Flintoff & Dunn's NEWS ARCHIVE
JUNE 2008

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 From time to time we will archive old or outdated news on our "WHAT'S NEW" & "AUSSIES IN THE US LEAGUES" pages.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 JUNE 2008 BEGINS BELOW:

ARCHIVE
JUNE 2008

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 JUNE 2008 - GRANT BALFOUR BLITZES AT 97mph!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour


Vernon Wells

Firstly, from yesterday:

Red-hot Aussie hurler GRANT BALFOUR was cranking up near the 100mph mark again yesterday with three strikeout victims that couldn’t touch his 96-97mph fastballs. Grant pitched another terrific 2.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 3k (1.23ERA) after replacing J.P Howell to start the bottom of the seventh inning of the Tampa Bay Rays 10-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. He started by having Freddy Sanchez struck out swinging, Jason Bay ground out softly to the third baseman and Ryan Doumit line out to centre field. In the bottom of the eighth he got Jason Michaels fanned, Jose Bautista grounding out to the second baseman and pinch-hitter Adam LaRoche flying out to centre field. ‘Balf’ was aked to get one more out in the ninth and he obliged by whiffing Jack Wilson before making way for Trever Milller with the game firmly in hand.

... and from today's MLB games:

Toronto Blue Jays All-Star slugger VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) mashed his eighth long ball of the season while batting a highly productive 3-5 (.286) with three RBI's to help his team to top the Atlanta Braves 9-5.

GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) pitched a most workmanlike 3.0ip 2h 0er 0bb 2k (3.34ERA) for the Tampa Bay Rays but it was not quite enough to prevent a tight 3-4 defeat by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

  26 JUNE 2008 - RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH STARS AGAIN!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Ryan
Rowland-Smith


David Ross

It's no wonder that Aussie RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH has become such a favoured bullpen option for the Seattle Mariners this season with yet another highly efficient 2.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (2.66ERA) today. Rowland-Smith needed only twenty pitches, fifteen of which he threw for strikes, to register another two most valuable scoreless innings of work today. Once again all of the run scoring damage was done before he arrived on the mound for the bottom of the fifth inning in what was to be a 2-8 loss to the New York Mets. ‘RRS’ replaced Roy Corcoran who had already relieved Seattle’s hard-hit starter Miguel Batista in the same game. Ryan used just nine pitches in the bottom of the fifth to erase Brian Schneider who lined out to left field, pitcher John Maine who struck out swinging and leadoff batter Jose Reyes who lined out to left field. He was even more frugal in the sixth with nine pitches enough to get Luis Castillo to line out to centre field, David Wright to pop out to the second baseman and Carlos Beltran to fly out to left field.

GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) closed out the Tampa Bay Rays lop-sided 15-3 win over the Florida Marlins with a shaky, but effective, 1.0ip 3h 1er 0bb 0k (3.71ERA).

Helping the Cincinnati Reds to edge past the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 was platoon catcher DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) who batted 1-3 (.237) while also scoring a run. VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 2-5 (.283) for the Jays.

GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) batted 1-4 (.244) with a RBI for the Los Angeles Angels who still lost 4-5 to the Washington Nationals.

  25 JUNE 2008 - RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH WINS #2!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Ryan
Rowland-Smith


Matt Herges

Australian reliever RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH has established himself in the Seattle Mariners bullpen this season but, although he has been terrific on many occasions, he has rarely been better than he was yesterday while collecting his second win of the season in a 5-2 victory over the New York Mets. Ryan faced the heart of the Mets’ lineup when he entered the game for the bottom of the seventh replacing Roy Corcoran. He produced a stunning 2.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 3k, throwing 17 of his 24 pitches for strikes to help ensure that the game remained in the M’s grasp. In the bottom of the seventh he had Carlos Beltran called out on strikes, Carlos Delgado line out to left field and veteran pinch-hitter Damion Easley fly out to centre field. Rowland-Smith was equally as dominant in the bottom of the eighth when he had Ramon Castro fanned, Endy Chavez struck out looking and Fernando Tatis fly out to centre field. He was relieved by Sean Green for the bottom of the ninth having done a mighty job, while improving his 2008 season record to 2-1, 2.79ERA.

Evergreen reliever MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999) pitched a very good 1.2ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (3.65ERA) for the Colorado Rockies who still fell 4-8 to the underrated Kansas City Royals.

In today’s games:

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 2-5 (.280) with a RBI and a run scored to help the Toronto Blue Jays to maul the Cincinnati Reds 14-1.

