Saddle Up: Riders vs. Springfield (8/16)

GAME #120 (2nd HALF GAME #51)

Frisco RoughRiders (56-63 overall, 18-32 2nd half) vs. Springfield Cardinals (65-54, 24-25 2nd half)
Tuesday, August 16 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 3
This season: Game 10 of 12 (Cardinals lead 7-2)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Darin Mastroianni – CF
  2. Eduard Pinto – LF
  3. Carson Blair – 1B
  4. Joe Jackson – DH
  5. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  6. Luis Marte – SS
  7. Alexeis Bell – RF
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B

LHP Jack Snodgrass (2-0, 2.25 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Sunday at Tulsa (L, 11-3)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Outfielder Darin Mastroianni

Archived interview coming soon. Listen live on the Dr Pepper Pregame Show around 6:45 p.m.

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders finished out their 10-game road trip with an 11-3 loss in Tulsa on Sunday…After jumping ahead in the top of the first, the Riders gave up 11 unanswered runs and were never able to recover…Tulsa muscled three home runs, including two from Willie Calhoun…Starter CONNOR SADZECK allowed a career-high seven runs in his 4 1/3 innings, taking the loss…Down to the final out, KELLIN DEGLAN blasted a two-run homer to help the Riders finish on a high note.

SCHEPPERS SADDLES UP WITH RIDERS:
Rangers right-handed pitcher TANNER SCHEPPERS is scheduled to begin a Major League rehabilitation assignment with the RoughRiders tonight. He is set to throw one inning. Scheppers has missed all of the 2016 season with torn articular cartilage in his left knee, an injury suffered in February. He has pitched with the Rangers each of the last four seasons, combining for a 11-5 record and a 4.17 ERA in 165 career outings. The righty pitched with the Riders in 2010 and 2011 as a minor leaguer and is on his fifth rehab assignment with the club, all coming in the last three seasons. He becomes the eighth rehabber to suit up with Frisco this season, joining  pitchers YU DARVISH, A.J. GRIFFIN, and KEONE KELA, catchersCHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, plus outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO.

HOME AT LAST: 
The RoughRiders return home tonight after going just 2-8 on their recent 10-game road trip. In that span, they were outscored 60-28, outhit 88-73, and outhomered 10-5. Frisco was shut out three times and had the two longest scoring droughts of the season (25 and 23 innings) on the road trip, too. On the year, Frisco is 27-35 on the road this season but just 16-33 since starting the season 11-2 away from Dr Pepper Ballpark.

SOMETHING ABOUT SNODGRASS:
Both of Frisco’s wins on the recent 10-game raod trip came in games started by JACK SNODGRASS, who starts tonight. The lefty turned in quality starts both times out, including six strong innings in Wednesday’s 8-1 win at Springfield. Snodgrass joined the Riders August 2 from Triple-A Round Rock following four appearances with the Express. Snodgrass signed with the Rangers July 14 after spending his first five professional seasons in the San Francisco Giants organization.

SILENT NIGHTS:
The Riders have been held to three or fewer runs in nine of the first 13 games this month. The Riders are hitting .231 in August, and the team’s on-base percentage is just .299. It’s still better than June, when the Riders hit .208 with a .262 OBP.

MAPLE LEAF MASHER: 
Over the last 11 games, the Riders have hit seven home runs as a team. Four of those have come off the bat of KELLIN DEGLAN, including a two-run shot Sunday in Tulsa. On August 3 against Midland, he had his first two-homer game since June 24, 2014 with Class-A Hickory. Deglan has hit eight long balls this year, which leads all players on the active roster. Those homers have come in surges, though. The Canadian catcher went homerless in the months of April and June but hit two jacks in May, two more in a six-game span in July, and this stretch of four in 11 games.

LONG BALL LAUNCH:
The Riders allowed seven home runs in the three games at Tulsa, including three on Sunday. It marked the most homers allowed in a three-game stretch this season, surpassing the previous mark of six (multiple times). It’s also the second time this season the Riders have allowed multiple homers in three straight games (also July 21-23 at Corpus Christi). On the year, Riders pitching has given out 108 roundtrippers, the most in the Texas League.

POWERED BY PINTO:
Riders outfielder EDUARD PINTO comes home to play at Dr Pepper Ballpark for the first time, hoping to maintain the success he had on the last road trip. Pinto hit .385 (15-for-39) in his first 10 games at the Double-A level, with two doubles and four RBI. He also had four multi-hit games, including a three-hit contest and two games with four hits. For his career, Pinto is averaging a multi-hit game once every three contests (111 in 333 career games).

