Flintoff & Dunn's NEWS ARCHIVE
AUGUST 2014

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 From time to time we will archive old or outdated news on our "WHAT'S NEW" & "AUSSIES IN THE US LEAGUES" pages.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 2014 BEGINS BELOW:

ARCHIVE
AUGUST 2014

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 AUG 2014 - LIAM HENDRIKS BRILLIANT IN DEBUT FOR ROYALS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Liam Hendriks


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


Grant Balfour


D
idi Gregorius

Young Aussie starter LIAM HENDRIKS returned to the big leagues in brilliant style today with his new club Kansas City Royals when his most effective seven inning start certainly set the platform for his team's 6-1 win over the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium. As fate would have it, Hendriks actually left the game on the hook for a hard-luck loss after he had allowed the only run of the game in his seventh and final inning, only to see his team mates rally for six runs in the eighth that turned the game on its head.
T1: Three up and three down to open the game with a pair of ground outs either side of a battle with Brian Dozier who finally struck out swinging after a seven pitch full count.
T2: Another pair of ground ball outs and a pop up on the infield produced another conclusive 1-2-3 frame.
T3: Still no base runners for the 'Twinkies' with yet another two ground outs and a line out to the outfield keeping the bases lonely.
T4: Still just a tad early to start thinking about a "perfect game", but twelve straight batters head back to the dugout as Hendriks strikes out Danny Santana and former MVP Joe Maurer either side of getting Dozier to fly out on one pitch this time.
T5: Two fly ball outs keep the revolving door in motion for Minnesota before Liam's former team mate (let's face it most of the Twins are!) Trevor Plouffe spoiled the no-hitter with a first pitch double to deep left field. The shut out was still alive when he got Kurt Suzuki to line out to centre field.
T6: Liam strikes out leadoff batter Eduardo Escobar but, with the game still deadlocked at 0-0, the speedy Jordan Schafer decided to try his luck with a bunt that Hendriks couldn't quite turn into an out at first. Schafer then stole second and moved to third on Danny Santana's ground out to second. In a pivotal moment, Hendriks again went into battle with the dangerous Brian Dozier who was called out on strikes to preserve the shutout.
T7: Liam got Joe Maurer quickly on a neatly handled "come-backer" before Kennys Vargas laced a one out single to right field on a full count. Oswaldo Arcia took advantage of the preceding seven pitch battle by taking his next pitch into deep centre for the go-ahead RBI double that saddled Hendriks with his only run of the game. There was no further damage in the inning that ended with a fielder's choice ground out and a fly out to right field.
KC manager Ned Yost thought that the 94 pitches (64 strikes) were enough for our Aussie star and, while we cannot be too critical of that in context, it did deprive our man of a win that was secured in the very next inning when the Royals rallied to post a "six spot". We don't suppose that Hendriks will be too bothered about that after enjoying a brilliant return to the big leagues and, just maybe, extracting a modicum of revenge over the club that nurtured him to his major league debut!
His impressive pitching line for the game was 7.0ip 4h 1r 1er 0bb 5k (4.43 ERA in MLB 2014)

The recent roller-coaster ride continued for Australia's established relief ace GRANT BALFOUR who took his sixth loss of the season with an ineffective 1.0ip 4h 2er 1bb 0k for the Tampa Bay Rays who were overrun 2-4 by the division leading Baltimore Orioles. Taking the mound for the bottom of the sixth in a tied 2-2 ballgame, 'Balf' looked to have the situation under reasonable control with two outs separated only by J.J Hardy's single into centre field. He had got leadoff man Delmon Young to fly out to centre and Chris Davis to ground into a fielder's choice to the first baseman. Caleb Joseph drove the next pitch for a single to left and Jonathan Schoop followed with a RBI single into left field that plated the go-ahead run. The inning concluded with Nick Markakis flying out to right field. Back for the bottom of the seventh, Grant lost an eight pitch battle with leadoff man Steve Pearce who milked a full count walk, then Adam Jones also worked a full count ahead of his single into left-centre. That was the end of his day, even though another of his base runners crossed the plate in the inning for his second earned run. Balfour was not as efficient as he usually is with 19 of 33 pitches thrown for strikes as his record slipped to 1-6, 5.54 ERA.

