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 From time to time we will archive old or outdated news on our "WHAT'S NEW" & "AUSSIES IN THE US LEAGUES" pages.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

ARCHIVE
AUGUST 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.

  31 AUG 2013 - HENDRIKS WINS - BALFOUR SAVES 34th!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Liam Hendriks

 

 




Grant Balfour

Although Australia has had numerous professional pitchers and quite a few who have reached the major leagues, we have had relatively few genuine starters like young right hander LIAM HENDRIKS who joined the versatile TRAVIS BLACKLEY as winning starters this past week. Deservedly Liam earned his first win of the 2013 season with a splendid 6.0ip 5h 2r 1er 3bb 2k while helping his lowly Minnesota Twins to get the better of the tough Texas Rangers 3-2. Maybe most impressively, Hendriks outduelled the Rangers' Japanese superstar Yu Darvish who already has a dozen wins this season. His 97 pitch effort against the much vaunted Texas lineup is another indication of his quality as he improved his record to 1-2, 5.13ERA at the big league level.
B1: A neat three up and three down that included a four pitch strike out of Elvis Andrus.
B2: Another tidy 1-2-3 that was polished off with Alex Rios struck out swinging.
B3: Young stud Jurickson Profar launched a one out home run over right field to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead via the only earned run he allowed for the day.
B4: Ian Kinsler cashed in a leadoff single when he scored, unearned, on an A.J Pierzynski ground out following a throwing error on his steal attempt. Two walks later in the inning did not faze Hendriks who kept the game within range.
B5: Two ground outs and a fly ball out posted another zero on the board.
B6: A pair of two out singles from Pierzynski and Rios again came to nothing as, most importantly, Liam finished the innings to enable him to take the win when Minnesota took over the lead with a three run top of the seventh. It was a fitting end to a very good day for the young Aussie tyro.

After his unusual "melt down" in his last outing, Aussie closer GRANT BALFOUR climbed right back onto his horse with his 34th save coming when he hurled 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k (2.39ERA) to lock down the Oakland A's narrow 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. 'Balf' threw 14 of 19 pitches for strikes to tuck away the top of the ninth which started with the strike out of Jose Molina ahead of a full count walk to Yunel Escobar. There was no damage when David DeJesus grounded into a fielder's choice to the first baseman and Ben Zobrist grounded out to short.
  30 AUG 2013 - CODY CLARK IS 4TH NEW ABL IMPORT MAJOR!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Cody Clark


Grant Balfour
Our apologies that we must have missed the recent major league debut of CODY CLARK (Brisbane Bandits 2013) who has emerged as the fourth import from the new ABL era to make it to the big leagues. Clark has just played his third game as the starting catcher for the Houston Astros, but he is yet to nail his first major league hit. He is currently playing with the first import of the new ABL era to play in the majors, BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012).

The high rolling Detroit Tigers struck back with a vengeance today after a couple of recent beatings at the hands of the feisty Oakland Athletics with a late comeback for 7-6 win. Unfortunately the man to bear the brunt of the Tigers' teeth was Aussie closer GRANT BALFOUR who has been otherwise outstanding this season.
Pitching the bottom of the ninth with his team in a strong 6-3 leading position Grant, on this rare occasion, was unable to convert the save as Detroit rallied with some two out magic to snatch the "W". It all started, as it often does, with a leadoff walk issued to Austin Jackson after just four pitches. Andy Dirks popped up to short and pinch hitter Alex Avila was called out on strikes for two out. There weren't too many alarm bells when Jackson took second base on "fielder's indifference", thereby allowing the A's to call for an intentional walk to powerhouse Prince Fielder. Veteran Victor Martinez kept the fire alive with his RBI single up the middle, but the unthinkable followed when Torii Hunter plonked a dramatic three run homer over left centre for a walkoff win that sent the home crowd into a frenzy. It all happened a bit too suddenly for 'Balf' who took his third loss and only his second blown save with 0.2ip 2h 4er 2bb 1k as his record slipped a tad to 0-3, 2.44ERA. Baseball bites even the best!!!
  27 AUG 2013 - BLACKLEY WINS - BALFOUR SAVES AGAIN!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley

