Results tagged ‘ San Antonio Missions ’

Wednesday’s News & Notes

  • According to a press release by sent out this morning by the Rangers, the Ballpark in Arlington will be decorated inside and out with signage and other décor to display the arrival of the Fall Classic to Arlington. Today at approximately 11:00 a.m., five large World Series banners with images of the Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals logos are scheduled to be installed at each of the Ballpark’s entrances. The first banner will be installed at the third base entrance.
  • It was announced shortly ago that Doug Dascenzo, the Texas League Manager of the Year, has accepted a position in the Atlanta Braves organization as their minor league base running and outfield coordinator.  Dascenzo, a former major league teammate of ‘Riders skipper Steve Buechele, spent 13 years in the San Diego system, the last two with the Missions. He played seven seasons in the majors after being drafted in 1985 by the Cubs. Little known fact, he was a Texas Ranger in 1993. Dascenzo began his big league career by playing in a then National League record 241 games without committing an error.  I’m sure he’ll continue to do well with Atlanta.
  • In other Missions’ news,  BallparkDigest.com is reporting that the wheels are in motion in San Antonio for a new ballpark.  As aptly stated by the website, “Despite the size of the San Antonio market (25th largest in the nation, third-largest in Texas), the Missions ranked last this past season in Texas League attendance, drawing just 4,202 fans per game. ”  Although the ballpark is not all that old (built in 1994), there’s no doubt it ‘s been beat up.  It would be great to see a new ballpark built closer to downtown San Antonio where there is steady tourist activity.  San Antonio is a nice city and deserves a great ballpark.
  • If you read yesterday’s blog, you learned of my pair of ballpark seats from the old Busch Stadium.  This is where I’ll be sitting while watching tonight’s game on TV.

-AG

 

Playoff Perspective – Game 4

The 2011 season is over for the RoughRiders after San Antonio’s 11-3 victory in Game 4 Saturday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Here are a few thoughts a few minutes after Frisco’s tremendous season came to an end.

PLAYOFF PERSPECTIVE:

- With the pitching talent that both teams possessed, it felt like one big inning would ultimately decide this series. San Antonio’s seven-run first would certainly qualify as that big inning. The Missions sucked the life out of the RoughRiders in that frame and cruised from there to the franchise’s first Texas League Championship Series appearance since 2007.

- The ‘Riders did not reach their end goal, but they posted another fantastic season. Overall, Frisco went 80-64 and played the Missions, minor league baseball’s best team, extremely well. This organization once again churned out the top attendance number in the Texas League, and fan support has never been higher. 2011 was a good year for the RoughRiders.

- After their defeat of Northwest Arkansas in the North Division Series, the Arkansas Travelers will square off with the Missions in the TLCS. The Travs have had a solid season this year, but the Missions will, and should, go into that set as the heavy favorites.

- It has been a pleasure to cover the RoughRiders throughout the season. Thanks so much for making the ‘Riders Insider Blog a success during its first year. We look forward to keeping tabs on everything during the offseason, so be sure to stay tuned. Go RoughRiders!

- Brian

Playoff Perspective – Game 1

The RoughRiders dropped Game 1 of this best-of-five Texas League South Division Series to San Antonio 3-0. You can check out the game recap here. Here are some post-game thoughts after Game 1:

PLAYOFF PERSPECTIVE:

- First off, this is what playoff baseball is all about. This was a pitching-heavy, nail-biting type of game that went to the team that took advantage of the few offensive opportunities that were available. Frisco fans have to tip their cap to the Missions.

Robbie Ross struck out a career-high 12 in Game 1 Wednesday (Alex Yocum-Beeman).

- What an effort by Robbie Ross. The southpaw struck out 12 in his six innings of work. He did not surrender a hit until Cody Decker’s RBI double in the sixth, which proved to be the game-winning hit. It was the best start of Ross’ Double-A career, and he wasn’t too shabby (2.61 ERA) during the regular season.

- Joe Wieland was great, and RoughRiders’ fans aren’t surprised. Wieland posted minor league baseball’s fifth lowest ERA during the regular season (1.97). This effort was comparable to his no-hitter with the ‘Riders July 29. He wasn’t untouchable, but he was close, and the stakes were higher.

- There is no shame in losing at San Antonio. After all, the Missions are 56-15 at Nelson Wolff Municipal Stadium this year. However, the Missions have only lost three straight games three times this year (April 8-10, May 3-5 and August 12-14). Thus, Game 2 is critical, because a loss Thursday would mean that the ‘Riders would have to hand San Antonio its fourth three-game losing streak in order to advance.

