Results tagged ‘ Adalberto Flores ’

Flores Leaves for Houston

I remember being in the clubhouse at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Ark. hours before first pitch between the RoughRiders and the Naturals late last year.

I remember there was a big league game on TV that a lot of guys were casually watching while getting ready for batting practice.  It just so happened to be a game involving the downtrodden Houston Astros.

I remember the look on everyone’s face when we saw that it was former Corpus Christi Hook (for three games) Henry Sosa pitching for the Astros.

Sosa, 26, spent five and a half seasons in the San Francisco Giants’ farm system before being traded to Houston in the Jeff Keppinger deal on July 19.

Sosa made10 starts with Houston in 2011 (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

In those five and a half years with San Francisco, Sosa suited up for six different teams, making 125 career appearances.  After the trade, Sosa was assigned to Corpus Christi where he made three starts before getting the call to Triple-A Oklahoma City. There, the right-hander tossed seven shut-out innings on August 5th in his first start, and that was enough.

Five days later Sosa made his big league debut, getting the start against Arizona at Chase Field.

It took Sosa four minor league appearances in 22 days to make the big leagues as a member of the Astros’ farm system.

This example is all you need to know about why former RoughRider Adalberto Flores  has left the Rangers’ organization as a free-agent and signed with the Houston Astros.

Flo was the first player in 2010 promoted to Frisco from Bakersfield and developed nicely since then.  In two seasons, Adalberto went 8-8, 3.75 ERA in 79 appearances, two starts.

The righty from Puerto Rico proved to be a real force at times out of the ‘Riders bullpen and had the ability to eat up innings.

No doubt, Flo will have an easier path to the bigs with the Astros than with the Rangers.  And, if we can be honest, that’s all that really counts. I don’t claim to know the details of Flroes making this decision, but when you look at it from the outside, it was a pretty easy decision.

If all goes well, next year it’ll be Adalberto pitching on TV.

-AG

Game 4 Preview – San Antonio at Frisco

Texas League South Division Series
San Antonio Missions at Frisco RoughRiders
Saturday, September 10 – 7:05 p.m.
Game 4 – San Antonio leads 2-1

GAME 4 BACKGROUND:

The RoughRiders face elimination tonight in Game 4 of this South Division Series after San Antonio’s 5-3 win Friday at Dr Pepper Ballpark. The ‘Riders battled back from three separate deficits in Game 3, but Cody Decker’s eighth-inning solo shot, his second homer of the game, proved to be the difference. Frisco used five pitchers in the loss, four of whom allowed at least one run. With a win tonight, the Missions would return to the Texas League Championship Series for the first time since winning the title in 2007. The RoughRiders are 1-4 all-time when facing elimination in the postseason.

STARTING PITCHERS:

Frisco – RHP Adalberto Flores (5-4, 3.32 ERA): Flores joined the rotation late in the regular season after Derek Hankins’ promotion to Triple-A Round Rock. Tonight will be Flores’ fourth career minor league start. In his two starts thus far this season, Flores has allowed eight runs (seven earned) in seven and two-thirds innings. Against the Missions, Flores is 1-1 with a 4.96 earned run average in eight appearances spanning 16 and a third frames. Flores was a midseason All-Star in the Texas League after going 2-1 with a 2.41 ERA in the first half.