 


 

 


Grant Balfour


Didi Gregorius

Not that he's a grizzled veteran by any means, however, we could probably refer to Australian left-hander TRAVIS BLACKLEY as a great baseball "survivor" and certainly a modern day journeyman. That said, one reason why he always seems to have the currency to find a new home is because he is a versatile asset who can still get major league hitters out. Re-invented as a starting pitcher by the Texas Rangers he hurled a convincing 6.0ip 5h 3er 1bb 4k to collect his second win of the season when he anchored their 8-3 win over the hapless Seattle Mariners.
B1:  Back where his major league career started at Seattle's Safeco Field things started well for Blackley with three quick outs and the ball staying on the infield to preserve the 2-0 lead that the Rangers grabbed in the top of the first.
B2: Just eight pitches to retire the M's with Michael Morse struck out on three pitches to end the frame.
B3: Trav's only serious strife of the game arrived after Justin Smoak worked a leadoff walk, Dustin Ackley followed with a single into left and Humberto Quintero loaded the bags when he reached on an infield single. 'Trav' got Nick Franklin to foul out to the first baseman for the first out, but he was unable to escape scoreboard damage when Brad Miller lashed a two RBI single into left field. Under the circumstances Blackley did well to keep the score tied at 2-2 when he summoned a ground ball double play from Franklin Gutierrez to end the inning.
B4: After the Rangers had regained the ascendency 4-2 a solo home run from Kyle Seager didn't hurt as much as it could and it represented the last run that he allowed.
B5: A decisive three up and three down finished with a flourish when he fanned both Humberto Quintero and Nick Franklin to end the inning and to put him in line for the win.
B6: In trademark Travis Blackley style, he erased a leadoff single from Brad Miller by promptly picking him off. This ensured that he faced the minimum again in the sixth.
As his team ran away with the result Blackley improved his record to 2-1, 4.80ERA for the season.

It may not have been his most dominant effort this season, but Australia's All Star closer GRANT BALFOUR got his job done once again with his 33rd save coming at the end of the Oakland Athletics 8-6 win over the tough Detroit Tigers. Pitching to the considerable meat of the Tigers' lineup, 'Balf' got the biggest part of the equation sorted when he got megastar Miguel Cabrera grounding out to the second baseman for the leadoff out. This proved to be ultra-important when successive singles from Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez brought the tying run to the plate. The runners moved up a base on a passed ball, enabling one run to score on Matt Tuiasosopo's ground out to third. A wild pitch allowed 'V-Mart' to move to third base just before Omar Infante grounded out to the short stop for the game ending out. Grant's line for the day was 1.0ip 2h 1er 0bb 0k (1.76ERA).

For the second game running recent ABL import DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) nailed two hits. This time he batted 2-3 (.266) to help his Arizona Diamondbacks prevail 6-2 over the San Diego Padres.

  25 AUG 2013 - BALFOUR SAVES 32nd - HENDRIKS BATTLES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour


Liam Hendriks

All-Star Aussie GRANT BALFOUR netted save number 32 today with a very decisive 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (1.80ERA) for the Oakland Athletics to screw the lid on their tight 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Throwing ten of just twelve pitches for strikes in the bottom of the ninth, Grant had Nick Markakis called out on strikes, J.J Hardy ground out back to himself on the hill, and Ryan Flaherty struck out swinging to end the game in fine style.

