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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Game 77: Springfield Cardinals (John Gast) @ Frisco RoughRiders (Ben Snyder)

Time: 7:00 PM CT
Location: Dr. Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
Team Records: Frisco RoughRiders (2-4 2 games back in the Texas League South; 42-34 overall)... Springfield Cardinals (1-5 5 games back in the Texas League North; 33-43 overall)
Streak: Won 1 in a row
Last 10: 5-5
Homestand: 0-0
Series Record: 10-9-2
2011 Record against Springfield: 3-3
All-Time Record against Springfield: 42-39
Record on June 30th since 2004: 1-4
Starting Pitchers: Ben Snyder (6-1 3.12 ERA) is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.90 WHIP in 6 career appearances against the Springfield Cardinals...John Gast (0-0 0.00 ERA) is making his first career start against the Frisco RoughRiders

What to Watch for on the Mound: Frisco sends Ben Snyder to the mound for the 28th time and 2nd start, while Springfield sends John Gast to the mound for the first time this season... Ben Snyder looks to build on his great pitching of late as he makes his first career start against the Springfield Cardinals. In his first start this season, Snyder gave up 5 hits and 1 run over 5 innings with 4 strikeouts and 0 walks. He picked up the victory against Midland in the start last Thursday, which tied him for the team lead with 6 victories, including 4 against the Midland Rockhounds. Over his last 10 appearances, Snyder is 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA over 20 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .229 against him and he holds a 13-4 K-BB ratio. Left handed batters are hitting just .186 against Snyder this season. He has struggled at home a bit, though, as he is 2-1 with a 4.22 ERA at home compared to a 4-0 record and 2.05 ERA on the road. Over 65 appearances and 6 starts in the Texas League, Snyder is 9-6 with a 3.23 ERA... John Gast makes his first AA start tonight against the Frisco Roughriders in his AA debut. The southpaw went 5-4 with a 3.95 ERA over 13 appearances/12 starts for the Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals). In 82 innings, Gast allowed 85 hits, walked 28 batters, and struck out 59. In his last start against the Charlotte Stone Crabs Gast gave up 8 hits, 1 walk, and 2 runs over 8 innings with 5 strikeouts. His most dominant start came on May 28th against the Lakeland Flying Tigers when he gave up 3 hits and 1 walk over 7 shutout innings with 11 strikeouts. The 22 year old was drafted in the 6th round of the 2010 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals out of Florida State University. He was rated as the 13th best prospect in the Cardinal's organization by Baseball America entering the 2011 season.

Texas League South Wins Again: The Texas League South held off the North by a score of 3-2 to win for the 5th time in the 6 years since the Texas League went to the North/South. Frisco's own Martin Perez picked up the win in the game as he threw a perfect inning with a strikeout.

Riders Galore: Aside from Perez, Frisco also had 8 others participate in the game.

- Leonys Martin, who has been out with an injury since June 8th, led off for the South and went 0 for 3 with a strikeout.
- Mike Bianucci batted 3rd for the South as the DH and went 1 for 4 with a single.
- Renny Osuna batted 9th, played second base, and went 0 for 3 with a walk.
- Tommy Mendonca came in at Martin's spot in the order, and went 0 for 2 with 2 strikeouts
- Jose Ruiz came in for Michael Spina and went 0 for 1
- Jose Felix came in for Ali Solis at catcher and went 0 for 1 at the plate.
- Reliever Adalberto Flores pitched an inning of relief for the South. He gave up 2 hits in the inning, including a homerun to Springfield's Matt Adams.
- Justin Miller pitched 2/3 of an inning in scoreless relief and struck out 1 batter.

In the end, the South held off the North and San Antonio's third baseman James Darnell was named the game's MVP after he went 1 for 4 with a 2-run homerun in the 3rd inning.

Recapping the Pre-All Star Break Part of the Season

While the "second half" has already technically started, it's difficult for me to consider it truly the first/second halves because major league baseball tends to view the all-star break as the end of the first half and beginning of the second half. So with that, here are some of the moments of the 2011 pre-all star break Texas League season and what my mid-season awards would be:

Run-away: The San Antonio Missions scored 20 runs 3 different times within the first 15 games of the season. They defeated Tulsa 23-10, defeated the Northwest Arkansas Naturals 26-5, and defeated the Midland Rockhounds 21-8. Ironically over the next 15 games they had the same amount of 10+ run games as they had in the first 15 games with 3. San Antonio went 49-21 in the first half, which was the 3rd highest win total for a first half since the Texas League went to half seasons in 1977. Frisco RoughRider fans should almost be hoping for San Antonio to keep winning because it would be highly likely for Frisco to make the playoffs then as they have a 12 game advantage over the Midland Rockhounds right now and a 14 game advantage over the Corpus Christi Hooks.

