Flintoff & Dunn's NEWS ARCHIVE
JUNE 2012

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 From time to time we will archive old or outdated news on our "WHAT'S NEW" & "AUSSIES IN THE US LEAGUES" pages.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 2012 BEGINS BELOW:

ARCHIVE
JUNE
2012

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.

  28 JUNE 2012 - BALFOUR HOLDS 8th v MARINERS!
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 once again played a key setup relief role for the Oakland Athletics with a scoreless eighth inning that proved vital in their skin tight 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners. Grant collected his eighth hold of the season with an efficient 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k to lower his ERA to 2.61. He started by getting Franklin Gutierrez to fly out to centre field ahead of Kyle Seager's automatic double when his long ball bounced over the right field fence. Seager tagged and ran to third base on Jesus Montero's deep fly ball to centre field but he moved no further when Michael Saunders lined out to the short stop to end the inning. In the opposing Seattle camp, former ABL import evergreen KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) had an abbreviated start and we suspect that he was injured when he departed after pitching 2.2ip 1h 1er 0bb 3k (4.00ERA).

  27 JUNE 2012 - HENDRIKS & BLACKLEY BOTH GOOD!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Liam Hendriks








Travis Blackley

Australia's LIAM HENDRIKS may have taken his fifth loss when his Minnesota Twins fell 2-3 to the Chicago White Sox, yet it was a very good effort from him and one that he can surely build upon. After a couple of rough starts since his return to the big leagues, Liam should be fairly satisfied with his quality start of 6.1ip 5h 3er 1bb 5k that would have been enough for a win had he received a modicum of run support.
TOP 1: Only a one out single to recently traded Boston great Kevin Youkilis interrupted a clean inning that featured a full count strike out of Adam Dunn. TOP 2: An Alexei Ramirez triple came with two out and it was neutralised when Hendriks had Tyler Flowers called out on strikes to end the frame. TOP 3: A tidy three up, three down inning as score remained 0-0.  TOP 4: A full count walk to patient Paul Konerko was followed by a two run homer to Alex Rios as the major damage done in this game.  TOP 5: Liam had Flowers struck out looking again to lead off another 1-2-3 inning.  TOP 6: Pitching to the heart of the 'Chisox' lineup Hendrix posted another very tidy 1-2-3 inning.  TOP 7: Liam was a tad unfortunate when Rios chopped a leadoff infield single on an 0-2 count, then he stole second base to set-up Alexei Ramirez for his RBI single to right field. That was to end his night, leaving him with a 0-5, 6.82ERA record.

Much like his Aussie compatriot Liam Hendriks, who started for Minnesota on the same day, TRAVIS BLACKLEY produced another quality start but he did not figure in the decision when his Oakland Athletics were beaten 2-3 by the Seattle Mariners via a go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth. Blackley needed only 88 pitches to take him through seven innings with 7.0ip 5h 2er 1bb 3k (3.05ERA).
BOT 1: Three fly ball outs saw a quick first inning tucked away.  BOT 2: A leadoff single by Jesus Montero came to nothing when Travis finished the inning by fanning both Michael Saunders and Casper Wells.
BOT 3: A leadoff single by Dustin Ackley and a one out single by Ichiro Suzuki set the table for Franklin Gutierrez to hammer a RBI double to deep centre field and for Kyle Seager to follow with a RBI sacrifice fly. BOT 4: Blackley bounced back with another efficient 1-2-3 inning.  BOT 5: A full count leadoff walk to Casper Wells simply allowed Travis to showcase his renowned pickoff move as he again faced the minimum three batters.  BOT 6: Ichiro started the frame with another single but a ground ball double play rolled by Blackley saw him face the minimum again.  BOT 7: Travis required just seven pitches to post another scoreless inning and, in that context, it was surprising that he was not allowed to return for the eighth. Who can say that he would not have prevented the winning run from scoring in the eighth and, just maybe, he could have put himself in line for the win?

