Results tagged ‘ Tommy Mendonca ’

Where Were You?

On September 11, 2001, I was in my seventh grade English class when I heard about the attack on the World Trade Center. In fact, my dad flew on a plane that day. Fortunately, he landed in Baltimore without consequence. Still, what could have been still gives me chills to this day.

On May 1, 2011, I was watching television in Frisco, Texas, when I heard about the death of Osama bin Laden. It was one of the few news reports since 9-11 that gives me similar chills.

I won’t tell you how to react to this news, nor will I share my beliefs. This isn’t the forum. But this is such a monumental day in this country and this world. I am willing to bet that many will remember where they were when this news broke.

Let’s get you some Facts before tonight’s series finale.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • It will be a fun day at Dr Pepper Ballpark Wednesday. A pair of Texas hurlers–Tommy Hunter and Neftali Feliz–will pitch for the RoughRiders in rehab assignments. Hunter, who has been out since spring training with a groin injury, is expected to pitch three to four innings, and Feliz, who was put on the disabled list April 23 with shoulder inflammation, is slated to pitch one. For what it is worth, Wednesday is Wilfredo Boscan’s turn in the rotation. I’m guessing he will be pushed back a day to accommodate.
  • The ‘Riders’ pitching staff has improved greatly. In the last five games, Frisco opponents have scored only 15 runs, and all five starting hurlers have pitched beyond the sixth inning. Those pitchers have a combined earned run average of 2.76. Four of those five starts have resulted in quality starts, and the ‘Riders did not have one of those before this recent run.
  • Because of this surge, the RoughRiders are third in the league in ERA (4.56). Frisco is also fourth in the TL in WHIP (1.42).
  • And how about the Frisco sticks in the late innings last night. The ‘Riders hit home runs in three consecutive innings for the first time this season, and yesterday’s 9-2 triumph was the fourth time that Frisco had three or more long balls.
  • As a team, the RoughRiders are now tied for third in the Texas League in homers with 24. Of those 24, 14 have come from Mike Bianucci and Tommy Mendonca, with Mendonca hitting his seventh yesterday when things were already out of hand. The twosome is only behind San Antonio’s Cody Decker-Jaff Decker duo, which is crushing everyone with a combined 19 homers, for dingers by teammates. 
  • New RoughRider Travis Adair notched the first two hits of his Double-A career in the victory yesterday. Adair had begun his Frisco stint 0-for-11 before going 1-for-2 yesterday. Adair also walked and put down a sacrifice bunt.
  • A key for the RoughRiders in this series, a set that the ‘Riders have a chance to win tonight, has been their ability to slow down the middle of the Corpus Christi order. The 3-4 combination of J.D. Martinez and Jon Gaston has gone just 2-for-22 with one RBI. Martinez alone had a nine-game RBI streak snapped last week.
  • More rain for the TL’s North Division. Both games scheduled for tonight have been washed out. This is especially frustrating, I’m sure, for the two teams in Arkansas. The Naturals and Travelers have been slated to play eight times so far this season. They have actually played four times, with two games played on the same day.

The finale of this eight-game road trip comes up tonight at 7:05. Pre-game at 6:35 along the Network. Enjoy!

- Brian

Welcome to the 2000s

We have reached the 2000 mark on Twitter. The RoughRiders appreciate all of our followers, but someone had to be special number 2000. That person was @jtexan28.

We thank him for his timely support. Help us get to 3000 by following us @ridersbaseball.

