Results tagged ‘ Texas League ’

Saddle Up: Riders vs. San Antonio (7/19)

GAME #94 (2nd HALF GAME #25)

Frisco RoughRiders (48-45 overall, 10-14 2nd half) vs. San Antonio Missions (33-61 overall, 11-13 second half)
Tuesday, July 19 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Barnett and Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
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This series: Game 3 of 4 (Series tied 1-1)
This season: Game 19 of 32 (Riders lead 14-4)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Lewis Brinson – CF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Ryan Cordell – LF
  5. Preston Beck – RF
  6. Joe Jackson – DH
  7. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Luis Marte – SS

LHP Frank Lopez (4-4, 5.09 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Monday vs. San Antonio (L, 4-3)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: LHP Yohander Mendez

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
Despite an impressive start from YOHANDER MENDEZ, the RoughRiders came up short in game two against San Antonio by a score of 4-3…Mendez was perfect through his first 4 2/3 innings and gave up his only three runs on a triple by Jose Rondon in the sixth that put San Antonio up 3-2…Rondon came around to score on the play thanks to one of three errors byRONALD GUZMAN in the game…The Missions capitialized on another miscue in the ninth to add an insurance run, proving important when the Riders tacked on a run in the ninth on a double from JOE JACKSON…The two teams combined for just nine hits, with the Riders collecting five of them.

SMOKING SAN ANTONIO:
The RoughRiders have dominated this year’s season series against the Missions so far. Frisco has won 14 of the first 18 matchups between the two clubs, outscoring San Antonio 99-68 (5.5-3.8 runs per game). The Riders began this year’s matchups by sweeping the Missions in two straight four-game series. Frisco’s pitching staff has held San Antonio to a .237 batting average while posting an impressive 40-to-167 walk-to-strikeout ratio.

AWARD-WINNING RIDERS:
Monday, the Texas Rangers announced that VICTOR PAYANO has been named the Rangers Minor League Pitcher of the Month. In the month of June, Payano posted a 1-2 record with a 2.77 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 26.0 innings pitched. Additionally, Riders infielder ALBERTO TRIUNFEL was named Defender of the Month after committing just one error in June, splitting time at shortstop and third base. Former Riders pitcher CODY PALMQUIST, who is now with Class A-Advanced High Desert, was named Reliever of the Month.

JACKSON’S BIG JULY:
Though he’s been a steady contributor at the plate all season, July has been especially fruitful for Riders outfielder JOE JACKSON. The 24-year-old is hitting .305 in his first 16 games this month after combining to hit .260 in the first three months. He has hits in 13 of the 16 games and holds a .382 on-base percentage since the calendar turned. The first-year Double-A player struggled to earn regular playing time early, but got an opportunity after LEWIS BRINSON went on the DL. Jackson is also getting more experience in the outfield, having played 22 of his last 27 games in the grass after DH’ing most of the year.

SOMEBODY PAID THE POWER BILL:
The RoughRiders recently went through a shortage of power hitting, but appear to be on the way back up. The Riders hit 16 home runs in the past two series, including 11 in last weekend’s set against Northwest Arkansas, and added one more Sunday against San Antonio. Frisco has 18 homers in the last 10 games with homers in eight of those 10. After hitting just one in the previous 11. Frisco currently leads the Texas League with 19 July homers, one better than Springfield (18).

KINER KEEPS GETTING ON:
Though he struggled in his first few games back from the disabled list, Riders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA is back in the groove of where he was before landing on the DL in late May. He has reached base in 17 straight games, a season-long. He has hits in 14 of those games and has reached safely in 28 of his 71 plate appearances, a .394 OBP in that span (17 hits, nine walks, two HBP). Kiner-Falefa has an on-base percentage of .360 this season, which ranks second on the team behind RONALD GUZMAN (.360).

BECK BACK ON THE LEADERBOARD:
Riders outfielder PRESTON BECK recently re-qualified for the league batting race and checks in fifth with his .290 average. The Dallas-native has two hits in each of his last three games and is third on the team with 18 multi-hit games overall.

SLACK BACK ON TRACK:
Reliever RYNE SLACK is in the midst of a roller coaster season. He has currently worked five consecutive scoreless outings, covering 7 1/3 innings of work. The southpaw started the season with nine straight scoreless outings (14.1 IP), garnering Rangers Minor League Reliever of the Month in April for his work. However, Slack allowed 15 runs in his next 10 appearances (10.1 IP) before this more recent promising run.

GETTING POSITIVE AGAIN: 
Outscoring opponents 33-15 over the last four games, the Riders now have a 395-392 advantage in run differential this season. Until recently, Frisco had possessed a positive run differential all season but fell into the negatives for 13 games. The best mark for the club was +64 after May 23.