San Antonio – LHP Robbie Erlin (1-0, 1.38 ERA): For the second time this series, the RoughRiders must square off with a former Frisco hurler. Erlin has shined in six starts with the Missions since the Rangers traded Erlin and Joe Wieland, who earned the Game 1 win for San Antonio, for San Diego reliever Mike Adams. The Padres’ front office has been cautious with Erlin’s pitch and inning count, which explains why he is averaging barely more than four innings per start with the Missions. This figures to change tonight, as it did with Wieland Wednesday. Overall this year, Erlin is 9-4 with a 2.99 ERA.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • San Antonio’s offense has forced Frisco’s pitching staff to work in this series. Through the first three games, the ‘Riders have had to throw 445 pitches, or 17.1 per inning. Compare that to San Antonio, a unit that has needed only 353 pitches. This calculates to 13.1 per frame.
  • In particular, Frisco’s starters have labored through their outings. The trio of Robbie Ross (6IP, 1R, 107 pitches), Ben Snyder (6IP, 0R, 100 pitches) and Carlos Pimentel (4IP, 2R, 80 pitches) have ultimately been successful. They have a combined earned run average of 1.69. However, the bullpen has been taxed because the Missions have elevated the pitch counts quickly.
  • Mitch Hilligoss has been the best hitter not only on the RoughRiders, but in the Texas League this postseason. Hilligoss paces all Texas Leaguers with a .385 batting average (5-for-13). The next highest batting average on the ‘Riders is Renny Osuna’s .250 mark.
  • Offense has been tough to come by in both divisional series here in 2011. Hilligoss is one of only three men to hover above .300. San Antonio’s Cody Decker (.364) and Blake Tekotte (.333) are the others.
  • The Arkansas-Northwest Arkansas series, which is now 2-1 in favor of the Travs after the Naturals stayed alive with a 3-1 win last night, has only featured eight runs. Through three games, Roberto Lopez’s .273 average is the best in that set.
  • Low-A Hickory’s season is done after a 2-0 loss at home to Greensboro last night. The Grasshoppers swept the ‘Dads 2-0. High-A Myrtle Beach will face elimination tonight after losing at Kinston 7-0 Friday. Triple-A Round Rock barely avoided a sweep in a 9-8, 11-inning win over Omaha. The Storm Chasers still lead the set 2-1.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

You can catch tonight’s game, along with every 2011 playoff game, on 1630 KKGM or online here. You will hear from Frisco skipper Steve Buechele in addition to former RoughRider Robbie Erlin on the pre-game show, which begins at 6:35.

Playoff Perspective – Game 3

San Antonio squeaked past the RoughRiders 5-3 in Game 3 of the Texas League South Division Series to take a 2-1 advantage. Here are some thoughts after a tremendous game, but an unfortunate loss, from Dr Pepper Ballpark.

PLAYOFF PERSPECTIVE:

- Credit the Missions–they never gave up the lead and scored in five different innings. The ‘Riders battled back three different times, but the Missions kept firing away. It is tough to continue to rally back from deficits, even if a team only trails by one in all of those instances.

- Cody Decker entered Game 3 with an average of .200 (10-for-50) against the ‘Riders this season, but he was the difference in the game. Decker barely cleared the boards with a solo homer in the fourth. Four innings later, his opposite-field blast proved to be the game-winning swing.

- The heroes of the game for Frisco were Renny Osuna and Mitch Hilligoss. Osuna went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. He also drew a walk and put down a sacrifice bunt which led to a seventh-inning tally. Hilligoss went 3-for-5 and drove in a pair of runs. Hilligoss is hitting .385 (5-for-13) in this series, which is the best mark on the squad.

Carlos Pimentel gave up two runs in four innings Friday (Alex Yocum-Beeman).

- San Antonio will make pitchers work, and that’s exactly what happened to Carlos Pimentel. Like Robbie Ross and Ben Snyder did, Pimentel kept the ‘Riders in the game and avoided any big innings. However, he needed 80 pitches to get through four innings.

- The Missions’ bullpen is ridiculously good. Nick Vincent was machine-like during the eighth when he whiffed all three men he faced. Then, Miles Mikolas calmly worked around a leadoff single to post his second save in this series. We still have not seen solid arms like Pedro Hernandez, Craig Italiano and Eddie Kunz this week, so the Missions are loaded with talent for the final game or two.

- If the RoughRiders want to win this series, the bullpen will need to be awesome. Adalberto Flores, a reliever for much of the season, will start for Frisco tomorrow. This will be his third start in 2011. Game 5’s starter has yet to be announced. The bullpen has been solid this year, but this is probably the unit’s toughest assignment yet.

