Results tagged ‘ Midland ’

SDCS Game Three Notes: Do or Die


Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

A 3-2 win for the Midland RockHounds in game three sets up a must-win scenario for the RoughRiders in game four of the Texas League South Division Championship Series. Click here to read the Game Two recap.

Much has attention has been paid the RoughRiders for their “prospect-packed” roster, and deservedly so. But a pair of prospects on Midland’s veteran-laden lineup have played a key role in the outcome of this series. Daniel Robertson, the number one prospect in the A’s organization, drove in a run in his Double-A debut to give Midland a 1-0 lead. Fellow infielder Matt Chapman, in his first full year of professional baseball, batted 2-for-3 on Friday with two RBI, a double and a back-breaking home run off Alec Asher in the seventh to snap a 2-2 tie. Chapman’s home run was a particularly sharp dagger because the ‘Riders had managed to tie the score in the top of the inning.

It’s not like the A’s are stacking Midland’s roster for a playoff push, either. Robertson arrived after his Advanced-A Stockton squad fell in the California League playoffs. He replaces Hiro Nakajima, who broke his wrist in game one at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Chapman, meanwhile, takes the place of Jefry Marte, who was shut down on the final day of the regular season with an oblique injury.

Star of the Game: 2B Odubel Herrera – 2/3, R, 2B, RBI, BB, 2 SB, SO

Odubel has had a great series with five hits in three games. He also has three RBI, three walks, a double and a home run. The ‘Riders will need him to stay hot to have a chance in game four.

In case you missed it:

-Frisco outhit Midland 9-8.

-The ‘Riders had a chance to score early with men at the corners in the first inning. They stranded both runners and abandoned men on second and third in the seventh with the score knotted at 2-2.

-The RoughRiders scored another unearned run on a throwing error by Max Muncy in the third inning. There has been at least one unearned run scored by either team in all three games of the series.

-Nick Williams has a hit in all three games of the series.

 

Game two starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff shares his thoughts about what went right and what went wrong against the RockHounds in a 6-3 loss on Thursday:

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

SDCS Game Two Notes: Balk


Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

The ‘Riders crashed from their Game One victory high and fell from grace in a hard way. Midland took a grueling game two 6-3 on Thursday as the series shifts to Midland for the next two nights. Click here to read the Game Two recap.

Let’s hope the RoughRiders just needed to get a game like this out of their system. At times, it was flat out ugly. The ‘Riders committed four errors, including three alone on catcher Jorge Alfaro. Midland also drew eight walks and placed a total of 20 men on base (more than two per inning on average).

At that rate, it seemed like the RockHounds constantly had runners in scoring position with their paws on the RoughRiders’ throats. And yet, the game was tied at 3-3 in the ninth when, alas, the ‘Riders lost their composure. Midland scored a run on a wild pitch and another on a balk and really did not have to do a whole lot to take the win away from the ‘Riders. It was given. Furthermore, Jason Wood was ejected after second base umpire, Clay Park charged Erik Hamren with a balk that allowed Jeremy Barfield to score and put the Hounds up 6-3. Afterwards, as Park walked back to his position, he allegedly caught some verbal flak from Odubel Herrera and ejected the RoughRiders’ second baseman as well.

As disappointing as it was to see the ‘Riders unravel, the came out in the bottom of the ninth and loaded the bases with two outs. The RockHounds had to haul their closer Jose Flores out of the bullpen, so the ‘Riders certainly made Midland sweat a bit at the end.

Ultimately, the game was a clunker for the bullpen and did not end on a high note for the starter, Jerad Eickhoff. The righty slogged his way through his first five innings but had grudgingly allowed just one unearned run and stranded six runners on base. But he walked his final batter faced, Matt Chapman, a call-up from Low-A in just his second Double-A game. Eickhoff could not close out the Hounds in the sixth and the bullpen proceeded to blow a 3-1 lead. Ryan Rodebaugh walked the lone man he faced (the nine hitter) and Joseph Ortiz gave up consecutive run-scoring hits and the two-out rally brought Midland right back into the game.

