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Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/25)

GAME #74 (2nd HALF GAME #5)

Frisco RoughRiders (40–33 overall, 2-2 2nd half) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (49-25, 2-2 2nd half)
Saturday, June 25 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 3 of 4 (Series tie, 1-1)
This season: Game 19 of 32 (Hooks lead, 12-6)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – SS
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Ryan Cordell – CF
  5. Preston Beck – RF
  6. Joe Jackson – LF
  7. Alex Burg – DH
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Luis Mendez – 3B

LHP Victor Payano (5-4, 3.57 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Friday vs. Corpus Christi (W, 8-7)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: IF Isiah Kiner-Falefa

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

 LAST TIME OUT:Once down 5-1, the RoughRiders stormed back to knock off Corpus Christi 8-7…The Riders took the lead with a four-run seventh inning. ALEX BURG knocked in three runs with a bases-clearing double to right-center field to put Frisco ahead 8-6. Burg finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and tied a career-high with four RBI…FRANK LOPEZ helped keep the Riders in the game, working 4/13 strong innings in relief of CONNOR SADZECKJOSE VALDESPINA worked the final two innings to earn his second straight save and third of the season…Six players had a multi-hit game, including three hits from Burg.

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH:
The RoughRiders have become very familiar with playing in close games lately. All four games in the last series against Midland were decided by a single run, and the first two games of this series against Corpus Christi have also been one-run contests. During the month of June, 14 of the Riders’ 24 games have been decided by two runs or less. On the season, Frisco is 17-11 in one-run games and 6-5 in two-run contests. The 28 one-run games the Riders have played is tied for most in the Texas League (with Corpus and Midland).

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:
Last Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. InfielderRONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL  were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth-straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). Additionally, Guzman was selected to participate in Tuesday’s Home Run Derby. The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game also takes place Tuesday in Springfield, Missouri.

DOWN, BUT NEVER OUT:
The RoughRiders’ comeback from a four-run deficit last night matched the largest one of the season. The Riders have rallied to win three times when trailing by four runs this season, including twice against Corpus Christi. Overall, Frisco has tallied 22 come-from-behind victories this season (55% of team’s total wins), and the last six RoughRiders wins have been in comeback fashion.

BEGINNER’S LUCK:
In his first 18 games with the RoughRiders, ANDY IBANEZ has already had hits in 13 games. Despite getting off to a slow start in Double-A (3-for-his-first-27 at-bats), Ibanez’s first three hits all drove in runs. Ibanez now has a hit in each of his last 11 games, including a home run, three RBI, and three multi-hit games.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 30 of his last 35 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. He has hit six doubles, two triples, three home runs, and driven in 13 runs in that span.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:
RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season last Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi-home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day last Tuesday. Since then, he has continued to keep up the pace with five home runs in his last 46 at-bats.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his third rehab start with Frisco Sunday and was the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. The list also includes catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Francis Martes, the top pitching prospect in the Houston farm system, makes his fourth appearance against the RoughRiders this year. The RoughRiders have given Martes his two roughest outings of the year, touching him up for 10 earned runs in 3.0 innings, good for an ERA of 30.00, in those two appearances. However, Martes earned his first win over the Riders this season last Wednesday, going 6 1/3 innings and giving up three runs on five hits. Martes came to the Astros from the Marlins organization in a multi-player trade at the 2014 deadline. REPERTOIRE: Fastball (mid-90s), curveball, changeup.

Five takeaways from Friday’s win

062416 Burg, Alex (Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)2

Alex Burg went 3-for-4 Friday with two doubles and four RBI in Frisco’s win over Corpus Christi.