Starting short stop DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) batted 1-4 (.215) and he scored twice for the Arizona Diamondbacks who fell 5-9 to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

  24 AUG 2014 - GRANT BALFOUR EFFICIENT v BLUE JAYS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour


 

 

 


Brandon Barnes

Hard throwing Aussie GRANT BALFOUR did his job effectively today with 1.2ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k (5.29 ERA) but his Tampa Bay Rays still found themselves on the skinny end of a 4-5 defeat by the Toronto Blue Jays. Grant entered the game amidst a Toronto rally, just after Dioner Navaro had given them the lead with his two run jack and Colby Rasmus had followed with a double to put himself in scoring position with one out in the bottom of the seventh. He kept his team within the single run by getting Danny Valencia to ground out to the short stop and Munenon Kawasaki to likewise ground out to short. Returning to bank the bottom of the eighth he got his third successive ground out to short via Jose Reyes, just before Melky Cabrera singled into left field. With three straight strikes 'Balf' induced the dangerous Jose Bautista to ground into an inning ending double play initiated by the second baseman. In an efficient effort he threw 13 of 19 pitches for strikes to nail the five outs. Team mate KEVIN KIERMAIER (Canberra Cavalry 2012) batted 1-1 as a pinch hitter before taking over at centre field late in the contest. Kiermaier also batted 3-5 with a RBI for the Rays in their 8-0 flogging of the Jays yesterday.

Starting catcher DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) batted 1-4 (.195) with a run batted in, yet he also struck out three times as his out of contention World Champion Boston Red Sox fell again 3-7 to the visiting Seattle Mariners. In yesterday's game BRANDON MAURER (Adelaide Bite 2011) threw a clean inning with 1.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (5.02 ERA) to help the Mariners to roll the Red Sox 5-3 with a stunning ninth inning comeback.

BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) clocked his seventh home run of the season this morning and, at the time of writing, he was batting 1-3 (.256) with two RBIs for the Colorado Rockies who were locked in battle with Miami Marlins. Brandon also batted 1-1 and he scored run as a pinch hitter for the 'Rox' in their heavy 5-13 defeat by the 'Fish'.

Kevin Kiermaier
 

 

 

 


Brandon Maurer

  21 AUG 2014 - GRANT BALFOUR TAKES 5TH LOSS v TIGERS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour


 

To be completely objective (what else would we be?) the back end of this 2014 MLB season has not been trending in the most positive direction for our established big league closer GRANT BALFOUR, so much so that he no longer closes games in save situations at the moment. His recent struggles continued with a miserable 0.0ip 1h 3er 3bb 0k that handed him the loss as his Tampa Bay Rays were overrun 8-6 by the Detroit Tigers in eleven innings. Taking over a tied 5-5 ballgame for the top of the eleventh inning, things were quickly flowing downhill when Ian Kinsler ripped his very first pitch for a leadoff triple into right field followed by a "careful" four pitch walk issued to Tori Hunter. With reigning dual American League MVP Miguel Cabrera due to bat, there wasn't too much hesitation in intentionally walking him, even though it loaded the bags. The strategy didn't work to plan when 'Balf' then walked the experienced Victor Martinez on five pitches to push across the go-ahead run. Our Aussie was lifted at that point but, as the inning unravelled, another two of his base runners crossed the plate to pile up his ERA for the game. The latest loss takes his record to 1-5, 5.48 ERA. Team mate KEVIN KIERMAIER (Canberra Cavalry 2012) wasn't able to add much offensively with 0-4 (.264), although he did take one walk.

BRANDON MAURER (Adelaide Bite 2011) was tidy enough with 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 1k (5.14 ERA) while pitching late inning relief for the Seattle Mariners who were pipped 3-4 by the lowly Philadelphia Phillies.

