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 From time to time we will archive old or outdated news on our "WHAT'S NEW" & "AUSSIES IN THE US LEAGUES" pages.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

ARCHIVE
JULY 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.

 

  29 JULY 2013 - BLACKLEY SOLID IN HOUSTON LOSS!
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 once again did his job with 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 0k (4.96ERA) in middle relief for the Houston Astros who lost by the narrowest of margins 1-2 to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Travis came into the game at a delicate moment with the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh with two out and the bases loaded filled by Blue Jays after an intentional walk filled the empty first base. Thankfully he required only three pitches to end that threat with Colby Rasmus popping out on the infield to the second baseman. Returning for the bottom of the eighth, Blackley got Maicer Izturis to fly out to left field before he lost a full count battle with a patient Rajai Davis who walked. 'Trav' then got J.P Arencibia to fly out to centre field on one pitch before his time on the hill concluded.

  28 JULY 2013 - BALFOUR SAVES 27th & 28th - BLACKLEY HOLDS 13th!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour

 


Travis Blackley

After a rare "blimp" on his radar screen recently, Australia's GRANT BALFOUR was straight back on track with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (1.93ERA) to collect his 28th save when he closed the Oakland Athletics 3-1 win over local rivals Los Angeles Angels. Grant nailed down the top of the ninth inning with Josh Hamilton popping out to the short stop, Alberto Callaspo lining out to centre field and pinch hitter Hank Conger fouling out to the first baseman. It was yet another convincing performance from our 2013 All-Star.
The previous day Balfour took save No.27 with an eventful 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 2k as the As rolled past the 'Halos' 6-4. It was only after the Angels first two batters had walked in the top of the ninth that Grant was summoned from the bullpen with the save opportunity suddenly presenting itself with the tying run in the on deck circle. His first pitch had J.B Shuck foul out to third, then he had young prodigy Mike Trout struck out swinging. A wild pitch saw both both runners move into scoring position just in time for veteran superstar Albert Pujols to lash a two RBI single into left field. He did not allow the score to get any closer when he fanned Josh Hamilton on a full count.

…and also on the weekend:

Aussie TRAVIS BLACKLEY recorded his 13th hold of the 2013 season when he pitched a useful 0.2ip 0h 0er 1bb 0k (5.12ERA) but it was nowhere near enough to help his Houston Astros who later capitulated 6-12 to the Toronto Blue Jays. Travis came into the game when it was in the balance, with his team leading 5-4 with one on and nobody out in the bottom of the sixth. He quickly got the first out via Josh Thole who pooped out on a fouled bunt attempt. He then walked the dangerous Jose Reyes ahead of Melky Cabrera who lined out to centre field. He had done his job, but the rest of the Astros' bullpen fell to bits later in the game.
His team mate BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) batted 1-4 (.246).
  25 JULY 2013 - BLACKLEY TAKES LOSS & BLOWN SAVE!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley
Aussie left-hander TRAVIS BLACKLEY threw all five of the pitches he threw for strikes, however, one long ball consigned him to his first loss of the season. He pitched 0.1ip 1h 1er 0bb 1k in his Houston Astros narrow 3-4 loss to the Oakland Athletics to take his record to 1-1, 5.23ERA, while also recording his first blown save of the season.

Blackley came into the game with one on and one out in the top of the seventh, just after Eric Sogard had pared the Astros lead to 3-2 with a RBI double. Unfortunately for 'Trav' the second pitch he threw to veteran Coco Crisp disappeared over left field to had a 4-3 lead to the As that they never relinquished. Blackley then struck out John Jaso on three pitches, but the damage had been done on this occasion.