OPPOSING STARTER:
22-year-old righty Walker Lockett makes his Double-A debut tonight against the RoughRiders. Now in his fifth year as a professional, Lockett has started each of the last three seasons with Class-A Fort Wayne, but was limited by injuries in 2013 and 2014. This year, he made eight starts for the TinCaps before earning his first promotion to Class A-Advanced Lake Elsinore. He maintained a 2.98 ERA across 11 appearances in the hitter-friendly California League, allowing just three home runs in 66 1/3 innings. After starting his career with a mediocre walk-to-strikeout ratio of 19:17 (13:2 in 2014) during the first three years of his career, he has since righted the ship the last two seasons. He has struck out 155 hitters against just 40 walks in that span. San Diego took Lockett in the fourth round (135th overall) in the 2012 draft out of Providence School of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida. He passed up a scholarship to the University of South Florida to sign with San Diego. He works with a fastball, curveball, and changeup.

How I keep score: Part two (Steve)

Chadwick

Sportswriter Henry Chadwick, often called the “father of baseball”, is generally credited as the inventor of baseball scorekeeping. He developed box scores, the letter K denoting strikeout, and many other baseball statistics (such as batting average and earned run average) that are still used today.

I hope our scorebooks would make Mr. Chadwick proud. Over these three days, each of us (Nathan, Ryan, and myself) are giving you an inside look at our books to offer some different perspectives on the art of keeping score. Click here to view Ryan’s post from yesterday.

Here is a full book from yesterday’s game against San Antonio. Pregame preparation is key to keeping a neat, organized book throughout the game. Some days we have more time to prepare our books than others, so I aim to keep a consistent format that I am able to set up quickly if needed.Scorebook

I begin by writing in the starting lineups for both teams with the players’ uniform number, full name, and position in the top third of each box. To the left of each box, I note whether the player bats lefty, righty, or is a switch-hitter. I also note their MLBPipeline.com ranking, if applicable. Below each box, from left to right, I write in the player’s AVG, HR/RBI, 2B/3B, SB/CS in order to reference them quickly during game situations. At the top of the lineup, I write in the team’s name with their batting average and ERA as a ballclub.

Next, I set up the defensive alignment for both teams. For the RoughRiders, I just list last names. For the opponent, I include first names as well to help jog my memory when I reference them. If the RoughRiders add a new player to the roster that I am not familiar with yet, I will include their first name in the defense section as well. Next to each player’s name, I write the number of errors they have committed with the team total at the top right corner of the chart.

ScorebookdefenseMy scorebook has boxes for standings next to the defense. I do not normally use them to fill out the standings though, unless I want to reference last year’s standings at the beginning of the season or keep track of playoff races late in the season. Standings are easy to reference in the stat pack, game notes, and/or online on the fly, so I like having these sections free to use for additional notes. On the first day of a new series, I will write down important stories and trends to discuss over the next few days. After the first game, I use these sections to write each player’s stats in the previous game/in the series. I also write the opposing pitching coach’s name (and manager, if I do not know it by memory yet) in this section.Stats

In the boxes next to the visiting team’s defense, I write in the umpires’ names with a (CC) denoting the crew chief. I use the box below to indicate team leaders in different offensive categories, leaving additional notes for players who rank near the top of the league.

The game begins…

Once your book is all set up before the game, scoring the game itself is a very simple task. The goal is always to stay as organized as possible in order to be able to keep a neat record of each play. For instance, I mark the approximate path of hits and then make notes in each of the four quadrants with player numbers/play abbreviations to show how each player moved around the bases.

I use the numbers 1-9 for the different players in the field, a system credited to Mr. Chadwick. One line indicates a single, two for a double, three for a triple, and four for a home run. BB indicates a walk, K = strikeout swinging, backwards K = strikeout looking, FC = fielder’s choice, HBP = hit by pitch, E# = error corresponding for a certain position. Each strikeout is labeled with a number, which corresponds to the total number of strikeouts by the pitcher. This number will revert back to 1 when a new pitcher enters the game. I also write the number of RBI in the bottom right corner of the box when a player drives in a run.

RidersScore

On the bottom of the scorecard, there are boxes for runs, hits, errors, and left-on-base. Some people mark down the totals for each inning, but I like to keep a running tally of these throughout the game. I also keep track of the score inning-by-inning in a line score box in the top.

Keeping a tidy book can sometimes be a challenge. There is a lot of information to record in small boxes, especially in a game that is higher-scoring and features more baserunners than yesterday. This is one of the reasons why I prefer not to track every at-bat pitch-by-pitch within the boxes. It adds more clutter within the boxes and as a result, the actual plays stand out less. Instead, I keep a running tally of each player’s total pitches and strikes thrown in the boxes located in the bottom left corners.

I find that scoring a baseball game is therapeutic. It is also a useful tool for going back and referencing games in the past. I always enjoyed scoring baseball when I attended professional games growing up, and it is still fun to do as part of my job now!

Stay tuned for Nathan’s post coming up tomorrow.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: note-book pitcher – A pitcher who keeps records of batters and the most effective pitches to throw against them.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

How I keep score: Part one (Ryan)

One of the great intrigues about baseball for me is the art of scorekeeping. We all do it a little differently but we’re working from the same mold. Over the next three days, each of us (Nathan, Steve, and myself) will give you a look inside our scorebooks to offer some different perspectives on keeping score.