Brandon Maurer
  19 AUG 2014 - DID GREGORIUS GOES YARD FOR SNAKES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

D
idi Gregorius
ABL alumni DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) put his name in the spotlight yesterday when he featured in two segments of ESPN's signature show Baseball Tonight. A stunning play at short stop saw him with the No.2 rated "Web Gem", then his fifth home run of the season featured among the "Going, Going, Gone" long balls of the day. Gregorius batted 2-5 (.226) with two RBIs, but it was not enough to bridge the gap as his Arizona Diamondbacks fell 4-5 to the Washington Nationals who won in walkoff fashion for the third straight game. For the trivia buffs, Didi's efforts were upstaged by Baltimore's veteran right fielder Nick Markakis who scooped the No.1 "Web Gem" with a home run robbing effort against the outfield wall, while he also "went yard" among the home run highlights!
  18 AUG 2014 - GRANT BALFOUR CLEAN IN LOSS TO YANKEES!
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 pretty much all he could while pitching in a non-save, losing cause at the end of the Tampa Bay Rays 2-4 loss to the New York Yankees. Grant threw eight of just twelve pitches for strikes while posting the line of 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 1k (4.91 ERA). Taking over for the top of the ninth he allowed the leadoff batter aboard when Martin Prado reached on an infield single, which prompted a predictable strategy with speedy Brett Gardiner dropping down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner while he was just unable to beat out the play at first. Retiring legend Derek Jeter grounded out to the short stop and Jacoby Ellsbury struck out to end the inning. Grant's team mate KEVIN KIERMAIER (Canberra Cavalry 2012) batted a barren 0-3 (.268) on this occasion as he found the Yaks pitching tough.

Recent ABL import BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) launched his sixth long ball of the season while batting a very useful 2-4 (.255) with the RBI and two runs scored that helped the Colorado Rockies to take the second leg of a winning double header 10-5 over the Cincinnati Reds.

BRANDON MAURER (Adelaide Bite 2011) laboured through 42 pitches to post a battling 1.2ip 4h 2er 1bb 1k (5.24 ERA) for the Seattle Mariners in the middle innings of their 2-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers on the weekend.

Brandon Barnes


Brandon Maurer

  13 AUG 2014 - GRANT BALFOUR STRONG IN LOSS TO TEXAS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour


 

Experienced Australian reliever GRANT BALFOUR played a vital role for the Tampa Bay Rays with two scoreless frames in extra innings that, unfortunately for them, was not quite enough to get them over the line in a 2-3 loss to the Texas Rangers after 14 innings. Balfour pounded 21 of 28 pitches for strikes to give him the positive line of 2.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 1k (5.01 ERA) after taking good care of the bottom of the 12th and 13th innings. In the 12th he struck out Rougned Odor, got Shin-Soo Choo to ground out to the second baseman and Elvis Andrus to ground out to the third baseman. Back for the 13th, Grant got Adam Rosales to line out to third and Adrian Beltre to fly out to centre before the Rangers threatened when Daniel Robertson tripled into deep left field from the first pitch he faced. Our man didn't wilt when he sent the game into another inning with Alex Rios flying out to centre field.

BRANDON MAURER (Adelaide Bite 2011) did not have a happy time of it with a hard-hit outing for the Seattle Mariners who still managed to double the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3. Maurer also pounded the strike zone with ten of 13 pitches thrown for strikes, but apparently he wasn't fooling the hitters, as evidenced by his line of 0.0ip 3h 2er 0bb 0k (5.06 ERA). His team mate JAMES JONES (Adelaide Bite 2012) did all he could when entering the game as a pinch runner by crossing the plate for a run.

Brandon Maurer

 

  12 AUG 2014 - GRANT BALFOUR BETTER IN WIN v RANGERS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour


 

Following some recent tribulations, Aussie GRANT BALFOUR may have enjoyed pitching in a "low leverage" situation when he took the ball for 1.0ip 0h 0er 2bb 1k (5.24 ERA) at the end of the Tampa Bay Rays' comfortable 7-0 shutout of the lowly Texas Rangers. Closing out the bottom of the ninth, 'Balf' got Adrian Beltre to fly out to the first baseman in foul territory, before issuing a four pitch walk to pinch hitter Mike Carp. Carp promptly took second base on fielder's indifference while Leonis Martin filled the empty base with a full count free pass. After seemingly losing his radar with another 2-0 count, Grant hit back to strike out Robinson Chirinos on three more pitches and he polished off the inning by getting Rougned Odor to line out to right field. Team mate KEVIN KIERMAIER (Canberra Cavalry 2012) batted 1-2 (.284) with a triple plus a walk and a run scored to help drive the Rays' offence as the No.9 batter.