MASTROIANNI IN THE MIX:
Outfielder DARIN MASTROIANNI was recently acquired by the Texas Rangers, and he joined the RoughRiders Friday. After going 0-for-5 in his first game Friday night, Mastroianni has gone 3-for-10 in the last two games, including an RBI double Saturday. The 30-year-old was released by the Minnesota Twins last Monday and signed with the Rangers Wednesday. Mastroianni is in his 10th year as a professional and has spent time in the big leagues during five different seasons (2011-2014, 2016), most recently appearing with the Twins in May. Mastroianni becomes the fourth player on the Riders active roster with Major League service time, joining catcher CARSON BLAIR and pitchers SCOTT CARROLL and LUKE JACKSON.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-handed pitcher J.C. Sulbaran faces the Riders for the second time in as many weeks, looking to replicate his success from last Thursday…In that game, the righty allowed just two hits and a run in eight innings, retiring the final 13 men he faced to earn the win…This is his eighth game against the RoughRiders during his five seasons in the Texas League…Sulbaran was originally drafted by the Reds in the 30th round in 2008 out of American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida…He was traded to the Kansas City along with left-handed pitcher Donnie Joseph on July 31, 2012 in exchange for Jonathan Broxton…Sulbaran spent parts of the next four seasons with Northwest Arkansas in the Texas League and finally reached the Triple-A level last year, making eight appearances for Omaha…This past offseason, Sulbaran elected free agency and signed with St. Louis on December 4…He began the 2016 campaign in Memphis but was assigned to Springfield on June 3 after starting the year with a 7.69 ERA in 11 starts…REPERTOIRE: Fastball (low 90s), curveball, changeup

Riders aim to end North Division nightmare

The Riders open a six-game homestand tonight with three games against Springfield and three more with Tulsa over the weekend.

Since Frisco won the first three series and nine of the first 10 games against North Division opponents this year, the North squads have had a large amount of success against the Riders.

Joe Jackson has a .400 average (6-for-15) with two home runs and three RBI against Springfield

Joe Jackson has a .400 average (6-for-15) with two home runs and three RBI against Springfield

Frisco has gone a dismal 7-24 in the last 31 cross-divisional matchups, and the RoughRiders have won just two of the last 11 series (June 3-5 vs. Springfield and July 9-11 vs. Northwest Arkansas). The Riders have not won a road series against a North Division opponent since opening the season with five straight wins in Springdale and North Little Rock (April 7-9 at Northwest Arkansas, April 10-12 at Arkansas).

However, Frisco has won three of their five home series against North Division opponents this year. The Riders won both series against Northwest Arkansas and took two of three games from Springfield in June.

This week, the Riders begin a six-game homestand against Springfield and Tulsa. It marks the final meetings between Frisco and opponents from the North Division in the regular season. The Riders went 1-5 in games at Hammons Field, with a 2-1 record at home. However, Frisco has yet to beat Tulsa in eight tries this year.

If the Riders hope to stay in contention for a final playoff spot, they will need to survive through this week. Frisco still has six games remaining against Midland over the final two weeks of the season. Whether the Riders still have playoff hopes when they square off with Midland has yet to be determined. But Frisco definitely has an opportunity to make an impact on the postseason race.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: cement mixer – A mediocre pitch. Roger Clemens used the term for a backup slider that spins badly (The Sporting News, March 25, 2005).

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Tulsa (8/14)

GAME #119 (2nd HALF GAME #50)

Frisco RoughRiders (56-62 overall, 18-31 2nd half) at Tulsa Drillers (59-59 overall, 22-27 2nd half)
Sunday, August 14 – 1:05 p.m.
ONEOK Field – Tulsa, OK
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Tulsa feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 3 of 3 (Drillers lead 2-0)
This season: Game 8 of 11 (Drillers lead 7-0)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Darin Mastroianni – CF
  2. Eduard Pinto – RF
  3. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  4. Joe Jackson – LF
  5. Carson Blair – C
  6. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  7. Edwin Garcia – 1B
  8. Kellin Deglan – DH
  9. Alberto Triunfel – SS

RHP Connor Sadzeck (9-5, 3.79 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday at Tulsa (L, 7-3)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Manager Joe Mikulik

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
After a sluggish start, the RoughRiders made a late push but came up short in a 7-3 loss to the Drillers Saturday night…Frisco was held hitless through the first 5 1/3 innings by Alfredo Figaro, but DARIN MASTROIANNI broke up the no-hitter with a single in the sixth…After ending the no-hit bid, the RoughRiders finally pushed across a run in the seventh on an RBI single byCARSON BLAIR, cutting the Tulsa lead to 7-1…An RBI double by Mastroianni and an RBI groundout by EDUARD PINTO made it 7-3, but the Riders got no closer.

TROUBLE WITH TULSA:
The Riders have lost all seven games against the Drillers this season. Frisco was swept in a three-game series at ONEOK Field in May, Tulsa won both games of a doubleheader on June 1 at Dr Pepper Ballpark, and the Riders have dropped the first two games of this series. Frisco’s last victory over Tulsa came last year on August 20 at ONEOK Field. Current Riders pitcherCONNOR SADZECK, who makes the start today, tossed six no-hit innings and earned the win.

SCORELESS STREAK STOPS:
After 23 straight scoreless innings, the Riders finally broke through with a run in the seventh inning and two more in the eighth last night. The stretch was the second-longest of the season for the RoughRiders. The longest streak was 25 innings, also on this road trip, which included back-to-back shutout losses at San Antonio last Friday and Saturday.