Scorebook

Here’s a full book from a game against Springfield on June 3. Before I get into the nitty gritty, let’s get a quick lay of the land. At the top on the left side, I’ve got the final R-H-E-LOB and game details (dated, location, temperature, first pitch time, total time, attendance, and winning/losing/saving pitchers). I also fill out league standings. On the top of the right page, I have line score, umpires, and notes on the other teams in the Rangers organization. I don’t always use the notes section (the big boxes next to defensive alignment), but that’s a good spot to put miscellaneous notes.

Scorebook segment with numbers

Here’s a closer look at some specific at-bats. Let’s go over what this all means (numbers correspond to the different elements I’ll examine).

1) SETTING UP EACH HITTER: I put the hitter’s name, position, number, and basic season stats (average – 2B/3B/HR – RBI). If I need other stats along the way (typically, something like stolen bases, strikeouts, or errors), I have a full stat sheet handy for each team. If any subs come in, I mark them like you see below. The number in parentheses is the inning they came in. I’ll mark “PH” (pinch hitter) or “PR (pinch runner) if they don’t initially enter as defensive subs)

Sub marking

2) KEEPING THE COUNT: My dad and I kept score together a lot when I was a kid. He taught me the system I still use today. I keep count vertically on the right side of each hitter’s box. Balls go on top and strikes are below. I mark balls with a number, corresponding to the number of pitches in the at-bat. For example, in the given example (Choo’s first at-bat), the first, second, and fifth pitches he saw were balls. For strikes, “c” means called strike, “s” is a swinging strike, “f” is a foul ball (I keep dots below the strike section to mark foul balls past two strikes. You can see one in this Choo at-bat), and a check mark means it was a check swing.

In this case, the progression was ball, ball, called strike, check swing strike, ball, foul ball, strikeout on a check swing (notice the check mark next to the “K”).

While we’re on the topic of strikeouts, I put the number of strikeouts for the pitcher by each strikeout. You can see the “1” next to Choo’s strikeout and there’s a “2” by Guzman’s. The circled number in the upper left is the out total in the inning. In this case, Choo was the first out and Guzman was the second. This becomes especially helpful when runners are put out on things like a fielder’s choice or a double play to mark that they were out on their trip around the bases.

3) MARKING BALLS IN PLAY: When a ball goes in play, I like to mark the approximate path of the ball. In the case of the given at-bat (Brinson’s first-inning AB), he grounded out, as shown by the wavy lines. You’ll notice my mark for flyouts as well. This is a concept I picked up from Seattle Mariners radio broadcaster Rick Rizzs. This technique gives me a little more of an idea of how and where the ball was hit when I look back later. If it was a line drive, I’ll make the line flatter. If the grounder took one high hop, I’ll mark it that way. This trick also helps for “odd plays.” For example, if a team is in a shift and someone grounds one to the right side of the infield but the shortstop fields it, having the marking helps me remember that the ball was hit to the right side even though it says “6-3” for the putout. Marking the path of the ball can also help on plays such as ground balls that deflect off a pitcher. I’ll mark that in my book to help jog my memory later in the game. I also will make additional notations as needed, such as “DIVE 7” for a diving catch made by the left fielder.

A lot of people mark “P9” or “F9” for a flyout to right field. I simply mark “9” (see Choo’s second-inning at-bat). I only mark an “F” when it’s a foul ball (see a few of Cordell’s at-bats for reference).

FC markingThe other thing that’s important on balls in play is marking how runners got to each base. In Brinson’s first at-bat, the “2X” below the “E5 F” (fielding error on the third baseman) marking signifies that it was a two-base error, so I know that he got to second base on the play. If you look at Cordell’s first at-bat, you’ll see a “T” between first and second base. That means he took second on the throw home. Sometimes, I’ll even make some kind of mark to show if a runner moved up on a ground ball, just so I don’t get confused later. When runners are cut down along the base paths (aside from first base), I’ll use a marker like the ones you see on the right with a marker next to it to explain they were erased.

 

4) PITCH COUNT: I try to stay on top of pitch count, especially for starters. I have three lines. The first is pitches in that inning. In this example, there were four balls and six strikes. The second line is total balls and strikes for the game. The third line is total number of pitches.

5) HIGHLIGHTING SCORING: I highlight any runs that score and any spots where there’s an RBI. That way, I can quickly scan my page and know where the runs and RBI are.


Right side

Here’s a closer look at the Frisco side of my book for that game against Springfield.

The more detailed I can make my book, the better. Sometimes, the little details come in handy later in a broadcast. As you can tell, I get a kick out of scorekeeping and love to hear other people’s methods too. Stay tuned tomorrow, as Steve lets us inside his scorebook. Like I said at the beginning, everybody scores a different way. The three of us all have our own styles and I hope you enjoy this look into our books over the next few days.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Scoreathon – A game in which both team score many runs

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Was Saturday’s win a springboard for something bigger?

