would have plenty of shining moments to sing about if he voiced the soundtrack to the RoughRiders season thus far (alas, Vandross passed away all too soon in 2005 at the age of 54).
The many acmes of the past month, both on an individual and team level, manifest themselves this past week when the Texas Rangers announced their Minor League Player of the Month awards for May. Every month, the Rangers scan the farm and anoint the top player, pitcher, reliever and defender. All four recipients in May play for the ‘Riders, although to be fair, Joey Gallo and Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez earned recognition for their performance with Advanced-A Myrtle Beach. Still, that doesn’t stop us from throwing out our collective chests a little bit here in Frisco, especially given the initial returns from Gallo and Gonzalez in Double-A.
In a salutary gesture to these top performers, we spotlight their one (of many) shining moments in the month of May:
- RHP Phil Klein – Minor League Reliever of the Month
Shining Moment: Sunday, May 25 vs. Springfield – 2.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 6BF, SV
Klein shined throughout the month of May and in nine appearances, recorded six saves in as many chances (he had zero saves in the first month of the season). The 25-year-old allowed one run on five hits and three walks over 12 2/3 innings pitched (0.71 ERA) and produced. Several performances stand out, such as Klein’s four strikeouts in two innings against the San Antonio Missions on May 2. In another game against the Missions on May 16, the native of Gahanna, Ohio posted a nearly identical line as the highlighted game above with two strikeouts over two innings of shutout baseball.
Although his four strikeout performance tied a season high, it occurred late in an 8-3 loss to San Antonio with the game already out of reach. While Klein earned the save for his work on the 16th, the ‘Riders won by three runs.
Against Springfield, however, Jason Wood asked the 6-foot-7, 260-pounder to protect a one-run lead with the playoff race in full swing. Klein threw 17 of his 26 pitches for strikes en route to the six-out save and retired the final batter in both innings on strikes.
The 30th round draft choice has continued his roll into June and he has not allowed a run in 13 2/3 innings. Klein’s ERA stands at 0.89 and his eight saves rank fourth in the Texas League.
- C Tomás Telis – Minor League Defender of the Month
Shining Moment: Thursday, May 8 vs. Corpus Christi – 2/4, R, HR, 3RBI, 2CS, PO
Let’s be honest: defense isn’t the only component that goes into the Defender of the Month Award. Let’s be honest about something else: the Rangers could not give Player of the Month honors to anyone other than Joey Gallo. That being said, Telis posted some of the best offensive numbers on the farm by someone not named Gallo, and also showed flashes of defensive merit.
As May closed, Telis paced the Texas League in batting average with a .347 mark. The switch-hitter’s high water mark came on May 18 when his average hit .356 after a 3-for-4 performance at the plate with a double and a stolen base.
The shining moment of the month for the 23-year-old (as of June 18) showcases Telis’s versatility on both offense and defense. His three-run home run in the third inning helped propel the RoughRiders to a 5-3 win and his three RBI tied a season single-game high.
Scouts love Telis for his lightning quick jump time from the crouch behind home plate to the throwing position. This helps give Telis a faster jump on would-be basestealers. His pop behind the dish cost the Hooks on the 8th when the Venezuelan threw out two runners at second base. In addition, he caught Matt Duffy napping with a lead off second and doubled him off to end the fifth.
- 3B Joey Gallo – Minor League Player of the Month
Shining Moment: Friday, May 30 vs. Carolina – 2/4, 3R, 2HR (GS), 7RBI, BB
Boy, this was tough. Gallo, now the three-time defending Player of the Month (dating back to last season) posted video game numbers on more than one occasion in May. Against the Potomac Nationals on May 16, the 20-year-old went a perfect 4-for-4 with four runs, three home runs and five RBI. It was Gallo’s second three-home run game of the season (April 23)
Special thanks to Pelicans’ broadcaster Nathan Barnett for helping us break the tie on this one. True, Gallo hit fewer home runs on the 30th (amazing we are even using multiple home runs as a metric here), but his seven RBI against the Carolina Mudcats tied a Pelicans franchise record.
Also, consider the timeliness of Gallo’s two homers against Carolina. His three-run home run left the park in the fifth inning and brought Myrtle Beach back from a 6-3 deficit. Two innings with the later, with the score tied at six, Gallo ripped a grand slam to put the Birds in front 10-6.
- RHP Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez – Minor League Pitcher of the Month
Shining Moment: Tuesday, May 20 at Frederick – 7.0IP, H, R, 3BB, 4K, W
Gonzalez did not lose a decision in five starts with the Pelicans in May. After losing his first two decisions of the season, the 22-year-old allowed six runs over his 34 innings pitched last month, good for a 1.59 ERA. He began the month strong with an eight-inning shutout performance on May 3 against Frederick, and keyed in against the Keys later on the 20th.
Frederick will not be sad to see Gonzalez in the Texas League as the first round draft choice in 2013 took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning. He did not allow a walk until the fifth and turned in the longest outing without a hit by a Pelicans’ starting pitcher this season.
Here’s to a second half (and a postseason) full of more shining moments. Thanks for reading!