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 From time to time we will archive old or outdated news on our "WHAT'S NEW" & "AUSSIES IN THE US LEAGUES" pages.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

ARCHIVE
AUGUST 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.

  31 AUG 2008 - BLUM & WELLS EACH GO YARD!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Geoff Blum


Vernon Wells

Firstly, our congratulations to former ABL import and recent major leaguer MIKE HESSMAN (Melbourne Monarchs 1999) who collected a bronze medal with the USA baseball team at the recent Beijing Olympic Games. Hessman, a former Atlanta Braves major league first baseman, has also played in the big leagues with the Detroit Tigers where he is currently playing at 'AAA' level.

In his tenth major league season, utility infielder GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) has already set a new career high with his 13th home run of 2008 for the Houston Astros as he certainly helped them to record a big 8-5 victory over the St.Louis Cardinals. Blum batted 2-4 (.245) with three RBIs and two runs.

Former All-Star slugger VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) mauled his 15th home run of the year to highlight a 2-4 (.295) game that included two RBIs, two runs scored and a walk. It all helped his Toronto Blue Jays to overtake the home-standing New York Yankees 7-6. In yesterday's game, Wells nailed one of only five hits for the Blue Jays, batting 1-4 (.293) in a tight 1-2 loss to the Yanks.

Backup outfielder RYAN LANGERHANS (IBLA Internationals 2001) proved the age old baseball adage that you don't necessarily have to hit to be an offensive contributor in our great game. Starting at left field for the lamentable Washington Nationals, Langerhans batted 0-2 in a narrow 9-8 win over the Atlanta Braves, but he made his presence in the lineup felt with three wallks and a vital run scored for his team.

Helping the Detroit Tigers to a 6-3 win over the Kansas City Royals yesterday was hot and cold reliever GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) who collected his fourth hold of the year with 0.2ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (5.85ERA).

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


Ryan R-Smith


Grant Balfour


Geoff Blum

Firstly, from Wednesday's late finishing game, RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH became the first Australian since 2004 to pitch a winning start in the US big leagues... a feat last achieved by TRAVIS BLACKLEY who was then starting for the same Seattle Mariners. On this occasion Rowland-Smith pitched a poised 7.0ip 5h 2er 2bb 5k to anchor the Mariners to a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Twins and to improve his record to a quite impressive 3-2, 3.73ERA. In the first frame he pitched tidily around a leadoff walk, before striking out the first two hitters for a 1-2-3 second inning. Ryan then had to battle hard to stifle a leadoff hit and a walk in the third and again to strand a leadoff double by Joe Maurer in the fourth. After sailing through another three-up three-down fifth, 'RRS' ran into some trouble in the sixth when a couple of singles and an error enabled a run to score on a double-play, followed by a solo home run issued to Randy Ruiz. That would be all the runs allowed by Rowland-Smith in this game when he finished his stint with two strikeouts while facing the minimum three batters in the seventh. It was a terrific performance by the Aussie!

Aussie destroyer GRANT BALFOUR picked up his 12th hold of the season, pitching 0.1ip 1h 0er 0bb 1k (1.44ERA) today while helping his Tampa Bay Rays to scrape a 3-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. However, it wasn't all routine for Balfour today after he was asked to get the final out in the bottom of the eighth inning. The first batter he faced, Rod Barajas, promptly squared-up a line drive RBI double to centre field to cash in his inherited runner. There would be no further damage when Grant had Jose Batista struck out looking at a wicked 87mph slide-piece to end the inning and the scoring in the game. In the same game VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-4 (.293) for the Jays.

It was an even lighter outing for GRANT BALFOUR yesterday when he struck out the only batter he faced for his 11th hold in a 1-0 win over Toronto. 'Balf' pitched 0.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k by whiffing an overmatched Adam Lind on three straight 94mph fastballs to end the bottom of the eighth. In this game VERNON WELLS batted 0-3 including a walk.

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) batted 2-3 (.243) to help his Houston Astros to hold out the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 today.

In other action yesterday GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) struggled again with 1.0ip 2h 2er 1bb 2k (5.95ERA) as his disappointing Detroit Tigers fell 7-9 to the Cleveland Indians.