Unfortunately things were not so good for young Australian starter LIAM HENDRIKS who took some lumps from the in-form Cleveland Indians who jumped on his Minnesota Twins to hand them a 7-2 defeat.
B1: After getting the first two outs in the bottom of the first, Liam allowed a two out single to Jason Kipnis which was followed by a two run jack from Carlos Santana to put him in an early 0-2 hole.
B2: Three outfield catches saw Hendriks produce a quick 1-2-3 inning.
B3: After his team clawed back a run, Liam again felt the pain of the long ball when a leadoff single by Drew Stubbs was cashed in via a two out, two run homer from Jason Kipnis.
B4: A one out double by Asdrubal Cabrera came to nothing on the scoreboard as Hendriks kept his team within touch of the 'Tribe'.
B5: What had been a reasonable start turned horribly sour in the bottom of the fifth when Drew Stubbs again led off the inning with a single into left and Michael Bourn worked a five pitch walk. Both of those runners scored on Nick Swisher's double to deep right. With Swisher on third following a wild pitch, Hendriks got the first out of the inning when Jason Kipnis lined out to the second baseman as the last hitter he faced before being relieved of his duty for the day. Swisher scored later in the inning to close the book on Liam's day with the line of 4.1ip 7h 7er 1bb 2k. After very strong recent form both in the majors and at 'AAA' level his big league record slipped to 0-2, 6.20 ERA.
  21 AUG 2013 - BLACKLEY STARTS FOR RANGERS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley
Australia's versatile left-hander TRAVIS BLACKLEY was back in the guise of a starting pitcher for his new team the Texas Rangers today and he did a solid enough job with 4.0ip 3h 2er 1bb 2k (4.85ERA) while throwing 42 of 66 pitches for strikes against his previous team the Houston Astros.
T1: Travis started strongly with a three up, three down inning facing the minimum at the top of the Astros lineup.
T2: A one out walk issued to Chris Carter was followed, you guessed it, by a home run ball from Matt Dominguez that put Houston 2-0 on top. They were to be the only runs allowed by Blackley.
T3: A one out single by Robbie Grossman was neutralised by an inning ending double play.
T4: A one out single from Jason Castro prevented another clean inning that concluded his day.
Although he left the game with his team trailing 1-2, 'Trav' was taken off the hook for the loss when his team rallied to win 4-2 and thereby he didn't figure as the pitched of record.

Back from a long stint on the disabled list due to "concussion symptoms" former IBLA import DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) batted 1-4 (.188) as the starting catcher for the Boston Red Sox in their 2-3 loss at the San Francisco Giants.

D
avid Ross
  19 AUG 2013 - BALFOUR STRONG AGAIN v TRIBE!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
It was a bit unusual and unorthodox to see the Oakland Athletics call upon their top closer, Australian GRANT BALFOUR, in a non-save situation when he wasn't really in need of extra work. In any case Grant did a splendid job of throwing ten of 15 pitches for strikes with a decisive 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (1.84ERA) at the end of the A's 7-3 win over the Cleveland Indians. In short order he had Yan Gomes called out on strikes, Mike Aviles fly out to centre field and Drew Stubbs also struck out looking on a full count. If Oakland was taking no chances by inserting Balfour with a four run lead, then you couldn't argue that it failed!

Recent ABL import DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) continued his run of good recent hitting form with 2-6 (.264) plus a walk to help his Arizona Diamondbacks to hang in for a 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game that went 16 long innings.

Didi Gregorius
  18 AUG 2013 - GRANT BALFOUR SAVES 31st 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 2013 All-Star reliever GRANT BALFOUR added save number 31 on the weekend with a solid 1.0ip 1h 0er 1bb 0k (1.88ERA) to put the lid on the Oakland Athletics narrow 3-2 win over the Cleveland Indians. 'Balf' once again controlled the top of the ninth with Jason Kipnis popping out to the short stop before he put the tying run aboard with Carlos Santana milking a full count walk. Michael Brantley applied further pressure with his one out single into left, but both runners were stranded after Asdrubal Cabrera lined out to the third baseman and the lead runner was doubled off at second base.

Recent ABL import DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) batted a gaudy 3-4 (.263) with a double and a walk for two RBIs hel;ping to pad the Arizona Diamondbacks pounding 15-5 win over the well performed Pittsburgh Pirates.