- Don’t expect to see much change in the RoughRiders’ lineup Thursday. It is probably a safe bet that Elio Sarmiento will be behind the plate instead of Jose Felix because these two trade off at the catcher slot. Other than that, I would anticipate the same personnel.

- The RoughRiders are now 4-5 in playoff series openers. Frisco has never won a series when dropping Game 1, so history is not on the ‘Riders’ side.

- It wasn’t a good day for the Rangers’ affiliates. Triple-A Round Rock lost at home to Omaha 4-0. Low-A Hickory spoiled three extra-inning leads in a 5-4, 15-inning loss at Greensboro. Only High-A Myrtle Beach picked up a victory, 4-1 over Kinston.

- We had a tremendous “Extra Bases Chat” tonight. You can view that until Thursday afternoon here. Be sure to join us on the Chat beginning at 6:45 Thursday for Game 2. That Chat will be available at the above link as well.

- Thursday is another day, and a win in Game 2 makes things much better. Hope you enjoy!

- Brian

In-Depth Playoff Coverage

It’s playoff time for the RoughRiders, which means it is time for the Insider Blog to bring its “A” game. Whether the ‘Riders’ run lasts through this weekend or all the way to the Texas League championship, we will have you covered in many ways.

Obviously, you’ll be able to follow the journey via game recaps on the ‘Riders’ website and the play-by-play action both online and on 1630 KKGM. Still, here are some other ways, some new and some enhanced, to connect with the ‘Riders.

Game Previews: For every game of the playoffs, we will post a game preview here on the Insider Blog. You will also be able to access the preview at ridersbaseball.com.

Playoff Perspective: Shortly after each game, we will break down the night’s showdown and talk about how it affects the RoughRiders’ series. More on this in a moment.

Extra Bases Chat: Aaron and I will be chatting with all you RoughRiders’ fans throughout the entire broadcast. Join us to discuss EVERY playoff game, both home and road. This is where your voice can be heard.

Twitter/Facebook: Your instant sources for RoughRiders’ information. Even more updates and links will be offered throughout the postseason.

Now, let’s give you an idea of our post-game feature. Here’s the “Playoff Perspective – Off Day Edition.”

- Carlos Pimentel will start Game 3 for the ‘Riders against San Antonio righty Casey Kelly. Pimentel doesn’t have awesome numbers overall, but he has had success against the Missions all year long. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.97 ERA against San Antonio.

- The RoughRiders were just 13-19 against San Antonio this year, but they did take three of four from minor league baseball’s best team August 23-26. It was the two clubs’ final regular season meeting, and it took place at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

- Proof that this series should be a low-scoring affair: Frisco’s team average against San Antonio is .240 and its ERA is 3.97. San Antonio’s marks are .237 and 3.14.

- Frisco will hope to reverse a recent trend. In both 2009 and 2010, the Texas League squad with the best regular season record went on to win the championship. Northwest Arkansas went 6-3 in its quest last season. Midland went 6-2 for the ’09 crown.

- Reason #29173 why minor league baseball is great: Robbie Ross and Joe Wieland, two very close friends who will be opponents on the mound in Game 1 of this series, had some fun with each other on Twitter. Ross on Wieland: “Dude that’s if Joe can keep it under control haha. No man it will be fun.” Wieland on Ross: “I’m gonna have to show him how its done.” If this were CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander going back and forth, people would be criticizing like crazy. Sports are supposed to be fun, and it will be a fun Game 1 matchup.

- For the first time in a long time, the ‘Riders and Missions are equal–at 0-0. It’s a race to 3. Enjoy the show.

- Brian

Texas League Playoffs Set

With Northwest Arkansas’ victory over Tulsa last night, the Texas League Playoffs are set. In the South, San Antonio will square off with Frisco. In the North, Arkansas will tangle with Northwest Arkansas. Let’s break down the two matchups, which both begin Wednesday night.

