Flintoff & Dunn's NEWS ARCHIVE
MAY 201
3

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 From time to time we will archive old or outdated news on our "WHAT'S NEW" & "AUSSIES IN THE US LEAGUES" pages.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 MAY 2013 BEGINS BELOW:

ARCHIVE
MAY 2013

To make things easier for our loyal subscribers 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.

 

  30 MAY 2013 -  BALFOUR SAVES 12th; BLACKLEY WAYWARD!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour


Travis Blackley

Australia's in-form closer GRANT BALFOUR was near his efficient best again with his 12th save of the season coming after pitching 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k (1.61ERA) to secure the Oakland Athletics 9-6 win over the San Francisco Giants. As usual Grant took excellent care of the ninth inning by throwing ten of his 12 pitches for strikes to provide the Giants little hope of mounting a late comeback. There was a hint of life for 'Frisco when Hunter Pence beat out an infield single that came back to the mound, but it was quickly snuffed out when Balfour got Brett Pill to ground into a double play back to the mound for him to initiate by throwing to second base. 'Balf' then ended the game with Brandon Crawford flying out to right field.

To look at it positively, at least Australian lefty TRAVIS BLACKLEY picked a fairly good time to have a rare wayward outing when he walked two while failing to get an out during the Houston Astros 6-3 win over the Colorado Rockies. 'Trav' threw just two strikes among his ten pitches to finish with the line of 0.0ip 0h 0er 2bb 0k (3.66ERA). With two out in the bottom of the eighth and his team clinging to a 3-2 lead with no runners aboard, Blackley was first asked to handle veteran pinch hitter Todd Helton who used all his experience to wait out a full count walk on six pitches. He then simply couldn't find a strike while issuing a four pitch walk to Dexter Fowler. Thankfully there was no damage in the inning after he was relieved and the Astros went on to win the game. After a fine season so far Blackley can be excused for this ineffective effort. In this game his team mate BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) had a fine day as leadoff hitter and starting centre fielder by batting 2-4 (.315) with a run scored and a run batted in.
 

 

 

 

 



Brandon Barnes

  29 MAY 2013 -  GRANT BALFOUR STRONG DESPITE HOMER!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
Given that he has had plenty of workload saving games for the Oakland Athletics recently, it was some surprise to us that Aussie GRANT BALFOUR was used again in a non-save situation. Even still Grant did what was required of him by pounding the strike zone with a handy four run lead by throwing 13 of 16 pitches for strikes to finish off the A's 6-3 win over the San Francisco Giants. The outing cost him an earned run via a "big fly" from Hunter Pence, leaving him with a line of 1.0ip 1h 1er 0bb 2k (1.69ERA).
Hurling the top of the eighth Balfour first got Buster Posey to line out to centre field before Pence homered over left centre on a 1-2 count. That was the last breath for the Giants as 'Balf' fanned both Brandon Belt and Andres Torres on the minimum three pitches each. He certainly wasn't mucking about!
  28 MAY 2013 -  BALFOUR SAVES 10th; BLACKLEY ALSO STARS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley

 

 


Grant Balfour

 

 
Australia's TRAVIS BLACKLEY did a sterling job for the Houston Astros by keeping the Colorado Rockies from scoring in extra innings and allowing his team to scramble a 3-2 victory after twelve frames. He had to walk a bit of a tightrope after coming into the game for the top of the tenth when Wilin Rosario gave the 'Rox' a leadoff runner with his single into left field, predictably followed by Jordan Pacheco's sacrifice bunt that was fielded by Blackley himself. The threat intensified when Rosario tagged and went to third base on Nolan Arenado's fly out to right field. The Astros then chose to intentionally walk Michael Cuddyer, which proved to be a sound tactic when 'Trav' fanned pinch hitter D.J LeMahieu on just three pitches to end the inning. Blackley then snared two quick outs when he returned for the 11th inning with Eric Young Jnr. struck out swinging and Dexter Fowler popping out to the first baseman. Carlos Gonzalez poked a two out single into left field before our man kept the score tied with Colorado star Troy Tulowitzki grounding back to the hill for Blackley's second assist of the day. This left Travis with the effective line of 2.0ip 2h 0er 1bb 2k (3.66ERA) from just 24 pitches.