Here are a few Facts on this Sunday.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • How about Jose Felix’s big night. Felix is not a power hitter, but he certainly fooled some people at Whataburger Field yesterday. His two home runs last night pushes his minor league total to seven in 351 career games. He did not have more than two home runs at a single level until yesterday. Now, he has three in Double-A, all with the ‘Riders.
  • Another unique happening yesterday was Guilder Rodriguez’s start in center field. Over his ten-year minor league career, that was just his seventh start out there. Not only did he start, but he threw out a runner at the plate. It was his first outfield assist ever, and it was in a huge spot in the game.
  • Frisco’s three home runs yesterday pushed the club past Corpus Christi and into sixth in the league with 21 long balls. Only a pair of RoughRiders–Mike Bianucci (7) and Tommy Mendonca (6)–have more than two.
  • We’ve talked about this multiple times, but today is another chance for the ‘Riders to earn back-to-back victories, something Frisco has not done since the first two games of the season. In the five losses following standalone victories, the ‘Riders have only been a total of 12 runs worse than their opponent. In fact, the ‘Riders have only allowed 24 runs in those five losses.
  • To win divisions, a team must win within its division. That’s exactly what San Antonio has done to take an early three-game lead within the division. The Missions are now 8-2 against the South, including a 5-1 mark against second-place Midland.
  • Be sure to take part in today’s Extra Bases Blog. Like last night, team photographer James Garner will be sending in some pictures from Whataburger Field. He made the trek down there for us, so show him some support. He is a great photographer!
  • Welcome to the month of May, the busiest of the year for Dr Pepper Ballpark. The ‘Riders are scheduled to play 18 home games this month, beginning Tuesday against San Antonio. For ticket information, be sure to check out ridersbaseball.com.

Enjoy today’s 2:05 game! Follow along on the RBN at 1:35.

- Brian

Cherish Everyone

Before arriving in Frisco, I had the great pleasure of covering the Ohio University football team. When you are involved in sports, whether as a fan, media member, or broadcaster, you feel like you get to know the members of the team.

Sometimes, those people seem slightly above human. They are all parts of a game that people love. Unfortunately, those players are human, and the Ohio football family found out the hard way Wednesday.

Former defensive lineman Marcellis Williamson passed away just months after finishing his senior season. I talked with him a few times, and he couldn’t have been nicer. Really sad stuff.

Just goes to show that fans should cherish all players, even the ones at less-than-glamorous positions.

Anyways, let’s get happy with a Frisco victory and today’s Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • A losing-streak snapper never seems to come easily, now does it? Frisco is the best defensive club in the Texas League with a .982 fielding percentage, but Tommy Mendonca, who has probably been this club’s most complete player so far this year, allowed a pair of runs to score on a throwing error.
  • Mendonca has an extremely strong arm at the hot corner, but sometimes he can be inaccurate on the throws. He has three errors thus far on the young season, which is tied for the most among third baseman in the Texas League.
  • Credit Mendonca for being patient enough to draw a tenth-inning walk. It is easy for a guy who committed an error and had been 0-for-4 to try to swing as hard as he can and make up for all of it. However, his walk, drawn on a 3-2 count, was the key battle in that tenth inning, if you ask me. Jonathan Greene followed suit with another walk on a 3-2 count that chased home the go-ahead run.
  • The first and last pitchers who toed the rubber for the RoughRiders were extremely impressive. After a pair of rough starts, righty Carlos Pimentel has had a couple of solid outings. Yesterday, Pimentel allowed only a Blake Tekotte solo homer in six innings of work. He scattered four hits and struck out six, a season high. Over his last two starts, Pimentel has a 2.31 ERA over 11.2 innings.
  • Overall, Frisco’s starting rotation has improved greatly since the start of the year. Over the last two turns in the rotation, the RoughRiders’ starter has pitched at least five innings eight times.
  • And how about the effort of Justin Miller. Miller, who had struggled in a few late-game situations earlier this season, was dominant in his two innings of work. With all the momentum in the San Antonio dugout, Miller wiped through the 2-3-4 men in the Missions’ order in the ninth to send the game to extras. After Frisco took the lead in the tenth, Miller did the same.
  • Miller, like many ‘Riders on the hill, had struggled a bit with his command earlier in the year. Yesterday, he only needed 25 pitches to go through the heart of the best order in the Texas League and retire six straight. 16 of those pitches were over for strikes.
  • Renny Osuna had a great effort in his return from the disabled list. He drove in a run in the seventh on a double. Three innings later, his leadoff single turned into the eventual game-winning run. On the year, Osuna is hitting .304.
  • On the flip side, Travis Adair’s Double-A debut wasn’t spectacular. He went 0-for-4 and stranded four men on the bases. However, he did put the ball in play in a scoring chance and earned an RBI on a groundout in the second.
  • Pretty impressive that the ‘Riders won a game when their 3-4-5 men (Mike Bianucci, Mendonca, Greene) went a combined 0-for-10. Baseball is strange, but the ‘Riders will take it.