  26 JUNE 2012 - BALFOUR HOLDS 7th IN SEATTLE SHUTOUT!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour

Reliable Australian relief ace GRANT BALFOUR once again did his job with his seventh hold coming as part of another combined shutout for the Oakland Athletics who blanked the Seattle Mariners in a tense 1-0 game at Seattle's Safeco Field. In fact the A's pitching needed to be perfect in order to support an offensive effort that produced only three hits and to preserve the lead that they held via one run in the top of the second inning. Grant took over for the top of the eighth in support of starter Tommy Milone who posted seven superb shutout innings. Pitching to the tough part of the Mariners' lineup he had John Jaso called out on strikes from only three pitches before getting Japanese superstar Ichiro Suzuki to ground out to the short stop. After six successive strikes to begin the frame, Balfour threw his first ball to Franklin Gutierrez who flied out to centre field on the next pitch. That's right, he required only eight pitches that included seven strikes with four of those passing by with the hitter looking at a called strike. His highly efficient line for the game was 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (2.68ERA).

  21 JUNE 2012 - BLACKLEY HOT - HENDRIKS HURT!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley

 

 

 

 


Liam Hendriks

Revitalised Australian lefty TRAVIS BLACKLEY continues to go from strength to strength since being given the opportunity to start by the Oakland Athletics recently. Blackley, who began his career as a starter and who made his major league debut as a starter for the Seattle Mariners, is more suited to this role and he has gone a long way to convincing the A's lately. Coming off a hard fought win from his last outing Travis was even better today when he slashed through eight innings in a head-to-head battle with Los Angeles Dodgers' All-Star ace Clayton Kershaw. The Aussie hurled a most efficient 8.0ip 3h 1er 0bb 6k (3.15ERA) and, with only 87 pitches thrown, he most probably could have completed the game and collected the win that he clearly deserved. As it was he had to accept a no-decision when Oakland rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth to win a game that was deadlocked at 1-1 when Blackley was relieved. TOP 1: He started strong with a pair of strike outs coming after a ground out. TOP 2: Another 1-2-3 inning with three ground ball outs to the third baseman. TOP 3: Struck out Juan Uribe to lead off another three up and three down inning. TOP 4: Travis allowed his only run of the game when Elian Herrera laced a one out double to centre field and he was driven home by Juan Rivera's two out single to right. TOP 5: Another 1-2-3 inning comprising a line out and two more ground balls from just six pitches. TOP 6: Only eight more pitches for another clean inning. TOP 7: Juan Rivera chimed in again with a two out double to left but he was stranded there. TOP 8: Blackley finished in style with two more swinging strike outs and a ground out to conclude a most satisfactory day for him. 67 of his 87 pitches were thrown for strikes to emphasise his effectiveness.

For the second straight start since his return to the big leagues, Aussie LIAM HENDRIKS did not have much luck and he was once again victimised by shaky defence as he was consigned to his fourth loss of the season. Liam pitched 5.0ip 8h 6r 3er 0bb 3k for the Minnesota Twins who were walloped 1-9 by the unsung Pittsburgh Pirates. BOT 1: After securing two outs the 'Buccos' best player Andrew McCutcheon tripled to deep right centre and he scored on Garret Jones' rather fortunate infield single. Another hit to Casey McGehee came to nothing when Hendriks struck out Pedro Alvarez to end the frame. BOT 2: Liam was on the ropes when Josh Harrison poked a one out single up the middle, James McDonald reached on a fielder's choice after a sacrifice bunt attempt and Alex Presley singled into centre field. Once again a possible inning ending double play was foiled when an error by the Twins short stop loaded the bases. Once again McCutcheon took advantage with his bases clearing, two out double to deep left centre field... OUCH, that error really hurt! BOT 3: An otherwise clean inning was spoiled when Rod Barajas was hit by the first pitch he faced with two out. BOT 4: Liam continued to hold firm with a 1-2-3 inning. BOT 5: And again in the fifth with three up and three down including two strike outs of the dangerous McCutcheon and McGehee.
BOT 6: A leadoff single to Pedro Alvarez was cashed in by powerful catcher Barajas who responded to being hit last time up with a two run shot over centre field to end the day for Hendriks whose record slipped to 0-4, 7.39ERA.