  23 JUNE 2008 - BALFOUR & ROWLAND-SMITH PITCH AGAIN!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour

 


 
Ryan
Rowland-Smith


Ron Mahay

 

 

 



Kevin Millwood

Australian star GRANT BALFOUR was near his blazing best again today, but even his 2.0ip 1h 0er 1bb 4k (1.46ERA) could not get his Tampa Bay Rays over the line in a 2-3 loss to the Houston Astros. Grant replaced ace starter Scott Kazmir on the mound after he had just coughed up the game breaking two-run homer with two out in the top of the sixth frame. Balfour quickly applied the torch to lanky Hunter Pence who he had struck out looking at a 96mph missile. Returning for the top of the seventh ‘Balf’ delivered a hasty 1-2-3 inning with Ty Wiggington grounding out to the second baseman, Reggie Abercrombie struck out whiffing and Humberto Quintero flying out to right field. In the top of the eighth Balfour was to face some of the toughest batters in the National League, but he quickly erased one of the least dangerous, Michael Bourn, who struck out swinging. Veteran contact hitter Mark Loretta next singled to right field before renowned slugger Miguel Tejada battled for a seven pitch full-count walk. He completed his mission when he won another seven pitch battle with the major league’s slugging percentage leader Lance Berkman who he had called out on strikes. Grant was replaced by Dan Wheeler with his valuable two outs in the top of the eighth.

The pressure of trying manfully to carry a struggling Seattle Mariners may be just starting to tell on Aussie reliever RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH who was again called to duty with his team well on the way to another heavy defeat 3-8 at the hands of the Atlanta Braves. Ryan was rocked early today after replacing R.A Dickey before the bottom of the seventh when Kelly Johnson cracked a sharp single up the middle and dangerous Mark Teixeira followed with a two run homer to left field from his fat first pitch fastball. However, Ryan regrouped to get Brian McCann struck out swinging and Greg Norton flying out to right field. The Braves then threatened further damage when Ruben Gotay milked a seven pitch walk and Brandon Jones floated a soft single into left field. Rowland-Smith was poised enough to shut down the two-out rally when he had free swinger Jeff Francoeur struck out swinging with a foul tip on his deceptive changeup. His pitching line finished at 1.0ip 3h 2er 1bb 2k (2.95ERA) today.

Kansas City Royals specialist lefty reliever RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) collected his third win of the season after pitching a strong 2.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k to help his team squeak past the San Francisco Giants 11-10. It took his very good 2008 record to 3-0, 2.09ERA.

GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) batted 1-3 (.243) with a RBI and a run scored to help his Los Angeles Angels to get the better of the Philadelphia Phillies in a narrow 3-2 contest.

... and from other games over the past weekend:

Aussie RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH earned yet more stripes on his major league uniform by posting his first win of the 2008 season for the Seattle Mariners during their 10-2 romp over the wounded Atlanta Braves. He replaced Roy Corcoran with one on and one out in the bottom of the fifth and he quickly reduced some of the pressure by having Gregor Blanco struck out swinging at a fastball after pitching three previous curveballs. He then nailed down the inning when he had Yunel Escobar ground out to the third baseman. Back for the bottom of the sixth, facing the meat of the Braves lineup, he got an incapacitated GREAT Chipper Jones to pop out to the short stop, then Mark Teixeira to ground out to the third baseman. As a small blemish, Rowland-Smith walked Omar Infante on four pitches but it amounted to little when Brian McCann grounded out meekly to the first baseman. Ryan was relieved by Sean Green before the bottom of the seventh after pitching 1.2ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k for his updated 1-1, 2.52ERA record.

Evergreen reliever KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) pitched another quality start, but it ended with a no decision when his Texas Rangers were edged 3-4 by the Washington Nationals. ‘Big Kev’ pitched a creditable 8.0ip 7h 3er 3bb 4k (4.61ERA).

GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) pitched a useful 2.2ip 1h 0er 2bb 2k (3.51ERA) for the Tampa Bay Rays who lost 3-4 to the Houston Astros.

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) batted 2-4 (.234) but it could not prevent his Houston Astros falling just short 3-4 to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Specialist left reliever RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) earned his 11th hold of the season with 1.1ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k (2.21ERA) for the Kansas City Royals in their 5-3 over the San Francisco Giants.

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) also saw his 2-4 (.281) and two runs scored wasted in a 3-6 loss for his Toronto Blue Jays against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Not able to make enough impact for the Washington Nationals during their 3-13 massacre by the Texas Rangers was PAUL LoDUCA (Adelaide Giants 1995) who batted 1-4 (.197)

  20 JUNE 2008 - BALFOUR WINS; ROWLAND-SMITH RELIEVES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour

 
Ryan
Rowland-Smith

 

Australian fireman GRANT BALFOUR earned his second win in recent games when he pitched a superb 1.2ip 1h 0er 0bb 3k for the Tampa Bay Rays in their 8-3 win over the in-form Chicago Cubs., taking his record to 2-0, 1.74ERA. 'Balf' replaced Trever Miller in the top of the seventh inning with runners on the corners and one out. It didn't start too well for him when Ryan Theriot slapped a RBI single up the middle but he then got the dangerous Derrek Lee struck out swinging at a deft slider. He then concluded the inning with not-hitting Aramis Ramirez flying out to right field from another "slide piece". Returning for the top of the eighth he started by having solid catcher Geovany Soto fly out to right field before striking out both Micah Hoffpauir and Mark DeRosa on 95-96mph fastballs. He whiffed Hoffpauir and then had DeRosa looking to end the eighth and then he was replaced by Gary Glover for the top of the ninth. GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) finished the job with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (3.91ERA).