The RoughRiders stormed back for an 8-7 win over Corpus Christi last night, ending a four-game losing streak to the Hooks. There were plenty of things to like about Friday’s win, but here are some of my biggest takeaways:

  • Alex Burg had a huge night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a career-high-tying four RBIs. It marked his first RBIs since June 4 and his first three-hit game since April 22 (also against the Hooks). Burg has struggled a bit since a hot first month of the season, but it was great to see him swat the ball all over the park last night.
  • Friday marked the return of Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who had missed 25 games while on the disabled list with a knee infection. “IKF” didn’t miss a beat in his return, going 2-for-5 with a pair of singles and a run scored. Not only does he provide the Riders a reliable bat, but he provides defensive flexibility that can help give guys rest when needed.
  • Frisco went 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position Friday. It was their best performance with RISP since going 7-for-14 on May 23 against San Antonio (right before the eight-game losing streak). Frisco’s ability to hit with runners in scoring position was so key to the early success, and rediscovering that ability will be a key to winning the second half.
  • There were contributions throughout the lineup last night, including six guys with multi-hit games. Perhaps most encouraging is that two of Frisco’s best hitters – Ronald Guzman and Ryan Cordell – both went hitless and the Riders still had one of their best offensive showings. Seven of the eight RBI came from the sixth, seventh and eighth spots in the order (Joe Jackson-2, Alex Burg-4, Kellin Deglan-1).
  • Despite the shortest start of the year for Connor Sadzeck, the bullpen was great on Friday, with Frank Lopez and Jose Valdespina combining to work the final 6 1/3 innings, allowing just three runs along the way to a very good Corpus Christi lineup. With as much as the Riders bullpen has been taxed in this long string of games without off days, their outings were huge and should help the Riders keep a rested bullpen for the final two games before the all-star break.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Frisk – To win.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/24)

GAME #73 (2nd HALF GAME #4)

Frisco RoughRiders (39-33 overall, 1-2 2nd half) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (49-24, 2-1 2nd half)
Friday, June 24 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 4 (Hooks lead, 1-0)
This season: Game 18 of 32 (Hooks lead, 12-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – SS
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Ryan Cordell – CF
  5. Preston Beck – RF
  6. Joe Jackson – LF
  7. Alex Burg – DH
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Luis Mendez – 3B

RHP Connor Sadzeck (6-2, 3.18 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Thursday vs. Corpus Christi (L, 3-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Ryan Ledbetter

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The Riders hit a pair of solo home runs but came up short in a 3-2 loss to Corpus Christi Thursday night…Frisco got on the board in the first inning on the 15th long ball of the year from RYAN CORDELL…Trailing 2-1 in the fourth, JOE JACKSONlaunched a solo home run to tie the game 2-2…After giving up two runs in the first inning, LUIS ORTIZ retired 10 consecutive hitters and 13 of the final 17. Ortiz went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts, and took no decision for the second straight starts…Chase McDonald his his 12th home run to put Corpus Christi ahead 3-2 for good.

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH:
The RoughRiders have become very familiar with playing in close games lately. All four games in the last series against Midland were decided by a single run, and last night’s series opener against Corpus Christi was a one-run game as well. During the month of June, 13 of the Riders’ 23 games have been decided by two runs or less. On the season, Frisco is 16-11 in one-run games and 6-5 in two-run contests.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:
Last Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. InfielderRONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL  were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth-straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place next Tuesday in Springfield, Missouri.

BEGINNER’S LUCK:
In his first 17 games with the RoughRiders, ANDY IBANEZ has already had hits in 12 games. Despite getting off to a slow start in Double-A, Ibanez’s first three hits all drove in runs. Ibanez now has a hit in each of his last 10 games, including a home run, three RBI, and two multi-hit games.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 29 of his last 34 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. He has hit five doubles, two triples, three home runs, and driven in 13 runs in that span.

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:
For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last 18 games, the RoughRiders have committed 20 errors (1.1 per game), leading to 18 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, made four of the 13 errors as he was adjusting to playing the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span, and LUIS SILVA made two blunders in his stateside debut on Sunday.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:
RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season last Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi-home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day last Tuesday. Since then, he has continued to keep up the pace with five home runs in his last 43 at-bats.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his third rehab start with Frisco Sunday and is the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. The list also includes catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-hander Keegan Yuhl makes his third appearance against the RoughRiders this season. Frisco has tallied five runs and 11 hits off Yuhl in 10 1/3 innings pitched. Yuhl is currently on a seven-game win streak, pacing the staff for most wins this season, and he has not lost a game since April 19 at Springfield. The Del Mar, California native was selected by the Astros in the 35th round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. Last Tuesday, Yuhl was named to the Texas League South Division All-Star team. REPERTOIRE: Fastball, changeup, slider.