043016 Team (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)

In case you missed it, the RoughRiders roared back last night with four runs in the eight to come from behind and knock off Corpus Christi 5-4. Near the end of the broadcast, Nathan Barnett said that it was the kind of win that could springboard the Riders to a second-half surge and I would agree.

Frisco enters the day six games behind Midland in the South Division’s second half standings, so the Riders very well may need a surge at some point if Midland keeps up its current pace.

It’s the second time this year I’ve felt the Riders may be able to use a big win as a springboard. The other came May 17th in the 15-inning win at Midland. The Riders went on to win five of their next six games but then went on the eight-game losing streak that took the wind out of their sails in the first half.

We’ll see if they can turn this into something more long-term and get back in the standings. They have time to get back in the race; it’s just about sustaining the progress they’ve made in the last week.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Come from ahead – To win or be winning in a game after losing a lead and reclaiming it.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Corpus Christi (7/16)

GAME #91 (2nd HALF GAME #22)

Frisco RoughRiders (46-44 overall, 8-13 2nd half) at Corpus Christi Hooks (58-33 overall, 11-10 second half)
Saturday, July 16 – 7:05 p.m.
Whataburger Field – Corpus Christi, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Corpus Christi feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
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This series: Game 3 of 4 (Series tied, 1-1)
This season: Game 23 of 32 (Hooks lead, 15-7)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Lewis Brinson – CF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Ryan Cordell – LF
  5. Preston Beck – RF
  6. Joe Jackson – DH
  7. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Luis Marte – SS

RHP Reed Garrett (2-3, 5.40)

RIDERS RECAP: Friday at Corpus Christi (W, 6-1)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: IF/C Isiah Kiner-Falefa

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
For the second straight game, the Riders held the Hooks to just one run, and on Friday, the club controlled the game before even allowing a run…Frisco won 6-1, taking a 6-0 lead through five innings…RONALD GUZMAN homered in the second to put Frisco ahead, one of two runs he knocked in on the night…ALEX BURG drove in three…The lone Hooks run came on a solo homer by ROBERTO PENA in the seventh inning off of VICTOR PAYANO, who otherwise was strong, allowing a single run in 6 2/3 innings for the Riders third straight quality start.

THAT’S WHAT THEY CALL A WINNING STREAK:
For the first time since June 3-4, the RoughRiders have captured consecutive wins, beating Corpus Christi 10-1 and 6-1 over the last two nights. With a win tonight, the Riders can put together their first real win streak since May 21-23, when Frisco took three straight from San Antonio at home, ending a stretch of seven wins in eight games. Immediately following those eight, Frisco dropped a season-long eight in-a-row to Tulsa and Springfield. The club also has a chance, with a win today, to take consecutive series for the first time since the same stretch (May 16-23 at Midland, vs. San Antonio)

BOOMING BURG BANGED UP:
ALEX BURG is one of the hottest hitters in the league but hits the DL today. The 28-year-old reached for the eighth straight game with a single last night, but collected three hits and drove in both Frisco runs on Wednesday night, homering for the third time in four games. Since Saturday, Burg’s 1.206 OPS is third in the Texas League. He doubled once, hit three homers, driving in seven, and earned a pair of walks in his last week before going on the DL.

SHAKE AND BAKE: 
The Texas Rangers made four transactions affecting the RoughRiders roster today. RHP REED GARRETT returns from Triple-A Round Rock today to make the start, as does RHP RICHELSON PENA who will work out of the bullpen. Along with C ALEX BURG hitting the shelf, LHP JASON RICHMAN gets the call to Triple-A for the first time in his career.

GETTING (ALMOST) POSITIVE AGAIN: 
Outscoring the Hooks 16-2 over the last two games, the Riders have closed the gap in run differential. Until recently, Frisco had possessed a positive run differential all season. The Riders are being outscored for the year 379-378, with a negative run differential for the first time this year over the last 13 games, but, since falling into the negatives, this is the closest the Riders have been to even. The best mark for the club was +64 after May 23.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY:
Frisco got a six-plus-inning start from a starter for the third straight night last night. VICTOR PAYANO pitched 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball. Frisco’s three straight quality starts is the third such run this year. The Riders did it during the first three games of the season (FRANK LOPEZCONNOR SADZECK, and SAM WOLFF) and again May 22-24 (YU DARVISHLUIS ORTIZ, and CONNOR SADZECK). The six-plus inning start was just the fourth for Frisco in its last 21 games.

SOMEBODY PAID THE POWER BILL:
The RoughRiders recently went through a shortage of power hitting, but appear to be on the way back up. The RoughRiders have hit five home runs in the series after hitting 11 over the weekend set against Northwest Arkansas. Frisco has 17 homers in the last seven games after hitting just one in the previous 11. Frisco currently leads the Texas League with 18 July homers, four more than the next closest team (Springfield, 14).