Aussie left-hander RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH has produced some tremendously gallant performances in tough situations for the struggling Seattle Mariners lately, but he had to run into trouble eventually when pitching to a team that was already a runaway train! Ryan was asked to relieve M's starter R.A Dickey today with two on and two out in the top of the fourth inning of a game that was already destined to be a heavy 3-8 defeat by the Florida Marlins. He cashed in another run for Dickey when Mike Jacobs singled up the middle for a RBI, then created more trouble by walking Dan Uggla after a six pitch full-count battle. With one base still open he "pitched around" dangerous veteran Luis Gonzalez for a semi-intentional walk before limiting the damage with Wes Helms flying out to centre field. Rowland-Smith then delivered a quick 1-2-3 fifth frame with Cody Ross Flying out to centre field, Mike Rabelo popping out to the short stop and Hanley Ramirez flying out to centre field. 'RRS' was up again for the top of the sixth whcih started well with  Jeremy Hermida called out on strikes with his sixth pitch curveball, but then he walked Jorge Cantu. He got the second out when Mike Jacobs flied out to left field, however, he was nailed for a couple of rare earned runs when powerful Dan Uggla smacked an inviting fastball over left field. He then polished off the inning with Luis Gonzalez swinging at a wicked slower-than-slow curveball, to end his day with the line of 2.1ip 2h 2er 3bb 2k (2.65ERA). Our man was relieved by Mark Lowe for the top of the seventh inning.

  18 JUNE 2008 - BALFOUR WINS, ROWLAND-SMITH STRONG!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour

 


Ron Mahay

 

 


Ryan Rowland-Smith

Aussie flame-thrower GRANT BALFOUR was hurling fireballs again today while collecting his first ML win of the season, pitching in relief for the Tampa Bay Rays who prevailed 3-2 over the competition leading Chicago Cubs. Grant was asked to replace ace starter Scott Kazmir who had worked into a two on and two out jam in the top of the fifth inning. His first task was to put away hard-hitting Aramis Ramirez who he blitzed with five successive 95mph heaters before having him called out on strikes. Returning for the top of the sixth ‘Balf’ had Geovany Soto ground out to the short stop, Mark DeRosa line out to left field and Matt Murton fly out to right field. He was replaced by J. Howell for the top of the seventh after another brilliant 1.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k that took his season record to 1-0, 2.08ERA.

Also collecting his ninth hold of the season today was RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) who pitched 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (2.34ERA) to help his Kansas City Royals to hold on for a 2-1 win over the St.Louis Cardinals.

PAUL LoDUCA (Adelaide Giants 1995) played as the designated hitter in the American League ballpark for the Washington Nationals when he produced 1-3 (.208) with a run scored in their 1-2 defeat by the Minnesota Twins. In this game his team mate RYAN LANGERHANS (IBLA Internationals 2001) was used as the pinch runner.

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-4 (.276) for the Toronto Blue Jays but it was not nearly enough to prevent their 0-7 shutout loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

As another sidelight, former Melbourne Reds 1998 ABL Championship manager TOM NIETO was one of the New York Mets coaching staff to be dumped along with manager Willie Randolph overnight.

… and from yesterday:

Australian relief pitcher RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH was cast in what has become quite a familiar role for him recently with the floundering Seattle Mariners in the US major leagues. Our man was again asked to put a log jam in what had become a raging torrent after M’s starting pitcher Carlos Silva was ejected in the fifth inning of a game that was already heading to a 1-6 defeat by the Florida Marlins. Ryan inherited a one on and two out situation but, after issuing a six pitch full-count walk to Jorge Cantu, he closed the frame by having Mike Jacobs frozen and struck out looking at his fourth pitch curveball. Back for the top of the sixth he was greeted by a Dan Uggla “bloop single” into centre field to lead off the inning, before he induced the dangerous Louis Gonzalez to pop out to the short stop. ‘RRS’ invited trouble when a Wes Helms single to left field placed runners on the corners, which allowed Cody Ross to register a RBI with a surprise sacrifice bunt that had to be collected by the left fielder. There was to be no further damage when Rowland-Smith struck out Matt Treanor who could only manage a foul tip on a sinking 92mph fastball. He was relieved by Roy Corcoran for the top of the seventh having done another pretty solid job for a team that badly needed his 1.1ip 2h 1er 1bb 2k (2.27ERA) contribution.

Veteran reliever MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999) was just one of the Colorado Rockies pitchers who was “roughed up” by the Atlanta Braves in a 1-7 hammering yesterday. Herges pitched a generous 1.0ip 3h 2er 1bb 1k (3.93ERA).