Riding Through the Farm: Into the second half

Riding Through the Farm v3“Riding Through the Farm” is your weekly look at what’s going on in the Rangers organization outside of Frisco.

TEXAS RANGERS (47-26, 1st – AL West)

Texas had its seven-game winning streak snapped Tuesday against the Reds, but got a new streak started with a win on Wednesday. After the off day, Boston comes to town tonight to begin a three-game set.

The Rangers continue to hold the best record in the American League and are tied for the most wins in all of baseball (47, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco). With Seattle’s recent skid, the lead in the AL West is suddenly at 10 games.

Tonight: vs. Boston, 7:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Nick Martinez)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (39-34, 2nd – PCL American Southern Division)

Round Rock picked up its second win against Oklahoma City in 11 tries last night after struggling most of the year with the Dodgers affiliate. With the aid of the infield fly rule, the Express turned a 6-7-5-2 double play last night.

Doug Bernier is hitting .389 in his last five games for the “E-Train,” while former RoughRiders catcher Pat Cantwell continues to hit well, hitting .303 in his first 35 games.

On the mound, former RoughRiders pitcher Richelson Pena teamed up with Jose Monegro (who has since rejoined the Riders) to allow one run on seven hits in a seven-inning game against first-place Nashville earlier this week.

Tonight: at Oklahoma City, 7:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Richelson Pena)

<img class="wp-image-2206122" src="https://mlblogsridersinsider.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/travis-demeritte.jpg?w=555&quot; alt="Travis Demeritte” width=”304″ height=”171″ /> Travis Demeritte was one of two High Desert Mavericks to play in the All-Star Game Tuesday.

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (43-28, 1st half champions – California League South Division)

High Desert edged out Rancho Cucamonga to win the first-half championship, making the Mavs the only Rangers affiliate to win the opening half. They began the second half with a tough walk-off loss last night against the Quakes.

Tuesday, the Mavericks had a pair participate in the California-Carolina All-Star Game. Travis Demeritte was 1-for-2 with a double, while Jose Trevino was 0-for-2.

Tonight: at Rancho Cucamonga, 9:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Adam Quintana)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (38-33, Finished tied for 3rd – South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Hickory went sliding into the all-star break and the struggles continued Thursday with a walk-off loss in 11 innings at Greensboro. The ‘Dads have lost eight of their last nine.

Thursday’s extra-inning loss was Hickory’s eighth of the year. The Crawdads have now played 29 extra innings this year, including games of 14, 17, and 19 innings.

Hickory sent five guys to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on Tuesday. Yeyson Yrizarri played the whole way, going 1-for-4. Tyler Sanchez came in as a backup catcher and was hit by a pitch in his only plate appearance. On the hill, Pedro Payano and Erik Swanson each worked a scoreless inning, while Jeffrey Springs came on for 1/3 of an inning.

Tonight: at Greensboro, 6:00 p.m. (SP: LHP Wes Benjamin)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (4-3, T-1st – Northwest League North Division)

The Indians are off to a good start in 2016, winning four of their first seven games, including an 11-run outburst in Eugene last night. Former Rider Jake Shortslef made the start for Spokane and allowed two runs in four innings, starting the game with three hitless innings.

Chad Smith is off to a great start for Spokane, hitting .346 with four doubles and six RBI in his first six games. On the mound, Rangers sixth-round pick Kyle Cody has a 1.80 ERA in his first two outings.