NO GAS AGAINST THE DRILLERS:
Out of the seven Texas League opponents, the Riders’ offense has had the lowest numbers against Tulsa this year. In seven meetings between the teams, Frisco is batting just .205 (45-for-219). The Riders have not hit a home run and have been held to just nine runs, eight earned, by Tulsa’s pitching staff. Tulsa pitchers have a collective 1.22 ERA against the Riders across 59 innings of work with nine walks and 52 strikeouts.

SILENT NIGHTS:
The Riders have been held to three or fewer runs in eight of the first 12 games this month. The Riders are hitting .227 (90-for-397) in August, and the team’s on-base percentage is just .296. June was the worst offensive month for Frisco this season, when the Riders hit .208 with a .262 on-base percentage.

NOTHING BUT GOOSE EGGS:
Friday’s shutout loss to Tulsa was the 15th time that Frisco has been shut out this season (most in the Texas League) and already the fourth time this month. The 15 shutout defeats is the most in Double-A and tied for the most in team history (2009). Brevard County (Brewers Class A-Advanced affiliate, Florida State League), has the most shutout losses in the minors with 19.

THE NORTH REMEMBERS:
Since winning the first three series and nine of the first 10 games against North Division opponents this year, the North squads have had success against the Riders. Frisco has gone a dismal 7-23 in the last 30 cross-divisional matchups, and the RoughRiders have won just two of the last 11 series (June 3-5 vs. Springfield and July 9-11 vs. Northwest Arkansas). The Riders have not won a road series against a North Division opponent since opening the season with five straight wins in Springdale and North Little Rock (April 7-9 at Northwest Arkansas, April 10-12 at Arkansas).

MASTROIANNI IN THE MIX:
Outfielder DARIN MASTROIANNI was recently acquired by the Texas Rangers, and he joined the RoughRiders Friday. After going 0-for-5 in his first game Friday night, Mastroianni collected two hits and an RBI yesterday. The 30-year-old was released by the Minnesota Twins Monday and signed with the Rangers Wednesday. Mastroianni is in his 10th year as a professional and has spent time in the big leagues during five different seasons (2011-2014, 2016), most recently appearing with the Twins in May. Mastroianni becomes the fourth player on the Riders active roster with Major League service time, joining catcher CARSON BLAIR and pitchers SCOTT CARROLL and LUKE JACKSON.

BACKS AGAINST THE WALL:
With 21 games left in the regular season, the Riders face a tremendous uphill battle for a postseason spot. Midland currently leads the South Division by nine games over San Antonio, 11 over Corpus Christi, and 16 over Frisco. The Riders’ elimination number for a second-half division title is now down to six. However, Frisco still plays six more games against the RockHounds this season (August 27-29 at Security Bank Ballpark, September 3-5 at Dr Pepper Ballpark).

MAPLE LEAF MASHER: 
Over the last 12 games, the Riders have hit six home runs as a team. However, three of these homers have come off the bat ofKELLIN DEGLAN. Last Wednesday against Midland, he had his first two-homer game since June 24, 2014 with Class-A Hickory. Deglan has hit seven long balls this year, but they have come in surges. The catcher went homerless in the months of April and June but hit two jacks in May, two more in a six-game span in July, and three over the first two weeks of August.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-handed pitcher Seth Frankoff will make his 17th appearance with Tulsa and fifth start of the season…Prior to this year, Frankoff had not started a game since 2012 with Class-A Burlington…The Raleigh, North Carolina native was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 27th round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of UNC Wilmington…Frankoff pitched in a total of 65 games with Midland in 2014 and 2015, and he was named a Texas League Mid-Season All-Star in 2014…He was released by the Athletics on March 30 and signed with the Dodgers on April 5… After a short relief outing against the Riders on May 25, he spent over a month on the disabled list starting May 31 (Catcher Kyle Farmer (wrist) and outfielder Alex Verdugo (hamstring) also went on the disabled list that day)…Frankoff earned his only win of the year in one of three rehab appearances with the AZL Dodgers on July 10…He pitched four games with Triple-A Oklahoma City last month before returning to Tulsa on July 26…REPERTOIRE: Fastball, curveball, changeup, cutter.

 

Riding Through the Farm: August 14

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 (69-49 – 1st, AL West)

It’s been a good week for the Rangers, who have won six of their last eight, including five straight earlier this week. After waiting out a loooooooong rain delay (2:42) Friday night, Jonathan Lucroy smashed two of Texas’ four home runs in a 8-5 win over the Tigers.

In 11 games with Texas, Lucroy is hitting .286 with six homers and 11 RBI. Fellow newcomer Carlos Beltran is swinging at a .333 clip with two homers and five RBI.

