Results tagged ‘ Josh Hamilton ’

RoughRiders on the Green

I am not a golf fanatic. In fact, I haven’t golfed more than twice in a summer since high school, mainly because my skill level is just below awful. I don’t know what word describes “just below awful,” but it can’t be good.

However, I make sure to watch as much of pro golf’s four majors as possible. As I’m perched in my room watching the U.S. Open’s third round, let’s take a look at how some golfers compare to those who are down at Whataburger Field this weekend. It’s a special edition of the Facts.

FRISCO FACTS (U.S. Open style):

  • Rory McIlroy (-11; first place) = Tommy Mendonca: McIlroy has dominated the U.S. Open so far with a first-round 65 and a second-round 66. He heads into day three with a six-stroke lead. We have talked about Mendonca recently on this blog. Since that post, Mendonca has gone 3-for-7 with a homer and two RBIs. In June, the ‘Riders’ third baseman is hitting an absurd .433 with 21 RBIs. Both men are dominating their field right now.
  • Y.E. Yang (-5; second place) = Renny Osuna: Both men are undersized a bit (Yang: 5’9″, 190 lbs; Osuna: 6’0″, 180 lbs), yet both have had solid years and careers. Yang took down Tiger Woods (well get to him in a bit) in the ’09 PGA Championship, but he still is a surprise in this year’s event. Osuna continues to hit well, but other RoughRiders tend to get the attention. Osuna is hitting .304 with a career-high five home runs. He’ll have plenty of chances to blow that old career high in homers (four) out of the water.
  • Phil Mickelson (+1; T-26th place) = Mike Bianucci: Mickelson is very much on the outside looking in this weekend, but he is probably the most marketable golfer on tour right now with Woods on the shelf. Bianucci has struggled a bit lately, too. However, Bianucci still sits in a tie for third in homers (14) and a tie for fourth in RBIs (49). Fortunately for Bianucci, he has more than half the season left. Mickelson has 36 holes and a scorching up-and-comer 12 strokes ahead. Advantage: Bianucci.
  • Sergio Garcia (-2; T-third place) = Jake Brigham: Both Garcia and Brigham are not flashy, but they both tend to hang around and give themselves a chance to win at the end. Garcia posted a 69 in round one and followed it up with an even-par 71 yesterday. Brigham has gone at least five innings in all but one of his 13 starts this year. Tonight’s starter has allowed more than three runs only three times. These two won’t grab the headlines, but they get the job done.
  • Michael Barbosa (+24; last place) = Corpus Christi Hooks: This is not me unnecessarily ripping on the Hooks, I promise. Both Barbosa and the Hooks had rough starts to their week/season, and next week both will get a chance with clean slates. I’m sure they are thrilled.
  • Tiger Woods (DNP – injury) = Josh Hamilton: Woods has been in the PGA Tour this year. Hamilton has been with the RoughRiders this year. Thousands follow Woods around when he is on the course. Thousands waited for Hamilton to sign some autographs when he visited Dr Pepper Ballpark, and he rewarded many of them. Golf fans hope Woods returns soon. However, I think RoughRiders and Rangers fans alike would like Hamilton to stay right where he is for the rest of the season.
  • Other quick connections: Davis Love III (-1; T-eighth place) and Guilder Rodriguez = thriving veterans; Patrick Cantlay (highest-ranked amateur) and Robbie Erlin = future stars; Louis Oosthuizen and Davis Stoneburner = names that flow; Chubby Chandler (McIlroy’s manager) and Steve Buechele = successful managers.

Catch the pre-game coverage for tonight’s 6:05 showdown at 5:35 along the RoughRiders Baseball Network. 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

That Was Ugly

It was an ugly, frustrating loss for the RoughRiders last night in San Antonio. But hey, at least they didn’t look like the Red Sox and Cubs did at Fenway Park last night. The Cubs are playing in Boston for the first time since the 1918 World Series, and both clubs decided to sport a retro look for the game.

Honestly, I don’t think they are AS bad as people are saying. I still think they are pretty atrocious, though. Take a look at 45 “traditional-looking” pictures for yourself. I bet new San Diego top prospect Casey Kelly, who was shipped from the Red Sox in the Adrian Gonzalez trade, is thrilled he won’t have to wear those uniforms.