Our pre-game coverage begins at 6:35 for the opener of Frisco’s four-game series in Corpus Christi. First pitch is set for 7:05. Enjoy!

- Brian

Hurry! Act Now!

If you have a twitter, I’m sure you are already following us (@ridersbaseball, by the way). But if you aren’t, you are in luck. We are nearing the 2000-follower mark. If you are the 2000th follower, well, that would be pretty sweet.

We’ll give that 2000th follower a nice shout out here on the blog. We do appreciate all 1980ish followers we currently have!

Without further ado, here are your Facts for a Monday, whether you are a “follower” or not.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • Twitter traffic will continue to come toward the RoughRiders if Martin Perez continues to rack up awards and attention. Perez was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week today after his five-inning perfect game Tuesday. It is his first such honor within the Texas League.
  • Warning: this is all opinion here. It is easy to want Perez to move up quickly and get to Round Rock and eventually to Arlington. We’ve received some tweets and questions on our blogs about Perez and his status in the organization. Others have said he should be promoted. The reality is, Perez has now had five truly “dominant” outings in Frisco since the start of the 2010 season. My guess (and again, these are my thoughts) is that the organization still wants to see more from the lefty here in North Texas before sending him south to the Express.
  • That being said, this is a GREAT start for a young man who experienced his first failure in the game of baseball at the Double-A level. If he continues this, Perez has nowhere to go but up, and in this case “up” means Triple-A. He’ll get there eventually.
  • Today is an interesting match-up for the 20-year-old Perez. He gets to start against the hottest offense in the minor leagues. San Antonio is coming off a three-out-of-four take from Midland this past weekend. The Missions are now 10-6, which is the best mark in the league.
  • San Antonio’s team batting average is .338, 60 points better than second-place Northwest Arkansas. That mark is also the best in all of minor league baseball, barely above high-A Bakersfield’s .337 mark within the California League. I was surprised to see that there are seven teams in the minors that boast batting averages above .300. Four of those seven are in the Pacific Coast League. Poor Round Rock is sixth in the PCL despite a very solid .285 batting average.
  • This four-game series will feature two of the Texas League’s hottest hitters. As we’ve talked about over the last few days, Frisco third baseman Tommy Mendonca is on fire as of late. Mendonca is hitting .400 over the last 10 games with four homers and 12 RBIs. For the Missions, James Darnell is hitting an absurd .514 with three homers and 10 RBIs. On the season, Darnell is hitting .482 (27-for-56).
  • The Missions also have Jaff Decker, who leads the TL in homers (seven) and RBIs (25). Overall, San Antonio has five of the top ten hitters in terms of batting average in the league.
  • Tonight begins the first of two eight-game road trips this year for the RoughRiders, which will be the longest trips of the season. The ‘Riders’ other eight-gamer is June 12-19. Last year, Frisco had a 12-game swing away from Dr Pepper Ballpark from June 17-28. For what it’s worth, the team went 8-4 on that trip to close down a first-half division championship. 
  • Finally, former RoughRider reliever Beau Jones made his debut for Triple-A Round Rock yesterday. Jones went two and a third frames and scattered three hits, striking out three. He did not allow a run.

Aaron is in San Antonio for game one of this four-game series. The pre-game begins at 6:35, as I’ll be along for the ride on the RoughRiders’ Pre-Game Show with Aaron. Enjoy!

- Brian

Happy, Happy, Happy

Happy Easter. Happy Passover. Happy Sunday.

Whatever you may be celebrating, enjoy it. Easter only comes once every 365 days. Passover only comes once every 52 weeks. And Sunday only comes around every seven days.