San Antonio (First/Second Half Champion) v.
Frisco (Wild Card Winner)

Game 1: Frisco at San Antonio – Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.
Game 2: Frisco at San Antonio – Thursday at 7:05 p.m.
Game 3: San Antonio at Frisco – Friday at 7:00 p.m.
Game 4: San Antonio at Frisco – Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
Game 5: Frisco at San Antonio – Sunday at 6:05 p.m.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: All the Missions did was post the best record in minor league baseball this season. They have been in first place for the vast majority of this season. After a rough April, though, the RoughRiders were right with San Antonio. The ‘Riders have had the second-best mark in the Texas League for much of the campaign.
SEASON SERIES: The Missions won the season series 19-13. In fact, San Antonio won every season series this year. However, the ‘Riders took three of four from San Antonio in the two clubs’ final regular season showdown (August 23-26).
SAN ANTONIO WILL WIN IF…: they improve offensively. San Antonio was an offensive-heavy unit in April and May, but the team’s depth now lies in the pitching staff. To the surprise of no one, the Missions boasted the best record in the TL during August at 20-9. However, they hit just .251 as a team. The pitching staff won all those games (2.53 ERA). If the Missions’ bats get going again, they will be very dangerous.
FRISCO WILL WIN IF…: they continue to get good starting pitching. The RoughRiders took three of four against San Antonio last week because of their arms. In their three wins over the Missions, Frisco’s starters combined for 22 innings and just seven earned runs. The ‘Riders’ offense is better than San Antonio’s right now. The starting pitching just needs to match the Missions’ prospect-laden staff.

Arkansas (First Half Champion) v.
Northwest Arkansas (Second Half Champion)

Game 1: Northwest Arkansas at Arkansas – Wednesday at 7:10 p.m.
Game 2: Northwest Arkansas at Arkansas – Thursday at 7:10 p.m.
Game 3: Arkansas at Northwest Arkansas – Friday at 7:00 p.m.
Game 4: Arkansas at Northwest Arkansas – Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
Game 5: Arkansas at Northwest Arkansas – Sunday at 6:00 p.m.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Northwest Arkansas really had to sweat it out this year in order to earn their fourth playoff berth in as many seasons as a franchise. Arkansas edged the Naturals for the first-half crown by one game to punch its first playoff ticket since 2008. The Naturals then had to swat away a late charge by Tulsa, who won nine in a row to draw even with Northwest. Still, the Naturals downed the Drillers Saturday night to get to the postseason.
SEASON SERIES: The Travelers edged the Naturals in the season series with a 15-14 month against their in-state rival. These two clubs had three games washed out due to rain in the first half of the season. However, Northwest Arkansas is 9-3 against the Travs since mid-July.
ARKANSAS WILL WIN IF…: they get some of their first-half momentum back. The Travs have struggled mightily in the second half. They are 30-38 in this half, which began with a six-game winning streak. The man who can get the Travs some momentum is Matt Shoemaker, who won the Texas League Pitcher of the Year honor. However, he has lost his last three starts. If he drops a game against Northwest Arkansas next week, it will be tough for the Travs to recover.
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS WILL WIN IF…: their pitching staff’s improvement continues. The Naturals posted a 4.08 earned run average in August, which was their lowest mark for a month this season. Northwest has been in the bottom half of the season in ERA for much of the year. If they can slow down Arkansas’ offense, the Naturals’ lineup should carry them to the championship series for the third straight season.

Stay tuned to the Insider Blog for continuing coverage of the RoughRiders’ run in the playoffs. We will have game previews and post-game reactions throughout Frisco’s sixth trip to the postseason. Enjoy!

- Brian

RoughRiders Playoff History

In case you missed it, the RoughRiders have clinched a playoff spot for the sixth time in franchise history. Frisco will square off with San Antonio in the first round beginning September 7.

How have the ‘Riders fared in the playoffs over the years? Here are the year-by-year results.

2003:
Divisional Round: Defeated Wichita 3-0
Championship Series: Lost to San Antonio 4-1
In the RoughRiders’ first season, they qualified for the playoffs and made quick work of the Wranglers in the first round. In 2003, like this season, San Antonio was an all-timer of a team. The Missions went 88-51 in the regular season and cruised past the ‘Riders for the title.

The RoughRiders celebrate their 2004 Texas League championship.

2004:
Divisional Round: Defeated Tulsa 3-0
Championship Series: Defeated Round Rock 4-1
After a third-place finish in the first half, the RoughRiders blew away the competition en route to their first and only Texas League championship. Frisco went 45-25 in the second half to punch its playoff ticket. In their three-game sweep of Tulsa, the ‘Riders scored 28 runs. In the championship series against Round Rock, Frisco’s pitching staff gave up only 20 runs. This remains the lone banner in the RoughRiders’ tenure in the Texas League.