JAMES JONES (Adelaide Bite 2012) returned to action as a pinch hitter for the Seattle Mariners, batting 0-1 (.257), but driving in a run on a fielder's choice as a small part of their runaway 11-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Kevin Kiermaier
 

 

  11 AUG 2014 - BALFOUR COPS 3rd BLOWN SAVE v CUBBIES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour


 

Australia's well respected relief pitcher GRANT BALFOUR continues to endure one of the very rare rocky patches in his career over the past few outings. For the third straight game he was on the wrong side of the pitching ledger with his third blown save of the season coming after pitching 0.2ip 2h 1er 0bb 0k (5.36 ERA) during the Tampa Bay Rays 2-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs after 12 innings. Also haunting him again was the fact that he had secured the first two outs after taking over the bottom of the seventh with a 2-1 lead in the contest. Grant had Wellington Castillo pop out on the infield to the short stop and Chris Valaika ground out to third, ahead of Ryan Sweeney's double to deep left field that put the tying run in scoring position. 'Balf' then battled Chris Coghlan for a full count before finally losing that battle when Coghlan tripled to deep right field for the game tying RBI. That was the end of the action for the Aussie who was lifted in disappointing circumstances, having coughed up the lead with 12 of 18 pitches thrown for strikes. His team mate KEVIN KIERMAIER (Canberra Cavalry 2012) came into the game as a pinch hitter but he was unable to assist with the offence on this occasion with 0-2 (.282).

Another recent ABL import had a most productive day when BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) batted 3-5 (.260) for the Colorado Rockies as the starting right fielder and #2 slot hitter in their 5-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. In the opposing camp was DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) who batted 0-2 (.250) but he did walk twice as the starting short stop for the 'Snakes'.

Brandon Barnes
  7 AUG 2014 - BALFOUR BATTLES IN BIG WIN FOR RAYS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour


 

Aussie ace GRANT BALFOUR is finding it tough work just lately with a second straight shaky performance for the Tampa Bay Rays who had a big enough lead in the game to still avoid the series sweep with a 7-3 win over the Oakland Athletics. After his rugged loss a couple of days ago, Grant was back on the horse today yet I doubt that he would be too happy with his line of 1.0ip 2h 2er 1bb 1k (5.23 ERA) after hurling 15 of 23 pitches for strikes. Taking the ball with a comfortable 7-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth, perhaps he found it hard to bring his customary energy and focus, especially after pocketing the first two outs of the inning. He had Coco Crisp called out on strikes and John Jaso line out to left field before the going got tougher with Josh Donaldson nailing a single up the middle. Brandon Moss worked back from a 0-2 count to walk on four straight balls and Josh Reddick followed with a two RBI double to deep centre field on a 2-2 count. In fairness there was no serious threat in the game as Balfour locked down the victory on the next pitch with Alberto Callaspo grounding out to the short stop. Once again recent ABL import KEVIN KIERMAIER (Canberra Cavalry 2012) was productive for the Rays with 1-4 (.288) including his ninth home run of the season, three RBIs and two runs scored.

And yesterday…

BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) batted 1-5 (.248) with two RBIs as the starting right fielder for the Colorado Rockies who were still edged 5-6 by the Chicago Cubs.

While pinch hitting for the Arizona Diamondbacks, DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) batted 0-1 (.254), but he drove in a run via a ground ball out in their 2-12 hammering at the hands of the Kansas City Royals.