  16 JUNE 2008 - HUBER HOMERS; BALFOUR & RRS RELIEVE!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Justin Huber

 
Grant Balfour

 


Kevin Millwood

 


Ryan Rowland-Smith

Australia’s former catching prospect JUSTIN HUBER continues to hold down a near-regular position in the outfield with the San Diego Padres, no doubt aided by his solid recent batting form that produced more safe hits over the weekend. And, to make this even better, he faced two of the premier starting pitchers in the major leagues! Justin enjoyed a fine time during the Padres 8-3 win over the Cleveland Indians when he batted 2-2 while facing Cleveland’s ten game winner Cliff Lee yesterday. It started in the best way possible when he battled Lee for a full count with one out in the top of the third inning before slamming his eighth pitch fastball over left-centre field for his second home run of the season. Up again in the top of the fifth he singled with a line drive up the middle off Lee with one on and one out. Huber would be entitled to ask why he was lifted for Paul McAnulty in the top of the seventh when McAnulty promptly struck out!

HUBER batted 1-4 (.246) with a RBI and a run scored in today’s 3-7 loss to the Indians. On this occasion he would face the Tribe’s 2007 Cy Young Award winning giant C.C Sabathia who took the first round against Huber in the top of the second when he had him struck out swinging at a one out slider. But, Justin bouced back hard in the top of the fourth when he lashed a RBI double to left field off his first pitch fastball with two on and one out. Sabathia supplied a little déjà vu for our man with two out in the top of the sixth when he fanned him again with his patented slider. Finally, in the top of the ninth Huber struck out swinging with one on and one out while facing reliever Masahide Kobayashi.

Aussie GRANT BALFOUR certainly could not be blamed for the Tampa Bay Rays 3-9 defeat at the hands of the Florida Marlins when he pitched a superb 2.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 4k (2.45ERA) today. Much of the damage had already been done when ‘Balf’ was asked to replace starter Edwin Jackson to start the top of the sixth inning. He started well with dangerous veteran Louis ‘Gonzo’ Gonzales called out on strikes and Wes Helms struck out “whiffing” at a 96mph buzzball. He ended the sixth inning when he had Cody Ross ground out to the short stop. Back for the top of the seventh Balfour had Mike Rabelo struck out swinging and emerging star Hanley Ramirez called out on strikes, before he issued a walk to Jeremy Hermida. He put up another blank on the scoreboard when he had Jorge Cantu ground out to the third baseman off a nasty slide-piece. Balfour was then relieved by Trever Miller for the top of the eighth. In this game Grant’s bullpen partner GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) pitched 0.1ip 2h 1er 0bb 1k (4.09ERA).

Evergreen starting pitcher KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) was in harness again for the Texas Rangers today, collecting his fifth win of the year after a narrow 8-7 Interleague victory over the New York Mets. ‘Big Kev’ pitched a solid 6.0ip 5h 2er 4bb 5k to improve his record to 5-3, 4.75ERA.

… and from Saturday’s games:

Australian reliever RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH added another entry on to his growing list of gallant performances for the Seattle Mariners, even though they were eventually beaten 6-7 by the Washington Nationals. Our Ryan posted a quite brilliant 3.1ip 0h 0er 2bb 1k (2.08ERA) after he was called to the mound prematurely following the pounding of M’s starter R.A Dickey who served up seven runs on eight hits from just 1.2 innings of work… YUK! He quickly erased the threat of a runner in scoring position when he secured the last out of the second inning via Felipe Lopez grounding out to the second baseman. In the top of the third he got Wily Mo Pena to fly out to centre field before Willy Harris milked a five pitch walk and then stole second base. Harris was stranded on second when Cristian Guzman flied out to centre field and Elijah Dukes flied out to right field.

‘RRS’ then pitched a quick-fire fourth with Lastings Milledge grounding out to the second baseman, dangerous Dmitri Young struck out swinging on three pitches and Jesus Flores flying out to the left fielder. Rowland-Smith went into “overtime” when pitching the top of the fifth and it looked like being a tough assignment when Ronnie Belliard battled for a nine pitch, full-count walk to leadoff the frame. However, he responded well by getting Felipe Lopez to pop out to the catcher, Wily Mo Pena to ground into a fielder’s choice to the third baseman and Willie Harris to ground out to the second baseman. We’re guessing that Ryan’s petrol gauge would have been close to empty when he was relieved by Sean Green to start the top of the sixth after he had done a man-sized job to keep Seattle in the contest… NICE WORK!!
  13 JUNE 2008 - STOCKMAN & HUBER IN MLB ACTION AGAIN!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Justin Huber

 
Phil Stockman

 

 


Gary Matthews

Australia's JUSTIN HUBER played a cameo role today for the San Diego Padres today during their 9-0 shutout win over the scuffling Los Angeles Dodgers. Justin was asked to pinch hit for Padres’ star starting pitcher Jake Peavy with two out in the bottom of the sixth and he made the third out when he lined out to the right fielder while facing Hong-Chih Kuo.