Aussie closer GRANT BALFOUR continued his stunning run of success by converting his fifth successive save and his eighth from the past nine games as he helped the Oakland Athletics to retain a 4-1 lead and to take the win from World Series Champions the San Francisco Giants. Balfour pitched a conclusive 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 2k (1.33ERA) while taking good care of the top of the ninth inning at Oakland's Coliseum. Pitching to the heart of the Giants' lineup he struck out 'Kung Fu Panda' Pablo Sandoval and then had two quick strikes on star catcher Buster Posey before he waited out a full count walk. Posey shifted into scoring position on Hunter Pence's ground out to third, but Grant closed the deal with Brandon Belt struck out to end the game.

Recent ABL import DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) was undoubtedly a major factor for the Arizona Diamondbacks with his eighth inning two-run homer enabling the 'Snakes' to overrun the Texas Rangers 5-4 in late innings. Gregorius, who batted just .189 for our 2011 ABL season, batted 2-4 (.324) with three huge RBIs, including his fourth long ball of the year.

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-4 (.264) but it didn't count for much because his New York Yankees were edged by cross-town rivals the New York Mets.


Didi Gregorius

 

 


Vernon Wells

  26 MAY 2013 - TRAVIS BLACKLEY LOWERS HIS ERA!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley
Australia middle reliever TRAVIS BLACKLEY again did all that he could with a solid 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 2k (4.08ERA) for the hapless Houston Astros who were dumped 5-11 by the visiting Oakland Athletics. Travis took over for the top of the seventh with his team already in a deep 4-10 hole and he sent down the teeth of the A's lineup with only one base runner. He fanned Adam Rosales for the leadoff out before veteran outfielder Coco Crisp hammered a double into left field. Crisp advanced no further when John Jaso struck out swinging on four pitches and dangerous Cuban Yoenis Cespedes flied out to centre field. 'Trav' threw ten of 14 pitches for strikes to do his job in fine style.

Arizona Diamondbacks starting short stop DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) batted a very useful 2-4 (.340) even though his team were ambushed 4-10 by the travelling San Diego Padres.

Didi Gregorius
  25 MAY 2013 -  GRANT BALFOUR SAVES 10th in HOUSTON!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
Australia's two current major leaguers GRANT BALFOUR and TRAVIS BLACKLEY are in opposing bullpens as Grant's Oakland Athletics pay a series visit to Minute Maid Park, the home of Trav's Houston Astros.
It was Balfour who featured in the most recent game when he snared his tenth save with an effective, but not so tidy 1.0ip 0h 0er 2bb 1k (1.40ERA). Having just seen his team grab a belated 6-5 lead in the game via a three run homer in the top of the ninth, 'Balf' gave his team mates a few anxious moments before nailing down the home half of the inning. He got Trevor Crowe to ground out to second for the first out, but back-to-back walks issued to Matt Dominguez and Jason Castro were not part of his script. However, he calmed the nerves in the A's dugout by striking out Robbie Grossman and then ending the game with Jose Altuve grounding into a fielders' choice to the short stop.
  23 MAY 2013 - TRAVIS BLACKLEY HOLDS 7th v ROYALS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley
Resilient Aussie left-hander TRAVIS BLACKLEY collected his seventh hold of the season with a strong 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 2k (4.32ERA) to help his battling Houston Astros to topple the visiting Kansas City Royals 3-1. 'Trav' was very sharp when taking over for the top of the seventh inning with Mike Moustakas grounding out to second base, then both Jeff Francouer and Goerge Kottaras struck out swinging. He returned to start the top of the eighth but, after walking Chris Getz on a full count, his day was done.

DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) batted 1-3 (.348) plus a walk for the Arizona Diamondbacks who were beaten 1-4 by the Colorado Rockies.

Veteran VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-4 (.287) for the New York Yankees who were doubled 3-6 by the underrated Baltimore Orioles.

Didi Gregorius
  22 MAY 2013 -  BALFOUR SAVES 9th; BLACKLEY HOLDS 6th!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour

 


Travis Blackley
Aussie rocket launcher GRANT BALFOUR continues to assert himself as one of the most effective closers in major league baseball with his ninth save coming from one of the toughest assignments. Grant pitched a tidy 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (1.47ERA) as part of a combined three-hit shutout as his Oakland Athletics held firm to beat the tough Texas Rangers by the narrowest of 1-0 margins in Arlington. He locked down the pressurised bottom of the ninth with Jurickson Profar grounding out to second, Elvis Andrus struck out swinging and David Murphy flying out to left field.