My present to you is a whole lot of the same–your Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • As mentioned on the broadcast yesterday, the RoughRiders have not strung together back-to-back victories since games one and two of the year. But the ‘Riders have been close to doing so. In their last five losses following victories this year, Frisco has lost by a total of ten runs. In four of those five contests, the ‘Riders had a lead at some point. In other words, this club has been close to a “winning streak” but just hasn’t been able to seal the deal.
  • We mentioned the string of nine straight games with an RBI for Corpus Christi outfielder J.D. Martinez, a streak that came to an end two nights ago. Well, Frisco third baseman Tommy Mendonca is giving the RBI streak thing a try. Mendonca has posted at least one RBI in four straight games. Taking it back to April 14, Mendonca has driven in a run in seven of his last nine contests.
  • I asked Mendonca before yesterday’s game if this is the best string of baseball he has played while within the Rangers’ organization. “You can say, so far, it has been,” Mendonca said. “I’m back having fun. It’s like I’m a little kid again.”
  • Not only is Mendonca fifth in the Texas League with his 15 RBIs, but he is tied with Hickory’s Tomas Telis for the organizational lead. Telis has played in three more games than Mendonca so far this season.
  • Engel Beltre continued his solid swinging last night from the leadoff spot. Since assuming that role when Renny Osuna went on the disabled list, Beltre is 11-for-35 (.314) with seven runs scored in eight games. Last night, Beltre was the only ‘Rider with a multi-hit game.
  • Here’s an interesting note: the RoughRiders have only three men listed as outfielders, and one of those (Mike Bianucci) has only made three starts in the outfield. The rest of his 12 starts have been in the designated hitter slot. On the flip side, there are six active infielders and two infielders on the disabled list. One of those listed infielders–Jonathan Greene–has played some left to make up for this unbalance.
  • Former RoughRider Cody Eppley threw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen in his major league debut yesterday, a 3-1 Texas victory over the Royals. Eppley certainly has a chance to stick with the big league club considering its bullpen struggles so far this year.
  • The San Antonio offense is back at it. After outputs of 26 and 23 runs earlier this month, the Missions spanked Midland 21-8 last night. San Antonio’s team batting average now sits at .343, and the Missions are averaging 8.2 runs a game. Jaff Decker had two homers and seven runs batted in. Decker now has six homers (tied for first in the Texas League) and 23 RBIs (tops in the TL).
  • Finally, the two Arkansas teams have been washed out for the second straight day. Now, the Naturals and Travelers will play double dips May 21 and 23 in Springdale. The ‘Riders will play the Naturals immediately following that series May 25-27 at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

We kick off our coverage at 3:35 this afternoon, with first pitch set for 4:05. Enjoy!

- Brian

Looking Pretty

Most men never wear makeup. However, if you are on television, a little bit of makeup is sometimes necessary for men or women.

I’ve worn makeup before, but only to go on television. The biggest use, for those who are wondering, is to avoid a shiny, weird perception of your skin on camera. It also hides any sort of marks or sweat. Strange, but true.

That’s what Aaron Goldsmith and Jason Cole will deal with tonight for the first of ten television broadcasts on TXA 21. You can catch the game beginning at 7 p.m. The rest of the TV schedule is available here.

The ‘Riders hit the bright lights of television after a complete effort yesterday. Let’s delve into that, plus some roster moves, in today’s Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • First, a few roster moves. Reliever Beau Jones, who has four scoreless outings with the RoughRiders on his 2011 resume, is now with Triple-A Round Rock. It is Jones’ first trip to that level. Joining the ‘Riders is middle infielder Edwin Garcia, who had been with low-A Hickory. In just two games, Garcia is 3-for-6 with the Crawdads.
  • Also, Frisco places two more men on the disabled list. Reliever Ramon Aguero (rotator cuff strain) and infielder Erik Morrison (left thumb contusion) are on the seven-day list. Renny Osuna and Ben Snyder are also on the DL.
  • Now, to yesterday’s blowout victory. After scoring just ten runs in the previous three games, Frisco plated 11 runs on a season-high 19 hits. As mentioned in the game story, all but one starter (Guilder Rodriguez) had MULTI-hit games. That’s pretty remarkable.
  • Jonathan Greene and Jose Ruiz became the sixth and seventh different players to hit homers for the ‘Riders this season. Unfortunately for those two, Tommy Mendonca’s pair of long balls overshadowed their efforts. Mendonca continues to rake for the ‘Riders. Since a bit of a slump during the end of Frisco’s last home stand, the Turlock, Calif., native is hitting .424 (14-for-33) with four of his six home runs and 11 of his 16 RBIs. He is working on an eight-game hitting streak, which is the longest for a ‘Rider this year.
  • Miguel De Los Santos had a variation of the term “unhittable stuff” yesterday. He only allowed one base hit, but he walked another five men. That’s 11 for the lefty in 13 and two-thirds, which obviously isn’t very good. De Los Santos’ WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) sits at only a 1.62, which is pretty remarkable considering the high walk rate. He has only allowed eight hits in 2011.
  • It’s a big start tonight for Carlos Pimentel tonight. The other four starters have, at least once, delivered a solid outing. This is Pimentel’s chance to do just that. The right-hander has given up a run in each of the last five innings he has begun. Overall, Pimentel has a 13.50 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP. Those numbers are big, but the season is young. Look at how different De Los Santos’ numbers look after five scoreless innings. The same can happen for Pimentel tonight.
  • Another great crowd was on hand at Dr Pepper Ballpark last night, as 10,073 enjoyed the blowout victory. That’s the fourth time Frisco surpassed the 10,000 mark. Pretty neat stuff.
  • Round Rock’s 2-1 victory over Oklahoma City yesterday was the Express’ 12th on the year, which is second in minor league baseball to the St. Lucie Mets (14-2) of the Florida State League. Overall, the Express is fourth in winning percentage in all of the minors.