Didi Gregorius
  16 AUG 2013 - TRAVIS BLACKLEY MOVES ON TO TEXAS RANGERS!
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 closer GRANT BALFOUR pitched a strong inning of work in a non-save situation when he kept his Oakland Athletics alive in what turned out to be a 1-2 loss to the Houston Astros in eleven innings. Grant pitched 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 2k (1.91ERA) to keep the game deadlocked at 1-1 in the top of the tenth. He got recent ABL import BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) struck out swinging, then put away the second out with L.J Hoes lining out to right field. Jonathan Villar singled into left field but he advanced no closer to a go-ahead run when 'Balf' had Robbie Grossman called out on strikes.

Just to mention a couple of other significant slices of Aussie news from the US, many of you would have already heard that Aussie lefty TRAVIS BLACKLEY is on the move again. 'Trav' is joining his eighth different US major league franchise, the Texas Rangers, after being traded from the Houston Astros in exchange for what the Yanks refer to as "cash considerations" we think that means money!

Also, we are pleased to report that Australia's recent major leaguer TRENT OELTJEN is making a good recovery from being struck on the head by a pitched ball while playing at 'AAA' level for the LA Angels' Salt Lake Bees - our very best to you Trent!

One of the last imports still standing from the original ABL era VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-5 (.244) with two RBIs for the New York Yankees in their 4-8 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Wells also showed a couple of days ago that he still has some power as he demonstrated with his 11th home run of the season coming to pad the Yankees big 14-7 demolition of the sputtering Angels. Wells batted 2-2 with the RBI in that game.


Travis Blackley
  12 AUG 2013 - BALFOUR BATTLES FOR 30th SAVE!
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 MLB All-Star GRANT BALFOUR continues to prove himself one of the elite closers in the world today with his 30th save of the 2013 season coming to lock down the Oakland Athletics 6-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. It was by no means his most clinical performance, yet he got the job done again with 1.0ip 1h 1er 3bb 1k (1.96ERA) after a lengthy and nerve jangling 37 pitch ninth inning.
Coming in to the bottom of the ninth with a more than handy 6-3 lead, it nearly all went sour after Edwin Encarnacion led off the inning with a full count walk. Grant then got Adam Lind to ground out back to the mound for his own assist and quickly followed with the second out via Colby Rasmus struck out swinging. One run was trimmed from the lead when Brett Lawrie roped a RBI double into deep right centre. Before J.P Arencibia milked another full count walk, Lawrie advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Another full count walk to Rajai Davis loaded the bags, but Balfour completed the job with dangerous the Jose Reyes grounding out to the second baseman.
  11 AUG 2013 - HENDRIKS BACK STRONG FOR TWINS!
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 did all that he could today with a neat 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (1.80ERA) but he could not be responsible for his Oakland Athletics losing a tight one 4-5 to the Toronto Blue Jays. Pitching the bottom of the eighth Grant threw 12 of 18 pitches for strikes while presiding over a 1-2-3 inning. He got Edwin Encarnacion to fly out to centre field then he fanned both Adam Lind and Colby Rasmus to finish his job in emphatic style.

Australian baseball fans would be delighted to hear that young WA pitcher LIAM HENDRIKS earned a recall to the major leagues and he produced a very encouraging effort to once again verify that he can "cut the mustard" in baseball's pinnacle competition. Hendriks anchored the second of the Minnesota Twins double-bill victories with a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox via a quality 6.1ip 7h 2er 1bb 3k start.
B1: A positive, confidence building start for Liam with an eight pitch three up, three down.
B2: Another 1-2-3 inning taking on the meat of the 'Chisox' lineup with 13 pitches, including a strike out of Dayan Viciedo.
B3: Still riding a "perfecto" with nine pitches to shut down Chicago the first time through their batting order.
B4: A leadoff single by Alejandro De Aza was later erased when he was caught stealing for the second out. It proved a most valuable event when, moments later, Alexei Ramirez clocked a solo home run over left field to tie the game at 1-1.
B5: Hendriks keeps the Twins level in a tight contest with another clean six pitch inning.
B6: Blake Tekotte lead off the inning with another solo homer to give the White Sox a 2-1 lead, but Liam managed to minimize the damage when he battled through a Gordon Beckham single and a full count walk to man mountain Adam Dunn.
B7; With his pitch count suddenly mounting, Hendriks allowed a lead off single to Connor Gillaspie and a one out single to Josh Phegley before his day was done.
Thankfully Minnesota rallied to win the game on the back of Hendriks' important fighting effort as he clearly did not deserve to take the loss. The no-decision saw him lower his major league ERA to 3.94 for the 2013 season.