Fellow Aussie TRAVIS BLACKLEY wasn't nearly as clinical with 0.2ip 2h 2er 0bb 1k (4.60ERA) even though he recorded his sixth hold as his Houston Astros were overrun 3-7 in late innings by the Kansas City Royals. Taking over at the start of the top of the seventh things began badly for 'Trav' when Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain poked back-to-back leadoff singles, both on two strike counts. He then got Mike Moustakas to ground into a fielder's choice to the third baseman who cut down the trail runner at second base. Blackley then fanned George Kottaras for the second out before handing over to reliever Paul Clemens, a right hander, who was called in to face right hand hitting pinch hitter Alcides Escobar. Unfortunately this strategic move didn't work when Clemens allowed back-to-back two out singles to cash in both of Blackley's base runners. You can bet that Travis would have liked the chance to tidy up his own mess, but it is a common strategic move in the big leagues as managers tend to stick with traditional match-ups.

Our most recent ABL import to reach the major leagues, DONALD LUTZ (Canberra Cavalry 2011), batted 1-4 (.278) for the Cincinnati Reds who shut out the New York Mets 4-0.

Veteran VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-4 (.288) for the New York Yankees who were edged 2-3 by the Baltimore Orioles with a winning run in the bottom of the tenth.

Donald Lutz

 


Vernon Wells

  21 MAY 2013 - DIDI GREGORIUS GREEDY AGAIN!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Didi Gregorius
As a follow-on from our report yesterday we can continue to be pleasantly surprised by the batting form of Arizona Diamondbacks short stop DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) who is now hitting for a mighty consistent .369 average. He batted 3-5 with two RBIs as a leading contributor to the 'Snakes' 5-1 win over the Colorado Rockies.

An import from the distant IBLA past, NICK GREEN (IBLA Internationals 2001), also contributed two big RBIs while batting 1-4 (.217) for the Miami Marlins who rolled over the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1.

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) came off the bench as a pinch hitter with 1-2 (.288) and a run batted in to help the New York Yankees to rally past the Baltimore Orioles 6-4 after ten innings.

Nick Green
 
  20 MAY 2013 - DIDI GREGORIUS STILL HITTING HOT!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Didi Gregorius
Good player though he was defensively in our Australian Baseball League, slick short stop DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011), batted a lowly .189 from well over 100 at bats during our 2011 season. For that reason alone we can be astounded that he has become such an offensive force since climbing to the major leagues. To maintain his hot hitting this year Gregorius batted 3-4 (.354) for the Arizona Diamondbacks during their narrow 1-2 defeat at the hands of the Miami Marlins. In that same game versatile middle infielder NICK GREEN (IBLA Internationals 2001) started at the unfamiliar position of first baseman while batting 0-3 (.214) for the Marlins.

Recent ABL import BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) batted 0-1 (.317) with a walk for the Houston Astros who were pipped 0-1 by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Brandon did not manage a safe hit, but he did keep his team in the game with a tremendous throw to home plate from centre field that prevented a run while making a big last out in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Brandon Barnes
 
  19 MAY 2013 - GRANT BALFOUR SAVES No.8 v ROYALS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
High octane Aussie closer GRANT BALFOUR converted his sixth save from his past seven outings and his eighth for this season with 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 0k (1.56ERA) to help the Oakland Athletics to hang on to a tight 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Once again pitching the top of the ninth, Grant put the tying run aboard via a five pitch leadoff walk to Eric Hosmer. However, he ventured no further than first base when Balfour got Salvador Perez to fly out to centre field, Mike Moustakas to line out to short and Jeff Francouer to fly out to centre field. He is currently one of the most effective closers in all of baseball.

Germany's first ever major league player, DONALD LUTZ (Canberra Cavalry 2011), continues to impress with his latest 2-5 (.290) plus a run batted in to help the Cincinnati Reds to blitz the Philadelphia Phillies 10-0.

His former ABL team mate DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) didn't manage a hit, but he did walk twice for the Arizona Diamondbacks who sneaked past the battling Miami Marlins 1-0.

Veteran slugger VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-4 (.286) as a minor contribution to the New York Yankees 7-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.