As mentioned above, the ‘Riders will be on TXA 21 this evening. You can still catch the audio along the RoughRiders Baseball Network. I’ll take the air at 6:35. Enjoy!

- Brian

Have a Great Weekend

Don’t worry. We’re not going to abandon you for the weekend. Just need to get out my “Happy Easter” to all those who celebrate it.

I am one of those people. I’ve been lucky to be close to home (if not actually home) for many of the big holidays. Baseball prevents me from being home for this one, though. I hope all those who celebrate Easter are able to get home or at least get a little piece of home.

I fully expect a package filled with candy from my parents. We’ll see if they deliver.

We keep chugging along with the Facts on this Friday.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • The pitching staff has begun to turn things around. Over the last three games, the RoughRiders have surrendered only 10 runs. That doesn’t seem like a noteworthy number, but considering the fact that the ‘Riders had surrendered six runs or more in all but one of the previous seven games, that is a step forward.
  • Where has the biggest improvement come from? The bullpen. Since the ‘pen collapsed in a loss to Springfield April 14, here are the numbers for the relievers: 22.1 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 18 H. That calculates to a 2.42 ERA. 
  • Yesterday, Mark Hamburger returned after a brief time away for a personal issue. The righty tossed a pair of scoreless innings. Same deal for fellow right-hander Mike Perconte, who has now thrown nine and a third frames and given up just one run on six hits. Opponents are hitting just .194 against the former Cubs farmhand. 
  • The other reliever to appear yesterday was Ramon Aguero, who had to leave after a pitch to Brian Esposito, the second batter he faced in the game. No word on his condition, but we’ll try to get an update sometime this weekend.
  • On the flip side, the offense has been limping lately. A popular way of examining a player or a team’s recent play is to look at the stats over the last five games. As a club, the ‘Riders are a .250 hitting unit in the last five contests, which isn’t totally out of the ordinary, but only two batters are hitting above the .261 mark–Tommy Mendonca and Jonathan Greene.
  • We’ve mentioned the hot stretches of Mendonca and Greene, a duo that is hitting a combined .447 with seven of the club’s 15 RBIs in the last five games. Yesterday, those two had four of the six Frisco hits. Everyone else in the lineup went a combined 2-for-25.
  • The most glaring stumble within the starting nine has been Mike Bianucci. It’s somewhat unfair that he is looked at like this because of his torrid start. Those types of numbers are flat out unsustainable over the course of a month, let alone a season. However, Bianucci has hit just .182 (6-for-33) over the last nine games, and he hasn’t driven in a run since Saturday.
  • Here’s what is amazing about Bianucci: the dude is still boasting a .949 OPS. Anything over .900 in this category is considered very good. Even with this lull, Bianucci’s numbers are still better than 90% of the players in this league so far.
  • Miguel De Los Santos gets the ball tonight for the RoughRiders. I’m pulling this directly from the blog post I had after his last start, but the numbers are too intriguing to mention only once: Through two starts, De Los Santos has gone 1-2-3 in some way in six
    of the ten innings he has begun. In those frames, here’s De Los Santos’
    line: 6.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 9 K. However, in the other
    four innings, here’s his line: 2.2 IP, 10 R, 7 H, 5 BB, 4 K. He finished
    two of those innings. In the other two, he left with a man at first and
    two away and he left with the bases loaded and nobody out.
  • I mentioned J.D. Martinez’s hot stretch in yesterday’s blog, and what does he do? 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. He has now driven in a run in nine consecutive games.
  • For what it’s worth, the Major League record for most consecutive games with an RBI belongs to Ray Grimes of the Chicago Cubs. Grimes drove in at least one run in 18 straight games from June 27-July 23 of 1922. 
  • For what it’s worth, part two: Corpus Christi play-by-play voice Matt Hicks said the Hooks played their best game of 2011 last night.
  • The Rangers’ farm system continues to shine. Round Rock won its tenth in 11 tries over Oklahoma City to improve to a PCL-best 11-4, and Hickory swept a double dip from Bryce Harper and the Hagerstown Suns to seize the South Atlantic League’s best mark. Also, Myrtle Beach is a half-game behind Salem for the best mark in the Carolina League despite losing to Kinston yesterday.