Today: vs. Detroit, 2:05 p.m. (SP: RHP A.J. Griffin)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (59-62 – 2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

It’s been an up-and-down week for the Express. Tuesday, they came one out away from being perfect-gamed by Nashville’s Jharel Cotton. However, they’ve bounced back with wins of 8-3, 14-3, and 17-3. On Wednesday, a trio of 2016 Riders got in on the action, with Victor Payano earning his first Triple-A win, Preston Beck driving in two with a triple, and Ronald Guzman finishing 3-for-4.

Jared Hoying has three homers in his last two games and has hits in nine of his last 10 games.

Next: Tonight at Salt Lake, 8:35 p.m. (SP: RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (70-48 overall, 27-21 second half – 3rd in the second half, California League South Division)

The Mavs are in the midst of a low-scoring road trip, a rarity in the hitter-friendly California League. High Desert has put up just 10 (1 Sat.) runs in the five games at San Jose and Stockton.

Former Rider reliever Cody Palmquist made another start with High Desert – his second of the year – last night in a loss at Stockton. He allowed four earned runs (five total) on five hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Fresh off his promotion from Hickory, Dylan Moore is fitting in well with his new club. He had hits in each of his first eight games with High Desert, including three straight games with a homer last week, before going 0-for-4 last night.

Today: at Stockton, 8:10 p.m. (SP: LHP Tyler Davis)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (62-56 overall, 24-24 second half – 6th in the second half, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

The Crawdads are in the midst of a log jam in the second half standings of the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division, sitting in sixth place, but just three games back. For that reason, their current six-game losing streak is coming at a bad time.

Xavier Turner joined the squad last week and proceeded to hit two homers in his first game up from Spokane. However, he’s just 1-for-10 since.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, LeDarious Clark stole home (albeit, in delayed fashion) last Saturday.

Lastly, here’s a good read on Eric Jenkins, who rides an eight-game hitting streak into today’s game.

Today: vs. Rome, 4:00 p.m. (SP: LHP Wes Benjamin)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (27-27 overall, 8-8 second half – 2nd in the second half, Northwest League North)

Spokane is 5-6 since the All-Star Break, most recently dropping a pair of games to the Eugene Emeralds, one of the NWL’s hottest teams right now.

Though the Indians have lost a few key contributors, such as Xavier Turner and Tyler Ferguson, highly touted newcomers Leody Taveras and Anderson Tejeda are helping to fill the void in Spokane. Tejeda, especially, is off to a nice start, hitting .286 with two homers and four RBI in his first six games with the Indians.

The one and only Benjamin Hill of the Bens Biz Blog was in Spokane on Friday as part of his west coast road trip. I’m sure he’s got more of a writeup coming from his time at Avista Stadium, but in the meantime, here’s his nightly “groundbreaking and subversive ballpark joke of the day.”

Tonight: vs. Eugene, 5:30 p.m. (SP: RHP Kyle Cody)

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Gazoonie – A rookie.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Tulsa (8/13)

GAME #118 (2nd HALF GAME #49)

Frisco RoughRiders (56-61 overall, 18-30 2nd half) at Tulsa Drillers (58-59 overall, 21-27 2nd half)
Saturday, August 13 – 7:05 p.m.
ONEOK Field – Tulsa, OK
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Tulsa feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 3 (Drillers lead 1-0)
This season: Game 7 of 11 (Drillers lead 6-0)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Darin Mastroianni – CF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Eduard Pinto – RF
  4. Joe Jackson – LF
  5. Luis Marte – SS
  6. Carson Blair – 1B
  7. Alexeis Bell – DH
  8. Edwin Garcia – 3B
  9. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – C

RHP Scott Carroll (0-0, 2.70 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Friday at Tulsa (L, 7-0)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: IF Luis Marte

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
Despite having baserunners in eight of nine innings, the RoughRiders were shut out 7-0 by the Drillers Friday night…A night after managing just two hits in Springfield, the Riders tallied nine but went 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base…Tulsa starter Chase De Jong worked six scoreless innings to earn his league-leading 12th win…Meanwhile, Riders starter ARIEL JURADO gave up five runs on a career-high 11 hits in five innings of work, including a pair of home runs…ANDY IBANEZ and ALEXEIS BELL each recorded three hits.

TROUBLE WITH TULSA:
The Riders have lost all six games against the Drillers this season. In addition to last night’s loss, Frisco was swept in a three-game series at ONEOK Field in May, and then Tulsa won both games of a doubleheader on June 1 at Dr Pepper Ballpark. The Riders’ last victory over Tulsa came last year on August 20 at ONEOK Field. Current Riders pitcher CONNOR SADZECK tossed six no-hit innings and earned the win.

NO GAS AGAINST THE DRILLERS:
Out of the seven Texas League opponents, the Riders’ offense has had the lowest numbers against Tulsa this year. In six meetings between the teams, Frisco hitters are batting just .212 (39-for-184). The Riders have not hit a home run and have been held to just six runs, five earned, by Tulsa’s pitching staff. Tulsa pitchers have a collective 0.90 ERA against the Riders across 50 innings of work, with seven walks and 45 strikeouts.