  24 JULY 2013 - BALFOUR BLOWS SAVE & TAKES A RARE LOSS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
Australia's second only All-Star Game representative GRANT BALFOUR hardly needs any excuses based on his stellar season in 2013, yet a bad day comes for all pitchers at some stage or other - especially for relievers who live on a knife's edge. With 26 saves already under his belt it was inevitable that a blown save was coming his way eventually. It arrived in painful fashion when he was also saddled with the loss while pitching 0.1ip 3h 2er 1bb 0k and seeing his Oakland Athletics run down from behind by the Houston Astros in a 4-5 defeat. Customarily taking over to close the game in the bottom of the ninth with the A's enjoying a 4-2 advantage, it all started as it often does with an untidy and somewhat unfortunate play. Leadoff batter Justin Maxwell reached on an infield single that was fielded by Balfour himself and, while trying to hurry his throw to first, an error resulted on the runner trotting to second.
As the baseball gods often decree the bedlam was magnified when Matt Dominguez homered over centre field after working a full count from a 0-2 start to tie the game in dramatic style. With the home crowd suddenly energised, Grant got the first out with Marc Krauss flying out to right field, but the pressure was re-exerted when Jonathan Villar doubled into the deep left corner. In fairness there wasn't much that Balfour could do after "working around" Jose Altuve with a semi-intentional walk. With Jason Castro batting, Altuve predictably attempted to steal second and, when Oakland's catcher threw the ball errantly, Villar was able to scamper home for the winning run. It was only Grant's second blown save of the season as the loss took his record to 0-2, 2.03ERA. As I said, it happens!
  23 JULY 2013 - BALFOUR SAVES 26th - BLACKLEY HOLDS 12th!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
Australia's only two current major league players GRANT BALFOUR and TRAVIS BLACKLEY were in opposing camps and both pitched in the game where the travelling Oakland Athletics edged past the Houston Astros 4-3.
Balfour earned his 26th save of the season with a crisp 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (1.59ERA) while Blackley was unable to escape unscathed with 0.2ip 1h 1er 0bb 1k (4.99ERA), even though he took his 12th hold of the year. Travis took the ball to begin the top of the seventh where he struck out Coco Crisp for the first out, only to see Chris Young homer over left field to halve the Astros lead at the time to 3-2. He recorded a hold by departing with his team still ahead after getting Jed Lowrie to ground out to the second baseman. When the A's stormed back to take a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth, closer Balfour was called to arms and he sealed the deal as he has done so often this season at the pointy end of the contest. He got Justin Maxwell to fly out to left field before fanning both Brett Wallace and Brandon Barnes to finish with a flourish.
Recent ABL import BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) batted 1-4 (.250) as the starting centre fielder and #7 slot hitter for the 'Stros.

Travis Blackley
  21 JULY 2013 - BLACKLEY & BARNES RUN HOT FOR ASTROS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley
Aussie TRAVIS BLACKLEY did all that he could with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (4.80ERA) yet he could not prevent his Houston Astros from being doubled 2-4 by the Seattle Mariners. Entrusted with the top of the eighth inning, 'Trav' got Nick Franklin to ground out to the third baseman before striking out dangerous veterans Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales, both fanning the air. His former ABL team mate BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) batted 1-4 (.250) as the staring centre fielder and #7 hole hitter.

The day before was a massive career highlight for Barnes when he batted a blazing 5-5 (.250) with two RBIs and, most remarkably, he HIT FOR THE CYCLE with a double, a triple and his fifth home run of the 2013 season adding to two singles. Even so his Astros were out-slugged 7-10 by the Mariners!

Brandon Barnes
  17 JULY 2013 -  GRANT BALFOUR HELPS AL WIN ALL-STAR GAME!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
Australia's second ever All-Star selection GRANT BALFOUR came through what was maybe an understandably nervous debut effort in the prestigious event at Citi Field in New York.

Representing the victorious American League that prevailed 3-0 over the National League, Grant started with a wayward four pitch walk to Michael Cuddyer where he was clearly uncomfortable and sometimes shaking his pitching arm. At one stage it looked like he might be lifted for an anti-climax, but the poised Aussie hit back to post an important scoreless frame in the bottom of the sixth. He got Bryce Harper to pop out to the short stop, Matt Carpenter to fly out to centre field and Andrew McCutchen struck out swinging. Balfour did Australia proud with 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k in the bog baseball spotlight!