Star of the Game: SS Hanser Albert0 – 2/4, R

Hanser continues to build off a strong end to the regular season. He has three hits in two postseason games with a double, a run and two RBI.

In case you missed it:

-Midland did not hit a ball out of the infield in the ninth inning.

-A total of three balks were charged in the game (two to Frisco).

-The RoughRiders left the bases loaded in the first and the ninth innings.

-Nick Williams has been red hot at the plate in the playoffs, but continues to be a liability in the field. On Thursday, he drove in two runs on a single to left, but was thrown out trying to sneak into second on the back end of the play to end the inning. Nick also dropped a can of corn in center field in the eighth inning. Jake Skole replaced him in the field in the eighth inning.

-After the ‘Riders scored on a suicide squeeze play in game one, Midland answered with a suicide squeeze of its own on Thursday. The Hounds also socred on a safety squeeze by Conner Crumbliss in the sixth inning.

-There has been at least one unearned run in both games of the series.

 

Game one star Odubel Herrera chats about his strong performance in the playoff opener:

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Midland One Win Away From Second-Half Crown


Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

The RoughRiders played their longest nine-inning game of the season on Saturday night, a three-hour and 37-minute affair that ended in favor of Midland. Click here to read the full game recap.

Frisco erased two deficits, but never led in the contest. The ‘Riders fell behind 4-0 in the second inning, and the game seemed in danger of slipping away when the the horsemen rallied to even the score in the fifth. Trever Adams tied the game at 5-5 with a solo home run in the seventh. A sacrifice fly from Hiro Nakajima, who had two RBI and a home run last night, proved the decisive score in the top of the ninth.

In an effort to preserve the arms of their starting pitchers, the ‘Riders relied exclusively on the bullpen and started Kyle Lotzkar on Saturday. Lotzkar has been vastly improved in the second half of the season, but reverted back to his first-half character (when, perhaps not coincidentally, he made seven starts) and could not survive the second inning.

Joseph Ortiz and Will Lamb each allowed go-ahead runs to Midland after the offense had battled to tie the score. The ‘pen never let the game get out of hand, but could not quell the RockHounds’ attack long enough for the bats to take the lead.

What does it all mean? Midland now owns a one game lead in the second-half standings, and the ‘Riders need to win the final two games of the regular season in order to take the second-half crown and secure home field advantage against the Hounds in the playoffs.

Star of the Game: C J.T. Wise – 2/4, R, HR, 3 RBI, SO

Another great night for J.T., who homered for the third night in-a-row to get the ‘Riders on the board in the fourth. He tied the game one inning later on a two-RBI single to center.

In case you missed it:

-The RoughRiders have been striking out in droves. They went down on the K-ball 10 times on Saturday after averaging just under 11 strikeouts/game on their seven-game road trip.

-Teodoro Martinez was the only ‘Rider to not reach base.

-Hanser Alberto batted 0-for-4 and saw his 13-game hitting streak come to an end. He did reach base on an error in the sixth.

-Gallo: 0-for-4, RBI, BB, SO

Joey launched a deep fly ball to right-center in the seventh but Kent Matthes caught up to it in time. He drew a five-pitch walk with the bases loaded in the fifth to pick up his 52nd RBI as a RoughRider.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (current players only):

1. Joey Gallo (20)

2. Trever Adams (14)

3. J.T. Wise (9)

4. Jake Skole (5)

5. Jorge Alfaro (4)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

7. Nomar Mazara (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

9. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

Nick Williams is one of three RoughRiders named to the 2014 Carolina League Post-Season All-Star team. He talks about the accolades he’s reeled in this season, including an invitation to play in the Arizona Fall League:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

‘Riders Rewind – June 10

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

Magic Number: 2

The RoughRiders can taste it now. A 7-2 win over the Midland RockHounds on Tuesday drove the Magic Number down to two. A win by the RoughRiders on Wednesday night against Corpus Christi, combined with a Midland loss to San Antonio, will seal the franchise’s eighth postseason berth. Click here to read Tuesday’s full game recap.

Once again, the new kids on the block for Frisco (38-25) stole the show. Joey Gallo and Chi Chi Gonzalez shone bright and lead the ‘Riders to a 2-2 series split with the ‘Hounds (34-30). The RoughRiders finished 5-3 on the homestand and now embark on a season-long 12-game road swing that straddles the season’s midway point.