BRINSON IS BACK:
After spending the past few weeks on the disabled list, outfielder LEWIS BRINSON returned to the RoughRiders last Wednesday and has gone 14-for-41 (.341) in his first nine games back. Brinson went 4-for-6 Monday afternoon and homered in three straight games, Saturday through Monday. His 1.069 OPS since coming back is the eighth-highest in the league. He was placed on the DL June 12 (retroactive to June 10) and missed a total of 21 games. The Riders went 7-14 in Brinson’s absence.

KINER KEEPS GETTING ON:
Though he struggled in his first few games back from the disabled list, Riders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA is back in the groove of where he was before landing on the DL in late May. He has reached base in 14 straight games, a season-long. He has hits in 12 of those games and has reached safely in 25 of his 59 plate appearances, a .428 OBP in that span (15 hits, eight walks, two HBP). Kiner-Falefa’s .365 on-base percentage is 7th-best in the Texas League and best on the team among qualified players.

SLACK BACK ON TRACK:
Reliever RYNE SLACK is in the midst of a roller coaster season. He has worked five consecutive scoreless outings, covering 7 1/3 innings of work. The southpaw started the season with nine straight scoreless outings (14.1 IP), garnering Rangers Minor League Reliever of the Month in April for his work. However, Slack allowed 15 runs in his next 10 appearances (10.1 IP) before this more recent promising run.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-handed pitcher Edison Frias, (3-1, 2.67 ERA) a Texas League Mid-Season All-Star, is in his sixth season with the Astros organization, and second in Corpus Christi. He went 4-1 with a 5.35 ERA in 8 games (6 GS) after his promotion to Double-A last July, including a win over the RoughRiders on September 3 at Dr Pepper Ballpark. He also faced a handful of current Riders last year in two starts against Class A-Advanced High Desert, going 0-1 with a 8.10 ERA. A native of the Dominican Republic, his repertoire includes a fastball, cutter, curve, and change.

Riders offense turning a corner

After blazing out of the gates the first six weeks of the season, the RoughRiders slowed down a bit in the next month or so. However, in the last nine games, they’re starting to turn things around, especially at the plate, where a lot of the struggles had come during the slump in mid-May and June. Here’s the statistical breakdown.

Roller coaster offense

If the Riders can keep this pace up and keep getting the solid pitching they’ve had the last couple days, this team can get right back in the race. Yes, the Riders are seven games out in the second-half standings, but there’s still plenty of time to get this all turned around and make the postseason.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Giddyup – The late speed of a pitcher’s fastball, which appears to ascend as it crosses the plate.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Corpus Christi (7/15)

GAME #90 (2nd HALF GAME #21)

Frisco RoughRiders (45-44 overall, 7-13 2nd half) at Corpus Christi Hooks (58-32 overall, 11-9 second half)
Friday, July 15 – 7:05 p.m.
Whataburger Field – Corpus Christi, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Corpus Christi feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 4 (Hooks lead, 1-0)
This season: Game 22 of 32 (Hooks lead, 15-6)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Lewis Brinson – RF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – DH
  5. Alex Burg – C
  6. Preston Beck – 1B
  7. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – C
  8. Joe Jackson – LF
  9. Alberto Triunfel – SS

LHP Victor Payano (5-6, 4.01 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Thursday at Corpus Christi (W, 10-1)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: IF Andy Ibanez

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
Extending a three-run lead with seven runs in the ninth, the Riders won going away, 10-1, over the Corpus Christi Hooks on Thursday night at Whataburger Field…The team slammed three more home runs…ANDY IBANEZ put Frisco up early, 3-0, with a three-run shot in the third, and RONALD GUZMAN (solo HR) and LUIS MARTE (3R HR) added longballs in the ninth…CONNOR SADZECK worked six innings of one-run ball, and the bullpen of LUKE JACKSONJASON RICHMAN, and JOSE VALDESPINA held the Hooks scoreless over the final three frames.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY:
For just the third time in the last 12 games, the Riders got a six-plus-inning start from a starter with CONNOR SADECKtossing six-frames of one-run ball. Frisco has received just three such starts in the last 20 games but the club’s starters have back-to-back six-plus-inning starts with FRANK LOPEZ lasting 6 2/3 innings on Wednesday. Frisco’s back-to-back six-or-more inning starts marks the first time since May 22-23 when YU DARVISH and LUIS ORTIZ each fired six innings at home against the San Antonio Missions.

SOMEBODY PAID THE POWER BILL:
The RoughRiders recently went through a shortage of power hitting, but appear to be on the way back up. The RoughRiders hit three home runs last night, four home runs Sunday and Monday, and three on Saturday. Frisco has 16 homers in the last six games after hitting just one in the previous 11. The 15 home runs for Frisco in the last five games is a club record in a five-game stretch, while the 16 longballs in six games is tied for a franchise-best. Frisco currently leads the Texas League with 17 July homers, four more than the next closest team (Springfield, 13).

