Flintoff & Dunn's NEWS ARCHIVE
OCTOBER 2012

It is intended that this page will maintain a historical record of previous news published on this site. From time to time we will archive old or outdated news on our "WHAT'S NEW" & "AUSSIES IN THE US LEAGUES" pages. It may interest some people to read the developments in chronological order right here.

ARCHIVED NEWS FROM OCTOBER 2012 BEGINS BELOW:

ARCHIVE
OCTOBER 2012

To make things easier for our loyal subscribers we will adopt a new format of
providing news involving
AUSTRALIAN Players in yellow text, while 
news about former AMLB IMPORT Players will be in white text.

  8 OCT 2012 - BALFOUR TAKES LOSS IN ALDS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
Australian closer GRANT BALFOUR has been an integral part of the amazing resurgence by the Oakland Athletics that saw them snatch the AL West division title, but his sequence of successful outings came to an untimely end when he took the loss in the A's 4-5 defeat by the Detroit Tigers. While attempting to keep the Athletics alive in Game 2 of the ALDS Grant hit a speed hump that saw the Tigers take the game and a 2-0 lead in the series after he pitched 0.2ip 2h 1er 1bb 1k in the bottom of the ninth inning. It all started well enough when he fanned leadoff hitter Austin Jackson on a full count, yet it was a one out single from Omar Infante that initiated the problems with "Triple Crown" slugger Miguel Cabrera coming to the plate.
'Big Mig', as he usually does, enjoyed the presence of the runner on base when he advanced Infante to third with his solid single up the middle. This posed a decision for the A's who chose to load the bases with an intentional walk to Prince Fielder rather than pitch to him. Unfortunately the strategy backfired on this occasion when Don Kelly lifted a game winning sacrifice fly into right field. It was a bad time for Balfour to strike trouble, but such is the life of a relief pitcher!
  4 OCT 2012 - BALFOUR BLASTS A's TO DIVISION TITLE!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
For the third straight game Australian closer GRANT BALFOUR was "huffing and puffing" as he blew the Texas Rangers' house down much like a good old Texas tornado. There was no save on offer for him this time with Oakland cruising to a 14-2 win as they swept past the Rangers from, at one stage a massive 13 games behind in the standings, to snatch the American League West division crown.

Once again Balfour was the last man standing on the hill to be mobbed by his team mates after finishing off the triumph with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (2.53ERA). Pitching the top of the ninth Grant got Adrian Beltre to fly out to right field, Nelson Cruz struck out swinging and Michael Young to fly out to centre field. The celebrations took of full steam from there!
  3 OCT 2012 - BLACKLEY & BALFOUR STAR FOR A's!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Travis Blackley





Grant Balfour

Australian left hander TRAVIS BLACKLEY has had a couple of rough outings lately after performing very well for the Oakland Athletics since joining them early this season, however, he put some icing on his season cake with an outstanding performance in a vital game. In what will be his last outing before the playoffs, Blackley kept the unlikely Oakland club in touch of winning their division with his terrific winning start of 6.0ip 3h 1er 2bb 5k as the A's rolled past the playoff rival Texas Rangers 3-1.
TOP1:  A tidy 1-2-3 start for Blackley polished off with a full count swinging strike out of superstar Josh Hamilton.
TOP2:  Travis had to hang tough after Adrian Beltre doubled to leadoff the inning and then moved to third on Michael Young's infield single. Once again he finished the inning with a big strike out of Geovany Soto.
TOP3:  He allowed the first run of the game after Ian Kinsler took a one out walk and Josh Hamilton delivered a two out RBI double following the strike out of Elvis Andrus.
TOP4:  A neat double play ground ball erased an error that allowed the leadoff runner to reach. Again he used a strike out to end the frame when Mike Napoli was called out on strikes.
TOP5:  'Trav' struck out Soto for the second time then induced two ground balls for another zero.
TOP6:  With a 2-1 lead Blackley found a familiar friend with another double play grounder after walking Elvis Andrus to lead off the inning. It enabled him to leave the game with the lead that proved to be the final score and the 'W' next to his name.
His record improved to 6-4, 3.86ERA with one of the most significant starts of his career.
In the same game Aussie compatriot GRANT BALFOUR also racked up his 24th save to preserve the victory for his team mate. Grant locked down the top of the ninth with a typically no-fuss 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (2.25ERA). Pitching to the meat of the dangerous Rangers' lineup he got Josh Hamilton to ground out to the second baseman, Adrian Beltre struck out swinging and Nelson Cruz also fanned on three pitches to end the game in style.
These are heady times for our pair of Aussie pitchers in the white cleats!

