Results tagged ‘ Jose Ruiz ’

Breaking Buckeye Hearts

No, this is not a rip on Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, who still insists on staying in the news. It is praise for Derek Holland, who tossed a complete game, five-hit shutout in his home state in front of some friends and family. Holland, who grew up in Newark, Ohio, dominated, and a pair of former rehabbing RoughRiders this year–Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz–went deep again.

Look out for the Rangers, folks. They are clicking for the first time since the season’s first week.

But the RoughRiders are impressing some folks, too. Does Frisco have one surge in it for a chance at a first half title? We break that down, plus more, in today’s Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • The ‘Riders are the only team still without a loss during the month of June, which is impressive considering the fact that Frisco has been on the road facing the third and fourth best teams in the Texas League: Northwest Arkansas and Tulsa.
  • Overall, since May 1, Frisco is 22-10, which is the best record in the Texas League. The ‘Riders’ Pressbox did the research, and they say that the RoughRiders have the second best Double-A record during that span. The Trenton Thunder (24-9) are in the top spot. Overall in the minors, the club is tied for fifth in record since the beginning of May.
  • However, despite all of this, the ‘Riders have only gained one game on San Antonio since May 1. That’s why the Missions have a six-game lead with 16 games to go in the first half.
  • One of the two season-long road on-base streaks came to an end last night. Mike Bianucci went 0-for-4, which snaps his 24 game streak on the road. Bianucci had been tied with his buddy Tommy Mendonca, and Mendonca did extend his streak to 25 games right away with a first-inning double.
  • These two streaks are impressive for anyone in the order, but think about where these two players hit. The asset of getting on base is a focal point for men at the top of the order, but Bianucci and Mendonca are middle-of-the-order mashers. However, they have been steadily finding a way to make an impact, whatever that may be, all season long.
  • With their recent surge, the RoughRiders have started to climb the team rankings. Not only is Frisco the second best club in the league now, but it is also second in hitting (.270) and third in earned run average (4.45).
  • Individually, Bianucci and Mendonca each have 12 homers, which is tied for fourth in the league. Both Bianucci (40) and Mendonca (38) are also in the top 10 in runs batted in, and Renny Osuna (.321) and Jonathan Greene (.309) are in the top 11 in batting average.
  • Speaking of Greene, he has been huge for the RoughRiders in his last eight games. He is hitting an absurd .446 (13-for-29) with two homers and 11 RBIs. He has posted multi-hit efforts in six of his last eight contests.
  • Leonys Martin has missed the last two games with lower back tightness. He was a late scratch from Friday’s game because of that injury. Martin is currently day-to-day.
  • Good for Jose Ruiz, who fell into his first slump of the season this week. His leadoff double in the seventh inning not only sparked Frisco’s game-winning three-run seventh, but it snapped an 0-for-20 skid. Ruiz is still hitting .295 for the season, which shows you how strong he was swinging the bat before this brief rough patch.
  • Finally, kudos to my man Aaron Goldsmith for a great blog post from Tulsa yesterday. He will post on the blog a couple of times each road trip.

Today’s pre-game begins at 1:35, with first pitch at 2:05. Enjoy!

- Brian

A Special Treat

When you live far from home, it is tough to live life in the way that you are used to living it. I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio, so it is tough for me to keep track of my childhood club–the Indians.

Things sometimes work out, though. Tonight, the Indians play Boston (by the way, Aaron is a closet member of Red Sox nation), and it happens to be on national television. Somewhere, the Texas League gods were shining on me by making today’s RoughRiders game an 11:05 a.m. game.