Martin Perez's Perfecto: Ok, so maybe it wasn't a 9 inning perfect game, but his 5 innings of perfection in the rain shortened 1-0 win over the Arkansas Travelers on April 19th still goes down in the record books as a Perfect Game. Martin Perez has looked much better this year than he did last year. It's also sometimes easy to forget that Perez is still only 20 years old and won't turn 21 until next April making him the youngest player on the team. Think about that: this would be his 2nd full year (made his debut late in 2009) and he's still the youngest player on the team.

10+ In Four Straight: Frisco managed a hot offense in the month of June, but nothing showed that better than their domination against the Midland Rockhounds. At one point Frisco had scored 10 or more runs in 4 consecutive games against Midland and the game that stopped the streak? They only scored 9 runs. Yea, that's some pretty good offense.

June Swoon? Tommy Mendonca Says Umm... No: Tommy Mendonca has been the RoughRider's best hitter this year with the only candidate being Leonys Martin, although Martin has been hurt almost as much as he's been healthy. But from the start until now, Mendonca has been in the lineup almost everyday and has had a breakout season. In the month of June, Mendonca is batting .375 with a 1.085 OPS. He has hit 11 doubles, 2 triples, 4 homeruns, and has a team best 30 RBI for the month. His RBI total is almost as many as the first two months combined (32). On the road, Mendonca has been especially good with a .388 average and a 1.078 OPS. 40 of his 62 RBI have come on the road and 15 of his 20 doubles have come there as well.

What Would Harry Doyle Say?: "One hit... one goddamn hit!" Of course you can't say goddamn on the air. That's what Frisco got in an ugly 3-1 loss to Midland at home on the last homestand. In that game, the two teams combined to commit more errors (5) than hits (4) or runs (4).

Speaking of Errors: The Tulsa Drillers and Midland Rockhounds lead the Texas League in games with 4 or more errors. They both have had 4 games with 4 or more errors. Of course, Midland has had 5 or more in 3 of those 4 games, including a season high 6 against Tulsa on May 25th in a game where Tulsa also committed 4 errors. Can you imagine that? 10 errors in the game!

Christian Friedrich's line that day was: 1 2/3 IP 7 H 10 R 2 ER 3 BB 1 K 69 pitches-36 strikes. After that start, his ERA was 5.16 and a month later it's now 3.94. Yea, the former 1st round pick has pitched much better.  

Filling Up the Box Score: On the subject of interesting pitching lines, the pressbox found Midland's Shawn Haviland's line quite interesting on June 20th as it really covered about everything a pitcher can do, but we'll warn you, it may take up a few lines...

4 IP 10 H 8 R 8 ER 2 BB 5 K 2 HR 1 WP 1 Balk 1 Intentional walk 1 HBP 101 pitches-64 strikes

And yes, Billy had to read off all of that on the speaker in the pressbox so the radio guys could get the line easier. I think he had to stop about halfway through to take a breath.

Get Two, Get Two Taken Away: Robbie Erlin has had a big year in the minor leagues this season between his 3-2 2.14 ERA and 62 K-5 BB start for Myrtle Beach earlier this season to his promotion to Frisco where he has pitched well to dominantly in the 4 of his 6 starts. He, has in some cases gotten off a bit lucky in the win category, however, but then got unlucky as well. Check out these wins and no decisions...

5/29: 6 1/3 IP 6 H 3 R/ER 1 BB 3 K- Solid
6/4: 6 IP 4 H 1 R 0 ER 1 BB 5 K- Great
6/15 5 IP 10 H 6 R/ER 2 BB 5 K- Worst professional start of his career
6/20 4 2/3 IP 8 H 4 R/ER 1 BB 3 K- Came in relief of Darren O'Day's 1 inning of rehab

No Decisions:
6/10: 7 IP 5 H 4 R/ER 0 BB 8 K- Took no-hitter into the 7th inning against the best hitting team in the league
6/26: 6 2/3 IP 5 H 2 R/ER 1 BB 14 K- Set Frisco record for most strikeouts in a start.