The unfortunate news out of the Evergreen State this week is that highly-regarded prospect Michael Matuella will miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury. Matuella worked three scoreless innings in his first start with Spokane on Friday, his first career pro appearance after missing all of 2015 recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Tonight: at Eugene, 9:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Tyler Phillips)

AZL RANGERS

We won’t have updates every week, but we’re keeping our eye on the AZL squad at the moment because both Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Luis Marte are rehabbing with the squad.

Marte debuted last night, going 2-for-3 with a RBI double and a stolen base. Kiner-Falefa is 1-for-10 with an RBI and a stolen base in his first three games.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Neutral win/loss – An estimate of a pitcher’s won-lost record if that pitcher were given league-average run support.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/23/16)

GAME #72 (2nd HALF GAME #3)

Frisco RoughRiders (39-32 overall, 1-1 2nd half) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (48-24, 1-1 2nd half)
Thursday, June 23 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 4 (Riders lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 17 of 32 (Hooks lead, 10-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Joe Jackson – C
  6. Alberto Triunfel – SS
  7. Kellin Deglan – C
  8. Chris Garia – LF
  9. Luis Silva – 3B

RHP Luis Ortiz (1-3, 3.04 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Wednesday at Midland: (L, 2-1 – 10 innings)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Infielder Alberto Triunfel

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

 LAST TIME OUT:Although the Riders led 1-0 early, Midland came back to win the series finale 2-1 in 10 innings…RONALD GUZMAN hit his 10th home run of the season in the top of the fourth as the Riders got on the board first for the second consecutive game…With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 10th, Midland loaded the bases with a trio of walks against RYNE SLACKwith no outs. JASON RICHMAN entered the game and recorded the first out, but he issued a four-pitch walk to Josh Rodriguez that allowed Brett Vertigan to score the winning run…For the first time in six starts as a RoughRider, YOHANDER MENDEZ did not make it through five frames. The southpaw departed the game after 4 2/3 innings, once he gave up the tying run on Viosergy Rosa’s two-out RBI single.

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH:
The RoughRiders have become very familiar with playing in close games lately. All four games in the last series against Midland were decided by a single run. During the month of June, 12 of the Riders’ 22 games have been decided by two runs or less. On the season, Frisco is 16-10 in one-run games and 6-5 in two-run contests.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:
Last Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. InfielderRONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL  were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth-straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place next Tuesday in Springfield, Missouri.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 29 of his last 33 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. Over his last 32 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .295 with five doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 13 RBI. He also sports a .348 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .443 in that span.

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:
For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last 17 games, the RoughRiders have committed 19 errors (1.1 per game), leading to 18 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, made four of the 13 errors as he was adjusting to playing the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span, and LUIS SILVA made two blunders in his stateside debut on Sunday.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:
RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season last Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi-home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day last Tuesday. Cordell continued his recent surge with a 3-for-4 performance in game one of last Thursday’s doubleheader, including his 13th home run of the year. Friday, he hit his 14th homer and his first opposite-field shot of the year. He posted a multi-hit game Tuesday as well.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his third rehab start with Frisco Sunday and is the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. The list also includes catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Kyle Smith makes his sixth start of the season and second against Frisco, with the first coming back on April 21 at Whataburger Field…He has also pitched in seven games out of the bullpen, including two appearances against the Riders on May 14 and June 17…Smith was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the fourth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft…Houston acquired the right-handed pitcher in exchange for outfielder Justin Maxwell at the trade deadline on July 31, 2013…Named a mid-season All-Star for Wilmington (Carolina League) in 2013 and Corpus Christi in 2014…Smith bypassed an opportunity to play at the University of Florida by signing with the Royals out of Santaluces High School in Lantana, Florida…Went 9-1 with a 0.40 ERA and 116 strikeouts over 69 innings as a senior…REPERTOIRE: Fastball (88-91, T93), curveball, and changeup.

Maintaining a lawn like the pros: Part two

IMG_6260

A few weeks ago, we introduced you to an integral player in every RoughRiders home game – Head Groundskeeper David Bicknell. Talking to Bicknell provided a valuable reminder of all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into keeping the playing field looking beautiful in the hot summer months. He also explained the impact it had on the players.