Hopefully, the ‘Riders can carry some momentum into an off day (and a half). Here’s today’s version of the Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • It was a rough start for Jake Brigham yesterday. He allowed more runs (5) in the second inning than he had in an entire game all season long. He also walked a season-high-tying four men, all in that frame. His earned run average rose to 4.53, which is still pretty solid. Brigham just ran into a red hot Missions offense, and he stumbled. No shame in that every once in a while, especially after he retired the first 19 San Antonio swingers he faced May 6 at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
  • Jose Ruiz continues to hack it for the ‘Riders since returning from the Temporary Inactive List. Ruiz, who went 2-for-3 yesterday to extend his hitting streak to seven games, is hitting .438 (14-32) since his return to Frisco. During that span, he has three homers and seven runs batted in.
  • Speaking of the Missions, here are some ridiculous numbers regarding their start to the season. San Antonio’s 18-3 record is the best in the minor leagues. They have won 11 straight at Nelson Wolff Municipal Stadium, which is the longest winning streak in the facility’s existence.
  • Offensively, the Missions reached home run number 60 as a team Saturday, which was the club’s 42nd game. Last season, San Antonio did not reach that plateau until July 26, which was game number 98. Also, the team has scored 294 runs, which was not reached until late June of last year by San Antonio.
  • I was asked this on the Extra Bases Blog yesterday: does San Diego’s Triple-A club need any players? Well, the Tucson Padres are 19-25 this year, and their offense is sixth in the Pacific Coast League in average and third in runs scored. The T-Padres need pitching help, as the club ranks 14th in the 16-team league with a 5.66 ERA.
  • This morning/afternoon’s game marks the 32nd straight game for the RoughRiders against South Division foes. Frisco has tomorrow off before meeting Northwest Arkansas for the first time this season. It’s the opening of a six-game home stand that features a pair of squads new to the ‘Riders–the Naturals and the Tulsa Drillers. Like at the beginning of the season, Frisco will head to those two teams’ homes after the six-game home stand before reentering South play to end the first half.
  • The rehab assignments were successful for Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. The duo played three games at Triple-A Round Rock this weekend, and both are expected to be in uniform for the Rangers tonight when Texas opens a series with the White Sox in Arlington. During his five-game assignment, Hamilton went 4-for-18 (.222) with two homers and six RBIs. Cruz went 9-for-23 (.391) with three homers and five RBIs in six games.

Catch the pre-game show today at 10:35 a.m. For those listening on 1630 KKGM, please note that today’s game will be broadcast on tape delay. Coverage is slated to kick off at 6:35 p.m. Enjoy!

- Brian

Peaks and Valleys

Right now, Mavericks fans are feeling the valley of a game two loss after being on a peak prior to that contest. Ultimately, I think the Mavs will pull off this series, but it will not be easy.

Reid, our media relations stud, is a big time Dallas fan. I know he will be on pins and needles like everyone while following tonight’s game. I’ll say Dirk goes in and gets a road win with another 30+ point performance, but hey, I’m also one who said the Twins were a World Series contender.

Don’t forget about a big Texas League series continuing tonight between the ‘Riders and the Missions. Let’s get into today’s Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • The Missions scored more runs yesterday than they had in any of the previous eight meetings with the RoughRiders. It also pushed San Antonio up in the season series 5-4. Only Arkansas (4-2) has a better record against the ‘Riders this season.
  • Travis Adair had a big night last night. After playing only twice during the eight-game home stand, Adair hit two home runs, the first ones of his Double-A career. Before yesterday, Adair only had four home runs in his professional career.
  • Renny Osuna also had a great effort Friday night. Osuna became the second ‘Rider (David Paisano being the first) to notch a four-hit day. In the ninth, Osuna had a chance to become the first Frisco swinger to have five hits in a game since Joey Butler did it April 16, 2010, in Springfield. However, Osuna grounded out.
  • Osuna is now fourth in the Texas League in batting average (.336). The ‘Riders have three in the top ten in average. Jose Ruiz (.339) is third, and Tommy Mendonca (.314) is ninth. Only one other team (Corpus Christi) has more than one hitter in the top ten.
  • The recent pressure on the bullpen continued last night, but only a pair of arms were needed to eat up four and two-thirds innings. Mike Perconte allowed two runs in three innings, and Tyler Tufts struck out three of the five men he retired. Tufts did not surrender a run. In the last three games, Frisco’s ‘pen has tossed 17 and two-thirds innings and allowed only five runs.
  • After starting in the first 39 games of the season, Mike Bianucci has not played in the last two. We’re not sure why, but it is something to monitor. Bianucci is tied for second in the league with 11 home runs and tied for six with 31 runs batted in.
  • During Aaron’s pre-game interview with manager Steve Buechele, fans got an idea on how the team will handle the open spot in the rotation. Frisco will not need a fifth starter until next Sunday (May 29) because of the off day Tuesday. As for that starter, Buechele said, “TBA is the word of the day.” He also said that he has not heard any news on Miguel De Los Santos, who was the fifth member of the rotation until a shoulder injury.
  • If this same process is used into June, then the next “open” slot would not come until June 5. There are a few pitchers in high-A Myrtle Beach who have pitched well, so that is a possibility moving forward, too.
  • In Triple-A Round Rock, Nelson Cruz went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run into Dell Diamond’s swimming pool in right field. Josh Hamilton went 1-for-4 and was the other run to score on that splashing blast. They are both scheduled to continue their rehab assignments tonight for the Express.
  • Finally, tonight’s starter for San Antonio, Rob Musgrave, will make only his 21st start in the minor leagues. He has appeared in 123 games, including eight this year (six for the Missions and two for Triple-A Tucson). Five of those appearances this year are starts, and he has struggled in those outings. He is 1-1 with a 5.55 ERA.

