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

Monday, July 4, 2011

Game 81: Arkansas Travelers (Orangel Arenas) @ Frisco RoughRiders (Robbie Erlin)--- Happy Fourth of July!---

Time: 6:00 PM CT
Location: Dr. Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
Team Records: Frisco RoughRiders (5-5 2 games back in the Texas League South; 45-35 overall)... Arkansas Travelers (7-3 1st place in the Texas League North; 43-34 overall)
Streak: Won 1 in a row
Last 10: 5-5
Homestand: 3-1
Series Record: 11-9-2
2011 Record against Arkansas: 3-4
All-Time Record against Arkansas: 84-44
Rider's Record on July 4th: 7-1
Starting Pitchers: Robbie Erlin (4-0 4.79 ERA) is making his first career start against the Arkansas Travelers...Orangel Arenas (7-3 3.82 ERA) is making his first career start against the Frisco RoughRiders. 

What to Watch for on the Mound: Frisco sends Robbie Erlin to the mound for the 7th time this season, while Arkansas sends Orangel Arenas to the mound for the 14th time this season in the second game of a three game set... Robbie Erlin looks to improve to 3-0 at home as he takes the mound for the fourth time in Dr. Pepper Ballpark on the 4th of July. In his last start, Robbie Erlin struck out a career high and Frisco RoughRiders record 14 batters in a 4-3 loss to the Corpus Christi Hooks where Erlin got the no decision. In the start, the southpaw gave up 5 hits, 1 walk, and 2 runs over 6 2/3 innings. Both runs came on solo homeruns in the 7th inning. Frisco is 5-1 in Erlin's 6 appearances this season and overall, his team is 10-5 in his 15 appearances this season. On the year for Frisco, Erlin has given up 38 hits and 6 walks with 38 strikeouts over 35 2/3 innings. Overall, he has given up 63 hits and 11 walks with 100 strikeouts in 90 1/3 innings. Erlin is 7-2 with a 3.19 ERA overall in 15 games/14 starts. For his career, the 20 year old Robbie Erlin has walked 29 batters to 234 strikeouts over 209 innings pitched in 46 career minor league appearances, including 31 starts... Orangel Arenas looks to regain the success that he had in April when he went 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA through his first four starts for Arkansas. In his last start, Orangel gave up 1 hit and struck out 1 in 1 shutout inning. He had pitched through at least 6 innings in his previous 6 starts, including a May 18th start against the Springfield Cardinals where he gave up 4 hits and 3 walks over 8 2/3 shutout innings. On the season, the right hander has given up 82 hits and 20 walks over 77 2/3 innings with 29 strikeouts. On the road, Arenas is 3-0 with a 3.96 ERA in 6 starts.

Frisco Wins in Extras After Huge Comeback:  For almost the entire game, Frisco looked completely out of the game. Perez struggled early on, but kept the game close. Then the bullpen came in and the game seemed to get out of hand for Frisco. But in the 8th inning, Frisco scored 6 runs to tie the game at 6-6 in their largest deficit of the season and won on a walkoff single in the 10th inning by Thursday's hero Davis Stoneburner. Frisco moved to 40 games over .500 in their history against the Arkansas Travelers, by far the most over .500 against a single opponent.

Martin Perez Struggles, But Limits Damage: Martin Perez never looked completely comfortable on the mound and he ended up throwing 99 pitches (51 strikes) over 5 innings of work. He gave up just 2 hits though, and only 2 runs (1 earned) over the 5 innings despite 4 walks and 2 wild pitches. Perez also struck out 4 to bring him to 197 for his career for Frisco. To give an idea of how his struggles with command went, Perez reached a 3 ball count with 9 of the 21 batters he faced over 5 innings. Martin wasn't helped by his defense though as a missed pop fly in the 1st inning helped lead to a 1st inning unearned run.

Defensive Miscues Key 6 Run 8th Inning: Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good and on Sunday, Frisco proved that to be true. The first two hits of the 8th inning were both plays that Frisco got away with and got lucky with. Engel Beltre blooped a single into left field that very well could have been caught by the shortstop Darwin Perez, but Chris Pettit seemed to call him off and never caught the ball. The second hit, a single by Jose Felix to the second baseman was an excuse me swing that somehow ended up being to short to be caught by second baseman Matt Cusick and not hit hard enough for him to be able to get to in time.  And with that the flood gates opened wide. A walk, an error by the second baseman, and another walk later and everything seemed to unravel in the 8th.