Donald Lutz 
  18 MAY 2013 -  BALFOUR SAVES 7th; BLACKLEY HOLDS 5th!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour

 


Travis Blackley
There was precious little wriggle room for Aussie closer GRANT BALFOUR when he locked down his seventh save of the year at the end of his Oakland Athletics' nerve jangling 2-1 comeback win over the Kansas City Royals. Grant threw a solid 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (1.65ERA) with the game on the line at the Oakland Coliseum. Pitching to the heart of the KC lineup in the top of the ninth, 'Balf' got Alex Gordon to fly out to left, Billy Butler to fly out to right and Eric Hosmer struck out swinging.

In another very useful effort Australia's TRAVIS BLACKLEY earned his fifth hold with 0.2ip 1h 0er 0bb 1k (3.60ERA) although his Houston Astros lost 4-5 to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the bottom of the ninth. Travis came into the game during the bottom of the sixth with a runner in scoring position at second base and nobody out. In a decisive play the first batter he faced, Neil Walker, dropped down a sacrifice bunt that he fielded himself for the assist by smartly throwing out the lead runner at third base. Next up seasoned catcher Russell Martin singled into shallow left to emphasise the value of getting the lead runner out. He concluded his job by striking out Pedro Alvarez having efficiently thrown six of his eight pitches for strikes.

DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) batted 1-4 (.342) with a walk to help his Arizona Diamondbacks to trounce the Miami Marlins 9-2.

Our latest US import to reach the US major leagues, DONALD LUTZ (Canberra Cavalry 2011), batted 1-1 (.280) for the Cincinnati Reds in their 5-3 win over the Miami Marlins.
In the same game NICK GREEN (IBLA Internationals 2001) batted 0-3 (.231) with a walk while patrolling both third and second bases for the defeated 'Fish'.


Didi Gregorius

 


Donald Lutz

  16 MAY 2013 - TRAVIS BLACKLEY HELPS HOLD THE TIGERS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley

 


 

 

I suppose you could call Australian pitcher TRAVIS BLACKLEY a "journeyman" these days, but he has no shortage of character and he gives his team all he has got.
Hopefully he can find a more permanent home with the battling Houston Astros who really need his type of experience and competitiveness. In his latest outing Blackley needed only three pitches to get the two outs asked of him during the Astros 7-5 win over the heavy hitting Detroit Tigers. Once again he was cast into a tough situation with two runners aboard and two out in the bottom of the sixth, immediately after the Tigers had levelled the game at 5-5. He needed just two pitches to get Brayan Pena to pop out on the infield to the second baseman. Back to start the bottom of the seventh 'Trav' hurled just one pitch to get Avisail Garcia to line out to the third baseman. His simple line for this game was 0.2ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (3.77ERA).

Former ABL import "grandpa" VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) blasted his tenth home run of the season for the New York Yankees, the only problem was that it came in the bottom of the first after the visiting Seattle Mariners had stunned their hosts with a "seven spot" in the top of the first. Wells batted 1-3 (.301) with a walk and the RBI but it was not nearly enough as they were routed 2-12 by the M's.

Proving to be a terrific pick-up for the Arizona Diamondbacks is surprise packet short stop DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) who batted 1-4 (.348) with a RBI to help them to get the better of the Atlanta Braves 5-3.


Vernon Wells


Didi Gregorius

  15 MAY 2013 - BLACKLEY & BALFOUR BOTH EFFECTIVE!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley

 



Grant Balfour

 

 

Aussie left-hander TRAVIS BLACKLEY was effective again for the Houston Astros as one of their few solid bullpen options with his latest 1.1ip 0h 0er 1bb 2k (3.95ERA) effort during their 2-6 loss to the powerful Detroit Tigers. Travis came into the game with runners at the corners and none out in the bottom of the sixth and he quickly got the first out with Alex Avila fanned on four pitches. Unfortunately he allowed the run to score from third on a wild pitch while he issued a walk to Omar Infante. Another wild pitch saw the runners moved to second and third, but Blackley held his nerve to get Avisail Garcia to ground out to the short stop before he had Ramon Santiago struck out swinging at his fourth pitch to end the inning. Back to start the bottom of the seventh 'Trav' needed just one pitch to get Andy Dirks to ground back to the mound for his own assist which saw him lifted from the game. It may not have been his tidiest outing, yet it proved once again his temperament and his ability to bear down under pressure.