Catch the pre-game show at 6:35 on the RoughRiders Baseball Network. Enjoy!

- Brian

Season-Changing Afternoon

It was the afternoon of April 26, and the RoughRiders were in San Antonio. Mike Bianucci had just hit a ball that, while originally called a three-run home run, netted him an RBI double in the top of the ninth. Instead of leading by one, Frisco trailed by that same margin and would eventually lose by that margin.

The loss pushed the ‘Riders to 6-12, dead last in the South. Since then, though, Frisco is 16-6, including a 4-2 mark against first-place San Antonio since that April 26 loss dropped the ‘Riders to 0-2 against the Missions.

It was easy to dismiss the RoughRiders on that day because of the slow start, but baseball truly is a long journey. Tonight, the Missions and RoughRiders meet again in San Antonio in what is the most important series in the Texas League. It should be interesting.

Here’s some Facts on this Friday.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • The RoughRiders improved to 7-1 against Midland with the 7-4 victory last night, but the ‘Riders have outscored the ‘Hounds by only 10 runs (41-31). Here are the differentials in the eight games this year, with any extra innings in parentheses: +1, -1, +3, +1 (11), +1, +1, +1, +3.
  • As you can tell, Frisco has won its fair share of one-run games against the RockHounds this year. With this recent run of success in close games, the ‘Riders pace the Texas League in one-run wins with nine. San Antonio actually has a slightly better winning percentage in that kind of game. The Missions are 8-5, while Frisco is 9-6.
  • The Missions and RoughRiders also boast the top two records within their divisions in the Texas League. The Missions are an absurd 20-8, while the ‘Riders are 17-11. San Antonio and Frisco’s season series is tied at 4 wins apiece.
  • How about the bullpen in the last two games. Seven different relievers have combined to pitch 13 innings. They have allowed three runs on eight hits. Yesterday, the ‘pen notched seven scoreless innings to give the offense a chance to come back.
  • It will be important for the Frisco rotation to eat up some innings early on in this series to give this bullpen to catch its breath. Fortunately, Richard Bleier is starting tonight. Bleier worked 11 combined innings in his first two starts, and he was the top innings man for Frisco last year. He failed to work through five innings in only six of his 28 starts last year. He notched at least seven innings of action ten times in 2010.
  • Jose Ruiz has now hit safely in six straight starts, and here is an incredible stat. His season batting average has been under .300 following only one game this year–the first game, when he went 0-for-3. Since then, Ruiz has never been lower than .306. His average currently sits at .337.
  • After making a rehab start with the ‘Riders last weekend, Scott Feldman made a solid start with Triple-A Round Rock yesterday. He picked up a win with six innings of work, allowing three runs and throwing 81 pitches. There is no word yet on the next step for Feldman.
  • Speaking of Round Rock, Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz will play with the Express against Colorado Springs tonight. Both outfielders are expected to play all three games this weekend for the Express. Hamilton went 2-for-7 with the ‘Riders over two games, while Cruz went 2-for-11 in three contests.
  • I meant to put this up here yesterday, but there was a no-hitter earlier this week in the Midwest League. Sugar Ray Marimon and Chas Byrne combined for a no-no for the Kane County Cougars, the low-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. Kane County beat Cedar Rapids 2-0 in the game Wednesday. I saw Byrne pitch last year with short-season Burlington in the Appalachian League, and he has really good stuff. Don’t be surprised to see him with Northwest Arkansas in a year or two.

Catch the biggest series of the weekend in the TL beginning tonight, as Frisco takes on San Antonio. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:35 along the RoughRiders Baseball Network. Enjoy!

- Brian

15 Minutes Means Much More

One of the many lessons I have picked up during my time broadcasting baseball is that, ultimately, professional baseball players are just like you and me. They just happen to have a special talent that interests a large group of people.

Josh Hamilton, believe it or not, is just a normal person. I must admit, though, that having him in Frisco is quite an experience. People will look at the home run (spoiler: we will do that here in a moment) as the most memorable moment of an awesome Wednesday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark, but I want to recognize something that happened after the game.

