Results tagged ‘ Richard Bleier ’
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.
- 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!
If you go to a basketball game, you will most likely hear the final buzzer less than three hours after the opening tip. In football, setting aside three-and-a-half hours is almost always sufficient. As for baseball, uh, who knows.
Last night, the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Boston Red Sox 5-3 in 13 innings. There was a rain delay of more than two-and-a-half hours. Not only that, but the game featured a two-run ninth from the Red Sox and an out at the plate in the 12th. In other words, mother nature and the baseball gods didn’t want this one to end.
Finally it did, a little shy of 3 a.m. EST. And yep, you guessed it. They had an afternoon game scheduled for today.
Oh baseball. You did it again. Let’s get on with the Facts.
- First, the two rehabbing Rangers. Neftali Feliz pitched the first inning and struck out the side following a lead-off single. From this eye, he threw 16 fastballs and six off-speed pitches. According to the radar gun at Dr Pepper Ballpark, which is known to be fairly accurate, Feliz averaged around 97 miles per hour on his fastballs. He hit 100 on the gun twice.
- 14 of Feliz’s 22 pitches were strikes. Two of the three strikeouts were of the swinging variety, and the right-hander induced five swinging strikes altogether. The one single came on a fastball at 95 miles per hour.
- Now, Tommy Hunter’s specifics. The righty threw 71 pitches (41 strikes and 30 balls). He threw at least 16 pitches in all four of his innings of work. He threw 21 pitches in his third inning of work, which was the highest number of tosses. Hunter went four innings and gave up two runs, one on a sacrifice fly and the other on a solo home run. He scattered three hits and struck out five, four of which were swinging.
- Hunter sat around 93-94 miles per hour and peaked at 96 on the stadium gun. He did miss very badly on a pitch that hit Cody Decker in the helmet. Fortunately, he would stay in the game.
- Enough about the former RoughRiders. Let’s get to the newest ‘Rider, the man who followed the Feliz-Hunter show. Richard Bleier, who pitched in a game that “counts” for the first time this season, went three and two thirds scoreless. After giving up a lead-off double to the first man he faced, Bleier sat down nine of the next ten he faced. He will be used as a starter now, and his next outing is scheduled for Monday at Midland.
- Continuing the theme of pitching, Frisco reliever Justin Miller continued his good work last night. He went retired four of the five men he faced to earn his second victory. It was Miller’s fifth-straight scoreless outing. Over that span, Miller has allowed one hit over seven and a third.
- Now, to the offense. Three RoughRiders had multi-hit games last night, and all three of those efforts are noteworthy. Renny Osuna went 3-for-4 to increase his batting average to .319. Since returning from the disabled list, Osuna is hitting .345 (10-for-29) with five RBIs.
- Jonathan Greene had two hits last night, which matched his total from the previous four games combined. Greene was due to slow down at some point, seeing as he was hitting above .400 late last week. Still, that two-hit effort puts him at .333 for the campaign.
- Also notching two knocks was Travis Adair. Adair, who debuted at the Double-A level a week ago today, has raised his average to .269. He began the season 0-for-11, but Adair has gone 7-for-15 since.
- Two hitters saw streaks come to an end last night. Mike Bianucci’s 12-game hitting streak is no more, but I’m sure he will take the game-winning sacrifice fly instead. Also, Jose Ruiz had reached base in 12 straight games before going 0-for-4 last night.
- Frisco manager Steve Buechele is giving Tommy Mendonca the night off. It is just his second day off of the season. Only Bianucci has played in every game so far this year for the ‘Riders. Ruiz takes over the clean-up duties, and Osuna will play at third base.
- Programming note: Since the Texas League season is almost exactly five months, I’m planning on doing monthly Power Rankings. So, this weekend, I’ll delve into all eight teams within the TL. It’ll be a separate blog post.
Martin Perez, the Rangers’ number one prospect, will start tonight for Frisco. The ‘Riders and Missions meet at 7:05. Pre-game at 6:35 along the RBN. Enjoy!
The day was June 27, 2008. Tommy Hunter scattered three hits in six
scoreless innings in a RoughRiders victory over Springfield. Hunter
would get the call up to Triple-A a few days later.
Ten days later, young Neftali Feliz donned the ‘Riders’ red for the
first time. He made only ten appearances that year, and he jumped up to
Triple-A to start 2009.
Those two missed each other at the Double-A level by that much during their rise to the big
leagues. Tonight, they will return to Frisco and pitch together at Dr
Pepper Ballpark for the first time.
Details on that, and more, in today’s Facts.
- Once again, if you haven’t heard, Feliz will pitch the first
inning, and Hunter will follow for three to four frames. Behind that,
Richard Bleier will toe the rubber for the first time this year. Bleier
was just added to the roster yesterday, and he has assumed Wilfredo Boscan’s spot in the rotation.
- Beyond today, the rotation will not change. Thus, Martin Perez will pitch on four-days rest tomorrow night, and Jake Brigham will follow Thursday with normal rest, also.
- Just for fun, here are Feliz’s stats for the RoughRiders during
2008: 4-3, 2.98 earned run average in ten appearances (all starts); 75
strikeouts in 77.1 innings.
- And here are Hunter’s numbers during his two stints (’08 and ’09) in North Texas: 5-2, 4.18 earned run average in 13 appearances (11 starts); 44 strikeouts in 74.0 innings.
- The ‘Riders will get Feliz and Hunter one night after a big victory.
Not only did Frisco win its third game of the season after trailing
through five innings, but it was the RoughRiders’ biggest comeback since
downing Springfield 7-6 in 10 innings April 8. That game and last night’s 5-3 triumph are the only two
games this year during which Frisco overcame a multi-run deficit to win.