So over his last 4 starts, he's gotten a no-decision in his best 2 starts and a win in his worst 2. I guess, "that's the way baseball go". 

Multi Homerun Race: This season there have been 27 players that have had a multi homerun game in the Texas League. Nine of the 27 players have had multiple mult-homerun games. Luis Jimenez leads the tally right now with 3 multi homerun games this season. The interesting thing about him is that all 3 have come since June 14th and he had back to back games with multi homeruns on June 21st-22nd. The Frisco RoughRiders players that have had multi homerun games this season are: Mike Bianucci, Tommy Mendonca, Jose Felix, Travis Adair, and Jonathan Greene.

Scoreless Innings Tally: From Opening Day until June 27th, the last day before the all-star break, Texas League action has seen 3,732 scoreless innings. The Frisco RoughRiders have contributed 478 of those. Frisco RoughRiders opponents have had 491 scoreless innings. The most runs scored on a day by the Texas League was June 21st when there were 70 runs scored on 102 hits. The most hits on a single day was June 19th when there were 105 hits, but only 58 runs. On both May 28th and June 11th there were 16 errors committed by the Texas League, marking the most on a single day. Amazingly that wasn't the day where Midland/Tulsa committed 10 total.

Texas League Offensive Player of the Pre-All Star Break

Matt Adams, Springfield Cardinals

2011 Stats: .357 AVG 213 AB 76 H 15 2B 2 3B 17 HR 52 RBI 15 BB-39 K .397 OBP/.685 SLG/1.082 OPS

In a league where the #2 prospect in baseball is, it's pretty darn tough not to give the offensive player of the "first half" to Matt Adams. Despite missing a couple weeks due to an injury, Adams still ranks among the league leaders in homeruns (17) and RBI (52). He leads the league with a .357 batting average and a 1.082 OPS. Since May 1st, Adams is batting .390 with a 1.223 OPS. Even after getting hurt, he came back for the last few games before the break and went 7 for 18 with 1 double, 2 homeruns, and 5 RBI over 4 games. Adams also homered for the north in the All-star game.

Honorable Mention: OF Tim Wheeler (Tulsa Drillers), OF Mike Trout (Arkansas Travelers), OF Jermaine Mitchell (Midland Rockhounds)

Texas League Pitcher of the Pre-All Star Break

Matt Shoemaker, Arkansas Travelers

2011 Stats: 10 G 6-1 Rec 3 CG/1 SHO 2.64 ERA 1.02 WHIP 71 2/3 IP  62 H 11 BB 70 K 11 HR

Despite spending the first month of the season in AAA, Matt Shoemaker has statistically speaking been the best pitcher in the Texas League this season. He leads the league in ERA, WHIP, and has averaged over 7 innings per start for the Travelers. The 24 year old starter has given up 62 hits in 71 2/3 innings while walking 11 batters to 70 strikeouts. Shoemaker has struck out 10 or more in two starts this season out of the 10 he has had in the Texas League. His 6 wins is also tied for 4th behind teammate Garret Richards who leads the league in wins with 9. Shoemaker has thrown complete games in his last 2 starts and has a league best 3 complete games for the season.

Tracking Texas League Homeruns: 573 in 602 Games (0.952 HR/G)

Term of the Day: Finish Off- 1. For a pitcher to take the final step in retiring a batter. 2. For a team to eliminate another team in the postseason.

Last Year on This Date: The Texas League South defeated the Texas League North in the All-Star game. The final score of the game was 5-4 as Jordan Lyles picked up the win for the South and Jared Lansford got the save. Blake King took the loss for the North. Renny Osuna, Matt Lawson, and Joey Butler started for the Texas League North. Osuna finished 0 for 2 with a walk, Lawson finished 1 for 3 with a RBI, walk, and run scored, and Joey Butler finished 1 for 2 with a double and a run scored. Blake Beavan started for the Texas League South and pitched a scoreless inning. Ryan Tatusko also pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, although he did allow 3 hits and a walk, but also struck out 3 batters.

Around the Ranger's System

Yesterday's Record:

Round Rock (AAA) had the day off. Next game is tonight at home against Nashville.