- Another key for the ‘Riders tomorrow night–the production of the heart of the order. As discussed yesterday, Tommy Mendonca, Mike Bianucci and Jonathan Greene need to produce for Frisco’s offense to really click. In Game 1 and 3, both losses for the ‘Riders, they went a combined 0-for-9. In Game 2, Frisco’s lone win in this series so far, they had five hits.

- It was another rough night for the Rangers’ farm system. Low-A Hickory’s season is done after a 2-0 loss at home to Greensboro. The Grasshoppers swept the ‘Dads 2-0. High-A Myrtle Beach will face elimination Saturday after losing at Kinston 7-0. Triple-A Round Rock barely avoided a sweep in a 9-8, 11-inning win over Omaha. The Storm Chasers still lead the set 2-1.

- No doubt, this was a tough loss for the ‘Riders. However, you know the saying–anything can happen in baseball. Frisco is still alive, but the RoughRiders must win. Tomorrow should be a nerve-racking but fun evening at Dr Pepper Ballpark. We hope you enjoy.

- Brian

RoughRiders’ All-Gridiron Team

With the NFL lockout over and August underway, football is in the air.  The ‘Riders have some solid athletes this season which prompted the question “who would play where if the RoughRiders were a football team”? Seems logical.  After consulting with Frisco strength and conditioning coach Eric McMahon, here is the ‘Riders All-Gridiron Team. Feel free to leave comments with your opinions.  -AG

Offense

Quarterback: Ben Snyder
Although he was a two-time All-State wide receiver in high school, Snyder like the logical fit as QB. He has good athleticism, is a veteran, and has the intelligence the position demands.

Wide Receiver/Flanker: Justin Miller
At 6’4″, Miller is the prototypical deep threat. He has nice leaping abilities and is will force matchup problems for opposing defensive backs. “Snyder to Miller” is something we’ll be saying a lot.

Wide Receiver: Carlos Pimentel
He might be the most athletic pitcher of the ‘Riders staff. Pimentel has a quick burst off the line and is the perfect over-the-middle compliment to Miller going deep.

Running Back: Davis Stoneburner
Although he’s not the prototypical pounding back some might desire, Stoneburner possesses the quickness and elusiveness to to run effectively. What he lacks in size he makes up for in determination and confidence. Stoney is a nice open field runner who also contributes in the passing game.

Wide Receiver/Running Back (Flex): Corey Young
His quick hips and burst make Young a versatile offensive weapon both in the backfield and in the slot. He can lineup in a split-back set with Stoneburner, or can run complimentary routes over the middle with Pimentel in-between the first and second layers of the defense. His run after the catch abilities can turn a five yard dump pass into a 15 yard pick up.

Tight End: Tanner Scheppers
This is a natural fit. At 6’4″ with a long wingspan, Scheppers is the perfect red zone target for Snyder. He’s great over the middle of the field and, as a former short stop in college, has more athleticism than anyone on the line.

Right Tackle: Adalberto Flores
Big, tall, and physical, Flores shoulders the responsibility of protecting Snyder’s blindside. He has the quick feet and powerful arms to move quickly and keep a clean pocket.

Right Guard: Robbie Ross
With a low center of gravity, Ross wards off the blitz well. He also has enough quickness to pull on running plays and open up holes for Stoneburner.

Center: Jose Felix
Another natural fit. “Chief” is the anchor of the offensive line.

Left Guard: Richard Bleier
Bleier has the intelligence to read the defense and the athleticism to pull.

Left Tackle: Fabio Castillo
Pound-for-pound the biggest guy on the line.  Fabio is aggressive with string hands and a wide upper-half.

Defense

Defensive End: Mike Bianucci
Has the size to stay in on running downs, but the athleticism and burst to rush the passers. His low center of gravity helps keep him on his feet, and his motor will wear down offensive tackles by the fourth quarter.

Defensive Tackle: Jose Ruiz
As one RoughRider told me, if Jose joined a Division I football program today, in four years he’d be an All-American. Ruiz has elite lateral movement and a sharp burst. He’s a beast clogging up the middle and has the speed to rush the passer.