It’s a Fireworks Friday at Dr Pepper Ballpark, and our coverage along the RoughRiders Baseball Network begins at 6:35. First pitch is set for 7:05. Enjoy!

- Brian

Get Hooked on Corpus

Eight-team leagues have unique schedules, especially when they are full-season, 140-game leagues. The Carolina League distributes things evenly, with all teams playing against each other 20 times.

That means that the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Rangers’ high-A affiliate and the southernmost member of the CL, must travel to Wilmington, Del. (ten hours away) as many times as they travel to Kinston, N.C. (three hours away).

It’s a little different in the Texas League, where teams play the opposite division 48 times (12 games per team) and the same division 92 times. Within the South, the ‘Riders play two teams (this year, Corpus Christi and San Antonio) 32 times and one team (this year, Midland) 28 times.

As you can see, Frisco fans get a chance to know future Astros, Athletics, and Padres very, very well.

Today is game one of 92 within the South. Let’s preview it with a set of Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • Before getting to a roster move, we need to touch on Martin Perez’s perfect game (for the thousandth time). Perez’s rain-shortened gem caught the attention of many media outlets: LoneStarDugout.com, NBC-DFW, the Newberg Report, SB Nation, and many others. Scroll down to yesterday’s blog entry here, and you can hear the “15th out” and Perez’s thoughts.
  • True “perfect game” or not, it was pretty cool to experience. And it is a great sign moving forward in terms of Perez’s progression. In his last two outings, Perez has amassed 10 scoreless innings. He has struck out 12 and scattered four base hits. Last year, Perez held his opposition scoreless only three times.
  • With pitcher Brett Tomko and former Frisco catcher Taylor Teagarden getting the call-up to Arlington, the rest of the organization was shaken up a bit. For the RoughRiders, it was a pretty easy switch. Catcher Robbie Diaz was moved up to Round Rock, and fellow backstop Elio Sarmiento was activated from the disabled list. Sarmiento was with the ‘Riders last year and hit .191 (39-for-204) with 21 RBIs in 59 games.
  • Diaz was technically the back-up in Frisco with Jose Felix, the organization’s 26th-ranked prospect, ahead of him. He had only appeared in five games with the ‘Riders, which happened to be his first run through Double-A since 2007. This gives Diaz a chance to go back to the level he has played at since ’08.
  • For what it is worth, Diaz has been at the Triple-A level long enough to evaluate. Over 178 games within the Blue Jays, Pirates, and Tigers’ organization, Diaz has hit .266 with six homers and 62 RBIs.
  • One other random tidbit about Diaz, a minor leaguer since 2002: he played on the “Medicine Hat Blue Jays” during the franchise’s final season in the Pioneer League. The city of Medicine Hat is in Alberta, Canada. The likes of Jay Gibbons, Mike Timlin and David Wells went through Medicine Hat. If you don’t believe me on the name, check it out.
  • With apologies to Jonathan Greene and what he has done over the last handful of games, third baseman Tommy Mendonca has been the hottest RoughRider. Mendonca is 9-for-20 in his last five efforts with two homers and six RBIs. What makes this run even more impressive is that Mendonca had been in a funk before this surge (2-for-16 in his previous five games).
  • The Rangers’ farm system has been hot, too. In fact, Texas owns the best minor league record (33-18) so far this season. The Athletics are only percentage points behind the Rangers at 34-19, with the Dodgers a half-game back at 34-20.
  • If there is one Hook to look out for in this series, it has to be outfielder J.D. Martinez. He has driven in a run in each of his last eight games and leads the Texas League with 18 RBIs. With men in scoring position, he is hitting a ridiculous .467 (7-for-15).
  • The RoughRiders hope he cools down soon, especially because the next few weeks are loaded with Frisco-Corpus match-ups. Of the 32 meetings between these two teams this year, 12 of them will take place over the next 25 days. Overall, the RoughRiders’ next 32 games are against the South Division. Frisco will not cross back over into the North until May 25 against Northwest Arkansas.
  • Martin Perez wasn’t the only member of the Rangers’ minor league system who has had no-hit stuff. Round Rock starter Zach Jackson took a no-no into the eighth Tuesday.

