Flintoff & Dunn's NEWS ARCHIVE
APRIL 2009

It is intended that this page will maintain a historical record of previous news published on this site. From time to time we will archive old or outdated news on our "WHAT'S NEW" & "AUSSIES IN THE US LEAGUES" pages. It may interest some people to read the developments in chronological order right here.

ARCHIVED NEWS FROM APRIL 2009 BEGINS BELOW:

ARCHIVE
APRIL 2009

To make things easier for our loyal suscribers we will adopt a new format of
providing news involving
AUSTRALIAN Players in yellow text, while 
news about former AMLB IMPORT Players will be in white text.

 

  29 APR 2009 - MOYLAN WINS; BALFOUR HOLDS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Peter Moylan


Grant Balfour




Kevin Millwood

Australian relief ace PETER MOYLAN earned his first win of the 2009 season by locking down the vital eighth inning of the Atlanta Braves ever-so-tight 2-1 win over the St.Louis Cardinals. Pete was all business, starting with Brendan Ryan struck out while failing to offer at a breaking ball, followed by Rick Ankiel who grounded out to the second baseman and Brian Barden who grounded into the infield for Moylan to snare his own assist on the play. His impressive line today was 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (7.88ERA). In this game his battery mate DAVID ROSS MLB All-Stars 2001) batted 1-3 (.360) to help his cause.
The day before, Pete pitched "all the ones" with 1.0ip 1h 1er 1bb 1k for the Braves in their narrow 2-3 loss to the 'Red Birds'. In this game Moylan took over before the bottom of the seventh inning and he got Brendan Ryan to ground out to the short stop before committing the cardinal sin of walking opposing pitcher Joel Piniero after getting ahead with a 1-2 count. Typically, Piniero advanced on Skip Schumaker's ground out back to the mound, then scored on Rick Ankiel's single up the middle. He did finish his work with the very rare feat of striking out multiple MVP and future first-ballot Hall Of Fame slugger Albert Pujols... fanning at Pete's wicked third pitch curveball
.

And also from yesterday, Aussie GRANT BALFOUR collected his second hold of the season, even though he traded two hits for one out during the Tampa Bay Rays 7-1 romp over the Minnesota Twins. 'Balf' pitched 0.1ip 2h 0er 0bb 1k (7.50ERA) when he finished off the final out of the sixth inning, but he ran into a spot of bother in the seventh. He finished the sixth by having Delmon Young struck out swinging at his sixth straight two-seamer that whizzed by at 94mph. Back to open the bottom of the seventh Grant saw Jose Morales hit a line drive single to left field, then Nick Punto hit a ground ball through the right side before he was replaced on the mound by Joe Nelson.

In somewhat typical fashion, Texas Rangers' former ABL evergreen
KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) dug deep to earn his second win of the year when he anchored his team to a tough 5-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics. 'Big Kev' pitched a lion-hearted 8.0ip 10h 2er 2bb 5k to improve his very good record to 2-2, 2.13ERA.

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) enjoyed another multi-hit game today when he batted 2-4 (.328) for the Houston Astros who hammered to Cincinnati Reds 8-3. The previous day Blum batted 0-3 but he delivered a vital run via a sacrifice fly to help the 'Stros to top the Reds 4-1.

... and from yesterday's MLB games:

NICK GREEN (IBLA Internationals 2001) batted 1-4 (.298) to help the barnstorming Boston Reds Sox to extend their winning streak to eleven games with a 3-1 win over the Cleveland Indians.

  27 APR 2009 - DAVID ROSS HITS HOMER No.2!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


David Ross

Doing all he could to lift the Atlanta Braves today was journeyman backup catcher DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) who batted 1-2 (.389), including his second home run of the season, and walked twice. It was not enough on this occasion as the Braves were whipped 2-8 by the Cincinnati Reds. 

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 2-5 (.274) and scored twice for the Toronto Blue Jays, helping them to edge past the Chicago White Sox 4-3 today.