The first half officially wraps up after Frisco’s June 17 showdown with Midland from west Texas. Hopefully, the ‘Riders will put an end to the drama well before then; they lead the RockHounds by 4 1/2 games with six to play.

To calculate the Magic Number, determine the number of games yet to be played in the first half (6), add one (6+1=7), and subtract the number of games ahead in the loss column of the standings from the closest opponent (7-5=2).

Star of the Game: 3B Joey Gallo – 2/2, 2R, 2B, HR, 2RBI, 2BB

Everything Joey did on Tuesday came in a tandem. He now has two home runs and three extra-base hits in his first seven Double-A at-bats along with six RBI, three runs, three strikeouts and two walks. His home run on Tuesday went pull-side down the right-field line and snuck inside the foul pole before landing in the CoServ patio. It was little more than a 350-foot pop fly that floated over the fence after Joey sent it a mile high.

In spite of the fantastic start at the plate, the slugger has yet to truly connect on a pitch in Double-A, a sobering thought for opposing pitchers in the Texas League. Joey’s two homers thus far have essentially been misses in which supreme strength has guided the ball out of the park as opposed to square contact made on, say, a 95-mph heater. We aren’t going out of our way to perpetuate the Joey Gallo hysteria here on the ‘Riders Insider Blog, he’s earning the recognition with timely hits and disciplined at-bats in competitive games with a playoff berth on the line.

In case you missed it:

-Chi Chi Gonzalez was excellent in his RoughRiders debut. The 2013 first round draft choice pitched an abbreviated five innings and only threw 61 pitches (38 strikes), but it was more than enough to earn his first career win at the Double-A level. He allowed one hit over five innings with now walks and six strikeouts. His cut fastball is as advertised.

-To elaborate on the sole hit allowed by Gonzalez, it occurred with no outs in the fifth inning after the righty retired the first 12 batters he faced. On a line drive out to left field by Josh Whitaker, Trever Adams dove and appeared to make the play, but the umpiring crew ruled Adams trapped the ball. Gonzalez faced one over the minimum through his five innings of work.

-Jake Smolinski moved to the infield at made his second start of the season at first base. Adams took Smolinski’s customary spot in left field, and Ryan Rua took a turn as the DH.

-The RoughRiders played error-free baseball for the first time in the series.

-Rua extended his on-base streak to 18 straight games on Tuesday with a two-run double in the fifth. He now has 13 doubles and 35 RBI on the season.

-Jake Skole ripped three singles in his first three at-bats and finished 3-for-4 at the plate. Each base knock was sent to a different part of the field. It marked the second three-hit game of the season for Skole (May 31 at Springfield).

Enjoy the highlights, and thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

 

‘Riders Rewind – June 9

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

Magic Number: 4

The RoughRiders took a hack at the Magic Number on Monday like Joey Gallo took a hack at a Seth Frankoff changeup. Click here to read the full game recap.

The ‘Riders were fortunate to have the top of the order due up in the ninth and a pair of pristine bunt singles put two men on with nobody out. Working against one of the top closers in the Texas League in Seth Frankoff (a 2014 midseason All-Star with 11 saves this season), Joey Gallo punched a 2-0 changeup to the opposite field and the rest, as they say, is history.

With seven games to play in the first half, Frisco (37-25) holds a 3 1/2 edge over Midland (34-29). The teams still have three more head-to-head matchups, including Tuesday at Dr Pepper Ballpark, before the midway marker.

To calculate the Magic Number, determine the number of games yet to be played in the first half (7), add one (7+1=8), and subtract the number of games ahead in the loss column of the standings from the closest opponent (8-4=4).

Frisco bookended its scoring with four runs in the first inning and three more in the ninth. Luke Jackson delivered a dichotomous outing with nine strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings, but allowed four runs, two walks and threw two wild pitches in his final 1 1/3 innings.

This game read like many others in the season series between Frisco and Midland: intense, competitive and zany. After the ‘Hounds rallied from another early deficit, the game was once again decided in the ninth inning or later for the fourth time in eleven meetings.