Defensive Tackle: Jake Brigham
Fear the beard.  Brigham has the strength and aggressiveness to compliment Ruiz next to him. He also has the long arms to knock down passes when rushing.  He brings the intensity and heart his position demands.

Defensive End: Johan Yan
Love this choice. His height and weight profiles as a rush defensive end. He runs well, has a long wingspan, and is big and strong enough to play the run.

Outside Linebacker: Elio Sarmiento
Thick and strong, Sarmiento can stuff the run but also has the quickness to cover a tight end who releases from the line. He can cover the flat and is disciplined enough to be trusted take down a running back in the open field.

Middle Linebacker: Jonathan Greene
His physical build and tools make Greene a nice choice here. He stuffs the run well and isn’t afraid of contact.

Middle Linebacker: Tommy Mendonca
Like Greene, Mendonca has the build to stuff the run. His strong forearms help him wrap up well and he has the quickness to move in a confined space well.

Outside Linebacker: Mitch Hilligoss
Aside from having a linebackers neck, Hilligoss can drop back like a safety, rush like a defensive end, and stop the run. Like Sarmiento, Hilli is a good fit here.

Cornerback: Engel Beltre
Beltre has big play, pick-six potential. His elite speed matches up with any wide receiver. He has all the makings up a shut-down corner.

Cornerback: Renny Osuna
While Renny may not have the speed of Beltre, he is ultra reliable and can cover the run as well. Has the athleticism to cover all types of receivers and has a nose for the ball.

Free Safety: Tyler Tufts
Perfect combination of size and speed to cover the entire third layer of the defense. Tufts has nice range and is a sound safety blanket for Renny and Osuna on the outer thirds. His big hits make receivers think twice before coming over the middle.

The RoughRiders One Year Ago

A few days ago, Stephen Harmon detailed the current seasons of many prospects in the Rangers’ system. Today, I’m here to show you how much difference a season can make. Let’s look back at how much improvement many of the key members of this year’s RoughRiders have seen over the last 12 months.

The differences between July 18, 2010, and July 18, 2011, are pretty incredible. And most RoughRiders have improved greatly. Here are ten prime examples:

Mike Bianucci: While with High-A Bakersfield, the slugger was hitting just .247 with just 11 home runs, which was good for a tie for 15th in the California League. Right now, he is in a tie for second in that category. Bianucci’s RBI total is up by 16 runs, and his OPS has improved by almost 100 points. This season, Bianucci is on pace for a career-high 30 homers.

Robbie Erlin: Erlin’s numbers were great at this point last year (4-2, 1.66 ERA), but they were in Low-A Hickory. Erlin has rolled through the Rangers’ system, and he is only two wins away from the RoughRiders’ team lead despite joining the team in late May. Erlin is only 20 years old, which should bring a smile to ‘Riders and Rangers fans alike.

Adalberto Flores: The ‘Riders’ bullpen has been solid all season long. While Flores may not be the poster man for the ‘pen, he has improved upon an average year with Frisco last season. At this point, Flores owned a 2-4 record and a 4.03 ERA in 38 innings of work. Flores has dropped the ERA almost a run and a half (2.68), and he has been counted on more (47 innings of work). The righty also has 17 more strikeouts at this point (51) than he had last year.

Jonathan Greene: The likeable North Carolina native had only played in 16 games by this point last season. He was hitting .218 with two home runs and six RBIs. What a difference a year makes. Greene is in the top 20 in the Texas League in average (.297), home runs (11), and RBIs (52). Greene has also only committed two errors despite being bounced around between two main positions–first base and right field.

Tommy Mendonca: Mendonca has arguably seen the biggest improvement from last year to this year. A year ago on this day, Mendonca was hitting .238 with three homers and 27 RBIs. To put it into perspective, Mendonca’s month of June this year featured four home runs and 30 RBIs. Mendonca dots the top 10 in most offensive categories this year in the Texas League.