Australian closer GRANT BALFOUR could do no more than his impressive 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 3k (1.76ERA) for the Oakland Athletics, but he couldn't prevent them from going down narrowly 5-6 to the Texas Rangers after ten innings. Pitching the ninth inning as usual, Grant struck out Giovany Soto before Jeff Baker poked a one out single into right field. A short stop error allowed Craig Gentry to reach first to have Balfour under some pressure but he kept the score tied in grand style by having both Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus struck out swinging. He couldn't do anything about Texas taking the game with a pair of long balls in the top of the tenth off his bullpen mate Chris Resop.

Recent ABL import DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) is rapidly becoming a fan favourite with the Arizona Diamondbacks and this was further reinforced when he played a leading role in their 2-0 win over the Atlanta Braves. Gregorius batted 1-4 (.354) with his big two RBI single in the bottom of the third representing the only scoring in the contest. The day prior Gregorius batted 1-3 (.361) plus one walk for the 'D-backs' who were crushed 1-10 by the top ranking Braves.

Veteran ABL import VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) continued to revitalise the injury hit New York Yankees with his latest 1-3 (.300) plus a walk to help them to edge the Seattle Mariners 4-3. The day before his 2-4 (.299) performance with a walk and two RBIs helped them to split their double header with a 7-0 win over the Cleveland Indians.


Didi Gregorius

 


Vernon Wells

  14 MAY 2013 - WELLS, LUTZ & BARNES ALL HOMER!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Donald Lutz
Didi Gregorius
Watching ESPN's "Baseball Tonight" they suggested that recent ABL import DONALD LUTZ (Canberra Cavalry 2011) is the first ever German national to reach the US major leagues, even though we understand that he has dual citizenship. More notable from a baseball perspective was his first career home run that came when he batted 1-3 (.316) with three big runs batted in for the Cincinnati Reds in their 5-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

It's starting to sound like a broken record lately as we comment on the amazing career resurgence of former ABL import from yesteryear VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999). He went deep for the second successive day for his ninth long ball of the season while batting 3-4 (.295) with two RBIs to help the New York Yankees to double the Kansas City Royals 4-2.

Another recent import to "go yard" was BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) who smacked his second homer of the season while batting 1-4 (.322) with two RBIs for the Houston Astros who were outslugged 7-12 by the Texas Rangers.

DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) batted 2-5 (.362) for the Arizona Diamondbacks who went down 2-4 to the Philadelphia Phillies after ten innings.

Vernon Wells
  13 MAY 2013 - BALFOUR SAVES 6TH - BLACKLEY ALSO CLOSES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour

 


Travis Blackley

Big hearted Aussie closer GRANT BALFOUR mixed a couple of strike outs with a couple of base runners, yet he still emerged with a clean slate and his sixth save of the season.
He pitched 1.0ip 1h 0er 1bb 2k (1.88ERA) to lock down the Oakland Athletics 4-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners. Grant struck out Dustin Ackley for a positive start before Kelly Shoppach milked a full count walk. Another strike out of Robert Andino came before Michael Saunders singled into left to push the tying run into scoring position with two out. Having worked the count to 3-0 Kyle Seager looked at a strike, then he grounded out to the second baseman for the final out of the game. Balfour celebrated yet another save!

Aussie TRAVIS BLACKLEY was the last man to take the ball for the Houston Astros at the end of a 2-4 defeat by state rivals Texas Rangers. Travis took over with a runner on third and two out in the top of the eighth and he did his job by ending the inning with Mitch Moreland flying out to left field. Back to pitch the top of the ninth his third pitch saw David Murphy thump a leadoff homer deep over centre field. Giovanni Soto grounded out to third on his first pitch ahead of a full count walk worked by Craig Gentry. There was no further damage when Ian Kinsler flied out to left field and Elvis Andrus grounded into a fielder's choice to the third baseman. It left Blackley with the pitching line of 1.1ip 1h 1er 1bb 0k (4.38ERA).

As we have said often enough on this page, rumours about the demise of ABL import "old timer" VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) are proving premature. Wells was again a key performer for the New York Yankees with his fifth inning homer obviously decisive in their 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals. He batted 1-4 (.281) with the game winning two RBIs coming via his eighth "jack" of the season.