BOOMING BURG:
ALEX BURG is one of the hottest hitters in the league. The 28-year-old reached for the seventh straight game with a walk last night, but collected three hits and drove in both Frisco runs on Wednesday night, homering for the third time in four games. Saturday Saturday, Burg’s 1.349 OPS is second in the Texas League and eighth in Double-A. He’s doubled once, hit three homers, driving in four, and earned a pair of walks.

BRINSON IS BACK:
After spending the past few weeks on the disabled list, outfielder LEWIS BRINSON returned to the RoughRiders last Wednesday and has gone 13-for-36 (.361) in his first eight games back, including a 2-for-5 mark last night with a double and a run scored. Brinson went 4-for-6 Monday afternoon and homered in three straight games, Saturday through Monday. His 1.160 OPS since coming back is the sixth-highest in the league. He was placed on the DL June 12 (retroactive to June 10) and missed a total of 21 games. The Riders went 7-14 in Brinson’s absence.

KINER KEEPS GETTING ON:
Though he struggled in his first few games back from the disabled list, Riders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA is back in the groove of where he was before landing on the DL in late May. He has reached base in 13 straight games, a season-long. He has hits in 11 of those games and has reached safely in 23 of his 55 plate appearances, a .418 OBP in that span (14 hits, seven walks, two HBP). Kiner-Falefa’s .363 on-base percentage is 6th-best in the Texas League and best on the team among qualified players.

SLACK BACK ON TRACK:
Reliever RYNE SLACK is in the midst of a roller coaster season. He has worked four consecutive scoreless outings, covering 6 1/3 innings of work. The southpaw started the season with nine straight scoreless outings (14.1 IP), garnering Rangers Minor League Reliever of the Month in April for his work. However, Slack allowed 15 runs in his next 10 appearances (10.1 IP) before this more recent promising run.

RANGERS RIDE TO FRISCO:
Already this season, nine Rangers have donned a RoughRiders uniform for at least one game. Seven of those have been rehabbers. The Riders also welcomed rehabbers JOSH HAMILTON, SHIN-SOO CHOO, ROBINSON CHIRINOS, CHRIS GIMENEZ, and A.J. GRIFFIN earlier in the year. Currently, the Riders have LUKE JACKSON who was optioned to Frisco directly from Texas. Additionally, two players who are currently with the Rangers (RHPs MATT BUSH and JOSE LECLERC) started the year on the Riders roster. KEONE KELA was activated by Texas today, and YU DARVISH is expected to come off the DL start and tomorrow for the Rangers at Wrigley Field.

OPPOSING STARTER:
The Canadian-born left-hander was taken by Houston in the 10th round in 2010 out of Sinclair Secondary School in Whitby, Ontario…As a member of the Canada Junior National team, he played against the GCL Astros in 2009…In five games, three starts, Grills went 3-1 with a 3.47 ERA for High-A Lancaster with an extraordinarily low BABIP (.197)…Grills has excelled in a transition to Double-A, making the Mid-Season All-Star Game as a late replacement, going 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA prior to the All-Star Game in eight games, five starts…The lefty was crushed in his last start, however, allowing a career-high 11 hits, 11 runs, all earned, and six home runs at Springfield…REPERTOIRE: He throws a upper 80s to low 90s fastball, a curveball (74-76), and changeup (70-73), which is his out pitch.

 

Diving into the record books: a look at Frisco’s historic home run surge

Before I get into all the Riders home run history you could ever want to know, let me set the stage.

After the RoughRiders hit their fourth homer in Monday’s 15-9 win over Northwest Arkansas – their second straight day with four homers – Nathan Barnett posed the question: Had the RoughRiders ever had back-to-back games with four homers before? (You can hear our exchange below)

At the time, I truly didn’t expect to dive into the archives, but the temptation bug got me a couple days later.

(This is pretty much how it went down)

Let’s look at how different elements of the current power surge stack up in the team history books.

THE VOLUME: The Riders have set the team record for most home runs in a five-game span with 15. They have also tied the team record for most homers in a six-game span (16). The only other team to knock 16 balls out of the yard in six games was the 2011 squad, which did it July 17-22. That squad, however, got half of those homers in one game as part of a Riders single-game record eight home runs on July 22.

On that note, the four homers in a game put the Riders in an 19-way tie for seventh place on the single-game home run list. As mentioned above, the single-game team record is eight. The others are below.

Blog - single game homers

The RoughRiders finished with 11 home runs in three-game series against the Naturals, which is tops in team history for a three-game series. Frisco’s four-game series home run record is also 11 (July 22-25, 2011 vs. Corpus Christi – also helped significantly by the eight-homer game). The all-time Riders record for home runs in a series is 12, but it took five games to do it (June 9-12, 2007 vs. Midland).