  27 AUG 2008 - MILLWOOD CG WIN; WELLS HR!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Kevin Millwood


Vernon Wells

 

Evergreen starter KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) supplied his second straight superb start for the Texas Rangers with a high-quality complete game victory for his team, anchoring them to a tight 2-1 win over the Kansas City Royals. ‘Big Kev’ has pitched some magnificent games over his long career, but not too many could have topped his dominant 9.0ip 9h 1er 0bb 2k performance today that required a total of only 94 pitches. His last two winning starts have improved his season record to 8-7, 4.95ERA after an injury interrupted 2008.

Seemingly fully recovered from injury and back patrolling centre field for the Toronto Blue Jays is VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) who has also started running red-hot with the bat recently. Former All-Star slugger Wells batted 3-5 (.297) with three RBIs, including his 14th home run of the season, to help the Jays to inflict a rare 6-2 defeat on the Tampa Bay Rays.

Journeyman reliever GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) was saddled with the loss after unsuccessfully trying to maintain the deadlock in what was to be his Detroit Tigers 3-4, 10-inning loss to the Cleveland Indians. Glover pitched 0.2ip 2h 1er 0bb 0k in this game to take his season record to a modest 1-3, 5.63ERA.

Unable to spark enough offence for the Los Angeles Angels in their tight 1-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics was outfielder GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) who batted 1-3 (.226).

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) batted a solid 2-3 (.242) for the Houston Astros who could only cobble together six hits in a 1-9 hammering by the New York Mets.

  25 AUG 2008 - BALFOUR WINS 4TH & HOLDS 10TH!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour


Vernon Wells


Gary Matthews

 

It was another busy weekend for Australia’s pitching gun GRANT BALFOUR who earned his 10th hold of the season, even though his Tampa Bay Rays fell to a rare defeat 5-6 at the Chicago White Sox after 10-innings. ‘Balf’ shut down the eighth inning for his team to maintain a slender lead in the game using only 13 higH velocity pitches to get the job done via 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (1.47ERA). Once again our man was required to handle the most dangerous section of the Chicago lineup when he had home run leader Carlos Quentin fly out to left field, hot-hitter Jermaine Dye fly out to right field and 500 home run man Jim Thome fly out to centre field, just to compete the set!

If Grant may have been unlucky to take a loss in his previous game, he was certainly in the right place at the right time to collect the win yesterday when the Rays rallied late to beat the crestfallen White Sox 5-3. Balfour did his job by pitching a neat scoreless seventh inning, but he could hardly have expected his team to break a “no hitter” with a four-run top of the eighth! After allowing a full-count leadoff walk to Paul Konerko, he had Alexei Ramirez fly out to centre field, Juan Uribe pop out to the first baseman and Toby Hall fly out to right field. The win improved Balfour’s marvellous record to 4-2, 1.50ERA at the time.

Former No.1 overall draft selection VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) has once again dined out on some of his favourite pitching this weekend while boosting his home run tally to 13 after his Toronto Blue Jays home series against the World Champion Boston Red Sox. In today’s game Wells batted 2-3 (.292) with three RBI’s in a 5-6 loss to the Bosox in 11-innings. If that sounds pretty good, it paled against Wells’ gaudy 4-5 with two home runs, three RBIs and four runs scored in Toronto ’s big 11-0 thumping of Boston yesterday!

GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) batted 2-4 (.225) with a RBI after coming in off the bench to help his Los Angeles Angels sneak a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Twins.

Helping his Houston Astros to overcome the New York Mets 5-4 today was GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) , who batted 1-2 (.237). Yesterday Blum batted 1-4 with a walk and a RBI in another 8-3 victory over the Mets.

PAUL LoDUCA (Adelaide Giants 1995) batted 1-1 (.248) with a RBI to help the Florida Marlins to topple the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2.

… and from other games yesterday:

RYAN LANGERHANS (IBLA Internationals 2001) came off the bench to bat 1-1 (.250) for the floundering Washington Nationals in their latest 2-9 loss to the Chicago Cubs.