Playing a much bigger role for the Atlanta Braves yesterday was lanky Aussie reliever PHIL STOCKMAN who put his team back on the rails in what would be a 2-7 loss to the Chicago Cubs at fabled Wrigley Field. Stockman was handed the unenviable job trying to stem the tide after Atlanta starter Jeff Bennett had been shelled for seven runs from seven hits without getting an out in the third inning. Even then he was to inherit a two on and two out situation which he promptly de-fused by getting the experienced Mark DeRosa to ground into a double-play to the short stop. Our man then committed a mortal sin by walking pitcher Ryan Dempster on six pitches before escaping the inning when Mike Fontenot flied out to centre field. Returning for the bottom of the fourth he saw the leadoff man on board when Ryan Theriot slapped an infield single to the short stop. Phil then used his canny curveball to effect when it polished off Cubs’ big hitters Derrek Lee, who was called out on strikes, and Aramis Ramirez, who struck out swinging at another “hook”. Next he issued a full-count walk to Kosuke Fukudome, including a wild pitch that advanced the runner into scoring position, maybe prompting the “semi-intentional” free pass? The damage was limited when he induced Geovany Soto to fly out softly to left field. Stockman was replaced by Jeff Ridgeway for the bottom of the fifth having done the superb job of pitching 2.0ip 1h 0er 2bb 2k (0.00ERA) in a game where his team did not allow another run after the initial onslaught. Our man could be quite satisfied with having played the key role in keeping his ball club in the contest.

Helping the Kansas City Royals to outlast the Texas Rangers 6-5 today was RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) who collected his second win of the season with 0.2ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k, for his improved record of 2-0, 2.48ERA.

RYAN LANGERHANS (IBLA Internationals 2001) batted 1-1 (.214) and scored a run for the Washington Nationals in their 5-7 defeat by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Producing another solid inning of relief today was MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999) who pitched 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (3.31ERA) for the Colorado Rockies who were out-slugged 7-10 by the San Francisco Giants.

Finally, from yesterdays action, GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) left the yard for the seventh time this year while batting 1-4 (.249) for the Los Angeles Angels, helping to lift them to a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

11 JUNE 2008 - BALFOUR, HUBER & STOCKMAN PLAY MLB!

Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Phil Stockman


Justin Huber


Grant Balfour


Vernon Wells

 

Aussie reliever PHIL STOCKMAN was given the opportunity to secure the last out for the Atlanta Braves in their 5-10 loss to the Chicago Cubs today. Phil didn’t let anyone down after he replaced Manny Acosta following a home run in the bottom of the ninth when he had the ‘Cubbies’ new Japanese hero Kosuke Fukudome struck out swinging at his fourth pitch curveball. He maintained his impressive perfect ERA with 0.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (0.00ERA).

Australia’s JUSTIN HUBER continues to earn an almost regular start at left field for the San Diego Padres recently by virtue of his decent hitting form. Justin batted 1-2 (.222) during today’s 2-7 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He started well by driving a one out single to right field from the first pitch 97mph fastball of Clayton Kershaw with one out in the bottom of the second inning. Next time up, he led off the bottom of the fourth and he grounded out to the short stop after seeing two successive curveballs from Kershaw. Huber did a fine job for his team in the sixth when he executed a neat sacrifice bunt to the third baseman to advance his base runners to second and third for the first out of the frame. He was then replaced by pinch hitter Jody Gerut in the bottom of the eighth.

Making up for lost time following his recent stint on the disabled list is VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) who has added home runs Nos. 6 and 7 over the past few days. He batted 2-4 (.297) for the Toronto Blue Jays in their 3-1 win over the Seattle Mariners today, following his 3-4 game in a 5-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) battled through another “no decision” start when he pitched 6.0ip 11h 5er 3bb 5k (4.91ERA) for the Texas Rangers who went on to beat the Kansas City Royals 6-5. In the same game RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) pitched 1.2ip 0h 0er 1bb 0k (2.53ERA) in relief for the Royals.

Running red-hot was GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) who batted 4-4 (.249) with a RBI for the Los Angeles Angels, even though they were trounced 4-13 by the Tampa Bay Rays. GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) pitched 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k (3.74ERA) in relief for the Rays.

… and from a couple of days ago:

Aussie fireman GRANT BALFOUR pitched a fluctuating 0.2ip 0h 0er 2bb 2k (3.38ERA) for the Tampa Bay Rays during their 3-6 loss to the Texas Rangers. Grant mixed a couple of walks with a couple of strikeouts after entering the game with one on and one out in the bottom of the eighth. He started by issuing a full count walk to experienced Frank Catalanotto before having David Murphy struck out swinging at a 94mph fastball. Grant then filled the bags by walking Milton Bradley on four pitches but he escaped the jam by having Brandon Boggs called out on strikes with another 94mph heater.

Australia’s JUSTIN HUBER grabbed the opportunity to record a hit against another probable Hall-Of-Famer when he delivered a pinch hit single from former Boston Red Sox Cy Young Award winner and World Series hero Pedro Martinez. Huber punched a groundball single to left field in the bottom of the fourth with one on and one out to help his San Diego Padres to beat Pedro’s New York Mets 8-6.