Unfortunately, we need to get into the ugly loss last night in today’s Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • Kyle Blanks’ game-winning, 11th-inning grand slam was the third bases loaded home run allowed by the RoughRiders this season. The other two–Mike Trout, the Angels’ number one prospect, hit one at Dr Pepper Ballpark, and J.D. Martinez hit one into the pool at Whataburger Field–have been notable. But this one was a game-winning blast on a 2-0 pitch with two down.
  • The game seemed destined for a 12th inning, as Ramon Aguero retired the first two men he faced in the 11th. Credit the Missions offense. Both walks in the inning came after the count ran full, and Daniel Robertson’s single followed a battle back from 1-2 to 3-2.
  • Here’s a stat that shocked me. The RoughRiders’ staff had been doing a tremendous job when faced with a bases loaded situation. Even with that grand slam, Frisco’s pitching staff has held its opponents to just a .175 (10-for-57) average with no bases open. To put it into perspective, the ‘Riders’ offense is hitting .273 (6-for-22). It is also important to note that the ‘Riders have been in that many bases loaded situations (i.e., 35 more than the offense).
  • You have to feel for Martin Perez. It’s amazing that he still has only one win (and one decision overall) this year, when he very well could be something like 5-2. He has exited with a lead four times this season, and the ‘Riders’ bullpen has allowed 21 runs in those games. Frisco is 2-2 in those contests.
  • Still, wins and losses are negligible in Perez’s case as long as the development is there. And it certainly is. He has had four  outings of 0 earned runs this season, which already surpasses his total from last season (three) in 24 outings. In the other five starts, Perez has never allowed more than three runs. He surrendered four or more tallies TEN times last season.
  • It was good to see Mike Bianucci back in the order after getting a pair of days off Thursday and Friday. He went 1-for-4 with a run scored.
  • How about Davis Stoneburner? He has been in and out of the lineup for the last week, but he extended his hitting streak to eight games with that three-run double in Engel Beltre’s absence. This hitting streak spans 16 games. Stoneburner has raised his batting average from .185 to .239 during the span.
  • Speaking of Engel Beltre, he left the game yesterday with a hand injury after being hit by a pitch yesterday. No word on his condition, but we should know more by air time this afternoon.
  • Both Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton went yard for Triple-A Round Rock yesterday in the Express’ win over Colorado Springs. Reports are saying that the duo could return to the big leagues in a day or two. If that were to happen, I would imagine that there would be a significant trickle-down effect within the outfield ranks in the Rangers’ system.

We take the air at 3:35 p.m. for the pre-game show. First pitch is set for 4:05. 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

We’re Back

It’s been almost a week since our last blog because of the MLBlogs renovation, but we are back in action. Kudos to MLBlogs for redesigning this format. It looks much improved.

Let’s get right into what is a very busy day with the long-awaited revival of the Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • It is official: Josh Hamilton will begin a rehab assignment with the RoughRiders tonight. How long Hamilton will be with the ‘Riders, however, is unknown. Thus, enjoy him while he is here.
  • Hamilton will wear number 32 and hit third for Frisco tonight. He will be the designated hitter.
  • This will be Hamilton’s second rehab game with the RoughRiders in his career. Back in 2009, he went 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI in Frisco’s 5-4 victory over Corpus Christi June 29. Just to pique your interest a little bit, Mitch Moreland and Justin Smoak also drove in a run apiece for the ‘Riders in that game.
  • Hitting behind Hamilton is Nelson Cruz, who will play his third straight game at Dr Pepper Ballpark. So far, Cruz is 2-for-7 with an RBI. He was in the designated hitter spot the last two games, but he will shift out to right field this evening.
  • I did not think I would say this less than a week into Leonys Martin’s stint in Frisco: he is the third most compelling outfielder on the RoughRiders’ outfield roster. That will obviously change once Cruz and Hamilton depart, so let’s discuss the new member of the 40-man roster.
  • Martin is hitting .318 (7-for-22) with a homer and six RBIs. He has hit safely in four of his first five starts. Here’s an interesting split, though. Martin is hitting .500 (5-for-10) against right-handers but just .167 (2-for-12) against lefties.
  • Frisco starting pitchers have continued to thrive. The RoughRiders’ starter has gone five or more innings in 11 straight games dating back to May 5. That includes three starts from Jake Brigham, who has worked through the fifth inning in all eight of his starts. Over Brigham’s last four outings, he has tossed at least six innings. His ERA sits at 2.45 during that span.
  • Not sure if this is a one-start deal or if he is the new member of the rotation, but Chris Mobley will be Frisco’s starter tomorrow night. It will be Mobley’s seventh affiliated start and his first since his time in the New-York Penn League in 2004 with Jamestown.
  • During the blog’s hiatus, Frisco won five of its six games and pulled within five games of San Antonio for first place in the South. Maybe we should stop this thing, but I won’t.

Be sure to tune in tonight along the RoughRiders Baseball Network beginning at 6:35. Enjoy!

- Brian

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