  2 OCT 2012 - BALFOUR SAVES 23rd TO CLINCH PLAYOFFS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour


Peter Moylan
It seems like quite a while since I've had the opportunity to watch Australia's GRANT BALFOUR in action as the new closer of the Oakland Athletics but, I have to say, it was a bit of fun watching a recording of their 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers last night. Balfour, who attracted the attention of the American commentators for his unique "self motivation", was at his most talkative, hyper-motivated and aggressive best in this game. To say that the animated Aussie was "fired up" to close the save and to ensure Oakland's long-awaited return to the playoffs would be an understatement. Just about every pitch was followed by a stalk around the mound while he reminded himself out loud what he needed to do next. Whatever we may think about the value of this extra motivation, it sure worked for him here as he ripped through the final Rangers' inning with three demoralising strike outs for his line of 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 3k (2.60ERA). Our man on a mission could hardly have been more effective with nine of 12 pitches thrown for strikes to nail his 23rd save of the season. The top of the ninth began with Michael Young fanned on three pitches, David Murphy likewise and Mike Napoli fanned on six pitches after surviving for a full count. Grant then found himself in the middle of the euphoric team celebrations with his uniform torn from his back! No doubt he will be a key factor in the playoff for the A's.

Seasoned Aussie reliever PETER MOYLAN worked a nice and tidy inning of relief with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (1.80ERA) at the end of his Atlanta Braves 1-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pete took very good care of the bottom of the eighth with Chase d'Arnaud struck out swinging, Andrew McCutchen grounding out to first and Gaby Sanchez flying out to right. He kept his team within a run but they couldn't mount a rally in the top of the ninth. He will also be part of the post season action with 'Hot Lanta'.
  1 OCT 2012 - HENDRIKS FINISHES WITH A FLOURISH!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Liam Hendriks







Grant Balfour




David Ross

Australia's LIAM HENDRIKS may only to be able to boast one major league win to date, yet he took another no-decision following another terrific start today with 7.0ip 5h 0er 2bb 3k (5.59ERA) in a game where his Minnesota Twins were edged 1-2 by the in-form Detroit Tigers. Liam took on the might of the hot hitting Detroit lineup and he held them scoreless through seven innings to put himself in line for the win when his team opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the seventh. It was not to be when the Tigers scored two after he had departed having thrown 68 of 99 pitches for strikes.
TOP1:  Three ground ball outs resulted in a very neat ten pitch inning, three up - three down.
TOP2:  A Delmon Young double with one out resulted in nothing as Liam posted another zero.
TOP3:  This time just nine pitches had the Tigers dismissed 1-2-3.
TOP4:  Only seven pitches needed as Hendriks mowed down the heart of the lineup.
TOP5:  Back-to-back one out singles to Andy Dirks and Jhonny Peralta and were neutralised when Liam struck out Alex Avila and got Omar Infante to fly out to centre to snuff the rally.
TOP6:  A leadoff single to Austin Jackson enabled a sacrifice bunt as Detroit tried to manufacture the first run of the game. In a successful tactic, the Twins then intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera and got just the right tonic from Hendriks when he induced Prince Fielder to ground into an inning ending double play.
TOP7:  A one out double to Andy Dirks was followed by a walk to Jhonny Peralta, but Hendriks held strong again to get Avila and Infante to maintain his shutout.
The long season does not seem to have a negative affect on Hendriks who may just be starting to establish his confidence at the big league level. He has been very good overall and it is also encouraging to see him finishing strong!

Aussie star GRANT BALFOUR swooped for his 22nd save of the season with another neat 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (2.64ERA) when he closed the Oakland Athletics 5-2 win over the Seattle Mariners. Grant locked down the top of the ninth with pinch hitter Dustin Ackley flying out to right, John Jaso flying out to left and Trayvon Robinson struck out swinging.

The previous day GRANT BALFOUR was the man on the spot to capture his third win of the year when Oakland rallied late for a mighty 7-4 comeback win over the Mariners in ten innings. In the top of the tenth Grant was firing bullets when he struck out Dustin Ackley swinging on just four pitches, got Franklin Gutierrez to foul out to first on two pitches and Kyle Seager flied out to right on three pitches. He took his record to 3-2, 2.67ERA with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k.

DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) went deep for the ninth time this season while batting 1-4 (.254) with three big RBIs contributing to their 6-2 win over the traditional rival New York Mets.

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!