  20 JUNE 2012 - BALFOUR HOLDS No.5 IN SHUTOUT!
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 swooped for another hold and his fifth for the season with 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k (2.86ERA) to help preserve a combined shutout for the Oakland Athletics who stifled the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0 at the Coliseum. Grant was the second of three Oakland pitchers to keep the Dodgers off the scoreboard when he relieved starter Brandon McCarthy for the top of the eighth inning. He did allow the Dodgers only their fourth base runner of the game when Adam Kennedy drew a four pitch leadoff walk, his second free pass for the game. He didn't get much further when Balfour struck out Juan Uribe, got Tony Gwynn Jnr. to ground into a fielder's choice to the second baseman and Dee Gordon lined out to left field. It was another solid performance from the Aussie.

  18 JUNE 2012 - BALFOUR HOLDS No.4 v PADRES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour

Seasoned Australian relief ace GRANT BALFOUR was on hand to collect his fourth win of the 2012 season with another scoreless inning of late relief for the Oakland Athletics who rallied back to beat the San Diego Padres 6-4. Grant threw 10 of 18 pitches for strikes to hold the fort in the top of the eighth with 1.0ip 1h 0er 1bb 0k (2.94ERA). He needed only one pitch to get leadoff hitter Chase Headley to ground out to the first baseman, but then he followed with an untidy five pitch walk issued to Carlos Quentin. Oakland's lead was looking a tad precarious when Mark Kotsay placed runners at the corners with his one out single into right field. Not for the first time in his career Balfour summoned the "pitchers dream" with an inning ending double play when Yonder Alonso lined out to the first baseman who promptly doubled off Kotsay who had strayed off the bag on the contact. It may have changed the outcome of the game right there?

Veteran starting pitcher KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) did not figure in the decision when his Seattle Mariners rallied through the middle innings to take him off the hook for the loss in what turned out to be a 7-4 win over the San Francisco Giants. 'Big Kev' was not at his sharpest in this one with 5.0ip 9h 3er 1bb 4k (3.69ERA).

  17 JUNE 2012 - BLACKLEY WINS - HENDRIKS LOSES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley

 

 


Liam Hendriks

The Oakland Athletics finally provided some steady defence and some welcome run support for Aussie left hander TRAVIS BLACKLEY who earned his first win of the season after anchoring their 10-2 thumping of the San Diego Padres. TOP 1: A one out walk to Everth Cabrera was followed by Chase Headley's single to left and then Carlos Quentin took advantage with a RBI single up the middle. TOP 2: After the A's had responded for five runs in the bottom of the first, 'Trav' allowed another run when Alexi Amarista slapped a two out triple to deep right field and he was driven home by Chris Denorfia who supplied a RBI single through the middle. TOP 3: Blackley fanned Chase Headley in between two ground balls for a three up, three down inning. TOP 4: Jesus Guzman was struck out to lead off a scoreless inning that saw Cameron Maybin reach base on a full count walk with two out. TOP 5: Travis struck out Amarista ahead of two ground outs for another 1-2-3 inning. TOP 6: He worked around a one out double by Carlos Quentin with a pair of pop ups to finish his day strong with another zero on the board.
Blackley handed a 7-2 lead to his bullpen after his 104 pitch game. His effective 6.0ip 5h 2er 2bb 3k effort improved his record to 1-2, 3.76ERA.