 

8 JUNE 2008 - STOCKMAN, HUBER & RRS PLAY MLB!

Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Phil Stockman


Ryan
Rowland-Smith



Justin Huber

 

The age old adage; why change a winning team?, may have helped Aussie JUSTIN HUBER today when he took his place at left field and he batted at #7 in the lineup again for the San Diego Padres as they recorded another exciting 2-1 win over the visiting New York Mets in a 10-inning thriller. Justin faced Mets starter Oliver Perez to make the third out in the bottom of the second when he struck out with a foul tip on a nasty slider. Then again in the fourth he made the third out, but this time with bases loaded, when he lined out to right field while trying to drive in some runs. He was replaced by veteran pinch hitter Tony Clark who was preferred to face right-hander Joe Smith on the bottom of the sixth. Huber batted 0-2 (.196) today.

Back on the hill for the Atlanta Braves today was giant Aussie reliever PHIL STOCKMAN who pitched a solid 0.2ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (0.00ERA) to finish off what was to be a 2-6 defeat by the Philadelphia Phillies. ‘Big Phil’ came in to close the top of the ninth after his bullpen team mate Jeff Bennett had just cleared the bases by supplying a one out home run. Stockman got the second out by inducing Shane Victorino to fly out to left field, then he avoided the blazing hot bat of Chase Utley by hitting him with a pitch! He finished the inning by getting slumping former home-run derby king Ryan Howard to pop out to the short stop. Phil was regularly touching 92-93mph on the radar gun in this game.

Australia’s RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH saw yet more action for the Seattle Mariners pitching 0.2ip 1h 0er 0bb 1k (2.33ERA) during the late innings of their 3-11 massacre by the depleted Boston Red Sox. Ryan entered the game with two runner on and one out in the bottom of the eighth and he immediately cashed in two runs for his predecessor when Kevin Youkilis nailed a long fly ball double to right field. Rowland-Smith did much better against the inexperienced pair of Brandon Moss, who popped out to the short stop, and Kevin Cash, who struck out swinging on his fourth pitch changeup.

GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) batted 2-4 (.231) to help his Los Angeles Angels to roll past the Oakland Athletics 5-3.

Former All-Star slugger and No.1 overall draft pick VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) returned from a long stint on the disabled list with a strong 2-3 (.289) game with a RBI for the Toronto Blue Jays in their 5-9 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) contributed 1-3 (.246) for the Cincinnati Reds, but it was not enough to prevent a narrow 8-9 defeat by the Florida Marlins.

 

7 JUNE 2008 - SNELLING, HUBER & RRS PLAY MLB!

Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Chris Snelling
Ryan
Rowland-Smith

Justin Huber


Geoff Blum

All we can do is to repeat what we have said far too often before… what a pity that highly talented Australian outfielder CHRIS SNELLING cannot seem to stay healthy for an extended period, because boy can he hit! Chris marked his long awaited return to the big leagues after yet another stint on the disabled list with an important hit today, batting 1-1 (.500) as a pinch hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies in their exciting 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves in ten innings. In fact Snelling’s blow may have been the key hit of the game when he spanked a leadoff double from a Manny Acosta fastball in the top of the tenth frame. He was replaced by pinch runner So Taguchi who ultimately scored a key extra inning run for the Phils.

Australian lefty RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH followed in the recent footsteps of countryman Grant Balfour when he took the mound at Boston’s famous Fenway Park to close out a big 8-0 win for his Seattle Mariners over an injury crippled Boston Red Sox team. Ryan took over for the bottom of the ninth when he replaced Sean Green with a quite efficient 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 1k (2.39ERA) today. He was greeted rudely by veteran hitter Sean Casey who smacked a leadoff double to right centre field, but that was all he would allow on this occasion. Jason Varitek popped out to the first baseman, Brandon Moss struck out swinging at a wicked curveball and Julio Lugo grounded out to the third baseman.

Aussie slugger JUSTIN HUBER found out what many other American league hitters have also found out over the past few years… how hard it is to hit the New York Mets off-season mega-signing in Cy Young Award winning pitcher Johan Santana. Huber earned a start at left field today and he batted in the #7 hole to face Santana in each of his three plate appearances. In the bottom of the second he flied out to right field then, when leading off the fifth, he was called out on strikes after five pitches. Finally, with two on and two out he flied out to centre field in the sixth before being replaced as part of a double-switch pitching change before the top of the eighth. He could only manage 0-3 today, while he still enjoyed his San Diego Padres tight 2-1 win over the highly fancied Mets.

RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) collected his eighth hold of the season while pitching 1.1ip 2h 0er 0bb 2k (2.20ERA) for the Kansas City Royals in their 2-1 win over the New York Yankees.

Helping the Los Angeles Angels to top the Oakland Athletics 3-1 was GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) who batted 1-4 (.227) and he scored a run.

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) “went yard” for the fourth time this season while batting 2-4 (.250) with the RBI for the Houston Astros during their 6-1 win over the St.Louis Cardinals.