SILENT NIGHTS:
The Riders have been held scoreless for the past 17 innings since Andy Ibanez hit a first-inning solo home run Thursday night at Springfield. Frisco was held to just two hits by the Cardinals in that game, a season-low for a nine-inning game, and did not have any after the second inning. The Riders are hitting .232 (84-for-362) through the first 11 games this month, and the team’s on-base percentage is just .304. June was the worst offensive month for Frisco this season, when the Riders hit just .208 with a .262 on-base percentage.

NOTHING BUT GOOSE EGGS:
Yesterday’s shutout loss to Tulsa was the 15th time that Frisco has been shut out this season (most in the Texas League) and already the fourth time this month. The 15 shutout defeats is the most in Double-A and tied for the most in team history (2009). Brevard County (Brewers Class A-Advanced affiliate, Florida State League), has the most shutout losses in the minors with 19.

THE NORTH REMEMBERS:
Since winning the first three series and nine of the first 10 games against North Division opponents this year, the North squads have had success against the Riders. Frisco has gone a dismal 7-22 in the last 29 cross-divisional matchups, and the RoughRiders have won just two of the last 10 series (June 3-5 vs. Springfield and July 9-11 vs. Northwest Arkansas). The Riders have not won a road series against a North Division opponent since opening the season with five straight wins in Springdale and North Little Rock (April 7-9 at Northwest Arkansas, April 10-12 at Arkansas).

MASTROIANNI IN THE MIX:
Outfielder DARIN MASTROIANNI was recently acquired by the Texas Rangers, and he joined the RoughRiders yesterday. The 30-year-old was released by the Minnesota Twins Monday and signed with the Rangers Wednesday. Mastroianni is in his 10th year as a professional and has spent time in the big leagues during five different seasons (2011-2014, 2016), most recently appearaing with the Twins in May. Mastroianni becomes the fourth player on the Riders active roster with Major League service time, joining catcher CARSON BLAIR and pitchers SCOTT CARROLL and LUKE JACKSON.

BACKS AGAINST THE WALL:
With 22 games left in the regular season, the Riders face a tremendous uphill battle for a postseason spot. Midland currently leads the South Division by eight games over San Antonio, 10 over Corpus Christi, and 15 over Frisco. The Riders’ elimination number for a second-half division title is now down to eight. However, Frisco still plays six more games against the RockHounds this season (August 27-29 at Security Bank Ballpark, September 3-5 at Dr Pepper Ballpark).

THE POWER OF PINTO:
EDUARD PINTO has only played eight games with the RoughRiders, but he has already become a force to reckon with in the lineup. Pinto has 11 hits in his last 23 at-bats, including two four-hit outputs in the Riders last five games. By comparison, Pinto had just one four-hit performance in 51 games with Class-A Hickory this year.

MAPLE LEAF MASHER: 
Over the last 12 games, the Riders have hit six home runs as a team. However, three of these homers have come off the bat of KELLIN DEGLAN. Last Wednesday against Midland, he had his first two-homer game since June 24, 2014 with Class-A Hickory. Deglan has hit seven long balls this year, but they have come in surges. The catcher went homerless in the months of April and June but hit two jacks in May, two more in a six-game span in July, and three over the first two weeks of August.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-handed pitcher Isaac Anderson will make his second Double-A start tonight for the Drillers…In his first outing Sunday at Northwest Arkansas, Anderson allowed one run on four hits with six strikeouts in a five-inning no-decision…The 22-year-old spent the majority of the season with Class-A Great Lakes, going 5-5 with a 4.22 ERA in 16 starts…He pitched in just three games with Class A-Advanced Rancho Cucamonga before making the jump to the Texas League…Anderson was selected by the Dodgers in the 40th round of last year’s MLB Draft out of Wichita State University…The Boise, Idaho native began his college career at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls…REPERTOIRE: Fastball (88-91), curveball (low 70s), changeup (high 70s to low 80s).

A night to remember in the Texas League

Crazy Night in TL

While the Riders-Drillers game last night wasn’t full of that much drama, it was quite the night elsewhere around the Texas League last night. All I can say is that it was a bonkers night in the circuit.

CORPUS CHRISTI vs. ARKANSAS

Typically, when you are one out away from a perfect game, you expect to win. Unfortunately for the Arkansas Travelers, that wasn’t the case last night. After six perfect innings from starter Alex Blackford and 1-2-3 frames from Edward Paredes and Victor Alcantara, Eduardo Paredes got the first two men he faced and went to a full count with Ramon Laureano.

He walked Laureano, so the perfect game was gone, but the no-hitter was still intact. That is, until Bobby Boyd singled in the next at-bat to end the no-no, but the 1-0 lead was still there. That is, until Nick Tanielu singled in the tying run and Paredes threw a walk-off wild pitch to give Corpus Christi the win, despite getting outhit 8-2 and coming a strike away from having a perfect game thrown against them.

MIDLAND at SPRINGFIELD

This wasn’t a perfect game bid, but Springfield’s Johnny Walter had a no-hitter through eight against the RockHounds. As he went back out for the ninth, he had a chance to finish a ninth inning of no-hit ball, but the game wouldn’t be over then because Springfield also hadn’t scored yet.