Props to the platoon bullpen effort of Keone Kela, Wilmer Font and Ryan Bores, who collectively preserved the 4-4 tie long enough to give Gallo & co. the chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth. Each reliever allowed at least one baserunner, but neutralized the Midland threats in every instance.

Star of the Game: 3B Joey Gallo – 1/5, HR, 4RBI

Hard to snub Gallo here given the timeliness of his first Double-A home run. The towering lefty appears to be as advertised at the plate (in addition to the homer, he struck out three times). His first RBI crossed in the first inning when he grounded out to first base with a runner on third. Gallo’s reputation preceded him in the Texas League; Midland’s pitchers rarely offered fastballs, and in typical Oakland A’s fashion, the RockHounds used an exaggerated shift against the slugger.

In case you missed it:

-With Gallo at third base on Monday, Ryan Rua shifted to first base and Trever Adams batted as the DH. Midland’s first batter of the game, Billy Burns, reached first on an error charged to shortstop Guilder Rodriguez, but the ball popped out of Rua’s glove at first. In the seventh inning, Gallo nearly flubbed a groundball at third from Jefry Marte, but kept the ball in front of him and flashed his impressive arm strength on the in-time rifle to first.

-Gallo becomes the second player to wear number 24 for the RoughRiders this season. Rougned Odor was the first.

-Midland employed a shift against Gallo on Monday as well and placed three infielders to the right of second base. Second baseman Connor Crumbliss essentially served as a second right fielder and stationed in the grass. The RockHounds employed a less exaggerated shift against Drew Robinson.

-Frisco won its first game via walk-off since May 5. On that night, Robinson’s RBI single sent the ‘Riders to a 7-6 victory over…Midland.

-In the season series between Frisco and Midland, four games have ended with a walk-off and the teams have scored in the ninth inning in 8-of-11 total meetings.

-Rua extended his on-base streak to 17 straight games on Monday with an RBI single in the first inning. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.

-Guilder Rodriguez hit his second extra-base hit of the season with a scratch double to center in the sixth. G-Rod finished the night 4-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. He is batting .348 with 39 hits and 17 runs and 11 RBI in 30 games and has a .430 on-base percentage. Equally impressive is the veteran’s stretch of four multi-hit games this month and two four-hit outings in the last nine games.

-Adams also had a monster night at the plate and went 3-for-4 with a home run, two scores, two RBI and a walk. He dropped one of the beautiful bunts in the ninth inning and reached when Frankoff could not corral the ball on the first base line. Adams’ batting average is north of .300 for the first time this season (.301), good for eighth in the Texas League.

Enjoy the highlights, and thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

 

‘Riders Rewind – June 8

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

Magic Number: 6

Midland continues to add intrigue to the south division playoff race with its second straight win over the RoughRiders. Click here to read the full game recap.

No, we aren’t neglecting to update the Magic Number (although ‘Riders fans may wish that the case). The total has held at six for three straight days now because Midland (34-28) has defeated Frisco (36-25) twice in head-to-head matchups. The Hounds are 2 1/2 back in the standings, a margin that has grown increasingly uncomfortable for the RoughRiders, who need to win two straight to salvage a series split.

To calculate the Magic Number, determine the number of games yet to be played in the first half (8), add one (8+1=9), and subtract the number of games ahead in the loss column of the standings from the closest opponent (9-3=6).

The ‘Riders can no longer clinch a playoff berth on their home field. They need a solid outing from Luke Jackson, Monday’s starting pitcher, to quiet the Midland bats and get Frisco on the board in this series.

In case you missed it:

-The ‘Riders will not win a series at home for the first time since April 7 when the Arkansas Travelers clinched a three-game set in the second series of the season.

-Ryan Rua extended his on-base streak to 16 straight games on Sunday with a single in the sixth inning.

-The ‘Riders again scored a run in the bottom of the ninth inning, an encouraging testament to the team’s pride. However, in both games, the ninth inning runs have been too little too late as Midland has scored in nine of the 18 frames in the series thus far.