Also playing a key role for the Los Angeles Angels in their 8-0 shutout stomping of the Seattle Mariners was right fielder GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) who batted 2-4 (.268) with a RBI and two runs scored.

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) joined the former ABL imports with two hits today when he batted 2-4 (.333) for the Houston Astros who narrowly topped the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2.land Indians.

In the late game today NICK GREEN (IBLA Internationals 2001) batted 1-4 (.302) to help the Boston Red Sox to complete a rare series sweep of the visiting New York Yankees with their 4-1 victory at Fenway.

  26 APR 2009 - AUSSIE TRIO RELIEVE AGAIN!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour


Peter Moylan


Rich Thompson



Nick Green

Aussie pitching star GRANT BALFOUR was back on the hill today with a brief contribution for the Tampa Bay Rays in their 2-5 loss to the Oakland Athletics. Balfour pitched 0.1ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k (7.94ERA) to record the final out of the sixth inning in relief of Matt Garza with two runners aboard. Balfour immediately loaded the bases with a six pitch walk issued to Mark Ellis but he escaped the jam by overmatching Landon Powell who was left looking at a 93mph cannonball.
In yesterday's 8-2 win by the Ray's over the A's BALFOUR pitched 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k in relief of a brilliant start by lefty Scott Kazmir. 'Balf' took good care of the bottom of the seventh by getting Matt Holliday to ground out to the short stop, Jack Cust to fly out to centre field and Kury Suzuki to ground out to the second baseman. It was a very neat 1-2-3 inning with six strikes among only nine pitches!

PETER MOYLAN picked up his second hold of the new season yesterday with a strong 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k (9.00ERA) for the Atlanta Braves who topped the Cincinnati Reds 4-3. Starting the bottom of the seventh, Pete first took care of pinch hitter Darnell McDonald who grounded out to the first baseman, then he struck out Willie Taveras with a wicked curveball. He then lost a seven pitch battle with Chris Dickerson who walked before making life interesting with his own error while trying to field Joey Votto's infield squibber off a changeup. Moylan tidied up by getting Brandon Phillips to fly out to the centre fielder.

Also pitching again yesterday was RICHARD THOMPSON who was the first man summoned from the bullpen yesterday during his Los Angeles Angels' 3-8 defeat by the Seattle Mariners. Rich took over after starter Shane Loux was shelled for eleven hits in four innings with four runs already scored in the inning and the bases loaded with none out. Thompson cashed in one of Loux's runs with a wild pitch, then he secured the first out when Franklin Gutierrez grounded out to the first baseman. His day ended with another run scored by Yuniesky Betancourt who lifted a sacrifice fly. Richard was replaced by Daniel Davidson after pitching a pretty good 0.2ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (2.70ERA) under tough circumstances.

During this morning's televised game featuring the Seattle Mariners, it was great to hear news that Australian pitcher RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH is soon to be re-activated from the disabled list after what was described as "fluid on the elbow". It was suggested that Ryan would skip his next probable start in the Mariners' rotation, but it was reassuring to learn that his injury was relatively minor.

NICK GREEN (IBLA Internationals 2001) may have been one of the few to "miss the party" with 0-3 for the Boston Red Sox in their wild 16-11 slugfest win over the New York Yankees, but he was in the thick of the action yesterday. In this game he batted 2-4 (.333) with a vital RBI to help the 'Bosox' to sink the 'Evil Empire' 5-4 in the eleventh inning after an amazing ninth inning comeback.

Platoon catcher DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) batted a mighty 2-4 (.375) with a RBI to help the Atlanta Braves to vanquish the Cincinnati Reds 10-2.

RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) was close to perfection today with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 3k (7.71ERA) for the Kansas City Royals in their 1-9 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Tigers. In his previous outing he could not escape unscathed with 0.2ip 2h 1er 0bb 0k in Kansas City's 2-5 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Once again enjoying a fine offensive game was Houston Astros' infielder GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) who batted 2-3 (.320) plus two walks in their narrow 8-9 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

  23 APR 2009 - BALFOUR, MOYLAN & THOMPSON PITCH!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour


Peter Moylan


Rich Thompson

 

Aussie "fireballer" GRANT BALFOUR did all that he could do for the Tampa Bay Rays in their 2-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners with his strong 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 1k (10.38ERA) performance at the sharp end of the game. 'Balf' kept his team in with a chance of a late rally by pitching a scoreless top of the eighth inning. He started by getting dangerous Adrian Beltre to pop out to the first baseman in foul territory, before Mike Sweeney lashed a line drive double to centre field. He kept Sweeney's pinch runner in place by striking out Jose Lopez with four 94-95mph fastballs. His job was done when Rob Johnson flied out to centre field.

In a similar way, compatriot PETER MOYLAN was equally effective for the Atlanta Braves with a solid line of 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k (10.80ERA) in their 3-4 loss to the Washington Nationals. 'Big Pete' pitched a scoreless seventh inning which started with Ryan Zimmerman lining out to centre field, then giant Adam Dunn grounding back to the mound for his own assist. After Elijah Dukes walked, Pete polished off the frame by striking out Austin Kearns with a vicious slider.

And, our sincere apologies to Aussie reliever RICHARD THOMPSON who made his first major league appearance for 2009 with the Los Angeles Angels last Saturday... somehow we missed on reporting it.
Just to play "catch up", we can tell you that Rich did little wrong with 1.2ip 2h 0er 1bb 2k (0.00ERA) as a solid effort in their 2-9 loss to the Minnesota Twins. He entered the game with two runners on and one out in the sixth inning and he proceeded to pitch a scoreless bridge to the end of the seventh. It should be enough to make sure that there are further big league opportunities for him this season.

Utility infielder NICK GREEN (IBLA Internationals 2001) is taking his opportunity to re-establish a big league career with the Boston Red Sox via another very useful offensive effort during their 10-1, seven inning victory over the Minnesota Twins today. Green batted 2-4 with 3RBIs, including his first home run of the 2009 season. Green backed up to hit 2-3 (.313) for the Bosox in the nightcap of the double-header to help them to double-up with a 7-3 win.

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) managed 0-4 (.274) but he did deliver a RBI for the Toronto Blue Jays who fell short in a 4-5 defeat by the Texas Rangers.

Playing a major role for the Los Angeles Angels in their narrow 4-3 win over the Detroit Tigers was "hot and cold" outfielder GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) who batted 1-3 (.200) with 2 RBIs.

The previous day GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) enjoyed a highly productive 3-4 (.341) game for the Houston Astros and he could not be blamed for their 3-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

  21 APR 2009 - PETE MOYLAN PILLAGES PIRATES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Peter Moylan



David Ross

Australia's returning major league star PETER MOYLAN is doing his best to chip away at the inflated ERA he collected via a couple of tough outings earlier this season. 'Big Pete' has been looking more like his impressive 2007/08 self in recent games, pitching a tidy 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (13.50ERA) for the Atlanta Braves during their 11-1 massacre of the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday. Moylan relieved starter Javier Vazquez to start the bottom of the seventh inning and he began well with Brandon Moss grounding out to the short stop. He then overmatched Adam LaRoche who "fanned" on three straight pitches down in the zone before getting Jack Wilson to fly out to centre field on his first pitch. Pete's 1-2-3 inning required a efficient seven pitches as he did exactly the job required for his team.
In this game Moylan's battery partner, catcher DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001), had one of his red-hot hitting days with 2-4 (.429) plus a walk and three RBIs coming via his first home run of this season.

Backup infielder NICK GREEN (IBLA Internationals 2001) continues to due a workmanlike job for the surging Boston Red Sox. Not only has he been solid with the glove, but he has also made some important offensive contributions lately. He was quiet today with 0-4 (.240) with a run scored in Boston's 12-1 rout of the Baltimore Orioles, but he batted 1-3 and scored a vital run in a tight 2-1 win over the O's yesterday.

... and from other MLB games yesterday:

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) has been very good for the Houston Astros at times this season, but he was cast as one of the villains when he batted 0-3 (.297), managing just a walk while leaving no less than six team mates on base in a close contest.