Kevin Kiermaier
 

 

 

 


Brandon Barnes

  5 AUG 2014 - GRANT BALFOUR TAKES TOUGH LOSS v OAKLAND!
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 suffered the most painful fate for a late inning reliever when he took a painful loss at the pointy end of the Tampa Bay Rays narrow 2-3 defeat by the Oakland Athletics after ten innings. Taking over for the bottom of the tenth in a deadlocked ballgame, 'Balf' erased the leadoff guy when Alberto Callaspo lined out to left field but the blow torch was applied when Sam Fuld singled and John Jaso walked on a full count - incidentally both former Rays! Pitching to Josh Donaldson with one out, the tension was clearly rising with some contention over "balls and strikes" that led to Tampa manager Joe Madden being ejected before Donaldson won a seven pitch battle to walk the bases loaded. Again Grant battled hard to strike out Brandon Moss but, without making excuses for our man, he was pushing past his usual pitch count when Derek Norris punched the game winning RBI single up the middle to provide some walkoff glee for the As. With 19 strikes among his 31 pitch outing, Balfour took the line of 0.2ip 2h 1er 2bb 1k as his record fell to 1-4, 4.93 ERA. His team mate KEVIN KIERMAIER (Canberra Cavalry 2012) batted 1-4 (.293) with a run scored in the losing cause.

DONALD LUTZ (Canberra Cavalry 2011) did his job as a pinch hitter with 1-1 (.212) for the Cincinnati Reds who were thumped 1-7 by the contending Cleveland Indians.

D
onald Lutz
  4 AUG 2014 - GRANT BALFOUR CLEAN AGAIN v ANGELS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
Australia's established bullpen star GRANT BALFOUR pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the Tampa Bay Rays, but his team was unable to rally in what turned out to be a 5-7 loss to the in-form Los Angeles Angels. On this occasion Grant was "nibbling" somewhat with only six of 13 pitches thrown for strikes in a pitching line of 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 0k (4.79 ERA). Chris Iannetta flied out toi right and Kole Calhoun flied out to centre, but he was having no part of red-hot Mike Trout who he issued with a five pitch walk. Trout stole second base before 'Balf' got veteran great Albert Pujols to ground out to the third baseman to end the inning. Starting centre fielder KEVIN KIERMAIER (Canberra Cavalry 2012) was installed at the top of the Rays' lineup card, but he had a rare barren day with 0-5 (.294).

As starting right fielder BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) batted 1-3 (.249) while hitting in the #8 hole for the Colorado Rockies who were shut out 0-4 by the Detroit Tigers.

Brandon Barnes
  3 AUG 2014 - GRANT BALFOUR CLEAN AGAIN v ANGELS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour

 

 


David Ross

Australia's GRANT BALFOUR pitched another tidy ninth inning for the Tampa Bay Rays, but again it was not in a save situation at the conclusion of the Tampa Bay Rays' 3-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Taking the ball for the top of the ninth, Grant got Kole Calhoun to ground out to the second baseman before young superstar Mike Trout lashed a 0-2 pitch into centre left for a one out single. Next up he faced future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols who he induced to ground into an inning ending double play initiated by the third baseman. On this occasion he threw 11 of 13 pitches for strikes to earn the line of 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k (4.91 ERA). Team mate KEVIN KIERMAIER (Canberra Cavalry 2012) batted 1-4 (.303) as the starting right fielder for the Rays.

BRANDON BARNES (Sydney Blue Sox 2012) did his job as a pinch hitter with 1-2 plus a run scored for the Colorado Rockies in their 2-4 defeat by the Detroit Tigers in Interleague play. Barnes followed up on that by batting 1-1 (.248) as a pinch hitter again today in the 'Rox' heavy 5-11 defeat by the Tigers.

Veteran catcher DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) batted 1-3 (.192) with a vital RBI for the Boston Red Sox who held off their bitter rivals New York Yankees 4-3 at Fenway.

Starting short stop DIDI GREGORIUS (Canberra Cavalry 2011) batted 1-3 (.256) and he scored a run for the Arizona Diamondbacks who were rolled over in a 4-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Relief pitcher BRANDON MAURER (Adelaide Bite 2011) collected his third hold of the season with 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 1k (5.01 ERA) during his Seattle Mariners 6-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

Brandon Barnes

 

 


Didi Gregorius
 

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!