Picking up our conversation with Bicknell, we received a little more insight on the cut of the grass. His crew has to find balance between a higher cut that the defense prefers to slow down the ball, versus a lower cut for a faster ball which favors hitters. “Obviously it’s hard to make both parties happy on something like that. That’s the type of thing that we’ll work out at the start of the season with the ball club and just try to determine how they want to have it and go with that,” said Bicknell.

Fortunately for home owners, that kind of pressure doesn’t exist when it comes to lawn care. However, summer lawn maintenance can still be a challenge (especially in north Texas!). That’s why we asked Bicknell for a few more tips to maintain a beautiful back yard:

  1. Apply Scotts Southern Turf Builder fertilizer 3-4 times during the growing season for a lawn that’s healthy, lush, and green.
  1. To control weeds use Scotts Bonus S Weed and Feed on St. Augustine lawns and Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed on Bermuda grass lawns.

If you’re wondering where to find the aforementioned Scotts products, just visit your local Home Depot, a proud partner of the Frisco RoughRiders. When you find the Scotts products, you may find a way to make that lawn maintenance even easier….

This season, the RoughRiders will pick one lucky contestant to be eligible to win free lawn care for life at a select RoughRiders home game. At that game, one inning will be designated as the Mow ‘em Down Inning. If a RoughRiders pitcher “mows down” three batters in a row by striking them all out to start the inning, the contestant will win free lawn care for life!

To enter, visit your nearest north Dallas area Home Depot, look for the Scotts Green Max and Ortho display in the home and garden section, and sign-up for your chance to win free lawn care for life, along with other great RoughRiders prizes! Be sure to check out the list of participating locations and contest rules for your chance to enter.

Saddle Up: Riders at Midland (6/22/16)

GAME #71 (2nd HALF GAME #2)

Frisco RoughRiders (39-31 overall, 1-0 2nd half) vs. Midland RockHounds (33-38, 0-1)
Wednesday, June 22 – 6:30 p.m.
Security Bank Ballpark – Midland, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Midland feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 4 of 4 (Riders lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 16 of 32 (Riders lead, 10-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Joe Jackson – LF
  6. Alex Burg – DH
  7. Kellin Deglan – C
  8. Alberto Triunfel – SS
  9. Luis Silva – 3B

LHP Yohander Mendez (3-0, 2.88 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Tuesday at Midland: (W, 5-4)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: LHP Victor Payano

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

Erasing two deficits, including one in the ninth, the RoughRiders rallied back to win 5-4…With the bases loaded, JOE JACKSON looped a two- run single to center field to bring in the tying and go-ahead runs…JOE FILOMENO worked his second scoreless inning to close out the win, finishing the ninth with a pickoff of pinch runner Yairo Munoz…Earlier in the contest, RYAN CORDELL put Frisco up 1-0 in the first, and ALBERTO TRIUNFEL doubled in a pair in the fourth to make it 3-2 RoughRiders…Franklin Barreto and Matt Chapman both hit solo home runs in the second to put Midland ahead 2-1, and Beau Taylor doubled in two in the seventh, retaking a lead at 3-2…REED GARRETT lasted five frames, allowing two runs, both earned, and left in line for the win in the spot start…The win guaranteed that Frisco, at worst, splits the four-game set.

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH:

With all three games in this series decided by one run thus far, the RoughRiders and RockHounds continue a trend of playing close games. Of the 15 meetings in the season series, 11 games have been decided by two-or-fewer runs with seven one-run games, including each of the last four contests. The largest margin of victory is six runs (8-2 Midland def. Frisco, 6/13), and even that game was close until late, as it was tied 0-0 through five innings. The Riders have outscored the RockHounds 65-62 on the year.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:

Last week, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. Infielder RONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth- straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place Tuesday, June 28 in Springfield, Missouri.