Once again the vagaries of baseball scoring came to the fore in favour of RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) when he was credited with a hold after pitching a modest 0.1ip 1h 2r 1er 0bb 0k (9.00ERA) for the Kansas City Royals who were overrun 5-6 by the unpredictable Texas Rangers.

  19 APR 2009 - BALFOUR WORKS v WHITE SOX!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour



Geoff Blum

Hard throwing Australian reliever GRANT BALFOUR continued to struggle for the control that was his trademark during 2008, pitching 1.0ip 1h 1er 2bb 0k (13.50ERA) for the Tampa Bay Rays who were licked 3-8 by the visiting Chicago White Sox. Grant was asked to hold the fort by pitching the sixth inning for the Rays who were already trailing 2-6 in the game. Things started badly for him today when he issued a seven pitch walk to Corky Miller, followed by a six pitch walk to Brent Lillibridge. Balfour secured the first out of the inning when he fielded Josh Fields' sacrifice bunt, but his problems compounded when he deflected a hard-hit ball back through the mound, allowing Carlos Quentin an infield single to load the bases. The only earned run of the innings was scored when Jermaine Dye lifted a sacrifice fly that was flagged by the second baseman, this before Paul Konerko lined out to the third baseman.

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) has had some very good days during his long career as a "back up" major league player, but few better than his 3-4 (.324) game with three RBIs that certainly helped his Houston Astros to strangle out the Cincinnati Reds 7-0.

It was like "groundhog day" once again for veteran starter KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997)who pitched magnificently for the Texas Rangers with a two-run complete nine inning game, only to see his team shut out 0-2 by Zach Greinke and the Kansas City Royals. Millwood took the hard-luck defeat after pitching 9.0ip 5h 2er 3bb 3k for his 1-1, 1.17ERA record. He could do no more!

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) was not the biggest contributor for the Toronto Blue jays in their 4-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics. Wells batted 1-6 (.309) and left four on base today.

  18 APR 2009 - MOYLAN DOES HIS JOB FOR BRAVES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Peter Moylan


Nick Green

Aussie right-hander PETER MOYLAN did all that was asked of him today but his one important out was not enough for the Atlanta Braves who were shut out in a 0-3 defeat by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pete entered the game in a precarious position with two on after successive walks and two out in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Braves trailing just 0-1 at the time. He was called from the bullpen to pitch to Pirates' switch-hitting pinch hitter Delwyn Young specifically to "turn him around" and bat left-handed. After falling behind with three straight balls off the outside of the plate, Moylan fought back brilliantly with a fastball, followed by two canny changeups to have Young pop out to the catcher in foul territory. It was a neat bit of pitching to finish off the seventh inning with 0.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (18.00ERA).

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 0-2, but he walked twice and scored a run for the Toronto Blue Jays who went down 5-8 to the Oakland A's.

Spare-parts man NICK GREEN (IBLA Internationals 2001) continues to be a bonus contributor for the Boston Red Sox, filling in at short stop and batting a valuable 2-4 (.333) with two RBIs today to help the Bosox recover from a seven run hole to beat the Baltimore Orioles 10-8.

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) batted 1-4 (.267) for the Houston Astros, but it was not enough to prevent their narrow 1-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

  17 APR 2009 - BALFOUR OK, MOYLAN TAKES LOSS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour

 

 

 

 





Peter Moylan



Vernon Wells

To overuse that tired description, Australian flame-thrower GRANT BALFOUR jumped right back on the horse today after a couple of recent rough outings. In today's game Grant was back doing what he did so regularly last season, overpowering hitters late in ball games to give his team a chance of winning. On this occasion 'Balf' was asked to put out a raging fire in the top of the ninth inning for his Tampa Bay Rays who had just seen another "insurance run" cross the plate for the Chicago White Sox who led 3-1 in a high-tension game. Balfour relieved Lance Cormier with one out and two runners aboard and, to make matters much worse, he found himself facing the heart of the White Sox lineup with three of the most dangerous power hitters in the major leagues coming up. It appeared that Grant was happy to "work around" 2008 All-Star Carlos Quentin who walked on six pitches. There was no room to move or to make a mistake against 500 home run brute Jim Thome who he blasted out swinging at a succession of 93mph heaters up in the zone. He finished the job by "fanning" Jermaine Dye, who had homered in the game, with four 92mph fastballs. He could do no more than his poised 0.2ip 0h 0er 1bb 2k (15.43ERA) that gave the Rays a chance to rally, leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth in what was a 2-3 loss.