Jose Ruiz Keys 8th inning Rally: The biggest hit of the night for Frisco was a RBI triple by first baseman Jose Ruiz with the bases loaded. The hit brought Frisco within 2 runs of the Travelers after being down 6-0 heading into the inning. Jose Ruiz finished the game 2 for 4 with the triple, 3 RBI, and a walk. He improved his season average to .321 with a .996 OPS in the 8th inning and collectively he now has 12 extra base hits in the 7th inning or later this season, out of his 25 extra base hits overall.

Davis Stoneburner Gets Walkoff Hit Again: For the second time this homestand, Davis Stoneburner had the walkoff RBI single in a game. Renny Osuna turned a single into a hustle double to lead off the 10th. Jose Ruiz walked, a flyout and a hit by pitch to Jonathan Greene later set up the 1 out single for Stoneburner. It was Stoneburner's 3rd game winning hit in the 9th inning or later this season. His other hit was a homerun in the 10th inning of a 6-4 win over San Antonio on  May 23rd.

Greener Pastures Ahead?: Jonathan Greene had been struggling lately as before Saturday's game he had struck out at least twice in 6 consecutive games. However, the last two days he has gone 3 for 7 with 3 hit by pitches, and a homerun. On Sunday, he went 2 for 4 with the game tying homerun in the 8th inning as well as a hit by pitch. His homerun was his 9th of the season giving him 29 extra base hits for the season. His hit by pitch was his 11th of the season and bringing him within 5 of tying Craig Gentry's single season Frisco RoughRider record for hit by pitches in a season. Jonathan Greene is batting .397 (23 for 58) when leading off an inning.

Jake Brigham Continues Relief Struggles: Despite struggling with command, Martin Perez kept the game close for Frisco. However, Jake Brigham came in and struggled to keep it close. Since moving into the bullpen, Brigham has given up a run in 3 of his 4 appearances and has a 16.20 ERA in total as a reliever. He has allowed 13 hits, walked 3 batters, and given up 11 runs (9 earned) over 5 innings with 3 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .464 against him as a reliever. As a starter, Brigham was 3-5 with a 4.96 ERA over 14 starts with 69 hits allowed and 33 walks over 74 1/3 innings with 68 strikeouts.

Garrett Richards Sharp Despite Final Line: For 7 innings, Garrett Richards seemed untouchable in the game. He hadn't allowed a run, had only allowed 4 hits, had only thrown 82 pitches, was still hitting 96/97 on the radar gun, and seemed in control. But, then the inning became the 8th inning and everything seemed to unravel for the 23 year old right hander. What looked like his 10th win of the season, became his 5th no decision of the season. Richards allowed a couple of tough luck hits, then walked a batter to load the bases, an error and another walk later and everything seemed to go downhill. His final blow was the 3 run triple to Ruiz, which took Richards out of the game and brought Mike Piazza into pitch for Arkansas. Richards ended up throwing 24 pitches in the 8th inning and only recorded 1 out.

Frisco Looks to Continue July 4th Domination: Frisco seems to enjoy July 4th, as they have dominated the date since the franchise began in Frisco. The Riders are 7-1 on the Fourth of July, including a winning streak of 5 in a row coming into today. They have outscored their opponents 55-20 on the day and are an undefeated 5-0 at home. 

Tracking Texas League Homeruns: 604 in 634 games (0.953 HR/G)

Term of the Day: Fourth of July- The date, roughly halfway through the regular season, that is a standard landmark for measuring a team's success. It is an old cliche or prophecy in baseball that teams in first place on the Fourth of July will win their divisions, but this actually happens less than half the time.

Last Year on This Date: Frisco defeated the Arkansas Travelers 8-7 on the 4th of July in Frisco. Martin Perez started for Frisco and gave up 6 hits, 2 walks, and 7 runs (5 earned) over 5 1/3 innings with 5 strikeouts. Evan Reed pitched 1 2/3 innings of shutout relief. Adalberto Flores pitched a scoreless inning and picked up his 2nd win of the season, while Cody Eppley pitched the 9th for his 8th save of the season. Engel Beltre went 3 for 3 with a homerun (his first of the season), 4 RBI, 2 sacrifice flies, and scored a run. Renny Osuna went 3 for 4 with a double and scored 3 runs. Endy Chavez led off and went 2 for 4 with a RBI, a stolen base, and a walk. Matt Lawson went 1 for 2 with 2 RBI, 2 walks, and a sac bunt. Guilder Rodriguez went 1 for 1 with 1 RBI on a sac fly, a walk, 2 runs, and a sac bunt.