Pre-game coverage along the RoughRiders’ Baseball Network begins at 6:35, with first pitch set for 7:05. Enjoy this quick homestand!

- Brian

Some Comic Relief

UPDATE: Check out Aaron Goldsmith’s conversation with yesterday’s starter, Martin Perez. Details on Perez are available in this post.

Martin Perez Interview 4.15.11.mp3

_____________________

During our interactive gameday blog, the “Extra Bases Blog,” someone decided to have a little bit of fun. This person logged in as “Fabio Castillo” and posted things like this:

guys this is my first time pitching all year can
u cut me some slack? i did have a broken foot im still recovering from,
ill get em next time right”

its a long season and this is only my 4th double a apperance (sic) ill be ready next time”

Baseball is such a long season, and I hope that Castillo is able to recover from what was a rough outing. And for the fans of Castillo and the RoughRiders, hopefully this bit of comic relief helped after last night’s loss at Springfield.

With “Fake Fabio’s” approval, we head to the Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • First, some injury news. Infielder Renny Osuna has been placed on the disabled list with a broken nose. He tried to bunt his way aboard in the sixth, but the ball went off his bat and then hit his nose. The ‘Riders add a pitcher for the 24th man–reliever Ramon Aguero. Aguero signed with the Rangers following the 2010 campaign after spending his entire minor league career in the Pirates organization.
  • Aguero was with Triple-A Round Rock for the start of the ’11 season. He worked two scoreless innings, which included a win in his only decision.
  • A former RoughRider is back in the bigs, at least for a few days. Pitcher Michael Kirkman was called up today through MLB’s new Paternity Leave List. Colby Lewis’ wife Jenny gave birth to a girl Wednesday, so he is spending a few days away. By rule, Lewis must be reinstated to the Rangers’ roster no later than Monday.
  • Another day, another big showing from Mike Bianucci. Bianucci clubbed his fifth home run of the very young season in yesterday’s fourth inning. It is obviously early, but think about this. Over the last four seasons, here are the home run totals for the Texas League leader at year’s end: 29 (NW Arkansas’ Clint Robinson), 26 (Frisco’s Chad Tracy), 26 (NW Arkansas’ Kila Ka’aihue and Arkansas’ Corey Smith), and 29 (Springfield’s Colby Rasmus).
  • Where am I going with this? Well, the Texas League season spans five months. So, all five of these home run leaders failed to average six home runs per month. Bianucci has five in the month of April, and the ‘Riders still have 15 games before May arrives. Wow.
  • The RoughRiders seemed to have complete control last night when they took a four-run advantage because of some slump busting. After two men were out, Engel Beltre reached on a single, which snapped an 0-for-11 skid. Bianucci followed suit with a walk, and Tommy Mendonca shed a sizable slump of his own (0-for-13) with an RBI single. Tack on Jonathan Greene’s first RBI of the season, and the ‘Riders had quite a showing in the sixth.
  • That was the good. We’ll get to the bad momentarily. But we have to touch on the great from last night’s game–Martin Perez. Perez, the Rangers’ top prospect, went five innings and struck out nine, which ties a career high. He scattered four hits and stranded five runners. Of his 81 pitches, 51 were strikes. 
  • Since the beginning of the 2010 season, Perez had pitched at least five innings of scoreless baseball only twice before yesterday. Those outings came in back-to-back starts last year: June 23rd against Midland and June 28th against Corpus Christi. 
  • Now, the bad. We will not delve into the seventh inning, with the exception of this: single, strikeout, single, single, double, intentional walk, single, single, walk, ground out, single, fly out. That was the batter-by-batter happenings in that frame. In all, the Cardinals banged out 16 hits, the most by a ‘Rider opponent since Corpus Christi banged out 17 on September 2nd, 2010.
  • Frisco’s pitching staff is now sixth in the league with a 5.86 ERA. The ‘Riders are barely above Arkansas’ 5.96 mark. Tulsa’s staff has a 7.40 ERA, with many of those runs coming in the Drillers’ 23-10 loss earlier this week to San Antonio.
  • We will be back with Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com for his live blog of the Rangers-Yankees game. During the game, we’ll be giving updates from the ‘Riders-Cards contest. You can access the blog and ask Richard and others your Rangers and RoughRiders questions here. We’ll also have the Extra Bases Blog up and rolling, as always at http://ridersbaseball.com/extrabases