2007:
Divisional Round: Lost to San Antonio 3-0
Following their title in 2004, the RoughRiders missed the playoffs in ’05 and ’06. They made up for lost time with a record of 85-55 during the 2007 regular season, which was ten games better than any other team in the Texas League. However, the ‘Riders did not translate their regular season success into the playoffs. The Missions outscored Frisco 19-8 in the sweep. San Antonio went on to win the TL title.

2008:
Divisional Round: Defeated San Antonio 3-0
Championship Series: Lost to Arkansas 3-2
For the second straight season, the ‘Riders posted the best record in the Texas League (84-56). This time, the ‘Riders made quick work of San Antonio in the first round. In fact, Frisco’s sweep of San Antonio was more lopsided than the Missions’ broom job in ’07, as the ‘Riders outscored the defending champs 20-5. The championship series went back and forth, with Frisco taking Game 2 and Game 4. However, the Travelers dominated the deciding Game 5 11-3 to win their first outright title since 1989.

2010:
Divisional Round: Lost to Midland 3-1
Skipper Steve Buechele led the RoughRiders to the playoffs in his first season at the helm, but the RockHounds won back-to-back games at home after the two clubs split the two games at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Midland lost to Northwest Arkansas in the championship series.

All-Time Record (Games): 17-14
All-Time Record (Series): 4-4

- Brian

RoughRiders Clinch Playoff Berth

For the sixth time in the franchise’s nine-year history, the RoughRiders have qualified for the Texas League playoffs.

San Antonio defeated Midland 8-2 tonight to officially clinch the second-half South Division title. Because the Missions also finished at the top of the South in the first half, the ‘Riders earned a wild card berth because they will finish second in the overall division standings.

The ‘Riders and Missions will meet in the divisional round of the Texas League playoffs, which is a best-of-five series beginning Wednesday, September 7. Game 3 and, if necessary, Game 4 will be at Dr Pepper Ballpark Friday, September 9 and Saturday, September 10.

Frisco is 17-14 during five other trips to the postseason, which includes the RoughRiders’ 2004 Texas League championship.

San Antonio won the season series with a 19-13 mark against the ‘Riders this season. Frisco managed a split in the 16 games played between the two squads at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

The RoughRiders become the fifth Rangers affiliate to earn a postseason spot here in 2011. Triple-A Round Rock won its division for the first time since 2006. High-A Myrtle Beach and Low-A Hickory claimed first-half titles. The AZL Rangers earned a division crown, too.

Short-season Spokane, the only club in the Rangers’ minor league system that has not guaranteed a playoff berth, entered play tonight tied for the wild card spot in the Northwest League’s East. Overall, Texas’ farm system owns the best record in baseball (412-319; .564 winning percentage).

Click here for ticket information for all playoff games at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

- Brian

Wieland’s Return to Frisco

July 31 was a big day for both the RoughRiders and the San Antonio Missions. Two days after Joe Wieland pitched a no-hitter in San Antonio, Wieland and Robbie Erlin made the surreal walk from the visitor clubhouse to the home clubhouse at the Wolff. Wieland and Erlin were traded to San Diego for big league reliever Mike Adams.

Joe Wieland blanked the 'Riders over five innings Thursday night in Frisco (Alex Yocum-Beeman).

Erlin squared off against the ‘Riders August 8 and held them to one run on two hits in six innings. Last night at Dr Pepper Ballpark, Wieland was just as good.

Wieland blanked his former club over five quick innings. The right-hander struck out three and walked two. He only allowed one runner to reach third base. Before he threw pitch number one, the Missions led 3-0. After an inning and a half, San Antonio extended that lead to 8-0.

When you combine his stats during his time in Myrtle Beach, Frisco and San Antonio this season, Wieland is 13-3 with a 1.79 earned run average. In 150 2/3 innings, Wieland has struck out 144 and walked 18. In his first four starts with the Missions, Wieland is 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA.

Yesterday, Wieland was our pre-game guest. He discussed his comfort level in San Antonio, his excitement for the playoffs, and his scheduled start in game one of the first round of the playoffs, which will most likely come against the ‘Riders.

You can listen to Wieland’s interview below.

- Brian

What’s That Sound?

That sound is the RoughRiders making quite a charge late in the regular season. The ‘Riders own a four-game winning streak, with the last two victories coming against the San Antonio Missions. This will most likely be the first round playoff matchup in the Texas League South, and it should be fascinating based on the last two games. Here are some notable stats after last night’s win.