Walter’s no-hitter was broken up by leadoff man Danny Oh in the ninth, but that was only the beginning of the damage. Midland went on to score three runs in the top of the ninth and moved past a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to win 3-1. Walter, despite taking a no-hitter into the ninth, took the loss.

SAN ANTONIO vs. NORTHWEST ARKANSAS

San Antonio came one hit away from a no-hitter last night, although the drama was gone much earlier. The Missions allowed their only hit in the third inning. However, they too couldn’t get anything across until the bottom of the ninth when Franchy Cordero led off with a walk-off home run, just the fourth hit of the game for San Antonio. For those counting at home, that’s 10 walk-off wins for San Antonio (out of 47 total wins).

_____________________________________________________________________

To recap:

  • Both teams that took a no-hitter into the ninth inning last night ended up losing.
  • The winning teams in these three games last night had hit totals of four (SA), three (MID), and two (CC).
  • There were 23 total hits between the six teams. By comparison, Tulsa (13) and Frisco (9) combined for 22.
  • Seven of the eight runs scored in those three games came in the ninth inning.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Mask work – The catcher’s duties

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Tulsa (8/12)

GAME #117 (2nd HALF GAME #48)

Frisco RoughRiders (56-60 overall, 18-29 2nd half) at Tulsa Drillers (57-59 overall, 20-27 2nd half)
Friday, August 12 – 7:05 p.m.
ONEOK Field – Tulsa, OK
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Tulsa feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
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This series: Game 1 of 3
This season: Game 6 of 11 (Drillers lead 5-0)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Darin Mastroianni – CF
  2. Eduard Pinto – LF
  3. Joe Jackson – DH
  4. Carson Blair – C
  5. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  6. Luis Marte – SS
  7. Alexeis Bell – RF
  8. Edwin Garcia – 1B
  9. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B

RHP Ariel Jurado (1-1, 1.59 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Thursday at Springfield (L, 5-1)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: IF Edwin Garcia

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
Despite a first-inning home run from ANDY IBANEZ, the RoughRiders were kept quiet the rest of the way in a 5-1 loss to Springfield Thursday night…Ibanez clubbed his fifth home run of the season with two outs in the bottom of the first, but the Riders did not get a hit against Cardinals pitching after the second inning…The only runner to reach after that was ISIAH KINER-FALEFA on a throwing error in the fourth…The Cardinals got on the board with three runs in the third inning to take the lead, and they added two unearned runs of insurance in the eighth.

TROUBLE WITH TULSA:
The Riders have lost all five games against the Drillers this season. Frisco was swept in a three-game series at ONEOK Field in May, and then Tulsa won both games of a doubleheader on June 1 at Dr Pepper Ballpark. The Riders’ last victory over Tulsa came last year on August 20 at ONEOK Field. Current Riders pitcher CONNOR SADZECK tossed six no-hit innings and earned the win.

PANAMANIAN PHENOM:
Today’s starter ARIEL JURADO is off to an impressive start with the RoughRiders. Since he was received from Class A-Advanced High Desert on July 23, Jurado has given up just three runs in his first three starts (17.0 IP), good for a 1.59 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .155 against the righty with 13 strikeouts, including six in each of his last two starts. Jurado is currently ranked the No. 8 prospect and No. 3 pitching prospect in the Rangers farm system, according to MLBPipeline.com.

SILENT NIGHT:
The Riders were held to just two hits by Springfield last night, a season-low for a nine-inning game, and did not have any after the second inning. The Riders are hitting .230 (75-for-326) through the first 10 games this month, and the team’s on-base percentage is just .305. June was the worst offensive month for Frisco this season, when the Riders hit just .208 with a .262 on-base percentage.

THE POWER OF PINTO:
EDUARD PINTO has only played seven games with the RoughRiders, but he has already become a force to reckon with in the lineup. Pinto has nine hits in his last 18 at-bats, including two four-hit outputs in the Riders last four games. By comparison, Pinto had just one four-hit performance in 51 games with Class-A Hickory this year.

BACKS AGAINST THE WALL:
With 23 games left in the regular season, the Riders face a tremendous uphill battle for a postseason spot. Midland currently leads the South Division by eight games over San Antonio, 10 over Corpus Christi, and 14 over Frisco. The Riders’ elimination number for a second-half division title is now down to 10. However, Frisco still plays six more games against the RockHounds this season (August 27-29, September 3-5).

THE NORTH REMEMBERS:
Since winning the first three series and nine of the first 10 games against North Division opponents this year, the North squads have had success against the Riders. Frisco has gone a dismal 7-21 in the last 28 cross-divisional matchups, and the Riders have won just two of the last 10 series.