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:

For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last 16 games, the RoughRiders have committed 18 errors (1.1 per game), leading to 18 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, made four of the 13 errors as he adjusts to the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span, and LUIS SILVA made two blunders in his state-side debut on Sunday.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas- native has reached base in 28 of his last 32 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13- 6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. Over his last 31 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .299 with five doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 13 RBI. He also sports a .354 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .453 in that span. Beck qualified for the league leaderboard Thursday and was seventh in league average prior to going 5-for-21 over the last three games.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:

RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season last Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi-home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day Tuesday. Cordell continued his recent surge with a 3-for-4 performance in game one of Thursday’s doubleheader, including his 13th home run of the year. Friday, he hit his 14th homer and his first opposite-field shot of the year. He posted a multi-hit game yesterday as well.

RANGERS ON REHAB:

Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his third rehab start with Frisco Sunday and is the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. Griffin joins catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

OPPOSING STARTER:

Ben Bracewell makes the spot start today, his second this year, in place of right-hander Daniel Gossett…Bracewell, in his third pro season, hails from Mississippi State, coming to the professional ranks undrafted after a four-year career with the Bulldogs…The Athletics signed Bracewell out of the independant Frontier League, where he played for the River City Rascals… This year, he has dominated for the RockHounds, posting a 1.89 ERA in 14 outings, one start.

Ballpark Bio: Security Bank Ballpark (Midland)

IMG_4037

Today marks part four of a seven-part series in which I’ll show you the different parks of the Texas League and give you an idea of the various places the Riders are playing, aside from Dr Pepper Ballpark.

 Facts and Figures
Opened: March 23, 2002
Capacity: 6,669 (including berm seating)
Dimensions: LF – 330, CF – 410, RF – 322

Today, we round out the four-game series to Midland, and my first trip to Security Bank Ballpark has been a good one.

IMG_4042

The bullpen carves some space out of RF.

There are a lot of unique features here in Midland. One of the first that caught my eye was the way the outfield wall is configured. Most notably, the right field corner is very unique. They’ve carved out a space in the right field corner (on the fair side of the foul pole) for the Midland bullpen, which results in a slightly smaller area of in-play territory in right field. Furthermore, it’s a rather short wall in front of the bullpen, so anything down the line has a good shot to go. Joe Jackson took advantage of that Sunday with his three-run homer.

IMG_4041

The bow of the LF wall.

On the left field side, it’s not quite the same setup, but it’s still a unique configuration. There’s a diagonal cut from the left field foul pole out to the main wall. From there, the wall bends inward in a wavy shape before returning to the normal curvature the rest of the way.

The wall isn’t the only thing that makes this park fun to visit. Out on the concourse in left-center field, there’s a set of water fountains that light up at night. Another thing that stands out is the horn that sounds every time the RockHounds score. It probably isn’t the only parks in Minor League Baseball to do it (the Riders have their own version of a horn, but it’s a bit different), but it adds a nice charm to the experience of Security Bank Ballpark.

You can hear an example of the horn below:

IMG_4045

Midland’s fountain on the concourse looks great in the sunshine and when it’s lit up at night.

The seating bowl is well-maintained and the park has a very intimate feel. Our booth is rather close to the field, which always makes for an enjoyable broadcast.

On top of all that, the staff here in Midland has been great to us. Overall, it’s hard to complain about my first trip to Security Bank Ballpark.

Stay tuned for the next ballpark bio, coming in a few weeks from Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, Arkansas, as I take you along for the ride on my first journey through the Texas League.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Cashew – An undisciplined, zany nonconformist. A “nutty” player.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Midland (6/21/16)

GAME #70 (2nd HALF GAME #1)

Frisco RoughRiders (38-31 overall, 0-0 2nd half) vs. Midland RockHounds (33-37, 0-0)
Tuesday, June 21 – 6:30 p.m.
Security Bank Ballpark – Midland, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Midland feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 3 of 4 (Tied, 1-1)
This season: Game 15 of 32 (Riders lead, 9-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Joe Jackson – LF
  6. Alex Burg – 3B
  7. Kellin Deglan – C
  8. Alberto Triunfel – SS
  9. Luis Silva – DH

RHP Reed Garrett (2-1, 4.74 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Monday at Midland: (W, 3-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Jose Valdespina

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders came from behind, down 2-0, to beat the Midland RockHounds 3-2 on the final day of the first half on Monday night…ANDY IBANEZ blasted a two-run homer in the sixth, and ALBERTO TRIUNFEL plated a run on a two-out, two-strike double in the seventh to put the Riders ahead…VICTOR PAYANO tossed 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball for the win, and JOSE VALDESPINA pitched 2 2/3 innings of perfect relief to close out the game and earn his second save.