5: The RoughRiders’ current home winning streak, which is the longest of the year. Three of those five victories have come by just one run. Overall this year, the club is 38-27 at home.

Carlos Pimentel has had San Antonio's number this season (James Garner).

7: The ‘Riders have hit seven home runs in their last three games, all of which were wins. During Frisco’s four-game losing skid that preceded this run, the club only hit two homers. In the entire month of August, the ‘Riders have only hit 16 long balls, so the power is coming back for the RoughRiders.

13: How many one-run games the RoughRiders and Missions have played this season. San Antonio owns a narrow 7-6 edge in these games. Overall in the season series, the Missions lead 18-12, but Frisco is an even 7-7 at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

14: Frisco is now 14 games above .500, which is one away from matching a season high. The ‘Riders were 15 games above .500 three times (July 14, July 24, and July 26).

29-2: This stat is courtesy of Mike Saeger, the play-by-play broadcaster for the Missions. San Antonio is 29-2 when hitting two or more home runs. The second loss came last night against the RoughRiders.

30: Mike Bianucci’s home run total this season, which puts him second on the RoughRiders’ all-time list for a single season home run mark. Bianucci is four away from Nate Gold’s record of 34. If Bianucci plays in every game the rest of the regular season, he is on pace for 33 homers.

39.1: The number of innings Carlos Pimentel has worked against San Antonio, and the righty is 2-0 with a 2.97 earned run average. Not bad for a guy who has a 5.21 ERA overall.

And most importantly…

14: The number of days until Game 1 of the Texas League playoffs.

- Brian

Storylines for Frisco-San Antonio

Unless Midland can erase an eight-game deficit and win the second-half title in the South Division, the Frisco RoughRiders and the San Antonio Missions will square off in the first round of the Texas League playoffs.

The RoughRiders have had some great moments against the Missions this year (James Garner).

These two clubs kick off a four-game series tonight at Dr Pepper Ballpark, and it will act as a preview of that best-of-five series that is set to begin September 7. Let’s take you through some of the storylines.

1. Momentum Against the Missions?
The RoughRiders have played San Antonio tough this season, but they have only been able to muster a 10-18 mark. The Missions are the best team in all of full-season minor league baseball (86-40), so there’s no shame in that. However, to win a championship, the ‘Riders must get past them. It would be a big boost to win this series, especially because Frisco has only one series victory against the Missions in seven tries this season.

2. Ross, Hankins Face San Antonio
Ben Snyder (0-2, 3.75 ERA in 24 innings) and Carlos Pimentel (1-0, 2.70 ERA in 33 1/3 innings) have had success against the Missions this season, and they will pitch during the series. However, Derek Hankins has only seen them once (five scoreless innings) and Robbie Ross has yet to face the Missions. The Snyder-Pimentel-Hankins-Ross quartet figures to be the ‘Riders’ rotation right now, with Neil Ramirez building up strength as the club’s other starter. These four pitchers must have success to beat San Antonio.

The 'Riders saw Robbie Erlin earlier this month. They will face Joe Wieland Thursday (Alex Yocum-Beeman).

3. Wieland Back in Frisco
The RoughRiders saw Robbie Erlin in the Missions’ previous visit to Dr Pepper Ballpark, but they missed Joe Wieland. This time, it’s the other way around. Wieland, who is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA since joining the Missions, will start Thursday. Erlin held the ‘Riders to just one run on two hits in his first game against them, and Wieland gets his chance in two days.

4. Missions’ Offense Sputtering?
San Antonio is 16-4 this month, yet they are hitting a season-low .244 as a team. Obviously, it helps that the club has a 2.17 team ERA in August, but the offense has been declining ever since its remarkable April. Take a look at the team’s batting averages by month: .315/.268/.264/.252/.244. San Antonio averages just 4.8 runs per game against Frisco, so we’ll see if the ‘Riders can continue to slow them down.

5. Ready for a Late-Season Surge?
Yes, San Antonio has been the better team over the course of 126 games. However, the ‘Riders and Missions will (likely) meet in a best-of-five series in early September. Are the RoughRiders ready to start that last-minute run and carry the momentum into the playoffs? Following an 0-4 start to the road trip, the ‘Riders bounced back with back-to-back wins. This can be a chance to carry that work into and through a series with the heavy favorite in the Texas League.

This series should be fun. We hope you enjoy! More coverage to come soon.

- Brian

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