Renny Osuna: Osuna’s average has only seen a minimal improvement from this point a year ago (.286 v. .307). It’s the power numbers that put Osuna on this list in a prominent way. Last season, Osuna had just two home runs and 28 RBIs through mid-July. This year, Osuna already has a career-high eight homers, which is fifth on a powerful RoughRiders squad. He also has 43 RBIs, which also places him fifth in the clubhouse. Not bad for a leadoff hitter who has missed 17 games this year.

Martin Perez: Perez is the lone former RoughRider on this list, but his renaissance has been well documented and much needed. Perez was 3-5 with a 5.23 ERA at this point of the year in 2010. In fact, he did not even have enough innings pitched to qualify for the ERA category. He just won his Triple-A debut at Memphis Saturday for the Round Rock Express after dominating in Frisco for the season’s first three months.

Jose Ruiz: Ruiz has come the furthest in terms of an organization’s pecking order. The first baseman was about the join the Dominican Summer League at this point last season, and he was within the Tampa Bay system. He joined Double-A Montgomery in mid-August. The Rays let him go, and the Rangers picked up a guy who has hovered around .300 all year long.

Ben Snyder: Snyder’s ERA is slightly worse this year than it was last year (3.82 v. 3.13), but he has been Mr. Versatile for the pitching staff this season. His next start will be his sixth, which will be the highest for the southpaw since 2008. Snyder has been an unsung hero for the ‘Riders.

Joe Wieland: Remember what we said about Erlin? The same can be said for this talented righty. Wieland’s numbers weren’t as eye-popping with the Crawdads (7-4, 3.34), but he was having some success. Still, 2011 has been Wieland’s breakout season. In four Double-A starts, the Reno, Nev., native is 1-0 with a 2.05 ERA. If you combine his numbers with High-A Myrtle Beach, Wieland is 7-3 with an ERA of 2.09 with more than one strikeout per inning.

There have been many more contributors to the RoughRiders’ fantastic 2011 season. It has been fun to watch these men grow on the field, and there are still almost 50 games left in the regular season.

- Brian

All-Star Game Recap: Perez Earns Win

Frisco starter Martin Perez earned the victory in the South Division’s 3-2 victory over the North All-Stars Wednesday night in the 75th Texas League All-Star Game.

Perez tossed a 1-2-3 second inning. He retired the first two men he faced on ground outs to second. The Rangers’ top prospect finished the frame with a six-pitch strikeout of Anthony Seratelli.

Both Adalberto Flores and Justin Miller earned holds. Flores allowed a solo shot to Matt Adams in an otherwise solid sixth inning, and Miller set down a pair of North All-Stars in the top of the ninth.

Offensively, Mike Bianucci went 1-for-4 with a fourth-inning single. Leonys Martin finished 0-for-3 as the South’s leadoff hitter. Tommy Mendonca walked and struck out.

Jose Felix, Renny Osuna and Jose Ruiz also appeared in the game.

The South scored once in the second and two more times in the third. The North tallied a run in both the sixth and seventh.

It’s a quick turnaround for the nine Frisco All-Stars, as the RoughRiders open a three-game series with the Springfield Cardinals Thursday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark. First pitch is set for 7:05.

Martin, Bianucci, Osuna in Starting Lineup

Frisco outfielder Leonys Martin, who has not played with the RoughRiders since June 8, is the leadoff hitter for the South Division in tonight’s 2011 Texas League All-Star Game.

Joining Martin in the starting lineup are Mike Bianucci and Renny Osuna. Bianucci is the designated hitter, and he is hitting third. Osuna rounds out the South squad’s lineup and is playing at second base.

Catcher Jose Felix, third baseman Tommy Mendonca and first baseman Jose Ruiz are available on the South Division’s bench. Also, pitchers Adalberto Flores, Justin Miller and Martin Perez are in the South’s bullpen.

First pitch is set for 7:05. You can follow the game here.

First Half Countdown

April 7 seems like a long time ago. September 5 seems like a long time from now. Welcome to the halfway point of the 2011 season. The RoughRiders finished up the first half at 40-30, which is good for the second best record in the Texas League.