- With an RBI single in the sixth, Mike Bianucci extended his hitting streak to a team-high 12 games yesterday. In his 25 games this year, Bianucci has hit safely in 21 of them. Only twice this year has the primary designated hitter failed to reach base in a game.
- The most impressive part of Bianucci’s season? His ability to drive in runs. He is tied with Tommy Mendonca for the team lead in RBIs (21). With men in scoring position, Bianucci is hitting .500 (11-for-22). With two down and someone at second and/or third, Bianucci is hitting .625 (5-for-8).
- Outfielder David Paisano has only played once in the last four games after appearing in all of the previous 21 games to start the season. Not sure what to make of that, but I thought I’d throw it out there, especially because the roster is short on outfielders at this point. For the year, Paisano is hitting .233 with 11 runs scored and four RBIs.
- Since returning from the “Temporary Inactive List” April 19, reliever Mark Hamburger has been tremendous. The right-hander has given up just one run on two hits in 11 and two-thirds innings. During that span, Hamburger has whiffed 10 and walked five.
- Because of Springfield’s win over Northwest Arkansas earlier today, the Texas League only boasts two teams with records above .500. The third-best club in the TL (Northwest Arkansas) is 11-11, while the top two teams (San Antonio and Tulsa) are a combined 32-17.
Pre-game coverage along the RoughRiders Baseball Network begins at 6:35. Enjoy the unofficial “Rehab Day” at Dr Pepper Ballpark tonight!
For the first time since 2006, my favorite basketball team–the
Cleveland Cavaliers–is not involved in the postseason. They had this
LeBron James guy who helped them win a lot of games, and now his
“talents” are in South Beach. That may be the reason why.
The Cavaliers’ franchise will need to replace another key contributor
next season. This need comes on the broadcasting side, not the personnel
side. Joe Tait, the “Voice of the Cavaliers” for 39 seasons, called his
final game a few weeks ago. I had a chance to listen, and even though I
knew it was his last game, I didn’t totally comprehend it.
However, this official release
snapped me into reality. The team is now accepting applications. The
great broadcasters are the ones who you take for granted until they are
gone. Detroit had to cope with life without Ernie Harwell. Dodgers fans
are starting to realize that Vin Scully’s time behind the microphone
will be over soon. And one day, hopefully not for a while, men like the
Cowboys’ Brad Sham and the Rangers’ Eric Nadel will retire, too.
It is an honor to listen to some of these broadcasters, and I’ll miss hearing Joe Tait sign off with his “Have a good night, everybody.”
Now, onto a Tuesday, series-opening set of the Facts.
- The RoughRiders’ release in advance of “Rehab Day” at Dr Pepper
Ballpark is online. In case you missed it, former ‘Riders and current
Rangers Tommy Hunter and Neftali Feliz will be pitching for Frisco
tomorrow night. For more information on the game or a contact number for tickets, you can click here.
- There was a roster move by the ‘Riders this afternoon. Starter
Wilfredo Boscan, who was 1-3 with a 6.95 ERA in five starts, has been
sent down to high-A Myrtle Beach. Southpaw Richard Bleier has been added
to the roster from extended spring training. Last year with Frisco,
Bleier went 7-11 with a 5.04 ERA in 28 starts.
- Also, Ramon Aguero has been activated from the disabled list. He is expected to pitch tonight.
- Let’s tackle the good from last night’s loss before getting to the
bad. Mike Bianucci continues to rake. He hit his eighth homer of the
season, tying him for second in that category within the Texas League. Bianucci also became the eighth player in the TL to reach 20 runs batted in this year.
- Bianucci started extremely hot and then cooled down. Now, he is
back on a hot streak. He’s now on an 11-game hitting streak. During that
time, Bianucci has hit .378 (17-for-45) with three homers and nine
- It was a rough go for Frisco starter Miguel De Los Santos, who
allowed nine runs in two and a third innings yesterday. That run total
was the highest by a Frisco arm this season. Michael Dammon of Chatter from the Pressbox told us that De Los Santos allowed the most runs by a Frisco pitcher since Omar Poveda also allowed 9 runs against San Antonio on August 10, 2009.
- The new opponent for the RoughRiders is San Antonio, the best team in this Texas League
by three games. Frisco dropped three of four in San Antonio last week,
but the ‘Riders held the Missions’ offense in check. San Antonio scored
only 4.8 runs per game against the RoughRiders in those four games.
- What about the rest of the Missions’ opponents this year? Well,
here are the runs per game figures for the Missions against the other
three teams they have played: 9.6 v. Midland, 8.8 v. Northwest Arkansas, and 6.3 v. Tulsa. The Missions had a 20-plus run output in a game against each one of those teams.
- Overall, the Missions are scoring 7.8 runs per contest and hitting .318 as a team. It’s pretty scary that when you go to the “Team Batting Stats” page on the Texas League web site, the Missions are at the top of 14 of the 17 categories. The only categories that the Missions do not lead are at-bats (second), triples (tied for second), and stolen bases (fifth).
- Finally, remember the J.D. Martinez grand slam in the third inning? Well, there are two promotions at Whataburger
Field that were in effect. Not only did a fan win free tires for a grand
slam being hit, but someone won a free in-ground pool. The promo in
Corpus Christi says that if a home run is hit into the pool in the third
inning, someone wins a pool. Crazy stuff.
Pre-game coverage along the RBN begins at 6:35. First pitch is set for 7:05. Enjoy!