  23 AUG 2008 - ROWLAND-SMITH UNLUCKY LOSER!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Ryan R-Smith


Grant Balfour

 

Firstly, from yesterday, Australia's re-invented starting pitcher RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH has had some fine outings in the big leagues with the Seattle Mariners, but perhaps nothing quite as good as his gallant seven inning start in what was the be a hard-luck 0-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics. Ryan could certainly blame a lack of run support to be on the losing end of a shutout after pitching a high quality 7.0ip 4h 1er 3bb 6k, to take his season record to 2-2, 3.84ERA. Ryan sat down the A's 1-2-3 in the first inning then escaped a runners on the corners situation in the second by striking out Daric Barton. A third inning walk with one out was quickly erased with a ground ball double play, then a Kurt Suzuki double was stranded by striking out Jack Cust to end the fourth. 'RRS' had three up and three down again in the fifth to maintain the scoreless deadlock, but a two out solo home run by Emil Brown notched the go ahead run in the sixth. Ryan put up another zero in the seventh when he pitched around a leadoff single and a stolen base. Rowland-Smith was relieved by Sean Green to start the eighth inning having done a tremendous job for his struggling team and he definitely didn't deserve the "L" from this effort!

... and from today's games:

Aussie rocket-launcher GRANT BALFOUR didn't have to do a lot to collect his ninth hold of the season today when he pitched 0.2ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (2.14ERA). What he did do, in his customary fashion, was to simply overpower the only the only two batters he faced after entering the game with one on and one out in the bottom of the seventh frame. He won the battle against two of the most dangerous sluggers in the big leagues when he had hot-hitting Carlos Quentin struck out looking at a 96mph fastball and Jermaine Dye struck out swinging at a 95mph offering. He helped his high-rolling Tampa Bay Rays to whip the division leading Chicago White Sox 9-4.

Journeyman right-hander GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) did his bit to help the Detroit Tigers to overcome the Kansas City Royals 4-3 today, pitching 1.1ip 2h 1er 0bb 0k (5.50ERA).

  22 AUG 2008 - BALFOUR TAKES A LOSS v ANGELS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour

 


Paul LoDuca

 


Kevin Millwood

We'll have to report on RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH's late game start for the Seattle Mariners in today's schedule next time.

... but from yesterday:

As much as he has been little short of “lights out” this season, Aussie steamroller GRANT BALFOUR would not require ‘Flintoff & Dunn’ to highlight his one fatal error that led to a hard-luck loss for him and his Tampa Bay Rays who were snipped 4-5 by the Los Angeles Angels yesterday. The fact that Grant came into the game with such electric stuff to mow down the eighth inning in such comprehensive fashion made it all the more surprising that he somehow lost his radar to issue a deadly leadoff walk to Angels speedster Chone Figgins in the top of the ninth. Of course, it would become elementary that Figgins would eventually score the go-ahead and winning run in the game… ouch! 
I had the great pleasure of watching Balfour strut his considerable stuff in the televised ESPN game yesterday and my Aussie chest was swelled with pride when he struck out the Angles three hitters in the eighth. In truth, ‘Balf’ made Juan Rivera, Sean Rodriguez and Jeff Mathis look like tee-ballers with his blitzkrieg of mid-90mph fastballs that hummed through the strike zone like the proverbial hot knife through butter. I’m not sure whether he tried to pitch “too cute” to Figgins to start the ninth or simply had a momentary lapse of control but, either way, it was a decisive moment in the game and one that I’m sure he would rather have back. Balfour did follow up by getting Erick Aybar to pop out to the third baseman, but he was replaced by Chad Bradford after switch hitter Mark Teixeira dumped a single into left field. Bradford would eventually allow Figgins to score on a fielder’s choice force out to saddle our man with the earned run and the defeat. The loss took Grant’s still impressive season record to 3-2, 1.56ERA.

PAUL LoDUCA (Adelaide Giants 1995) celebrated his recent return to one of his former teams when he batted 2-3 (.238) with a walk as the starting catcher for the Florida Marlins in their tight 5-6 loss to the San Francisco Giants.

After some rough times lately, Texas Rangers’ “horse” KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) bounced back with his seventh win of the season when he anchored their 9-1 hammering of the Detroit Tigers. In fact, ‘Big Kev’ wouldn’t have enjoyed too many better starts in his long and successful career than this one-run complete game victory over a much vaunted Tigers’ offence. He will be very satisfied with his 9.0ip 6h 1er 1bb 4k game that took his season record to 7-7, 5.24ERA.

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-4 (.288) for the Toronto Blue Jays during their 1-5 loss to the New York Yankees.

Once again doing his best for the Houston Astros was utility GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) who batted 2-4 (.234) with a RBI while patrolling third base in their 2-5 defeat by the Milwaukee Brewers.