Our most recent import to reach the majors, DONALD LUTZ (Canberra Cavalry 2011) pinch hit with 1-1 (.313) to help the Cincinnati Reds to edge the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3.


Vernon Wells

 


Donald Lutz

  10 MAY 2013 - BLACKLEY GOOD IN ASTROS LOSS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley

 


Vernon Wells

Seasoned Aussie middle-reliever TRAVIS BLACKLEY did pretty much all that he could with 0.2ip 0h 0er 1bb 0k (4.09ERA) for the undermanned Houston Astros during their skinny 5-6 defeat by the Los Angeles Angels. Travis came into the game at the most critical time just as the meat of the 'Halos' lineup had rallied to tie the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the eighth. He took over with runners on second and third and none out, immediately after Mark Trumbo's two run double had plated the tying runs. Blackley got powerhouse Josh Hamilton to ground out to the short stop before he was required to intentionally walk Howie Kendrick to load the bags. Unfortunately he could not prevent the go-ahead run when Alberto Callaspo lifted a sacrifice fly to centre field. As we said, you could hardly blame the Aussie who kept his team in the game when things could have easily got completely out of hand. His Houston team mate BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) batted 1-3 (.327) with a run batted in.

The oldest of the former ABL imports still active in the big leagues, VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999), continues to keep his batting average at a high level since joining the New York Yankees this season. Vernon batted 2-4 (.294) with a RBI to help the Yanks to top the Colorado Rockies 3-1.

DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) continues to run hot with the bat for the Arizona Diamondbacks with his latest 2-3 (.422) plus a walk helping them to edge the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1.


Brandon Barnes

 


Didi Gregorius

  9 MAY 2013 - VERNON WELLS WALLOPS SEVENTH HOMER!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Vernon Wells
After being a little quiet recently, former ABL import veteran VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) roared back into the limelight with a mighty 3-4 (.287) as a match winning contribution to his New York Yankees narrow 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies. Wells' first inning two run homer, his seventh of the season, proved to be the difference maker in a one run result.

The latest of our ABL imports to reach the major leagues, DONALD LUTZ (Canberra Cavalry 2011), batted 1-4 (.267) for the Cincinnati Reds who fell 2-7 to the Atlanta Braves.
 


Donald Lutz
  8 MAY 2013 - BLACKLEY TAKES HIS 4TH HOLD!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley


Brandon Barnes

Australian lefty TRAVIS BLACKLEY didn't exactly dominate on this occasion, yet he still recorded his fourth hold of the season with his most recent brief outing. 'Trav' pitched 0.1ip 1h 1er 0bb 1k (4.35ERA) for the Houston Astros who hung on to beat the slumping Los Angeles Angels 7-6. Coming in later than he has for some time with one on and two out in the top of the eighth, Blackley saw his second pitch to Alberto Callaspo disappear over the left field fence. With Houston's lead in the game shrunk to the final 7-6 scoreline he then fought back from a 3-0 count on Hank Conger to strike him out on three successive pitches. Blackley's team mate BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) also contributed by batting 1-3 (.327) as the starting centre fielder.

In what turned out to be a one run result, ABL import DONALD LUTZ (Canberra Cavalry 2011) played an important role as a pinch hitter. His clutch RBI single in the bottom of the fifth proved to be a decisive run as he batted 1-1 (.273) for the Cincinnati Reds who squeezed past the Atlanta Braves 5-4 with two runs in the bottom of the ninth. The previous day Lutz batted 1-2 when he pinch hit during the Reds 4-7 defeat by the Atlanta Braves.

An import team mate of Lutz in the ABL, DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011), is also prospering in the major leagues currently as the regular short stop for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Didi batted 3-4 (.436) as a key contribution to the 'Snakes' 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gregorius also batted 1-5 in Arizona's 9-2 trouncing of the Dodgers one day earlier.