Star of the Game: SS Guilder Rodriguez – 3/5, RBI

G-Rod continued his torrid stretch at the plate with his third multi-hit game of the month. The switch-hitter has 35 hits (34 of which are singles) in 29 games with the ‘Riders this season and posts a .327 batting average, tied with Tomás Telis for the highest on the team. Guilder is also the outright team leader in on-base percentage and reaches at a .415 rate, thanks in large part to a stellar walk-to-strikeout ratio (16:15). For the second straight season, G-Rod earned a spot on the Texas League mid-season All-Star squad.

Enjoy the highlights, and thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

 

‘Riders Rewind – June 7

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

Magic Number: 6

The top two teams in the Texas League South Division squared off for the first time in a four-game series on Saturday. Midland took game one by a 6-1 margin. Click here to read the full game recap.

Midland (34-28) stays very much alive in the race for a first-half crown and holds the Magic Number for the RoughRiders (36-24) at six. With nine games to play, the RockHounds are 2 1/2 games back in the standings

To calculate the Magic Number, determine the number of games yet to be played in the first half (9), add one (9+1=10), and subtract the number of games ahead in the loss column of the standings from the closest opponent (10-4=6).

The ‘Riders dropped the first game in a home series for the fourth consecutive time. In each of the previous three instances, Frisco rallied and won out to take the set. The squad will need to repeat that scenario against Midland in order to clinch a playoff berth in front of the hometown faithful.

In case you missed it:

-The RoughRiders avoided a shutout with two outs in the ninth inning when Tomás Telis shot a ball down the right field foul line and into the corner. Telis legged out a triple and scored Jake Smolinski from second base. It spoiled Midland’s shutout bid and would have been the second game this season in which the ‘Riders failed to score a run.

-Ryan Rua extended his on-base streak to 15 straight games on Saturday and went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. He still has a ways to go to equal his run of 27 consecutive games on base from April 6-May 4 of this season.

-Midland stole five bases in the game on Saturday. One of those bases was taken by Billy Burns, the Texas League leader in the category with 27. In 171 career stolen base attempts, Burns has been retired only 19 times.

Star of the Game: 3B Ryan Rua – 2/3, 2B, BB

Ryan is rolling once again at the dish. His batting average over the last 13 games is in the stratosphere (.404) and his season average (.319) is fourth-highest in the Texas League. Ryan is also tied for fourth in the league in home runs (10), and ranks second in hits (66), third in on-base percentage (.397), second in slugging percentage (.531), fourth in total bases (110) and is tied for fourth in extra-base hits (23). Whew…

Enjoy the highlights, and thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

 

RoughRiders’ Travel Stats

Baseball is a game of numbers.  Batting average, fielding percentage, home runs, total bases, etc.  There’s a value and a statistic for virtually everything.  However, some of the most interesting numbers for the ‘Riders this season have come off the field. Like every baseball team, the ‘Riders spend a lot of time traveling.  How much?  I’m glad you asked.

Road games: 70

Road trips: 12

Total miles driven: 10,449

Total time on the bus: 178 hours, 45 minutes (approx. 7.5 days)

Gallons in the bus’ fuel tank: 250

Miles per tank of gas: 1,200

Bus MPG: 4.8

Cost of diesel fuel per gallon: $3.86

Gallons of gas used this season: 2,177

Total cost of gas for the season: $8,403

Total time in Midland, TX: Approx. 336 hours

Episodes of Entourage watched on the bus: All of them

Total number of card games played: 1,284

Shortest trip: Northwest Arkansas to Tulsa (1 hour, 45 minutes; 109 miles)

Longest trip: Midland to Corpus Christi (7 hours, 30 minutes; 475 miles)

Average time of arrival: 4:42 a.m.

No doubt, this has been a fun year for the ‘Riders.  But as you can see, there’s a lot that goes into getting the guys around the Texas League.  Big thanks to Carlos Coleman, the best driver in the Texas League.

The current road trip is almost halfway over.  Then it’s off to Corpus Christi for four games, then back home to finish of the regular season.  After that?  We’ll jump on the bus for San Antonio and the playoffs.

318 miles, 5 hours and 30 minutes.

-AG

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