BALFOUR earned his first hold of the season yesterday, even though his Tampa Bay team went down in another narrow defeat 3-4 to the visiting New York Yankees. Grant entered this game with two out in the seventh inning and he left one Yankee runner stranded when he induced Jose Molina to ground into a force out to the third baseman. Back to start the top of the eighth he couldn't prevent Yankees' captain Derek Jeter from smacking a leadoff double after working a full count. Grant was immediately replaced by J.P Howell who allowed a double to Johnny Damon that scored Jeter for Balfour's earned run. His line after this game concluded at 0.1ip 1h 1er 0bb 0k.

After looking much more assured recently, Aussie star PETER MOYLAN found himself in just the wrong place yesterday, collecting the loss when his Atlanta Braves were overrun by the streaking Florida Marlins in a 4-10 blowout. Pete took over to start the seventh inning of a deadlocked 4-4 game and he was rudely greeted by Jorge Cantu who singled up the middle. He re-grouped to strike out Dan Uggla with a wicked slider. Next batter was Jeremy Hermida but, when Cantu stole second, it was decided to issue Hermida an intentional walk to fill the empty first base. The strategy immediately came unglued when his first pitch to Cody Ross was a hit batter, thereby loading the bags. Pete gave himself a chance to escape the jam when he "whiffed" Cameron Maybin with another unhittable slide piece, but the go-ahead run crossed the plate when he walked pinch hitter Ross Gload with the bases full. Moylan's day finished with a pitching line of 0.2ip 1h 1er 2bb 2k (20.25ERA) that looked a lot worse than it really was in a tight situation.

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 2-4 (.340) and scored a run to help his Toronto Blue Jays to pound the Minnesota Twins 9-2 today. Wells nailed his second home run of the season yesterday while batting 2-5 and scoring twice in the Blue Jays' 12-2 punishment of the 'Twinkies'.

Getting the start at third base form the Houston Astros in their 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates was utiltity GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) who batted 1-5 (.269). Blum batted 0-3 and left three team mates on board during the Astros' 4-1 win over the 'Bucs' yesterday. GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) batted 1-4 (.214) with a RBI and a run scored for the Los Angeles Angels who prevailed 5-1 over the Seattle Mariners.

Journeyman catcher DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) made his first start for the Atlanta Braves today, batting 1-3 (.333) pus a walk in their 2-6 loss to the charging Florida Marlins.

  16 APR 2009 - MOYLAN STRONG AGAIN v MARLINS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Peter Moylan

 

 


Nick Green

From yesterday:
Australia's "comeback kid" reliever PETER MOYLAN is moving back into his stride nicely
after a couple of rough outings immediately following his long rehabilitation from season ending arm surgery in 2008. After a splendid effort last time out, Pete was strong again today with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (22.50ERA) during his Atlanta Braves 1-5 defeat by the red-hot Florida Marlins. Moylan took over from starter Javier Vazquez to pitch the seventh inning and, most importantly, he didn't allow the 'Fish' to stretch the 3-1 lead they held at that stage. His 1-2-3 inning started with Cameron Maybin grounding out to the second baseman, quickly followed by Alfredo Amezaga who did exactly the same. He finished the job with Chris Volstad struck out swinging at his fourth straight fastball. It's great to see Pete back near his brilliant best again!