  20 AUG 2008 - BALFOUR'S HOLDS 8TH v ANGELS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour


Geoff Blum

Aussie fireman GRANT BALFOUR may not have had his most dominant outing among his many this season, but it was still good enough for him to earn his eighth hold of the year for the Tampa Bay Rays in their roller-coaster 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels. ‘Balf’ pitched 1.1ip 2h 1er 0bb 2k (1.38ERA) after relieving Rays’ starter Andy Sonnanstine with one out and a runner on second base in the top of the sixth inning. Grant was unable to prevent Juan Rivera lofting a RBI sacrifice fly to centre field before extinguishing the inning with Mike Napoli struck out on a foul tip. Returning to face the top of the Angels daunting lineup, Balfour had dangerous leadoff guy Chone Figgins struck out wafting at a 94mph fastball before Eric Aybar singled up the middle. He secured the second out when Mark Teixeira popped out to the third baseman, but a wild pitch proved costly by advancing Aybar into scoring position and he was saddled with an earned run when Vlad Guerrero’s single to right field drove him in. Balfour was then relieved by submarine lefty Chad Bradford with two out in the seventh.

Pitching journeyman GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) made his first appearance for the Detroit Tigers after falling from favour with the Tampa Bay rays earlier this season, collecting his third hold of the season in Detroit ’s narrow 8-7 win over the Texas Rangers. Glover pitched 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k. He then followed up yesterday with another similar 1.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (5.45ERA) in yesterday’s 11-3 win over the Rangers.

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) launched his 12th long ball of the season while batting a most valuable 1-4 (.229) with three huge RBIs for the Houston Astros in their 5-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

  18 AUG 2008 - ROWLAND-SMITH HAS ROUGH START!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Ryan R-Smith


Vernon Wells


Kevin Millwood

Australia’s recently converted starting pitcher RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH had a rough ride, but he avoided a loss in the Seattle Mariners see-saw 6-7 defeat by the Minnesota Twins yesterday. Ryan pitched a hard-hit 5.0ip 10h 5er 2bb 1k (4.11ERA) in his 89 pitch start for the M’s that ended with a no-decision when they rallied for six runs in the sixth inning to snatch the lead in the game. His troubles started in the first inning when he gave up a two out home run to Joe Maurer, then another RBI to Randy Ruiz before ending the inning with the bases loaded. In the second frame a succession of hits saw Joe Maurer, Justin Morneau and Delmon Young produce consecutive RBI hits as the last runs he would allow in the game. Rowland-Smith regrouped for a 1-2-3 third inning, a single hit in the fourth and a two-out double in the fifth. Let’s just say that the game ended much better than it started for Ryan on this occasion.  

... and from today's games:

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 2-4 (.293) with two walks, a RBI and a run scored to help his Toronto Blue Jays to pound the Boston Red Sox 15-4 today.

In the Colorado Rockies 7-2 win over the Washington Nationals MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999 again struggled in relief for the ‘Rox’ with 0.0ip 2h 0er 0bb 0k (5.09ERA), while RYAN LANGERHANS (IBLA Internationals 2001) batted 1-4 (.247) for the ‘Nats’.  

... now from other MLB games over the weekend:

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) batted 1-3 (.236) with a walk for the Houston Astros in their 5-11 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) rather fortunately collected his 20th hold of the season when he pitched a modest 0.1ip 0h 2er 2bb 0k (2.91ERA) for the Kansas City Royals in their 4-3 win over the New York Yankees.

Veteran starter KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) struggled again after returning from his latest injury with a battling 4.2ip 10h 5er 1bb 7k for the Texas Rangers in their 0-7 shutout defeat by the Tampa Bay Rays. Big Kev’s record slumped to 6-7, 5.58ERA for the 2008 season.

  15 AUG 2008 - BALFOUR'S RARE BLOWN SAVE!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour


Vernon Wells

Australian bullpen ace GRANT BALFOUR will be more satisfied with the fact that his Tampa Bay Rays emerged as 7-6 winners over the Oakland A’s after a torrid 12-inning epic than the fact that he was saddled with a rare blown save on this occasion. Grant’s line today was 0.2ip 1h 0er 0bb 2k (1.21ERA) after he became the sixth pitcher used by the Rays in the ninth inning. He replaced closer Troy Percival after a leadoff walk was bunted over into scoring position via a sacrifice. ‘Balf’ promptly secured the important second out when Carlos Gonzalez fanned at a 94mph fastball. Unfortunately, he was unable to seal the deal when monster slugger Frank ‘Big Hurt’ Thomas scalded a RBI single to right field to score the tying run for the Athletics. Still, Balfour kept the Rays in the game by erasing the dangerous Jack Cust who struck out swinging at another 95mph heater.