Before the ‘Riders begin the second half, let’s take a look back at the first half. It’s a Top 10 edition of the Facts.

FRISCO FACTS (Top 10 moments from the first half):

10. Three straight blowouts (June 15–Frisco 14, Midland 7)
The RoughRiders were rolling on the road in the month of June, and the trend continued in a big way at Midland. Frisco posted double-digit run totals in three consecutive games for just the second time in franchise history. In those three contests, the ‘Riders scored 37 runs on 54 hits. This game, a 14-7 beating at Citibank Ballpark, capped off the three-day dominance. Frisco was 9-1 on the road in June after this one.

Mike Bianucci is second in the Texas League with 16 home runs (James Garner).

9. Bianucci’s blast sinks Hooks (June 18–Frisco 9, Corpus Christi 6)
You don’t have to look too far for this one. Saturday night, Mike Bianucci crushed a three-run home run off Kyle Greenwalt to give the ‘Riders the lead for good in the 13th inning. This blast rewarded Adalberto Flores, who set highs in innings pitched (4) and strikeouts (6) by a Frisco reliever in a single game, with his second win of the season. Bianucci leads the club and is in the top five in the Texas League with 16 home runs.

8. Adair’s single stuns San Antonio (June 10–Frisco 5, San Antonio 4)
After San Antonio finally mustered a hit (and four runs) against starter Robbie Erlin, Travis Adair decided to save the day. His RBI single in the bottom of the ninth kept the ‘Riders in the playoff chase. Unfortunately, the Missions would go on to clinch the first half title. Still, it was a memorable moment in front of a Fireworks Friday crowd at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

7. Adair’s two-out, bases-clearing magic (May 7–Frisco 9, Midland 8 )
This one foreshadowed the dominance that the ‘Riders would have over the RockHounds this year. Midland took an 8-6 lead in the bottom of the eighth with three runs. In the top of the ninth, the ‘Riders packed the bases with two down. Travis Adair, a new outfielder fresh up from High-A Myrtle Beach, doubled home everyone with a shot down the left field line. It was a big win for a club starting to come into its own.

Jose Ruiz's three-run blast clinched a perfect road trip June 6 (James Garner).

6. Ruiz’s shot clinches 6-0 trip (June 6–Frisco 9, Tulsa 4)
The score wouldn’t indicate it, but this game was close throughout. The RoughRiders took a 5-4 lead into the ninth and scored four more, capped off by Jose Ruiz’s three-run home run. The win wrapped up Frisco’s first perfect road trip since April 29–May 2, 2008. At that point, the ‘Riders had won 24 of 34 games.

5. Throwing error hands ‘Riders win (April 8–Frisco 7, Springfield 6)
In front of the first of many 10,000+ crowds at Dr Pepper Ballpark, the RoughRiders erased a four-run deficit and completed the comeback when Richard Castillo overthrew first base on a sacrifice bunt try by Tommy Mendonca. The win gave Frisco an early 2-0 start.

Leonys Martin is a Texas League All-Star in his first minor league season (James Garner).

4. Leonys Martin thrives in debut (May 12–Frisco 10, Corpus Christi 7)
Days after signing a $15.5 million dollar contract with a $5 million signing bonus, Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin went 3-for-5 in his debut with the ‘Riders. In his first at bat, Martin doubled to deep center. Martin drove in a run and scored one in a game that was decided by a three-run eighth.

3. Ruiz walks off with a RoughRiders win (May 17–Frisco 1, Midland 0)
Scoreless game. Two down. Bases empty. Bottom nine. The game was destined for extras, until Jose Ruiz corked a towering home run over the right field fence. To this point, it is the only walk-off home run for the RoughRiders this year, and it was the most dramatic Frisco win during a four-game sweep of the ‘Hounds in mid May.