A NEW SLATE:

The second half begins today in the Texas League. The winner of each division in each half make the playoffs, so the Riders need to capture a second-half South Division title to earn a berth in the postseason. Should either division winner from the first half (Springfield and Corpus Christi) win the second half as well, the second- best overall record in that division would head to the postseason. In that scenario, Frisco enters today with 5.5 game lead over Midland and a 16.5 game lead over San Antonio.

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH:

With both games in this series decided by one run thus far, the RoughRiders and RockHounds continue a trend of playing close games. Of the 14 meetings in the season series, 10 games have been decided by two-or-fewer runs with six one-run games, including each of the last three contests. The largest margin of victory is six runs (8-2 Midland def. Frisco, 6/13), and even that game was close until late, as it was tied 0-0 through five innings. The Riders have outscored the RockHounds 60-58 on the year.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:

Last week, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. Infielder RONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth- straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place Tuesday, June 28 in Springfield, Missouri.

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:

For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last 15 games, the RoughRiders have committed 18 errors (1.2 per game), leading to 18 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, made four of the 13 errors as he adjusts to the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span, and LUIS SILVA made two blunders in his state-side debut on Sunday.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas- native has reached base in 27 of his last 31 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. Over his last 31 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .295 with four doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 13 RBI. He also sports a .352 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .446 in that span. Beck qualified for the league leaderboard Thursday and was seventh in league average prior to going 3-for-16 over the last three games.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:

RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi- home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day Tuesday. Cordell continued his recent surge with a 3-for-4 performance in game one of Thursday’s doubleheader, including his 13th home run of the year. Friday, he hit his 14th homer and his first opposite-field shot of the year.

RANGERS ON REHAB:

Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his third rehab start with Frisco Sunday and is the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. Griffin joins catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

OPPOSING STARTER:

James Naile makes his second Double-A start and first against the RoughRiders today…The right-hander has spent the bulk of the season with the Stockton Ports, making one Double-A start and two Triple-A starts prior to today…The second-year pro was taken out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the 20th round in last year’s MLB draft after a stellar junior season. Naile has the third highest groundout/ air-out ratio in the minors (2.66).

Top 10 first half highlights

10. Lewis Brinson’s leadoff home run (May 22 vs. San Antonio)

9. Preston Beck hits the first home run at home this season…into the Choctaw Lazy River (April 14 vs. Northwest Arkansas)

8. Joe Jackson and Kellin Deglan hit walk-off singles (April 26 vs. San Antonio and June 16 Game 1 vs. Corpus Christi)

7. Ryan Cordell hits two grand slams less than a week apart (April 16 vs. Northwest Arkansas and April 21 at Corpus Christi)

6. Ronald Guzman makes two incredible plays in the same game (April 27 vs. San Antonio)

5. Joe Mikulik ejections (May 13 Game 2 at Corpus Christi and May 24 at Tulsa)

4. Ryan Cordell miraculous catch (April 30 vs. Corpus Christi)

3. Victor Payano strikes out a career-high 13 batters (May 3 at San Antonio)

2. Yu Darvish makes a pair of rehab starts at Dr Pepper Ballpark (May 1 vs. Corpus Christi and May 22 vs. San Antonio)

1. Preston Beck hits a walk-off home run (June 14 vs. Midland)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: baseballese – The overall language of baseball, comprising official terminology, slang, and jargon. Each setting in baseball, from the dugout to the front office and press box, has its own specialized language.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

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