GETTING STARTED RIGHT: 
Through 10 games this month, Riders starters have excelled. They have combined to allow just 20 earned runs in 52 1/3 innings of work, good for a 3.44 ERA, and have given up just two home runs. DAVID PEREZ and ARIEL JURADO both pitched five scoreless frames in their starts, and only one starter this month has allowed more than three runs. Riders starters had a tough time in July, posting a 4.51 ERA and allowed 21 homers in 149 2/3 innings. The best month for the starting pitchers this year was the month of April, when Frisco went an outstanding 17-4. Frisco’s starters had a 3.10 ERA and allowed 0.56 HR/9.0 innings pitched.

MAPLE LEAF MASHER: 
Over the last 11 games, the Riders have hit six home runs as a team. However, three of these homers have come off the bat of KELLIN DEGLAN. Last Wednesday against Midland, he had his first two-homer game since June 24, 2014 with Class-A Hickory. Deglan has hit seven long balls this year, but they have come in surges. The catcher went homerless in the months of April and June but hit two jacks in May, two more in a six-game span in July, and three over the first two weeks of August.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-handed pitcher Chase De Jong takes the ball for Tulsa tonight in the series opener…After taking the loss in four of his first seven outings this year, De Jong is currently on a nine-game win streak over his last 14 starts and has not lost since May 10 against Springfield…He is tied with Jordan Kipper (Arkansas) for the most wins (11) in the Texas League this year…The 22-year-old is in his fifth professional season but just his first full season in the Dodgers farm system…De Jong came over from the Toronto organization last July in a trade for international slot value…He spent the remainder of last season with Class A-Advanced Rancho Cucamonga and joined the Drillers to start this year…De Jong made a start against Frisco on May 24, the series opener the last time the Riders visited ONEOK Field…The Long Beach, California native pitched seven scoreless innings, allowed just two hits, struck out six, and did not issue a walk…De Jong is currently ranked as the No. 17 prospect in the Dodgers organization by MLBPipeline.com…REPERTOIRE: Fastball (88-92, T94), curveball, changeup.

Three things to know about new Riders OF Darin Mastroianni

Mastroianni

Darin Mastroianni brings a wealth of experience to the Riders. (Jeffrey Irizarry)

The Texas Rangers assigned newly acquired outfielder Darin Mastroianni to the RoughRiders today. He is leading off and playing centerfield in tonight’s game at Tulsa.

Here are three things to know about the newest member of the Riders:

HE’S EXPERIENCED: Between 854 minor league games and 136 games in the big leagues, Mastroianni brings 10 years and a wealth of experience to the RoughRiders. This is the fifth organization he’s been a part of (Toronto, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Washington, and Texas) so he’s learned a variety of philosophies and worked with a medley of people in his career.

HE’S FAST: One of the things that stands out about the New York-native is his skill on the base paths. He’s 300-for-365 in stolen base attempts during his career (MiLB and MLB). He stole 70 bases (85 attempts) across two levels in 2009. The numbers have declined a bit this year (9-for-12), but he’s still a threat whenever he gets on.

HE’S GOOD WITH THE GLOVE: It’s been 87 games since Mastroianni last made an error. He has a .987 career fielding percentage in centerfield, which is where he’s played most of his career (and where he’s playing tonight).

He’s the latest in a string of veteran guys that have joined the RoughRiders. The first few (Matt Bush, Scott Carroll, Jack Snodgrass, and Alexeis Bell) have worked out rather well for the Riders. We’ll see if the same holds true with Mastroianni.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Masker – The catcher.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Springfield (8/11)

GAME #116 (2nd HALF GAME #47)

Frisco RoughRiders (56-59 overall, 18-28 2nd half) at San Antonio Missions (63-52 overall, 22-23 2nd half)
Thursday, August 11 – 7:10 p.m.
Hammons Field – Springfield, MO
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Springfield feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 3 of 3 (Series tied 1-1)
This season: Game 9 of 12 (Cardinals lead 5-3)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Luis Marte – 3B
  2. Eduard Pinto – LF
  3. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  4. Joe Jackson – LF
  5. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – C
  6. Alexeis Bell – RF
  7. Edwin Garcia – 1B
  8. Kellin Deglan – DH
  9. Alberto Triunfel – SS

RHP Reed Garrett (2-4, 5.06 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Wednesday at Springfield (W, 8-1)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: OF Eduard Pinto

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
A night after suffering the worst loss of the year, the Riders bounced back in a big way, knocking off Springfield 8-1 Wednesday night…The RoughRiders scored a run in the second and third innings to take a 2-1 lead before breaking the game open with a six-run fifth…JOE JACKSON led off with a solo home run, and KELLIN DEGLAN joined the home run parade with a three-run homer later in the frame…The scoring onslaught provided plenty of support for JACK SNODGRASS, who turned in his second quality start since joining the RoughRiders last week…EDUARD PINTO and LUIS MARTE both had four-hit performances.

FIFTH-INNING FUN:
After giving up eight runs in the fifth inning the previous game, the largest single-inning total allowed by the RoughRiders this season, Frisco responded in a big way when the fifth frame came around yesterday. The Riders exploded for six runs on four hits, including home runs by JOE JACKSON and KELLIN DEGLAN. The inning extended a slim 2-1 lead to an insurmountable 8-1 advantage.