Donald Lutz


Didi Gregorius

  6 MAY 2013 - BALFOUR SAVES 5TH - BLACKLEY ALSO SOLID!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour

 


Travis Blackley

Animated Aussie closer GRANT BALFOUR was at his pumped-up best when he finished off an exciting and narrow 5-4 win for the Oakland Athletics over the New York Yankees at New Yankee Stadium. Grant earned his fifth save of the 2013 season with a nerve jangling 1.0ip 1h 0er 1bb 2k (2.03ERA). Pitching the bottom of the ninth he was quickly in control with Chris Nelson lining out to right and pinch hitter Brennan Boesch struck out swinging. The Yanks then threatened when speedy Brett Gardner singled up the middle and he advanced on a wild pitch. This drew an obvious reaction when he was asked to issue an intentional walk to superstar Robinson Cano, thus taking advantage of the open base at first. 'Balf' sealed the deal after battling former ABL import veteran VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) for seven pitches when he had him struck out swinging at a high heater. Wells batted 1-5 (.280) while also striking out twice during the game.

Australian reliever TRAVIS BLACKLEY kept his sheet clean again with a solid 0.2ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k (3.60ERA) for the lowly Houston Astros who were shut out 0-9 by the tough Detroit Tigers. Blackley was summoned with one on and one out in the top of the eighth and he created a bit more pressure for himself when Andy Dirks singled into right field. However, 'Trav' then called upon the pitcher's best friend when he got reigning MVP and "Triple Crown" powerhouse Miguel Cabrera to ground into an inning ending double play to the third baseman.

Veteran backup catcher DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) did his level best to help the Boston Red Sox by batting 1-2 (.243) with his fourth home run of the season and two walks, but it was not enough as they were squeaked 3-4 by the Texas Rangers.

DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) picked up where he left off before a recent stint on the disabled list by returning to the starting short stop position and clocking his third home run of the season. Gregorius batted a very useful 2-3 (.433) with the only RBI of the game for the Arizona Diamondbacks who were beaten 1-5 by the San Diego Padres.

Recent ABL import DONALD LUTZ (Canberra Cavalry 2011) did his job after coming into the game to take over at left field for the Cincinnati Reds during their 7-4 win over the Chicago Cubs. Lutz batted 1-2 (.125) with a valuable run batted in.


David Ross

 


Didi Gregorius


Donald Lutz

  4 MAY 2013 - TRAVIS BLACKLEY EFFICIENT FOR HOLD No.2!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley
Popular Aussie TRAVIS BLACKLEY continues to lower his ERA while enjoying his current role as a middle reliever for the Houston Astros. He pitched a most efficient 1.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (4.00ERA) while throwing ten of only 13 pitches for strikes during their 3-7 defeat at the hands of the tough Detroit Tigers. Entering the game for the top of the sixth, he had Victor Martinez fly out to centre field, Andy Dirks ground out to the first baseman and Jhonny Peralta struck out swinging. Back with the ball to start the seventh, Blackley fanned Alex Avila on three pitches to bring a decisive end to his day. It earned him his second hold of the young season. His team mate BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) shuffled back and forth from right field to centre field on defence while batting a barren 0-5 (.333) including three strike outs.
Brandon Barnes
  3 MAY 2013 - SEVERAL ABL IMPORTS IN MLB ACTION!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Nick Green
Journeyman infielder NICK GREEN (IBLA Internationals 2001) continues to consolidate his starting role as the short stop for the Miami Marlins with his latest 2-4 (.321) during their narrow 6-7 defeat by the New York Mets.

After coming off the bench for his major league debut earlier this week, recent ABL import DONALD LUTZ (Canberra Cavalry 2011) made his debut start at left field for the Cincinnati Reds. He batted 0-4 (.000) in their 2-4 loss to the St.Louis Cardinals.

Old-time ABL import VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-4 (.298) to help the New York Yankees to sneak past the Houston Astros 5-4. On the losing side BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) batted 1-3 (.372) with a run batted in for the 'Stros.

Donald Lutz

 

  1 MAY 2013 - GRANT BALFOUR SCORELESS v ANGELS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
After pitching a couple of innings in the incredible 19-inning game the previous night, and early the same morning, Australia's GRANT BALFOUR answered the call to take the ball again for the depleted Oakland Athletics who toppled the Los Angeles Angels again 10-6. Balfour locked down the top of the ninth in a non-save situation with 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 0k (2.25ERA). After issuing a five pitch walk to young star Mike Trout, he worked through the power section of the 'Halos' lineup. He had Albert Pujols fly out to centre field, Mark Trumbo ground out to second and Josh Hamilton fly out to right field.

In the New York Yankees latest 7-4 win over the visiting Houston Astros, both VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) and BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) were hitless for New York and Houston respectively.

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!