After blazing his way back to the big leagues with outstanding performances at AAA level, Australia's LIAM HENDRIKS couldn't quite manage to contain the Milwaukee Brewers who topped his Minnesota Twins in a 2-6 defeat. Liam left after 91 pitches with his third loss and a line of 5.0ip 8h 5r 2er 1bb 5k.
TOP 1: It all started with a leadoff single by Norichika Aoki who moved to second on Ryan Braun's one out walk. Liam held firm by striking out the dangerous Aramis Ramirez and finishing the inning with a fielder's choice ground ball. TOP 2: Rickie Weeks poked another leadoff single, but here Hendriks was snake bitten when a potential double play ground ball saw runners at the corners via an error. He struck out Cody Ransom but, after a sacrifice bunt, the first two runs of the game scored on Aoki's two RBI single to right. TOP 3: 'Brew Crew' big guns came to the fore when Ryan Braun led off the frame with a homer to right centre following a full count and Aramis Ramirez clocked the very next pitch over left centre. Hendriks re-grouped to polish off the third with no further damage. TOP 4: Liam posted a neat comeback 1-2-3 inning that included a strike out of Martin Maldonado. TOP 5: The tough luck continued for Hendriks in the fifth when Ryan Braun was gifted a life on a dropped foul ball and the All-Star took full advantage with his second bomb of the day over left centre field. Ramirez followed with a single before Liam once again proved his resilience to end the threat, even after Weeks added another single. Certainly the three unearned runs did him no favours as his major league record for 2012 now stands at 0-3, 7.83ERA.

  14 JUNE 2012 - BALFOUR HOLDS FIRM v ROCKIES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour

In his latest outing Aussie flame thrower GRANT BALFOUR really played his part in helping the Oakland Athletics to prevail 8-5 over the Colorado Rockies in interleague play. Grant tossed a highly efficient 2.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 3k (3.13ERA) with 16 of just 25 total pitches thrown for strikes to earn his third hold of the season. Taking over for the bottom of the seventh he rolled through the meat of the 'Rox' lineup with Michael Cuddyer grounding out to short, Todd Helton struck out swinging on four pitches and Jordan Pacheco flying out to centre field. With so few pitches thrown in the seventh, Balfour was also given the eighth inning duty where he fanned Chris Nelson and Dexter Fowler either side of Wil Nieves who lined his first pitch to the short stop.
'Balf' made quite sure that there was no way back into the contest for the hosts in this one!

  11 JUNE 2012 - BLACKLEY TAKES LOSS v SNAKES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Travis Blackley

Australia's TRAVIS BLACKLEY made his third start in the rotation for the Oakland Athletics but, unfortunately, it proved to be another losing one when they were edged 3-4 by the Arizona Diamondbacks courtesy of an unearned run that victimised him. Blackley's problem came in the first inning when Chris Young punched a one out single up the middle and Justin Upton followed with a single into left centre. Paul Goldschmidt then battled for a full count walk to load the bases with still just one out. The opening run was pushed across the plate when Jason Kubel drew another full count walk and, to be fair, our guy was not getting some close strike calls at that stage which really hurt. This was all magnified when Aaron Hill singled to left for two more RBIs to stretch a three run lead before Travis was able to claim the second and third outs for the frame. Blackley re-grouped for a breezy 1-2-3 second inning and he was good enough to escape trouble in the third even when Goldschmidt singled and Aaron Hill walked ahead of an inning ending strike out of John McDonald. He then worked around a two out walk to Ryan Roberts when he effectively picked him off for a caught stealing to end the bottom of the fourth. With the A's closing the gap to 2-3 coming in to the bottom of the fifth Blackley was under threat again when Chris Young opened with a leadoff single and he later scored on Jason Kubel's two out single that saw him lifted. His latest 4.2ip 6h 4r 3er 3bb 2k left him with a season record of 0-2, 3.98ERA at present.

  8 JUNE 2012 - BALFOUR SOLID v RANGERS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour

Hard throwing Australian GRANT BALFOUR was back in his office today pitching 1.0ip 1h 0er 1bb 0k (3.49ERA) to help the Oakland Athletics to stay ahead of the Texas Rangers en route to a decisive 7-1 win today.