With the lights dimmed and the team in the clubhouse, Hamilton signed autographs for almost 15 minutes for the hundreds of fans who stuck around after the game. It was a classy way to leave by a classy guy, and it capped off a fantastic evening.

Now, more on Hamilton and the RoughRiders in today’s Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • After being off the field for more than a month, Hamilton went to the plate willing to swing and swing early. In his four at bats, he saw only seven total pitches. His home run came on the first pitch of his second at bat.
  • Speaking of that Hamilton homer, you can view it here. By the way, we will be adding some video and audio to that player in the coming days and weeks, so keep an eye out for that. Aaron, Reid and I will all contribute to it. Once we really get it going, I’ll promote it even more on the blog. Don’t claim you didn’t get fair warning about our shameless self-promotion.
  • Hamilton is back in the order batting third and acting as the ‘Riders’ designated hitter. However, Hamilton is the only big leaguer in the lineup. Nelson Cruz will not play for the RoughRiders tonight. He is scheduled to continue his rehab in Triple-A Round Rock this weekend. Ruiz spent three games with Frisco and went 2-for-11, including a hitless effort in four at bats last night. Cruz, like Hamilton, was a blast to have in Frisco.
  • For the second straight day, Jose Ruiz was the hero for the RoughRiders. His third home run in the last five days pushed the ‘Riders ahead 8-6 in the eighth inning. Ruiz is now 8-for-16 with five RBIs and five runs scored in the five games since returning from the temporary inactive list.
  • That Ruiz home run lifted the ‘Riders to their sixth win in seven tries against Midland, and five of those victories have come in Frisco’s last at bat. In fact, in the seven games against the RockHounds, Frisco has scored 12 times in their final offensive inning.
  • Carlos Pimentel struggled yesterday, only lasting into the fourth inning and failing to record an out in that frame. It was the first time since May 5 that a Frisco starter did not last at least five innings. For Pimentel, it was his second shortest outing of the year. He had worked at least five and two-thirds in four of his previous five starts.
  • Today, Chris Mobley will get the call as the ‘Riders’ starter, which is a rare occurrence in his career. Mobley has only made six starts in 304 career outings in affiliated baseball. All six of those game with the Jamestown Jammers, the short-season, New York-Penn League affiliate for the Florida Marlins. By the way, the Jammers’ logo is pretty awesome.
  • Mobley will throw about 60 pitches, or four innings, if all goes to plan. Pitching coach Jeff Andrews likes his ability to get out of jams and his presence as a veteran.
  • Finally, thanks to all of our readers for making us a Top 50 Pro Blog for the month of April based on readership. It is great to crack this list after only a few months of existence, so we thank everyone who makes the ‘Riders Insider Blog a part of their day.

The ‘Riders and ‘Hounds wrap up this four-game series tonight at 7:05. Pre-game begins at 6:35 on the RBN. Enjoy!

- Brian

Looking Pretty

Most men never wear makeup. However, if you are on television, a little bit of makeup is sometimes necessary for men or women.

I’ve worn makeup before, but only to go on television. The biggest use, for those who are wondering, is to avoid a shiny, weird perception of your skin on camera. It also hides any sort of marks or sweat. Strange, but true.

That’s what Aaron Goldsmith and Jason Cole will deal with tonight for the first of ten television broadcasts on TXA 21. You can catch the game beginning at 7 p.m. The rest of the TV schedule is available here.