  15 JULY 2013 -  GRANT BALFOUR BLITZES BOSTON!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
Australia's second ever All-Star selection GRANT BALFOUR celebrated the honour by striking out all three batters he faced to certainly help his Oakland Athletics to prevail over the visiting Boston Red Sox in eleven innings yesterday.

Grant threw twelve of 15 pitches for strikes when he breezed through the top of the ninth inning with a slashing 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 3k (1.63ERA). He started with Jonny Gomes struck out swinging, then he had Mike Carp called out on strikes and finished the deal with Ryan Lavarnway struck out swinging. He surely helped the home team to take some momentum into the extra innings with his high-energy effort.

  14 JULY 2013 -  ALL STAR BALFOUR SAVES 25TH!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
What a time in the life it is for Australia's brilliant closer GRANT BALFOUR who locked-down his 25th save of the season yesterday for the Oakland Athletics who blanked the visiting Boston Red Sox 3-0. Grant not only eclipsed Oakland's consecutive saves record set by Dennis Eckersley, but he also earned selection as the second Aussie (behind David Nilsson) to play in the prestigious MLB All-Star game this season. In his latest outing against the hot hitting 'Bosox' Balfour yet again had to deal with a leadoff base runner when Mike Napoli led off the top of the ninth with a single into centre field. It meant little when the shutout was preserved with Daniel Nava grounding into a fielder's choice to the first baseman, Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out swinging and Jose Iglesias fouling out to the first baseman.

Australia's TRAVIS BLACKLEY secured the last out of the game for the Houston Astros in their 3-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays with 0.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (4.97ERA). With just four pitches 'Trav' got Luke Scott to ground out to the second baseman which ended the bottom of the eighth inning.


Travis Blackley
  9 JULY 2013 -  GRANT BALFOUR ADDS 24TH SAVE v BUCS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
Sure, he has had the opportunities lately because his team has been involved in a lot of close wins, but you still have to appreciate the fact that Australia's GRANT BALFOUR has now converted seven successive save opportunities. His 24th and latest save came when his Oakland Athletics again edged a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates when he closed the result with a slick 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 2k (1.72ERA). Not unusually 'Balf' gave himself an initial cause for concern when Jose Tabata led off the bottom of the ninth with a single up the middle to put the tying run on base. However, as he often does, he re-grouped magnificently to fan the Pirates' two toughest hitters Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez, both on four pitches. He then killed off the game with one more pitch when he got Russell Martin to ground out to the third baseman. Grant threw ten of 13 pitches for strikes in a typically inspired performance.
  8 JULY 2013 -  GRANT BALFOUR SAVES 23rd v PIRATES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
Australia's high rolling closer GRANT BALFOUR notched save No.23 when he locked down a tense 2-1 victory for his Oakland Athletics over the surprise packet Pittsburgh Pirates with a tidy 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (1.77ERA). 'Balf' made decisive work of the bottom of the ninth with a three up, three down frame. It started with Travis Snyder popping out to the second baseman, then Starling Marte flied out to left field and pinch hitter Michael McKenry flied out to centre field. Grant threw ten of 16 pitches for strikes to put another one in the "W" column for the A's.

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 2-4 (.237) but it was not enough for the New York Yankees who were trampled 1-5 by the Kansas City Royals.

Vernon Wells
  7 JULY 2013 -  TRAVIS BLACKLEY WINS OVER RANGERS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley
Australian lefty TRAVIS BLACKLEY recorded a win with a tidy 1.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k to help his Houston Astros to grasp a 9-5 win over the fancied Texas Rangers. Travis came into the game with one on and two out in the bottom of the seventh just after the Rangers had homered to close the deficit in the game to 5-7. He polished off that inning by getting pinch hitter Robinson Chirinos to ground into a fielder's choice to the short stop. Importantly 'Trav' also returned to pitch a clean eighth inning with Mitch Moreland grounding out to first, Geovany Soto called out on strikes and Jurickson Profar lining out to the short stop.