Grant had to work a bit in this contest with 23 pitches needed to put away the top of the eighth, 16 thrown for strikes. He lost a battle with leadoff hitter David Murphy who milked a full count walk, yet he didn't survive long on the bases when Mike Napoli grounded into a double play to the short stop. Mitch Moreland punched a two out single up the middle before Grant closed the inning with Ian Kinsler grounding into a fielder's choice to the third baseman.

  7 JUNE 2012 - BLACKLEY & BALFOUR PITCH IN LOSS!
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 pitching team mates TRAVIS BLACKLEY and GRANT BALFOUR were in action for the Oakland Athletics who were trumped 3-6 by the extra-tough Texas Rangers. Travis made his second start in the rotation for the A's and he was looking on track for another high quality start until the third inning when an error that was ruled an infield hit denied him of a double play that would have changed the course of the inning and the game. In a 1-2-3 first inning Blackley struck out Texas stars Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton, then he fanned Adrian Beltre to start another efficient 1-2-3 second frame. A leadoff walk in the third should have been erased on the error by the third baseman when 'Trav' induced a tailor-made ground ball for the double play... how it was scored an infield hit remains a mystery and it unfairly damaged Blackley's ERA. With both runners safe on the play a sacrifice followed to set the table for Ian Kinsler to rifle a two RBI double tight along the third base line. Perhaps a fraction rattled by the events of the third inning, Blackley battled in the fourth after a leadoff double by Nelson Cruz who he should have had out trying to steal third on what was a bizarre baulk as Blackley tried but failed to back off the rubber. An eventual walk to Mike Napoli was followed by Yorvit Torrealba's sacrifice fly for another RBI. Pitching into the fifth Travis had two outs before Adrian Beltre singled and was driven home by Michael Young's RBI triple. That was to be his last action for the day as he left with the unfortunate line of 4.2ip 7h 5er 2bb 5k for his current Oakland record of 0-1, 3.45ERA.
With the game in reach at 3-5 Grant Balfour was inserted for the top of the seventh and he kept it that way by getting Kinsler to fly out to left, Elvis Andrus to fly out to right and Josh Hamilton struck out swinging. Balfour's tidy 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (3.62ERA)
gave his team a chance that never eventuated.

  5 JUNE 2012 - MILLWOOD LOSES - ROSS HITS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


David Ross

Following a recent run of success, veteran starting pitcher KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) finally fell back to earth with his fifth loss of the season coming when his struggling Seattle Mariners were doubled 2-4 by the Chicago White Sox. Millwood pitched 4.0ip 7h 4er 5bb 4k with too many walks and too many hits as his record slipped to 3-5, 3.90ERA.

Ever reliable backup catcher DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) once again did everything you could ask from him while making a significant offensive contribution to the Atlanta Braves 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals. Ross batted 2-2 (.250) with two walks to reach base from all four plate appearances.

  4 JUNE 2012 - BALFOUR RELIVES IN WIN v ROYALS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour

Australian relief pitcher GRANT BALFOUR allowed a run but it did not hurt too much because his Oakland Athletics were romping away to a big 9-3 victory over the home standing Kansas City Royals.

Grant pitched a relatively long inning with 15 strikes among his 23 pitches for the line of 1.0ip 2h 1er 0bb 2k (3.76ERA). Balfour inherited a 6-2 lead when he took over for the bottom of the seventh yet he was quickly under fire when Jarrod Dyson rapped a leadoff single into left field and Brayan Pena followed with a two strike double into left field. He struck out Alex Gordon for the first out but he could not prevent the run scoring from third base when Yuniesky Betancourt lifted a sacrifice fly to the centre fielder. The lead was kept at 6-3 when Balfour finished the inning with the powerful Billy Butler struck out looking on a 2-2 count.

 

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.