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-5 (.316) with a RBI for the Toronto Blue Jays, but it was not enough to help them avoid a narrow 2-3, eleven innings, loss to the Minnesota Twins.Another former ABL import who couldn't save his team from an extra-innings loss was GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) who batted 1-4 (.200) for the Los Angeles Angels in their 2-3 defeat by the Seattle Mariners after ten frames.

From today's early MLB action:

NICK GREEN (IBLA Internationals 2001) batted a very useful 1-3 (.273) with a RBI plus a walk to help the Boston Red Sox offence finally awaken in a 8-2 win over the Oakland Athletics.

Riding the roller-coaster of mixed success as a big league reliever is converted outfielder RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) who pitched a very good 1.2ip 1h 0er 0bb 3k (6.75ERA) for the Kansas City Royals during their tight 4-5 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
  14 APR 2009 - NICK GREEN BACK IN BIG LEAGUES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Nick Green

Last outing winner RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) didn't find things quite so profitable in his second relief outing for the new season when he pitched 0.0ip 2h 2er 0bb 0k (18.00ERA) for the Kansas City Royals who still managed to beat the Cleveland Indians 4-2. Mahay was the "shutout buster"!

With the Boston Red Sox enduring an injury crisis at short stop this has allowed one of AMLB's almost "forgotten men", NICK GREEN (IBLA Internationals 2001), to make an unlikely return to the big leagues. Green batted 0-2 for the 'Bosox' in their miserable 2-8 defeat by the Oakland Athletics.

Platoon infielder GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) was intorduced as a defensive replacement too late to do anything much to help the Houston Astros in their 0-7 shutout loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He took over at third base in the game and batted 0-1 (.333) on this occasion.

  13 APR 2009 - GRANT BALFOUR BASHED BY BALTIMORE!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour





Vernon Wells

Thankfully Australian reliever GRANT BALFOUR had a fair bit of breathing space today when he endured an awful time while trying to close the ninth inning for the Tampa Bay Rays in what remained a huge 11-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Grant started the ninth while protecting a shutout but he failed to record an out today, leaving him with the unflattering line of 0.0ip 2h 3er 3bb 0k (20.25ERA). As often, the carnage started with a six pitch walk issued to Nick Markakis, promptly followed by Aubrey Huff's single to left field. He then loaded the bases with a six pitch walk to Ryan Freel, allowing Luke Scott to punch a RBI single into right field. The bags remained loaded when his third walk of the inning put Felix Pie on board, also forcing his second run across the plate. 'Balf' was then relieved by Chad Moeller who induced a double-play but it cashed in the third of Balfour's earned runs for this game. It is often noted that some relievers find it hard to focus properly when they are pitching with a big lead, but it was most unusual to see Grant lose his radar with three walks. Don't bet on this happening very often during the rest of the 2009 season!

After battling injury issues over the last couple of seasons, major league evergreen "horse" KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) could hardly have started the 2009 season in more impressive form. The big right hander threw another brilliant start today on the back of his opening day win, even though his Texas Rangers were eventually beaten 4-6 by the Detroit Tigers. Millwood pitched a mighty 7.0ip 4h 0er 0bb 6k for his terrific 0.64ERA to date.

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) pounded his first home run of the new season today while batting 2-4 (.321) with two RBIs for the Toronto Blue Jays who were beaten 4-8 the Cleveland Indians.

GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) batted 1-4 (.167) to help his Los Angeles Angels to trump the wasteful Boston Red Sox 5-4 today.

  12 APR 2009 - MOYLAN DEALS; ROWLAND-SMITH OK!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Peter Moylan


 


Ryan R-Smith

 

 

 

 


Geoff Blum

Aussie PETER MOYLAN was back more like his old self today after his horror comeback and another unproductive effort last outing following his season-ending arm surgery in 2008. Peter was asked to bank the seventh inning of the Atlanta Braves tense 5-3 victory over the Washington Nationals... and he could hardly have been more impressive. He started by striking out Willie Harris on four pitches. He then "whiffed" pinch hitter Josh Bard on a fourth pitch changeup. Moylan next applied the finishing touch by having Lastings Millege called out on strikes looking at his fifth pitch sinker. You can do the mathematics yourself to confirm that Pete had struck out the side for a three-up, three-down inning with just 13 total pitches. His pitching line today was a quite brilliant 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 3k (45.00ERA).
In yesterday's 6-5 win over Washington, Moylan still could not buy an out when he finished with the stats line of 0.0ip 1h 1er 0bb 0k. In this game Pete replaced Buddy Carlyle with one on and two out in the sixth inning but he was allowed only two pitches after Ryan Zimmerman greeted him with a RBI double to centre field from a decent 89mph fastball that was located down and inside.