Doing his bit to preserve a 6-4 win for his Colorado Rockies over the Milwaukee Brewers was veteran reliever MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999)  who pitched a steady 1.0ip 1h 0er 1bb 0k (3.52ERA).

RYAN LANGERHANS (IBLA Internationals 2001) batted 1-3 (.208) in a rare start for the Washington Nationals in their 1-10 slaughter at the hands of the San Francisco Giants.

 

6 JUNE 2008 - GRANT BALFOUR BATTLES BOSOX!

Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kevin Millwood

Our subscribers would realise that we rarely make gratuitous excuses for Aussie players, even though we have good reason to promote the performances of our Australian stars in the professional ranks. However, on this occasion, we must say that Australia’s GRANT BALFOUR was thrust into the most unfortunate of circumstances and he could consider himself pretty darned unlucky to be saddled with his first major league earned runs of this season. In today’s game Balfour was the innocent victim of a simmering feud between his Tampa Bay Rays and the home-standing Boston Red Sox that spilt over from yesterday’s game between the two leading division rivals. Boston outfielder Coco Crisp had ignited some ill-feeling between the teams with some “over aggressive” base running yesterday and there were yet undiscovered tribes in the Amazon rainforests who knew that there would be some retribution coming today! It took no longer than Crisp’s first plate appearance for Tampa starter James Shields to hit him with a pitch on the leg and, as the situation dictates after Crisp charged the mound, a bench clearing brawl erupted with the inevitable result that both Crisp and Shields were ejected from the game. So this was the unsettling backdrop for Grant Balfour to take over on the mound with just one inning in the bank for his team and the intimidating cauldron of a packed and energized Fenway Park crowd just to make life even more difficult.

‘Balf’ may have been a victim of the pressure when, with one on and none out, he started by issuing a four pitch walk to Julio Lugo. Jacoby Ellsbury then grounded out to the first baseman while advancing the runners to second and third base. When Dustin Pedroia delivered a sacrifice fly to centre field it cashed in a run for Shields before Balfour ended the wild inning by inducing the in-form J.D Drew to fly out to centre field. In the midst of the mayhem, the bottom of the third inning would be a memorable career moment for Grant when he did what very few big league pitchers have been able to do over many years… he won the battle of a nine pitch at bat by future first ballot Hall-Of-Famer and recent 500 home run man Manny Ramirez when he struck him out swinging at a 96mph fastball. He followed this by getting 2007 World Series MVP Mike Lowell to pop out to the short stop. Grant completed a terrific inning by getting wily veteran Sean Casey to ground out to the second baseman.

No, we don’t make excuses, but it would be fair to say that Balfour must have been near his endurance limits as a hard-throwing reliever when he was sent back out for the fourth inning and this may have showed with a couple of Boston hits back through the middle of the infield. After Bosox captain Jason Varitek grounded out to the second baseman, rookie Chris Carter and Julio Lugo both singled to centre field which caused Balfour to be replaced on the mound by J.C Howell. It would be a somewhat unfair outcome for ‘Balf’ that Howell cashed in both earned runs onto his account for the day. There is no way that Grant Balfour should be ashamed of his gallant 2.1ip 2h 2er 1bb 1k (3.86ERA) outing today after he played a most important and difficult role for his team.

His bullpen team mate GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) pitched a very tidy 2.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 2k (3.29ERA) near the end of the game that the Rays would lose 1-7 to the Red Sox.

In other major league action today, Texas Rangers veteran "horse" KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997)  proved the benefit of his experience today when he didn't allow a four run first inning disaster to de-rail what was to be a tremendous, game winning performance for his team. 'Big Kev' pitched a courageous 6.0ip 9h 4er 0bb 6k for his team to help them to overrun the Cleveland Indians 9-4 today. It improved his record to a pretty decent 4-3, 4.65ERA for a guy who pitches in Arlington.

 

5 JUNE 2008 - HUBER HITS AGAINST CUBBIES!

Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Justin Huber

Australia’s JUSTIN HUBER earned another start at left field today while enjoying his San Diego Padres 2-1 win over the MLB leading Chicago Cubs. Justin batted 1-3 (.217) today while facing the ‘Cubbies’ crafty starter Ted Lilly for all three of his plate appearances. In the bottom of the second he ripped a one-out line drive single to right field, then he struck out swinging in the fourth. Finally, with two on and two out in the sixth our Justin, who has never seen a high fastball that he didn’t like, almost made sweet contact with Lilly’s first pitch but it resulted in a fly out to deep centre field. Huber was then replaced for defensive reasons by Jody Gerut in the top of the ninth.

GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) batted 2-4 (.226) to help the Los Angeles Angels to edge past the Seattle Mariners 5-4.

Doing his best for the Kansas City Royals during their 2-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox was reliever RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) who pitched 1.1ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k (2.30ERA).