THE FREQUENCY: Frisco has homered in each of the last six games, which is impressive, but isn’t on the list of top-five home run streaks in team history. In fact, the streak isn’t even the longest of the year for the RoughRiders, who homered in eight straight games April 19 through April 28. If they go yard again tonight, it’ll be tied for the fifth-longest streak in team history.

Blog - homer streaks

What makes this all the more odd is that Frisco had just gone seven games without a homer a week earlier, which was tied for the fifth on the list of longest home run droughts in team history.

Homerless streaks - team

THE STREAKS: Part of what’s made this current stretch so fun is the fact that four different players have homered in consecutive games. Lewis Brinson homered in all three games of the Northwest Arkansas series, while Alex Burg, Preston Beck, and Ryan Cordell each homered in two straight games.

Homering in back-to-back games isn’t as uncommon as you might think. It’s now happened 113 times in team history. For Burg, it’s the second time he’s done it this year (also April 27-28). Michael Bianucci homered in back-to-back games five different times in 2011, which is the most in team history.

As for Brinson’s feat, it’s a little rarer. The righty slugger became the 19th player in RoughRiders history to homer in three straight games. Had he homered in a fourth straight game, he would have been just the fifth player in team history to do it, joining J.T. Wise (2014), Adam Fox (2009), Max Ramirez (2008), and Kevin Richardson (2006).

THE BEST OF THE BEST: Here are some of the most notable homer-related feats in Riders history that I encountered in my research.

  • My favorite has to be Mike Olt (now with San Antonio), who not only homered in three straight games (June 1-3, 2012) but he had two dingers in ALL THREE GAMES.
  • Chad Tracy had two multi-homer games in 2009, but he had to share the spotlight both times, as one of his teammates also had a two-homer game in each case. John Whittleman did it with him the first time (July 4) and Adam Fox did it alongside him a month later (August 13).
  • In 2006, Kevin Richardson homered in back-to-back games twice, three straight games once, and became the first Riders hitter to homer in four straight games. Those are four separate streaks. He had 17 homers that year and 12 of them were part of one of those streaks.

PUTTING IT IN PERSPECTIVE: In case you were wondering by the way, even with this recent surge, the Riders are nowhere near the single-season record for homers as a team. The 2007 squad (176 homers) may be hard to top.

Blog - single season homers

Now, back to the question that got this whole thing started. Yes, the 2016 Riders are the first team in the 14-year history of the franchise to hit four homers in back-to-back games. That said, another team came awfully close. The 2014 squad had two four-homer games in a three-game series (also against Northwest Arkansas) on April 10 and 12.

Hopefully, you enjoyed this look into the record books. I certainly had fun putting it together.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Homeric clout – A home run.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Corpus Christi (7/14)

GAME #89 (2nd HALF GAME #20)

Frisco RoughRiders (44-44 overall, 6-13 2nd half) at Corpus Christi Hooks (58-31 overall, 11-8 second half)
Thursday, July 14 – 7:05 p.m.
Whataburger Field – Corpus Christi, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Corpus Christi feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 4 (Hooks lead, 1-0)
This season: Game 22 of 32 (Hooks lead, 15-6)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Lewis Brinson – CF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – LF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Alex Burg – DH
  6. Preston Beck – RF
  7. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – C
  8. Luis Mendez – 3B
  9. Luis Marte – SS

RHP Connor Sadzeck (8-2, 3.19 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Wednesday vs. Corpus Christi (L, 4-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: C/IF Alex Burg

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders led for the most of the game on Wednesday night but fell behind in the seventh inning and dropped a 4-2 decision to the Corpus Christi Hooks…ALEX BURG homered and singled in a run to put Frisco ahead in the third, while FRANK LOPEZ limited to Hooks to one run over the first 6 2/3 innings…Leaving two men on base however, Lopez would go on to suffer the loss…JOE FILOMENO came on and walked the first man he faced before a pop-up in short right-center field fell for a double and drove in three runs to put the Hooks ahead for good…Frisco went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

LOSING LATE LEADS:
For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been sensational at holding leads, but that has changed over the last three games. The RoughRiders led after six innings last night but lost. On Sunday, the club lead 6-3 after eight innings but fell 8-6 in an extra-inning affair. Prior to Sunday, the club was 32-2 when leading after six and 32-0 when leading after eight. Going into Saturday’s game, the RoughRiders had blown six saves all year but have blown three in the last four games, including one last night. The team’s nine blown saves (20-of-29), however, are still the lowest total in the league, one better than Corpus Christi (39-of-49) and San Antonio (17-for-27).

BAYSIDE BATTLES:
Coming off 12 straight games against North Division opponents, the Riders and Hooks reacquaint themselves during this series at Whataburger field. Entering the day eight games out of first place, and five back of second-place Corpus Christi, the next run of 11 games could prove pivotal for the Riders’ chances in capturing a playoff berth. Frisco plays seven of its next 11 games at Corpus Christi’s Whataburger Field. Frisco trails the season series 15-6, has lost seven of the last eight games, 14 of the last 16, and six straight at Corpus Christi.