Australian starting pitcher RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH was not at his sharpest yesterday when his first assignment for 2009 finished with an early shower and a no-decision as his Seattle Mariners went on to beat the Oakland Athletics 5-4. After having Ryan Sweeney struck out looking, things started to go south quickly in his opening frame after Orlando Cabrera walked on four wayward fastballs. Next, his own throwing error allowed Jason Giambi to reach first base while Cabrera scored, followed by a six pitch walk to Matt Holliday. Ryan managed to escape this jam via an Eric Chavez pop up on the infield and Nomar Garciaparra flying out to centre field. He was back in deep water in the bottom of the second when Jack Cust smacked a leadoff double to centre field and Kurt Suzuki reached on a throwing error by the third baseman. After inducing Mark Ellis to pop out to the second baseman, he then walked Ryan Sweeney to load the bags. Orlando Cabrera delivered a sacrifice fly for the opening RBI before Rowland-Smith reloaded the bases with a four-pitch walk to Jason Giambi. Thankfully further damage was averted when Matt Holliday grounded out to the second baseman leaving the bases juiced. Back for the third, 'RRS' allowed the leadoff runner aboard for the third time when Eric Chavez singled to left field, this before Nomar Garciaparra popped out to short. Ryan secured the second out when Jack Cust grounded into a fielder's choice to the second baseman. He left one on when Kurt Suzuki popped out to the catcher in foul territory. Ryan allowed the lead runner aboard again in the fourth when Mark Ellis singled into left field, then Ryan Sweeney flied out to right field. His day was done when Orlando Cabrera singled into right field on his 82nd pitch for the game. However, in spite of his struggles, the two runs allowed by Rowland-Smith on this occasion were both unearned and his pitching line finished at 3.1ip 4h 2r 0er 4bb 1k (0.00ERA).

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-5 (.292) as a minor contribution to the Toronto Blue Jays' tight 5-4 win over the Cleveland Indians. Yesterday Wells was far more influential with his 2-4, plus a walk, that helped his team to outslug the 'Tribe' 13-7.

Unable to affect the result for the Houston Astros in their 2-11 defeat by the St.Louis Cardinals was GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) who batted 1-4 (.429). Like Wells, Blum was much more effective yesterday when he batted 2-3 (.500), plus a walk, in the 'Stros 3-5 defeat at the hands of the Red Birds.

From yesterday’s other games:  

GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) batted 0-2 (.000) but he walked twice to help his Los Angeles Angels to out-duel the Boston Red Sox 6-3.

  10 APR 2009 - MAHAY WINS; ADENHART RIP!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Ron Mahay

Doing his bit to help the Kansas City Royals to preserve a narrow 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox was veteran lefty reliever RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) who collected the win in the game with his solid 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k. His early season record starts at 1-0, 0.00ERA.

Though he does not have a connection with Australia that we know of, 'Flintoff & Dunn' join the rest of the baseball world in sending our condolences to the family and friends of young LA Angels' pitcher NICK ADENHART who died tragically following a car accident at the age of just 22yo. We had just watched the talented youngster make a great six inning shutout start for the Angels in a game that they would go on to lose to the Oakland A's. What a horrible tragedy for the game!

