Welcome to "Chatter from the Pressbox", the website dedicated to the Pressbox of the Frisco RoughRiders, the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.

Today's Matchups Around the Ranger's System

Today's (5/20) Match-Ups Around the Ranger's System

Round Rock: Martin Perez (3-3 5.27) vs. Fresno Grizzlies: Andrew Kown (3-1 2.61) @ 1:00 PM CT

Myrtle Beach: Kyle Hendricks (1-4 2.91) @ Wilmington Blue Rocks: Sugar Ray Marimon (3-0 2.65) @ 12:30 PM CT

Hickory : Santo Perez (2-2 6.19) @ Asheville Tourists: Daniel Winkler (4-2 6.06) @ 1:05 PM CT

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Game 64: Frisco RoughRiders (Robbie Erlin) @ Midland Rockhounds (Shawn Haviland)

Time: 6:30 PM CT
Location: Citibank Ballpark (Midland, TX)
Team Records: Frisco RoughRiders (35-28 9 games back in the Texas League South)... Midland Rockhounds (25-38 19 games back in the Texas League South)
Streak: Won 2 in a row
Last 10: 6-4
Series Record: 8-8-1
2011 Record against Midland: 9-2
All-Time Series Record against Midland: 112-99
Record on June 15th Since 2004: 2-5
Starting Pitchers: Robbie Erlin (2-0 3.26 ERA) is making his first career start against the Midland Rockhounds... Shawn Haviland (2-5 7.04 ERA) is 0-0 with a 7.82 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 2 career starts against the Frisco RoughRiders.

What to Watch for on the Mound: Frisco sends Robbie Erlin to the mound for the 4th time, while Midland sends Shawn Haviland to the mound for the 13th time this season in the 4th game of a 4 game set... Robbie Erlin looks to continue his terrific season as he squares off against Midland for the first time. Erlin's line in his last start on Friday did not do him justice for how dominant he pitched against a tough San Antonio Misisons lineup. Erlin's final line was: 7 IP 5 H 4 R 4 ER 0 BB 8 K, but he took a no-hitter into the 7th inning when he gave up all 5 hits and 4 runs. The only baserunner to reach prior to the 7th inning came on an error by Renny Osuna, who was playing shortstop in the game. Through 3 starts for Frisco Erlin has gone from good to great to excellent in his work. On the season for Frisco, Erlin has given up 15 hits and 2 walks over 19 1/3 innings with 16 strikeouts. Erlin's 0.88 WHIP is the 3rd best in the Texas League since he came up to the league. On the season, Erlin is 5-2 with a 2.43 ERA in 12 starts between Myrtle Beach and Frisco. He has given up 40 hits and 7 walks in 74 innings with 78 strikeouts. His WHIP of 0.64 on the season is still the best in minor league baseball. The next best is Austin Kirk of the Peoria Chiefs, who has a 0.82 WHIP... Shawn Haviland looks to rebound from a nightmarish season so far. The 25 year old right hander gave up 9 hits, 1 walk, and 4 runs over 6 innings with 4 strikeouts in his last start against the Corpus Christi Hooks on Friday. He has given up 9 hits in 4 of his last 5 starts, including 3 in a row. On the season, Haviland has given up 82 hits and 19 walks over 62 2/3 innings with 49 strikeouts. His 13 homeruns given up on the season rank as the 2nd most in AA baseball. Opponents are batting .306 against Haviland on the season. He is 1-3 with a 6.69 ERA in 7 starts on the road this season.

Frisco Scores Early and Often Again: For the second game in a row against Midland, Frisco scored at least 8 runs in the first 4 innings as they scored 8 runs in the first 4 innings and defeated the Midland Rockhounds 10-4 on Tuesday night.  Frisco accumulated 16 hits in the game and have gotten 36 hits over 2 games, which are likely the most hits over a 2 game span in franchise history. The head of the statistical research department is still doing the research. Frisco is now 9-1 in their last 10 road games and are 17-14 on the road this season overall.