Blackley took his record to 1-0, 5.02ERA for this major league season.
  5 JULY 2013 -  GRANT BALFOUR SAVES 21st & 22nd!
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 ace closer GRANT BALFOUR needed only a pair of outs to secure his 22nd save of the season with 0.2ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k (1.82ERA) as his Oakland Athletics rolled over the Kansas City Royals 6-3. Oakland's starting pitcher Tommy Malone worked into the ninth inning bidding to notch a complete game shutout victory but, after a couple of runs scored, the save opportunity loomed for Grant with two on and one out in the bottom of the ninth. The first batter he faced, Salvador Perez plated another run with his RBI single up the middle before Balfour sealed the deal with Lorenzo Cain grounding into a fielder's choice to the third baseman and Mike Moustakis grounded out to the second baseman.
This came a day after he had earned his 21st save with a strong 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 1k (1.85ERA) to shut off the A's narrow 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. Grant got two quick outs with Welington Castillo struck out swinging and Luis Valbuena grounding out to second, before Starlin Castro kept the inning alive with a single up the middle. Nate Shierholtz reached on an error by the short stop to ratchet up the pressure, but Balfour held his nerve to get veteran Alfonso Soriano to fly out to right field.

Aussie favourite TRAVIS BLACKLEY did all that was asked of him by hurling the last inning of a blowout 5-10 defeat when his Houston Astros were doubled by the state rival Texas Rangers. 'Trav' pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth with 1.0ip 1h 0er 1bb 0k (5.27ERA). He began with a touch of misfortune when leadoff batter Ian Kinsler reached on an infield single then he advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Blackley re-grouped to get David Murphy to fly out to centre field, while Kinsler tagged and moved to third. Nelson Cruz lined out to right field for the second out, allowing the Astros to intentionally walk the dangerous Adrian Beltre. Kinsler was left stranded on third when Travis ended the inning with A.J Pierzynski grounding out to the second baseman.
The previous day Blackley needed just four pitches to get one out with 0.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k as Houston went down 5-7 to the Tampa Bay Rays. He finished off the top of the seventh by getting Ben Zobrist to ground out back to the mound to end the inning with a runner left on third base.

With his early season form cooling off lately, VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) rose to the occasion with 2-5 (.235) and an important RBI for the New York Yankees who squeezed past the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 in a big inter-division game. The day before Wells also batted 2-4 with three RBIs as the Yankees trumped the Minnesota Twins 9-5.

DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) batted 2-3 (.286) to help his Arizona Diamondbacks to shut out the Colorado Rockies 5-0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Vernon Wells


Didi Gregorius

  2 JULY 2013 - GRANT BALFOUR NOTCHES SAVES No.20!
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 continues to stake a claim for selection among the relief pitchers for the prestigious upcoming MLB All-Star Game with his 20th save recorded in the first half of this season. Grant closed out the Oakland Athletics narrow 8-7 win over the Chicago Cubs with a solid 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k (1.91ERA). Pitching the top of the ninth at Oakland Coliseum, Balfour still faced the minimum batters even after Luis Valbuena led off the inning with a full count walk. That hint of pressure eased when he won a seven pitch battle with Starling Castro to have him struck out swinging at the same time that Valbuena was thrown out attempting to steal second - strike 'em out, throw 'em out! Nate Sherholtz then worked a third successive full count before he grounded out to second to end the game. Grant may not win the "popular vote" as an All-Star starter, but surely American League manager, Jim Leyland, should be considering him for a bullpen position based on performance… let's hope so!
  1 JULY 2013 - GRANT BALFOUR SAVES 19TH v CARDINALS!
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 refused to pass up the opportunity to collect his 19th save of the season with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (1.97ERA) to nail down the Oakland Athletics 7-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Grant pitched a 1-2-3 top of the ninth with pinch hitter Daniel Descalso flying out to centre field, Matt Adams struck out swinging and Matt Carpenter grounding out to the short stop. He threw nine of 15 total pitches for strikes to continue his great form this season.

Recent ABL import BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) was back in the lineup for the Houston Astros, stationed at centre field and batting in the #9 slot. He did his best with 2-3 (.263) in their 1-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.


Brandon Barnes

 

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!