Myrtle Beach (High-A) defeated the Kinston Indians 4-3 in the 10th inning. Justin Grimm started for Myrtle Beach and gave up 5 hits, 4 walks, and 3 runs over 5 innings with 5 strikeouts. Trevor Hurley, Miguel De Los Santos, and Johan Yan combined for 5 shutout innings of relief. Johan Yan picked up the win. Jared Hoying led Myrtle Beach with a 4 for 5 game including a double and a RBI. Vincent DiFazio added 3 hits in 4 at bats including a double, RBI, and a walk. Leury Garcia went 2 for 5 while Santiago Chirino went 2 for 4 with a RBI and a walk. Ryan Strausborger, Chris McGuiness, and Travis Adair each added a hit.

Hickory (Low-A) swept a double header from the Kannapolis Intimidators on Wednesday. Hickory won 12-2 in the first game and won 3-1 in the second game.

Nick Tepesch started the first game and gave up 4 hits, 1 walk, and 2 runs over 7 innings with 8 strikeouts. Jurickson Profar went 1 for 2 with 2 walks in the game for Hickory. Odubel Herrera added a 2 for 3 day including 2 RBI and a walk. Tomas Telis went 2 for 5 with a double and 3 RBI. Christian Villanueva added a 2 for 4 day with a double, RBI, and a walk for the Crawdads. Josh Richmond also went 2 for 4 with a double, while Jake Skole went 1 for 3 with 2 RBI, including a sac fly. Alejandro Selen went 1 for 3 with 2 RBI, a walk, and 2 runs scored. Kellin Deglan and Andrew Clark each added a hit too.

Luke Jackson started the second game for Frisco and gave up 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 unearned run over 5 innings with 8 strikeouts. He picked up his 3rd victory of the season. Jimmy Reyes and Ryan Rodebaugh each pitched 2 scoreless innings as well. Yefry Castillo led Hickory with 2 hits in 3 at bats including a double and a RBI. Kellin Deglan had a 1 for 2 day including a double, RBI, and a walk. Jonathan Roof went 1 for 2 with a RBI for the Crawdads as well. Jurickson Profar went 0 for 3 with a strikeout in the game.

Spokane (Short Season A-Ball) scored 4 runs in the first 3 innings and defeated the Yakima Bears 7-4. Santo Perez started for Spokane and gave up 4 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs over 6 innings with 2 strikeouts. Jose Monegro gave up 2 runs (1 earned) over 1 2/3 innings while Matt West pitched 1 1/3 of scoreless relief for his 1st save of the season. Brett Nicholas went 2 for 3 with 2 doubles, 3 RBI, and a walk for Spokane. Trever Adams went 2 for 4 with a double and 2 runs scored as well. Zach Cone reached base 3 times as he went 2 for 3 with a walk and scored 2 runs for the Indians. Carson Vitale went 2 for 4 with a double and a RBI and Edwin Garcia had a 2 for 4 day as well. Rougned Odor went 1 for 4 with a RBI. Drew Robinson and Braxton Lane each added a hit at the plate too.

Minor League Performance of the Day

On a day when there were four 10 strikeout performances, Kyle Weiland's 12 strikeout performance in AAA reigned about all. For the second start this season, Weiland had double digit strikeouts in a start for the Pawtucket Red Sox. In Pawucket's 4-1 victory over the Rochester Red Wings, Kyle Wieland gave up just 1 hit and 1 unearned run over 8 innings with 12 strikeouts. He did not issue a walk, although he hit 3 batters in the start. On the season, Weiland is now 7-6 with a 3.02 ERA over 16 starts. In 86 1/3 innings, he has given up 63 hits, walked 37 batters, and struck out 93. In the month of June, Weiland finished 3-2 with a 2.36 ERA over 6 starts. The 24 year old from Albuquerque, New Mexico was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft by the Boston Red Sox. He was rated by Baseball America as the 20th best prospect in Boston's organization entering the 2011 season.

As always...

Station to Listen to the Game on: 1630 AM (KKGM)
Follow the Game Online at: http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/scoreboard/league.jsp?sid=milb&lid=109
Follow Us on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/pressboxchatter 
Follow the Extra Bases Live Blog throughout the Game at: http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/multimedia/page.jsp?ymd=20100305&content_id=8685092&vkey=multimedia_t540&fext=.jsp&sid=t540
And Check Out the Riders Insider Blog for more Frisco RoughRiders info: http://ridersinsider.mlblogs.com/

- By Michael Damman

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