THE POWER OF PINTO:
EDUARD PINTO has only played six games with the RoughRiders, but he has already become a force to reckon with in the lineup. Pinto has nine hits in his last 14 at-bats, including two four-hit outputs in the Riders last three games. By comparison, Pinto had just one four-hit performance in 51 games with Class-A Hickory this year.

BACKS AGAINST THE WALL:
With 24 games left, the Riders face a tremendous uphill battle for a postseason spot. Midland currently leads the South Division by seven games over San Antonio, nine over Corpus Christi, and 13 over Frisco. The Riders’ elimination number for a second-half division title is now down to 12. However, Frisco still plays six more games against the RockHounds this season (August 27-29, September 3-5).

SHOW ME THE WIN COLUMN:
Last night, the Riders finally got their first win in five games at Hammons Field this year. Frisco was swept in a three-game series in Springfield to wrap up the month of May. The Riders dropped two one-run contests, which included being shut out 1-0 in the series opener and blowing a four-run lead in the final two innings of the second game. Frisco dropped all six games on the road trip to Tulsa and Springfield, which knocked the Riders out of first place in the South Division standings. Frisco did not return to the top spot after June 1, and Corpus Christi won the first half division title.

GETTING STARTED RIGHT: 
Through nine games this month, Riders starters have excelled. They have combined to allow just 17 earned runs in 47 1/3 innings of work, good for a 3.23 ERA, and have given up just two home runs. DAVID PEREZ and ARIEL JURADO both pitched five scoreless frames, and only one of the starters this month has allowed more than three runs. Riders starters had a tough time in July, posting a 4.51 ERA and allowed 21 homers in 149 2/3 innings. The best month for the starting pitchers this year was the month of April, when Frisco went an outstanding 17-4. Frisco’s starters had a 3.10 ERA and allowed 0.56 HR/9.0 innings pitched.

POWER OUTAGE: 
The last 10 games have seen a return to the dead-ball era, with very few home runs for the RoughRiders. During the 10-game stretch, the Riders have only hit five homers, and three have come off the bat of KELLIN DEGLAN. In five of those 10 games, there have been no homers hit by either side. This comes on the heels of a month of July in which the Riders hit a season-high 27 homers and allowed a league-high 36.

NOTHING BUT GOOSE EGGS:
Saturday’s shutout loss to San Antonio was the 14th time that Frisco has been shut out this season (most in the Texas League). The 14 shutout defeats is the most in Double-A. Brevard County (Brewers, Florida State League) has the most shutout losses in the minors with 19. Frisco also has the fewest shutout wins (four) in the eight-team circuit. The fewest in full-season ball is Wilmington (Royals Class A-Advanced affiliate, Carolina League) with only have three. The Blue Rocks, who play in pitcher-friendly Frawley Stadium, have also been blanked 14 times.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-handed pitcher J.C. Sulbaran is making his 12th start and 13th appearance of the year with Springfield in the series finale tonight…It will be Sulbaran’s first outing against the Riders this year, but he has faced Frisco seven times over his five years in the Texas League…Sulbaran was originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 30th round of the 2008 MLB Draft out of American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida…He was traded to the Kansas City Royals along with left-handed pitcher Donnie Joseph on July 31, 2012 in exchange for Jonathan Broxton…Sulbaran spent parts of the next four seasons with Northwest Arkansas in the Texas League and finally reached the Triple-A level last year, making eight appearances for Omaha…This past offseason, Sulbaran elected free agency and signed with St. Louis on December 4…He began the 2016 campaign in Memphis but was assigned to Springfield on June 3 after starting the year with a 7.69 ERA in 11 starts…Sulbaran’s best outing of the season came against his former team on July 16, when he held Northwest Arkansas to just two hits in 6 2/3 scoreless innings…REPERTOIRE: Fastball (low 90s), curveball, changeup.

Fasola named Minor League Reliever of the Month

810 Fasola

Yesterday, the Rangers announced their monthly minor league awards and John Fasola earned the organization’s Reliever of the Month for July.

Fasola has since been promoted to Triple-A Round Rock, where he’s faring well, but while he was with the Riders, he posted an impressive body of work in July. He was tied for the team lead in appearances (10) and went 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA, all while converting each of the five save chances he had. He walked just three batters in 15 innings and struck out 16. His WHIP for July was a paltry 0.53. To top it all off, he finished the month on a 12-inning scoreless streak.

The righty’s overall stat line is impressive (3-1, 3.73 ERA in 22 appearances), but it’s even better if you look at just June and July. In those two months, he went 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA. He also continues to lead Rangers farmhands in total saves (11).

He has continued his success at the Triple-A level, posting a 2.84 ERA in five overall appearances, including a mark of 2.45 since going back up on August 3.

If you haven’t already heard his interview with Nathan Barnett a few weeks ago, I recommend you listen. There are some interesting insights in here, including how to keep a closer’s mentality in a non-save situation.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Fan the atmosphere – To strike out.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

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