 

4 JUNE 2008 - GRANT BALFOUR BATTLES BOSOX!

Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour

Australia’s GRANT BALFOUR took the mound in that most famous of all American ballparks, Boston’s Fenway Park, pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays during their 4-7 defeat by the home-standing Boston Red Sox. Once again Grant was to be the “fireman” for the Rays in the bottom of the sixth just after the Red Sox had taken the lead in the game with three runs already in the inning off starter Matt Garza. ‘Balf’ inherited runners on second and third with only one out and he elected to fill the empty base by “pitching around” Julio Lugo with a four-pitch walk. Facing the top of the ‘Bosox’ order, he then peppered leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury with 97mph fastballs before he finally connected for a sacrifice fly to centre field for the second out. Balfour then avoided any further damage when he had the dangerous Dustin Pedroia struck out swinging as he was only able to get a foul tip on a 98mph thunderbolt. His pitching line was 0.2ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k (0.00ERA). In the same game Balfour’s Tampa Bay bullpen team mate GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) pitched an equally useful 2.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 1k (4.34ERA).

 

2 JUNE 2008 - BALFOUR BRILLIANT AGAIN!

Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour


Australia ’s hard-throwing GRANT BALFOUR played an important role again today for the Tampa Bay Rays, pitching strongly in relief to help them secure a tight 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox. Grant came into the game to stomp on a smoldering fire with two on and two out in the top of the sixth, replacing tiring starter Andy Sonnanstine. His first duty was to strike out the dangerous Orlando Cabrera who swung and whiffed at a nasty slider after seeing only fastballs previously in the at bat. 

With that danger averted, ‘Balf’ returned to mop up the top of the seventh with A.J Pierzinski flying out to left field and Jermaine Dye struck out swinging before veteran slugger Jim Thome took advantage of a rare Balfour curve ball to thump a double into left field. There would be no further threat when Paul Konerko stranded Thome by striking out swinging at a patented 95mph Balfour fastball. Once again Balfour was regularly lighting up the speed gun in the 94-96mph range while pitching an impressive 1.1ip 1h 0er 0bb 3k (0.00ERA) today. He proved his big league credentials once again by shutting down some of the game’s most dangerous hitters in the heart of the ‘Chisox’ lineup.

 

1 JUNE 2008 - BALFOUR BACK & HUBER HITS!

Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour


Justin Huber


Ron Mahay

 




Kevin Millwood

It was terrific to see Australian flame thrower GRANT BALFOUR making a richly deserved return to the major leagues with the division leading Tampa Bay Rays, making it EIGHT, YES EIGHT, Aussies to have played in the US big league so far this season… Not a bad number for a baseball “backwater”!! Grant needed just two pitches to lock down a save to celebrate his return to “the Show” after he replaced Trever Miller with two on and two out in the bottom of the ninth. He preserved the 2-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox by getting Brian Anderson to fly out to centre field with a searing 96mph heater for the final out. “Balf's” line today was 0.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (0.00ERA). Welcome back!!

Another Aussie, JUSTIN HUBER, has enjoyed a couple of productive days this weekend. It all began yesterday when he delivered a pinch hit, two RBI single to help his San Diego Padres to ice their 7-3 win over the San Francisco Giants in the top of the 13th inning. On this occasion, ‘Hubes’ rose to the challenge of a bases loaded and two out situation to battle Vinnie Chulk for seven pitches before hammering a line drive into centre field. His 1-1 in this game was the game-killing blow! Justin was rewarded with a start at right field today and he delivered again with his 1-3 (.209) while batting in the #7 hole during the Padres 5-1 win over the Giants. He picked up where he had left off yesterday in his first plate appearance when he pounded a RBI double in the top of the first off Giants’ starter Pat Misch. Next time up he battled Misch for eight pitches in the top of the third before he was hit by a two out curveball for another time on base. Misch finally got him out in the sixth when Huber grounded out to the short stop from his first pitch fastball. Vinnie Chulk got a slice of revenge on Huber in the top of the eighth when got our man to pop up to the catcher in foul territory.

Also appearing twice this weekend was Kansas City Royals specialist lefty reliever RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) who pitched 1.1ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k (2.42ERA) for his seventh hold of the year in a 4-2 win over the Cleveland Indians today. This followed his 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 0k in a 4-5 loss to the ‘Tribe’ yesterday.

DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) batted 1-4 (.265) with a RBI and a walk for the Cincinnati Reds to help them to snatch a narrow 8-7 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Earning a rare start this season for the Washington Nationals was today’s right fielder RYAN LANGERHANS (IBLA Internationals 2001)who batted 1-3 (.167) in a 0-4 defeat at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

… and from yesterday’s other MLB action:

Veteran starter KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) returned from injury in fine style for the Texas Rangers to provide them with his customary quality start for his third win of the season. ‘Big Kev’ pitched 6.0ip 5h 1er 0bb 5k in the Rangers' 3-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics to improve his record to a decent 3-3, 4.50ERA. 

GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) batted 1-4 (.220) for the Los Angeles Angels, but it was of little consequence in their wide 4-10 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Valuable bench utility GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) pinch hit with 1-1 (.235) for the Houston Astros during their 1-5 defeat by the Milwaukee Brewers.

 

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.