Brandon Webb Much Better: Brandon Webb's first rehab start did not go so well, but his second was better. Webb gave up just 1 hit and 1 walk over 3 shutout innings with 1 strikeout. He threw 42 pitches, 27 of which went for strikes. The 32 year old former Cy Young award winner looks to use that positive outing to get back on track.

Mendonca Reaches Base Five Times, Extends Streak: The road killer continued his hot streak as Tommy Mendonca went 3 for 4 with a double, RBI, and 2 walks. The 3 hits extends his road on base streak to 30 games for Frisco and 36 in a row for Mendonca personally. He has had at least 3 hits in a game for 3 consecutive games and 4 out of his last 5. Over those 5 games, Mendonca is 15 for 23 with 5 doubles, a homerun, 10 RBI, and 7 runs. Mendonca is now batting .405/.445/.651/1.096 on the road this season. He's also now batting .457 with a 1.292 OPS against Midland for the season.

Elio Sarmiento's Big Day: Elio Sarmiento continued with his hot bat as well with a big day on Tuesday. Sarmeinto went 3 for 4 with a double and triple to finish a homerun short of the cycle. He also walked and drove in 4 runs in the game out of the 8th spot in the order. It was the 2nd straight day that a Rider finished 3/4ths of the way to the cycle as Mike Bianucci finished a triple short of the cycle on Monday. For Sarmiento, it was his 1st 3 hit game with Frisco since July 13th of 2010. He matched a career high with the 4 RBI.

Walking the Line: Frisco set a season high on Tuesday with 9 walks in the game. The 9 walks increased their team total to 170 walks for the season, which ranks as the worst in the Texas League.

Everybody Contributing: Tuesday was the epitome of the team effort as Frisco saw every position player get a hit in the game and every player in the lineup either scored a run or drove in a run in the game. The only player to not reach base at least twice for Frisco was Travis Adair, the leadoff hitter. Frisco got 20 at bats with runners in scoring position for a second consecutive game as well. They had 25 batters reach base, which tied Monday's total.

Shutting Down the Top of the Order: In Sunday's 9-2 loss, Midland's first four hitters went 8 for 19 with 5 runs scored. Over the last 2 games, they have gone 5 for 33 with 1 run scored. Midland's leadoff hitter Jermaine Mitchell did walk one time on Tuesday, but he went hitless for only the second time this season against Frisco.

Tracking Texas League Homeruns: 470 in 498 games (0.944 HR/G)

Term of the Day: Near beer pitcher- A pitcher who commonly works himself into a three-balls-and-two-strikes (3-2) count.

Last Year on This Date: Frisco gave up 5 runs over the final 4 innings and lost 6-5 to Midland at home. Richard Bleier started for Frisco and got a no-decision after giving up 5 hits, 3 walks, and 3 runs over 6 2/3 innings with 5 strikeouts. Andrew Laughter and Beau Jones combined to give up 2 runs in 1/3 of an inning of relief. Cody Eppley received the loss after giving up 1 run in 2 innings of relief. Taylor Teagarden went 2 for 4 with a homerun, double, and 2 RBI. Matt Lawson, who as noted in yesterdays post's comment section retired from baseball in March, went 1 for 3 with a homerun, 3 RBI, and a walk. Renny Osuna had 2 hits for the Riders out of the leadoff spot. Emerson Frostad and Mitch Hilligoss each added a hit of their own.