A SERIES WIN! A SERIES WIN!:
For the first time in nine series, the Riders captured a series win on Monday. Taking a rubber game for the first time this season, the Riders beat the Naturals two games to one, snapping an eight-series  winless streak (0-5-3). Frisco started the year winning six of the first nine series (6-1-2). The win in the set was the first for the Riders since June 3-5 vs. Springfield, when the Riders won the first two games of the three-game set. The Springfield series also marked the last time that the RoughRiders won consecutive games (6/3 and 6/4), which the Riders failed to do last night.

SOMEBODY PAID THE POWER BILL:
The RoughRiders recently went through a shortage of power hitting, but appear to be on the way back up. The RoughRiders hit four home runs Sunday and Monday, the first time they’ve done so since May 16 of last season vs. Corpus Christi. Frisco has 14 homers in the last five games after hitting just one in the previous 11. The 11 homers in the three-game series with Northwest Arkansas were the most in a series this year.

BRINSON IS BACK:
After spending the past few weeks on the disabled list, outfielder LEWIS BRINSON returned to the RoughRiders last Wednesday and has gone 11-for-31 (.355) in his first seven games back, despite going 0-for-5 yesterday. Brinson went 4-for-6 Monday afternoon and homered in three straight games. His 1.186 OPS since coming back is the sixth-highest in the league. He was placed on the DL June 12 (retroactive to June 10) and missed a total of 21 games. The Riders went 7-14 in Brinson’s absence.

KINER KEEPS GETTING ON:
Though he struggled in his first few games back from the disabled list, Riders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA is back in the groove of where he was before landing on the DL in late May. He has reached base in 12 straight games, a new season-long. He has hits in 10 of those games and has reached safely in 20 of his 51 plate appearances (39%) in that span (13 hits, five walks, two HBP). Kiner-Falefa’s .357 on-base percentage is 9th-best in the Texas League and second on the team among qualified players (RONALD GUZMAN, .362).

SLACK BACK ON TRACK:
Reliever RYNE SLACK is in the midst of a roller coaster season. He has worked four consecutive scoreless outings, covering 6 1/3 innings of work. The southpaw started the season with nine straight scoreless outings (14.1 IP), garnering Rangers Minor League Reliever of the Month in April for his work. However, Slack allowed 15 runs in his next 10 appearances (10.1 IP).

RANGERS RIDE TO FRISCO:
Already this season, nine Rangers have donned a RoughRiders uniform for at least one game. Seven of those have been rehabbers, including YU DARVISH and KEONE KELA, who are both currently with the squad. The Riders also welcomed rehabbers JOSH HAMILTON, SHIN-SOO CHOO, ROBINSON CHIRINOS, CHRIS GIMENEZ, and A.J. GRIFFIN earlier in the year. Currently, the Riders have two players (RHPs LUKE JACKSON and NICK MARTINEZ) who were optioned to Frisco directly from Texas. Additionally, two players who are currently with the Rangers (RHPs MATT BUSH and JOSE LECLERC) started the year on the Riders roster.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Francis Martes, the top pitching prospect in the Houston farm system, makes his fifth appearance against the RoughRiders this year. The RoughRiders have given Martes his two roughest outings of the year, touching him up for 10 earned runs in 3.0 innings, good for an ERA of 30.00, in those two appearances. However, Martes has made back-to-back quality starts against the Riders, including a seven-inning scoreless gem his last time against Frisco on June 25. Martes came to the Astros from the Marlins organization in a multi-player trade at the 2014 deadline. REPERTOIRE: Fastball (mid-90s), curveball, changeup.

Burg back on the upswing

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster season for Alex Burg, but his roller coaster is currently on the upswing. Burg homered again last night for the third time in the last four games. He’s 9-for-26 (.346) with a double, three homers, and four RBI in his last seven games. The veteran righty also has hits multi-hit performances in three of his last four games, including his third three-hit game of the year last night.

This isn’t the only impressive seven-game stretch for Burg, and it isn’t even his most impressive one this year. He had a seven-game hit streak from April 22-May 2 in which he hit .440 (11-for-25) with two doubles, three homers, and seven RBI. Like this current stretch, Burg also had three multi-hit games in that span.

The seven-game hit streak was part of a strong month of April in which Burg hit .353 and even spent a week with Triple-A Round Rock. However, the Seattle-native went through a rough patch in the following months, hitting just .172 (20-for-116) from May 3 through June 1 and only had a slightly better average in June (.212).

Burg is hitting .250 (9-for-36) in his first 10 games of July. Hopefully, this is something sustainable in the long run for the seventh-year pro out of Washington State University. Right now, he’s hitting .218 across two levels, which would be the lowest season average of his career (previously .245 in 2010). That said, if this roller coaster ride can keep moving upward, it’ll be exciting to see how 2016 finishes for him.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Burger Blast – A home run. The term was made popular by Waite Hoyt, whose Cincinnati Reds broadcasts were sponsored by Burger Beer.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

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