  9 APR 2009 - BALFOUR SAVES; MOYLAN STRUGGLES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour


Peter Moylan


G
ary Matthews

Aussie fireman GRANT BALFOUR was back in his fire-fighter's uniform today at Fenway Park in Boston when he collected his first save of the two game old season after his Tampa Bay Rays got the better of the Boston Red Sox 7-2. Grant replaced J.C Howell with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the eighth inning and he won a six pitch battle with Jed Lowrie to extinguish the final flames of a Red Sox comeback. He then completed the job 1-2-3 in the ninth with Jason Varitek grounding out to the second baseman, Jacoby Ellsbury flying out just short of the Green Monster in left field then Dustin Pedroia flying out to centre field. His line was completed as 1.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k for a 0.00ERA. My only regret in watching 'Balf' deal in this game was the thought that he could have made such a HUGE difference to Australia's campaign at the 2009 World Baseball Classic. There is not a chance that Cuba's home run hero Peraza could have caught up with Balfour's fastball and, more than likely, the AROOS would have been playing in the second round of the competition... what a crying shame!

If Balfour enjoyed his opening game of the 2009 season, then countryman PETER MOYLAN certainly did not when he was at the forefront of a horrible melt-down by the Atlanta Braves who squandered a 10-3 lead to lose a heartbreaker 11-12 to the Philadelphia Phillies. Pete entered the game with two on and one out in the bottom of the fateful seventh frame and he promptly loaded the bags by walking Jason Werth after losing an eight pitch battle. Next batter, Raul Ibanez raked a line drive RBI single into left field, followed by Pedro Felix who crunched a RBI single up the middle. Moylan's forgettable return concluded after he issued a four pitch walk to Matt Stairs for another run. Things can only get better than his initial line of 0.0ip 2h 4er 2bb 0k... as they surely will!

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) could not do quite enough to prevent his Toronto Blue Jays from falling 1-5 to the Detroit Tigers today with his 1-3 (.364) plus a walk.

GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) was to become a bit of a villain today after entering the game as a pinch runner for the Los Angeles Angels who blew a four run lead after seven innings in a shock 4-6 loss to the Oakland Athletics. Matthews took over at left field and with two out in the eighth he failed to charge a ball that dropped in front of him, extending the inning and helping the A's to get right back into a game that they were really out of at the time. Matthews did not get to bat in this game.

  8 APR 2009 - WELLS STARS FOR BLUE JAYS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Vernon Wells

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) Batted 1-4 (.375) to help his Toronto Blue Jays to sneak past the Detroit Tigers 5-4 with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

From yesterday’s other games:  

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) was again at the forefront for the Toronto Blue Jays, batting 2-4 (.500) with a walk and a RBI in their 12-5 smashing of the Detroit Tigers.

Making his usual contribution for the Houston Astros in their 2-4 defeat by the Chicago Cubs was GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) who batted 1-3 (.333) with a walk while starting at third base.
  7 APR 2009 - MOYLAN BACK; MILLWOOD HOT!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Kevin Millwood

Ahhh, it’s great to be back reporting big league baseball for our subscribers after a long and enjoyable summer of Claxton Shield baseball, followed by the onset of the World Baseball Classic where Australia distinguished itself on the world stage.

What was most pleasing to us on the opening day of the new US season was the sight of Australia’s almost-forgotten man PETER MOYLAN warming up in the Atlanta Braves bullpen during the opening game of the season in Philadelphia. Big Pete has apparently fully recovered from his ‘Tommy John’ surgery early last season and he is looking trim and strong heading into 2009. He didn’t get into the opening game, won impressively by the Braves, but he figures to be a key component of the Atlanta bullpen again this year. Our very best wishes to him.

One guy to make an early statement for 2009 was evergreen former ABL import KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) who pitched a brilliant winning start on opening day for the Texas Rangers to help them man-handle the Cleveland Indians 9-1. ‘Big Kev’ was near his sharpest after a “hot and cold” season in 2008 with his 7.0ip 5h 1er 1bb 5k for an early record of 1-0, 1.29ERA.

 

If anyone takes the trouble to contact us with any reasonably substantiated news of interest to AMLB supporters, we will publish this news on this site! Click these to contact Adrian Dunn or Peter Flintoff.