Utility infielder GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) lived up to his reputation again today by earning a rare start and playing at both second and third base for the Houston Astros in their 7-4 win over the San Francisco Giants. Blum also contributed offensively with 1-3 (.238) including a RBI and a run scored.

Evergreen reliever MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999) took some lumps again today while his Colorado Rockies were licked 2-6 by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Matt pitched a hard-hit 1.1ip 5h 1er 0bb 1k (5.09ERA) today.

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) went yard for the tenth time this season while batting 1-3 (.290) with four RBIs from the GRAND SLAM home run for the Toronto Blue Jays in their 4-3 win over the Detroit Tigers. Perhaps he is destined for more time as the designated hitter if injuries continue to limit his range in the outfield?

  13 AUG 2008 - BALFOUR DOES HIS JOB v A's!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour


Ryan Langerhans

It certainly wasn’t the fault of Aussie pitcher GRANT BALFOUR that the Tampa Bay Rays suffered a rare loss in a 1-2 “squeaker” to the Oakland Athletics. In fact, Grant did everything he could to give the Rays a chance to snatch the game near the end with a brilliant scoreless eighth inning. In the bottom of the eighth ‘Balf’ had Ryan Sweeney struck out waving at a 95mph comet, before Mark Ellis rode a line drive single to left field. Next he faced the formidable future Hall-Of-Fame slugger Frank ‘Big Hurt’ Thomas who battled for a seven pitch full count before another Balfour fastball saw him struck out swinging at thin air. His final act today was to get Emil Brown to ground out to the second baseman for a 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 2k (1.26ERA) game where 13 of his 19 pitches were thrown for strikes.

Enjoying a rare long ball today was journeyman outfielder RYAN LANGERHANS (IBLA Internationals 2001) who left the yard for the first time this season with a pinch-hit homer while batting 1-1 (.261) for the Washington Nationals in their 3-4 loss to the New York Mets.

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) continued his positive return to the big leagues with another 2-5 (.289) with two RBIs for the Toronto Blue Jays in their 6-4 win over the Detroit Tigers. Wells returned to the Blue Jays’ lineup yesterday after a disjointed season with a useful 2-3 (.287) plus a RBI and two runs scored in a 7-2 victory over the disappointing Tigers.

Helping the Houston Astros once again off the bench in their 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants yesterday was GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) who pinch hit for 1-1. Blum batted 1-3 (.240) with a walk and a run scored in today’s 12-4 romp over the Giants. 

  11 AUG 2008 - GEOFF BLUM HOMERS No.11 FOR HOUSTON!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Geoff Blum

Building upon another solid major league season with the Houston Astros is utility GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) who stroked his 11th long ball of the season during a hot-hitting 3-5 (.235) performance with two RBI’s and three runs scored in a 13-4 flogging of the Cincinnati Reds.

GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) batted 1-3 (.224) with a walk and a vital run scored to help his Los Angeles Angels to strike late for a 4-3 win over the New York Yankees.

The low-scoring San Diego Padres enjoyed an explosion of runs in a “wild” 16-7 win over the Colorado Rockies today. ‘Rox’ reliever MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999) was just one of their throwers to take the brunt of the offence with a shaky 2.0ip 3h 3er 1bb 2k (5.05ERA) today.

  10 AUG 2008 - ROWLAND-SMITH STARTS; BALFOUR HOLDS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Ryan
Rowland-Smith

 

 


Grant Balfour

Aussie left-hander RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH made his return to the major leagues today after being “transformed” into a starting pitcher during his specific assignment at ‘AAA’ Tacoma for the Seattle Mariners. Ryan pitched pretty well into the sixth inning today with 5.2ip 7h 4er 2bb 5k (3.71ERA) and he left the game with his team in front for a no-decision in a game that was heading into extra innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. We won’t recount all of Ryan’s outs today we can report that he struck out five and threw 65 of his 103 pitched for strikes. He was damaged by a Gabe Gross leadoff homer in the third inning and his other three earned runs were all cashed in by Mariners’ reliever Cesar Jiminez after Rowland-Smith left the game with bases loaded and two out in the sixth. In the same game fellow New South Welshman GRANT BALFOUR was also in action again for the Rays with a typically ruthless 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (1.30ERA), to compile another scoreless inning of relief for his team. As he has done so brilliantly at important times this season, ‘Balf’ pitched out of a two on and none out jam when he took over for J.C Howell in the seventh. He had Adrian Beltre ground one back to the mound for his own assist before getting Jose Lopez struck out swinging and Wladimir Balentien to fly out to centre field.