2010 A.L. MVP Josh Hamilton played in two games with Frisco (James Garner).

2. Hamilton homers in rehab start (May 18–Frisco 8, Midland 7)
The defending American League Most Valuable Player made a stop at Dr Pepper Ballpark before heading back to the Rangers following a shoulder injury that kept him out of action for more than a month. Swinging at the first pitch in his second at bat, Hamilton lined a two-run home run to left field. Hamilton finished the day 2-for-4 and helped the ‘Riders win a close one against the RockHounds. He also made many RoughRiders fans very happy after the game.

1. Perez tosses rain-shortened perfect game (April 19–Frisco 1, Arkansas 0)
Martin Perez, the Rangers’ number one prospect, set down the first 15 men he faced. In those situations, with a pitcher that is as talented as Perez, it is easy to start thinking about history. However, mother nature wanted to make sure Perez made history. Severe thunderstorms rolled through North Little Rock, Ark., forcing the game’s umpires to call the game in the top of the sixth inning.

Perez’s perfecto was the fifth in Texas League history and the second in RoughRiders history. Not only was it a historic night, but it showed that Perez was going to improve upon his 2010 numbers when with the ‘Riders. So far, so good for Perez, who boasts a 4-1 record and a 3.30 ERA.

What does the second half have in store? You can find out beginning tonight from Dr Pepper Ballpark. Pre-game coverage along the RoughRiders Baseball Network begins at 6:35. Enjoy!

- Brian

Think About Vilonia

Yesterday’s severe weather may have hit Vilonia, Ark., the hardest. A tornado ripped through the town north of Little Rock last night, killing four people. Three others died because of floods caused by this storm. Dozens are still missing.

The video of this storm is incredible. Please keep those who were affected in your thoughts today.

With that somber note out of the way, let’s get you a few facts before today’s morning showdown.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • Frisco’s pitching staff did an admirable job against the Missions with the bases loaded. San Antonio came in with a .375 batting average in those situations, and Frisco pitching limited the club to one hit in five chances. However, the one hit was ultimately the game-winner. It was Blake Tekotte’s two-run single with one down in the eighth.
  • Martin Perez did not have his best stuff yesterday, and San Antonio took advantage in the first. Credit Perez for limiting the damage after a rough beginning. Not only did Perez strand two in the first inning after getting hit around, but none of his four walks came back to bite him. Also, he held the Missions to an 0-for-2 showing with the bases packed. With no one out, Perez struck out Jaff Decker, the home run and RBI leader in this league, and induced a Kyle Blanks double play.
  • I didn’t see Perez last year, but that is an important part of development. Pitchers will not always have their best stuff, and the Rangers’ number one prospect was able to manage a very respectable outing against a fantastic offense.
  • Corey Young has had three scoreless outings and three bad ones. Last night was a bad one. The lefty only retired one of the eight men he faced, with the first two reaching on walks. The more surprising note is that left-handers are roughing up Young. Lefties are hitting .556 off him, and both of the hits he allowed yesterday were against left-handed hitters.
  • I’m not saying this to defend Young. Those numbers need to improve. But the guy is always here very early. He is trying to make it work, and as a fan, I hope things can improve for a pitcher who seems to really care.
  • Good stat from the fantastic “Riders Press Box” twitter account: reliever Adalberto Flores Adalberto Flores extended his scoreless inning streak to 12 with three
    scoreless innings yesterday. His ERA is at 0.69, and his WHIP sits at 0.77.
  • Both games involving North Division teams were rained out yesterday. The Travelers and Naturals have not played since Friday because their last three games have been postponed. To put it into perspective, Frisco had four games either postponed or canceled due to weather in 2010.
  • Here’s the hour-by-hour weather in San Antonio today. First-pitch temperature is set for 85, and the temperature will rise to 97 by 2 p.m. Ouch. 

We begin the pre-game at 10:35 this morning. For those listening on 1630 KKGM, today’s game will be broadcast on a tape delay. It will begin at 6:35 p.m. Enjoy!

- Brian

Tweeting Away

For some, Twitter is a great way to post news and notes on various subjects. Others use it to tell the world about their thoughts and feeling. And there are plenty of people who think it is just a really weird word.