Aaron Goldsmith has the call from Hammons Field at 7:07. Our coverage along the RRBN gets going at 6:37. Enjoy!

- Brian

‘Riders on ESPNDallas.com

We’ve got a special treat for you this morning/afternoon. Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com has invited us on his live blog for the Rangers’ afternoon date with the Tigers.

You can view the blog here. We will be providing in-game updates of the rubber match between the ‘Riders and the Travelers. The participation for these Rangers blogs have been great, so check it out.

Also, check out Durrett’s recent feature on former RoughRider Alexi Ogando’s journey to the majors. Ogando worked seven scoreless innings for his second straight victory yesterday in Detroit. Ogando and the Rangers are now 9-1.

Here’s a Tuesday edition of the Facts before brunch with the Riders at 11 a.m.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • It was a tough night for the heart of the RoughRiders order last night. The 2-5 hitters (Engel Beltre, Joey Butler, Mike Bianucci, and Tommy Mendonca) went a combined 2-for-16 (.125). That quartet, which has remained the same through the first five games of the season, was hitting a combined 18-for-61 (.295). 
  • Even Bianucci cooled off after an incredible four-game start. He went 0-for-4 to lower his batting average to .350 (7-for-20). He still leads the league in homers (4) and is second to Tulsa’s Tim Wheeler in RBIs (8).
  • Joey Butler did have his best game of the young campaign. The right-fielder who spent all of last year with Frisco (.277, 10 HR, 58 RBIs in 132 games) went 2-for-4 with an opposite field, two-run homer. 
  • Jose Ruiz, a free agent signing after being let go by the Tampa Bay Rays, added two more hits last night to keep his average at .500 (7-for-14), which ties him for the league lead. Despite his big frame (6’3″, 235), though, all of his hits have been singles. His good work at the plate earned him a move up in the lineup. Ruiz will hit fifth today after getting four starts in the seven hole.
  • The ‘Riders pen has been the better of the two pitching units through the first turn in the rotation. The bullpen has two of the three wins and a 2.96 ERA, while the starters have a 6.23 ERA. Plus, the relievers have tossed more innings (24.1) than the starters (21.2). Only two starters have reached the five-inning mark–Jake Brigham and today’s starter Wilfredo Boscan.
  • Interesting note from second-year skipper Steve Buechele regarding early games that follow a typical 7 p.m. start: the starting pitcher for the morning/early afternoon game does not leave the previous night’s game early. Thus, Boscan was at the stadium last night until at least 10:16, which was one minute after the final pitch of yesterday’s 6-4 Arkansas win.
  • We talked about it on the broadcast last night, but check out the box score from yesterday’s 23-10 victory for San Antonio over Tulsa. I checked three different sources before I believed that score. Crazy stuff. 

Our coverage begins at 10:35 a.m. on the RoughRiders Baseball Network. For those who tune in via 1630 KKGM, please note that today’s game will be played on tape delay beginning at 6:35 this evening. Enjoy the game!

- Brian

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55 other followers