… and from yesterday’s game:

Australian flame-thrower GRANT BALFOUR earned his fifth hold of the season when he supplied yet another low-tension relief effort for his division leading Tampa Bay Rays in their 5-3 defeat of the Seattle Mariners. ‘Balf’ pitched a breezy 1.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (1.34ERA) after replacing starter Scott Shields with one on and two out in the seventh inning. He filed that inning by having Raul Ibanez ground out to the second baseman. Returning to shut down the eighth inning Grant got Adrian Beltre to fly out to left field, Jose Lopez to line out to centre field and Jeff Clement to ground out to the second baseman. It was another “ho-hum” display of effective late-inning pitching by the Aussie star today!

… and from other games on Friday:

MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999) pitched 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k (4.75ERA) for the Colorado Rockies in their 3-6 defeat at the hands of the Washington Nationals.

Kansas City Royals’ specialist lefty reliever RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) took some very unusual punishment for 2008 when he faced his original team, the Boston Red Sox, where he started his big league career as an outfielder. Mahay was burned by a Jacoby Ellsbury home run in his 1.0ip 4h 3er 0bb 1k (2.62ERA) as KC were overrun 2-8.

  4 AUG 2008 - BALFOUR TAKEN DEEP BY SHEFFIELD!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour

 

 


Geoff Blum

Aussie ace GRANT BALFOUR had the hardly unusual "misfortune" to serve up the 489th home run in the 21-year career of major league super-slugger Gary Sheffield today; Other than that, he was his usual dominant self in helping his Tampa Bay Rays to secure a narrow 6-5 win over Shef's Detroit Tigers. Balfour pitched 1.1ip 1h 1er 1bb 3k (1.44ERA) after replacing starter James Shields in the seventh inning with one out and a runner in scoring position at second base. As usual, Grant did his job with terrific poise by having experienced Carlos Guillen struck out swinging and reigning American League batting champion Magglio Ordonez lining out to left field. Balfour looked likely to sail through the top of the eighth too after having Miguel Cabrera called out on strikes and Matt Joyce struck out swinging, that was until Sheffield took his seventh pitch fastball deep over the left-centre field fence! While I doubt that this would have rattled him in any way, he was replaced after issuing a rare walk to Brandon Inge having thrown enough pitches on this occasion. It is a testament to Balfour's miserly pitching this season that the additional earned run could only inflate his ERA to 1.44!!!

... and from other major league action yesterday: 

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) did what he has done so often in his career as a professional baseball player by coming off the bench with tremendous effect for the Houston Astros in their 10-inning 5-4 win over the New York Mets. Blum delivered a HUGE pinch hit two RBI single at a vital time to help put his team on a path to an exciting victory.

The usually rock-solid RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) wasn't needed to bring his very best today for the Kansas City Royals who outlasted the Chicago White Sox in a see-saw 9-7 win. Mahay had one of his worst outings this season with two home runs allowed in his painful 0.1ip 3h 3er 0bb 0k (2.21ERA).

MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999) mopped up the last inning for the Colorado Rockies in their 3-5 defeat by the Florida Marlins with a no-fuss 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (4.67ERA)

  2 AUG 2008 - GRANT BALFOUR TAMES TIGERS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Grant Balfour

Australian star GRANT BALFOUR pounced for his third big league win of the year today when he helped the Tampa Bay Rays to stay ahead of the American League East wolf-pack with a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Grant was called from the bullpen with two on and two out in the fifth innings to relieve Rays' All-Star starter Scott Kazmir. His first task was to erase the big threat of veteran slugger Gary Sheffield, which he did with a 95mph called third strike. Back for the top of the sixth inning 'Balf' had Marcus Thames struck out on a foul tip, Edgar Renteria fly out to right field and Brandon Inge struck out swinging. He was then relieved himself before the start of the seventh inning by J.C Howell having pitched another brilliant 1.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 3k, for his magnificent 3-1, 1.20ERA record for 2008.

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.