Here with the RoughRiders, we are all over Twitter at http://twitter.com/ridersbaseball. There, you can find links to some of our game stories and blog posts, plus in-game updates for all 140 games. Feel free to send us a question on Twitter during the games, as well. We will try to answer as many as possible.

Unfortunately, I am the only one on the media relations/broadcasting staff who has a Twitter. (Quick shameless plug: http://twitter.com/BrianBoesch) But I am trying to convince Aaron and Reid to get on there as well.

After all, @RidersVoice is an available username for Aaron, and Reid’s favorite musical group (Tech N9ne) has one. I suspect they will come around soon.

Without further ado, here are today’s Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • It’s easy to think back to the offensive surge from last night’s 7-6 comeback victory over Springfield. But those battle-back opportunities came about because of the RoughRiders’ stellar pitching down the stretch. The ‘Riders retired the final 14 Cardinals they faced. Adalberto Flores retired five in a row after allowing a run in the sixth, Mike Perconte set down six straight, and Mark Hamburger dealt a 1-2-3 10th.
  • Delving deeper into that stretch, only three Cardinals got the ball out of the infield, and five went down on strikes. All of this followed the first six innings, when Springfield scored in every frame but the first and had chances for more. During the span, they stranded eight runners, five of which were in scoring position when the inning ended.
  • The comeback had legs once Tommy Mendonca went to the opposite field for a two-run homer, his first at the Double-A level, to trim Frisco’s deficit to one in the eighth. Springfield turned to Ryan Kulik, a fellow left-hander, for a same-side match-up. Mendonca’s lefty/righty split was negligible last year in high-A Bakersfield (.253 v. LHP/.247 v. RHP). However, nine of his ten home runs came against right-handed hurlers.
  • If you spell it out by home runs per at bat, Mendonca went yard every 36 at bats against righties while hitting only one in 93 ABs versus lefties. Overall, that was just Mendonca’s second home run against lefties in 155 minor league at bats.
  • Mendonca was also the man who put down the bunt that eventually resulted in a throwing error and a Frisco win. It was a great bunt down the first base line, but it turned out to be much more meaningful for the ‘Riders. “When I was running, I saw the first baseman jump,” Mendonca said. “First time I’ve had a walk-off bunt. It was a great win. We pulled together.”
  • Manager Steve Buechele on the victory: “The guys battled hard. It was a good crowd, and it was a great win for us.”
  • All of this overshadowed the debut of the Rangers’ top prospect–lefty Martin Perez. Perez threw three innings, giving up five hits and two runs. In those three frames, Perez amassed 71 pitches, or 23.7 per inning. The pitch count was the reason Buechele lifted Perez after the third. He had to face 15 batters.
  • Another day, another juggle to the starting lineup. No surprise here with the season just underway. The top five stay the same (Osuna-Beltre-Butler-Bianucci-Mendonca), but Robbie Diaz gets his first start at catcher and in the six hole. Jose Ruiz is back in the lineup, hitting seventh like he did Thursday. David Paisano falls another two slots to eighth, with Davis Stoneburner rounding it out.
  • Jake Brigham gets the call today for the ‘Riders on the bump. Brigham struggled in his appearance in Sunday’s exhibition against Round Rock, surrendering six runs (five earned) on eight hits in two and two-thirds. This will be his Double-A debut.
  • There are three unbeaten teams in the Texas League so far. Frisco is tied with Midland at the top of the South. The RockHounds have pulled away from Arkansas in the first two games of their three-game set. And Tulsa paces all North clubs after a pair of one-run victories over Corpus Christi.
  • Congratulations to Northwest Arkansas outfielder Nick Van Stratten, who made ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays with a dazzling catch in left field during last night’s victory over San Antonio. The catch was the number three play on the countdown. 

Catch all of the play-by-play action tonight at 6:35, as the RoughRiders aim for their first series sweep since June 25-28 of 2010 at Corpus Christi. As always, you can listen online here. Enjoy!

- Brian

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