The ‘Riders hit the bright lights of television after a complete effort yesterday. Let’s delve into that, plus some roster moves, in today’s Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • First, a few roster moves. Reliever Beau Jones, who has four scoreless outings with the RoughRiders on his 2011 resume, is now with Triple-A Round Rock. It is Jones’ first trip to that level. Joining the ‘Riders is middle infielder Edwin Garcia, who had been with low-A Hickory. In just two games, Garcia is 3-for-6 with the Crawdads.
  • Also, Frisco places two more men on the disabled list. Reliever Ramon Aguero (rotator cuff strain) and infielder Erik Morrison (left thumb contusion) are on the seven-day list. Renny Osuna and Ben Snyder are also on the DL.
  • Now, to yesterday’s blowout victory. After scoring just ten runs in the previous three games, Frisco plated 11 runs on a season-high 19 hits. As mentioned in the game story, all but one starter (Guilder Rodriguez) had MULTI-hit games. That’s pretty remarkable.
  • Jonathan Greene and Jose Ruiz became the sixth and seventh different players to hit homers for the ‘Riders this season. Unfortunately for those two, Tommy Mendonca’s pair of long balls overshadowed their efforts. Mendonca continues to rake for the ‘Riders. Since a bit of a slump during the end of Frisco’s last home stand, the Turlock, Calif., native is hitting .424 (14-for-33) with four of his six home runs and 11 of his 16 RBIs. He is working on an eight-game hitting streak, which is the longest for a ‘Rider this year.
  • Miguel De Los Santos had a variation of the term “unhittable stuff” yesterday. He only allowed one base hit, but he walked another five men. That’s 11 for the lefty in 13 and two-thirds, which obviously isn’t very good. De Los Santos’ WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) sits at only a 1.62, which is pretty remarkable considering the high walk rate. He has only allowed eight hits in 2011.
  • It’s a big start tonight for Carlos Pimentel tonight. The other four starters have, at least once, delivered a solid outing. This is Pimentel’s chance to do just that. The right-hander has given up a run in each of the last five innings he has begun. Overall, Pimentel has a 13.50 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP. Those numbers are big, but the season is young. Look at how different De Los Santos’ numbers look after five scoreless innings. The same can happen for Pimentel tonight.
  • Another great crowd was on hand at Dr Pepper Ballpark last night, as 10,073 enjoyed the blowout victory. That’s the fourth time Frisco surpassed the 10,000 mark. Pretty neat stuff.
  • Round Rock’s 2-1 victory over Oklahoma City yesterday was the Express’ 12th on the year, which is second in minor league baseball to the St. Lucie Mets (14-2) of the Florida State League. Overall, the Express is fourth in winning percentage in all of the minors.

As mentioned above, the ‘Riders will be on TXA 21 this evening. You can still catch the audio along the RoughRiders Baseball Network. I’ll take the air at 6:35. Enjoy!

- Brian

‘Riders on ESPNDallas.com

We’ve got a special treat for you this morning/afternoon. Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com has invited us on his live blog for the Rangers’ afternoon date with the Tigers.

You can view the blog here. We will be providing in-game updates of the rubber match between the ‘Riders and the Travelers. The participation for these Rangers blogs have been great, so check it out.

Also, check out Durrett’s recent feature on former RoughRider Alexi Ogando’s journey to the majors. Ogando worked seven scoreless innings for his second straight victory yesterday in Detroit. Ogando and the Rangers are now 9-1.

Here’s a Tuesday edition of the Facts before brunch with the Riders at 11 a.m.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • It was a tough night for the heart of the RoughRiders order last night. The 2-5 hitters (Engel Beltre, Joey Butler, Mike Bianucci, and Tommy Mendonca) went a combined 2-for-16 (.125). That quartet, which has remained the same through the first five games of the season, was hitting a combined 18-for-61 (.295). 
  • Even Bianucci cooled off after an incredible four-game start. He went 0-for-4 to lower his batting average to .350 (7-for-20). He still leads the league in homers (4) and is second to Tulsa’s Tim Wheeler in RBIs (8).
  • Joey Butler did have his best game of the young campaign. The right-fielder who spent all of last year with Frisco (.277, 10 HR, 58 RBIs in 132 games) went 2-for-4 with an opposite field, two-run homer. 
  • Jose Ruiz, a free agent signing after being let go by the Tampa Bay Rays, added two more hits last night to keep his average at .500 (7-for-14), which ties him for the league lead. Despite his big frame (6’3″, 235), though, all of his hits have been singles. His good work at the plate earned him a move up in the lineup. Ruiz will hit fifth today after getting four starts in the seven hole.
  • The ‘Riders pen has been the better of the two pitching units through the first turn in the rotation. The bullpen has two of the three wins and a 2.96 ERA, while the starters have a 6.23 ERA. Plus, the relievers have tossed more innings (24.1) than the starters (21.2). Only two starters have reached the five-inning mark–Jake Brigham and today’s starter Wilfredo Boscan.
  • Interesting note from second-year skipper Steve Buechele regarding early games that follow a typical 7 p.m. start: the starting pitcher for the morning/early afternoon game does not leave the previous night’s game early. Thus, Boscan was at the stadium last night until at least 10:16, which was one minute after the final pitch of yesterday’s 6-4 Arkansas win.
  • We talked about it on the broadcast last night, but check out the box score from yesterday’s 23-10 victory for San Antonio over Tulsa. I checked three different sources before I believed that score. Crazy stuff. 

Our coverage begins at 10:35 a.m. on the RoughRiders Baseball Network. For those who tune in via 1630 KKGM, please note that today’s game will be played on tape delay beginning at 6:35 this evening. Enjoy the game!

- Brian

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