Around the Ranger's System

Yesterday's Record: 4-1

Round Rock (AAA) won on a walkoff 3-run homerun by rehabbing Mike Napoli to defeat the Nashville Sounds 9-6. Zach Jackson started for Round Rock and gave up 6 hits, 2 walks, and 3 runs over 5 1/3 innings with 2 strikeouts. Seth McClung gave up a run in 2 innings of relief work, while Pedro Strop gave up 2 runs (1 earned) over 1 1/3 innings of relief. Zach Phillips picked up his first win after throwing 1/3 of an inning scoreless. Mike Napoli only went 1 for 5 for Round Rock, but his one hit ended up being the difference as he hit the walkoff 3 run homerun. Julio Borbon went 3 for 4 with 2 triples, 2 RBI, a walk, and scored a run.

Myrtle Beach (High-A) gave up 3 runs in the 1st inning and lost 5-3 to the Lynchburg Hillcats on the road. Wilfredo Boscan started for Myrtle Beach and gave up 7 hits, 1 walk, and 4 runs over 7 innings with 4 strikeouts. He was the first Myrtle Beach starting pitcher to give up a homerun since Kennil Gomez on June 18th. Chad Bell completed the game with 1 inning of relief and gave up 1 unearned run. Leury Garcia led Myrtle Beach with a 2 for 5 game including a double and a RBI. Santiago Chirino went 2 for 4 for the Pelicans as well. Jared Prince added the lone other hit in 3 at bats with a walk.

Hickory (Low-A) scored 3 runs in the 7th inning and 2 in the 8th to defeat Greenville 7-4 on the road in an explosive offensive performance. Nicholas McBride started for Hickory and gave up 6 hits, 1 walk, and 4 runs (3 earned) over 4 innings with 3 strikeouts. Colby Killian picked up his 6th win with 2 shutout innings of relief. Jimmy Reyes and Joseph Van Meter combined for 3 scoreless innings of relief. Van Meter earned his 4th save of the season. Top prospect Jurickson Profar went 1 for 3 with a walk and a hit by pitch for Hickory. Odubel Herrera added a 3 for 5 day with a double and 2 RBI. Tomas Telis went 3 for 5 with a double and a RBI for the Crawdads. Andrew Clark added a 2 for 4 day with a double as well. Jake Skole went 2 for 3 with a RBI on a sacrifice fly. Josh Richmond and Jonathan Roof each added 2 hits as well.

Spokane (Short Season A-Ball) held on to beat the Tri City Dust Devils 3-2 on the road. Victor Payano took the mound for Spokane and gave up just 1 hit and 1 walk over 6 shutout innings with 9 strikeouts. Samuel Robinson gave up 2 runs over 1 inning of relief, while Francisco Mendoza picked up his 1st save with a scoreless 9th inning. Rougned Odor went 3 for 3 with a RBI and 2 walks at the plate for Spokane. Hirotoshi Onaka went 1 for 3 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored at the plate as well. Guillermo Pimentel added 3 hits in 4 at bats for the Indians. Edwin Garcia added 2 hits, while Carson Vitale added a hit.

Minor League Performance of the Day

Known for his contact ability, David Nick set a season high with 5 hits for the Visalia Rawhide in their 11-6 loss to the Lake Elsinore Storm on Sunday. Nick went 5 for 5 with a homerun, RBI, and run as the leadoff hitter for Visalia. On the season, the second baseman is batting .287 with a .338 on base percentage and .411 slugging percentage in the hitter friendly California League. He has hit 16 doubles, 1 triple, 8 homeruns, and driven in 32 runs in 78 games. Primarily the leadoff hitter for Visalia, Nick is batting .284 as the leadoff hitter, although he's at .270 when leading off an inning. David Nick, 21 years old, was drafted in the 4th round of the 2009 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was rated by Baseball America as the 19th best prospect in the Arizona Diamondback's system entering 2010, but was one of 12 of their top 30 prospects entering 2010 to drop out of the top 30 entering 2011, including 11 of their bottom 13 prospects of the top 30.

As always...

A special thanks to any blog followers from Celebration, Florida!

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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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