Liam Hendriks
  8 AUG 2013 - BLACKLEY STRUGGLES v BOSTON!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley
Australian reliever TRAVIS BLACKLEY was back on the bump, but he didn't particularly enjoy his latest outing when he failed to get an out with 0.0ip 1h 0er 1bb 0k (4.89ERA). He later witnessed his Houston Astros capitulating in a 5-7 defeat caused by a ninth inning comeback by the visiting Boston Red Sox.

Travis joined the action with two out in the top of the seventh, just after Houston's lead in the game had been trimmed to 4-5 following a two run homer by Jonny Gomes. The first hitter he faced, Stephen Drew, singled up the middle, then Jarrod Saltalamacchia worked a 0-2 count to walk after four successive balls from our popular lefty. That was all for Blackley on this occasion, but he did not harm to his ERA.

  4 AUG 2013 - BALFOUR & BLACKLEY BOTH STRONG IN RELIEF!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
His stellar season keeps on rolling for Australian closer GRANT BALFOUR who conclusively nailed down his 29th save of the season with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (1.84ERA) to secure the Oakland Athletics 4-2 win over the Texas Rangers. As usual hurling the top of the ninth, 'Balf' had both Geovany Soto and Jurickson Profar struck out swinging before getting A.J Pierzynski to pop out to the short stop to end the contest.

Aussie TRAVIS BLACKLEY did his job nicely with 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k (4.89ERA) as one of many pitchers used in a 13 inning game where his Houston Astros were finally outlasted 4-3 by the Minnesota Twins. Blackley didn't have it all his own way with a hint of pressure in the bottom of the tenth, even after getting the first two outs via fly ball outs of Ryan Doumit and Oswaldo Arcia who flew out to left and centre respectively. Trevor Plouffe then reached on a throwing error by the short stop and scurried to second, leaving a base open for an intentional walk issued to Doug Bernier. His job was well done when he had Clete Thomas struck out swinging to end the threat.

Travis Blackley
  1 AUG 2013 - BLACKLEY OK AFTER STRAY HIT IN FACE!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley
For anyone who may have missed the latest edition of ESPN's Baseball Tonight program, we can alert you to an event where they highlighted accidents where players had been hit by stray balls during pre-game batting practice. They started by showing an infielder being hit in the body by an unsighted line drive, then they showed a player throwing toss near the warning track when he was struck on the side of the face by an unseen fly ball. After what looked like an ugly blow to the head, they were happy to show the player leaving the field with a lump on the side of the face but, thankfully, a smile to confirm that he was OK - I was amazed to immediately recognise that player as Australia's major league pitcher TRAVIS BLACKLEY who is currently with the Houston Astros - good luck with that 'Trav'!

Aussie closer GRANT BALFOUR fanned all three batters he faced with a sizzling 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 3k (1.88ERA) yet he was powerless to prevent his Oakland Athletics from being trumped 2-5 by the Toronto Blue Jays when they piled on three runs in the top of the tenth to break open a tied game. Grant was at his potent best in the top of the ninth when he threw ten of twelve pitches for strikes to shut down a tough part of the Toronto lineup. In short order he struck out Rajai Davis, pinch hitter Melky Cabrera and Brett Lawrie.

Recent ABL import BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) batted strong 2-3 (.245) with a RBI to help his Houston Astros to swamp the Baltimore Orioles 11-0.

Grant Balfour

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!