Answer to Yesterday's Question of the Day: Johnny Damon of the Wichita Wranglers was the 1995 Texas League Player of the Year

Around the Ranger's System

Yesterday's Record: 3-2

Round Rock (AAA) scored 2 runs in the top of the 9th inning to tie the game, but lost to the Nashville Sounds 5-4 in 10 innings on the road. Tommy Hunter got the rehab start for Round Rock and gave up 6 hits, 1 walk, and 3 runs (2 earned) over 3 2/3 innings with 3 strikeouts. Former Riders relievers Mark Hamburger and Beau Jones pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Manny Delcarmen gave up a run in 1 inning of work. Pedro Strop took the loss after giving up 1 run over 2 1/3 innings of relief work. Joey Butler extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a 2 for 4 day including a double. Chris Davis went 1 for 4 with a homerun for the Express. Brian Barden added 2 hits of his own, while Matt Kata went 1 for 1 with a pinch hit 2-run homerun in the 9th inning. Chad Tracy also added a hit at the plate in 5 at bats and Robbie Diaz finished 1 for 4.

Myrtle Beach (High-A) split a double header with the Potomac Nationals with Justin Grimm and Barret Loux going for Myrtle Beach...

Myrtle Beach fell to Potomac in game one by the score of 5-1. Justin Grimm started the first game and gave up 7 hits, 3 walks, and 5 runs (4 earned) with 3 strikeouts in his worst start for Myrtle Beach so far. Ryan Strausborger went 1 for 3 Vincent DiFazio went 1 for 2 with the Pelican's lone extra base hit in the game, a double, and a walk. Jared Hoying added a RBI as part of a 1 for 3 game, while Jared Bolden went 1 for 2.

Myrtle Beach defeated Potomac in game two by the score of 2-0. Barret Loux took the mound in game two and gave up 1 hit and 3 walks over 5 shutout innings with 7 strikeouts. Leury Garcia finished 2 for 4 with a triple in the game. Ryan Strausborger went 1 for 4 with a RBI. Zach Zaneski also had a RBI and went 1 for 3. Jared Prince and Jared Hoying each walked in the game as Prince went 1 for 2 and Hoying went 0 for 2. Mitch Hilligoss, Chris McGuiness, and Santiago Chirino each added a hit in the game.

Hickory (Low-A) scored 2 runs in the 2nd inning and defeated the Asheville Tourists 2-1 to win their 4th straight game. Roman Mendez got the start for Hickory and gave up 7 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run over 7 innings with 6 strikeouts. Joseph Van Meter pitched 2 shutout innings for his 3rd save of the season. Christian Villanueva went 2 for 3 with a homerun, a walk, RBI, and runs scored. Andrew Clark added 2 hits in 4 at bats, including a double. Jake Skole also had 2 hits for the Crawdads in 4 at bats. He is batting .351 over his last 10 games for Hickory. Alejandro Selen drove in the other run as he went 1 for 3 with a walk. Kellin Deglan and Odubel Herrera each added a hit as well.

Minor League Performance of the Day

Luis Jimenez was named the starting third baseman for the Texas League North's All-Star team on Monday. On Tuesday, the Arkansas Traveler's third baseman responded with a 3 for 4 day, including a double, 2 homeruns, and 5 RBI. He also scored 2 runs in Arkansas's 8-4 win over the Springfield Cardinals. The 23 year old third baseman is batting .285 on the season with 21 doubles, 7 homeruns, and an .806 OPS. It does go to show the difference between the North and South as there is no doubt that Tommy Mendonca (.321/.367/.572/.939) would have been starting over Jimenez if the two players were in the same league. Mendonca, however, is relegated to a reserve role due to James Darnell (.351/.448/.623/1.071) being in the Texas League South. Still, Jimenez, an International free agent signing in 2005 by the Los Angeles Angels, is having a solid season so far. Jimenez, who hit .331 with a .991 OPS in short season-A ball in 2009 and batted .288 with an .831 OPS between low-A and high-A in 2010, was rated by Baseball America as the Angel's 22nd best prospect entering the 2011 season.

As always...

Station to Listen to the Game on: 1630 AM (KKGM)
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And Check Out the Riders Insider Blog for more Frisco RoughRiders info: http://ridersinsider.mlblogs.com/

- By Michael Damman

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