May 2011

Lineup & Game Notes (May 31, 2011)

A from the concourse behind home plate view of Bowling Green Ballpark. Rattlers play the Hot Rods here at 7:05pm tonight.

Tuesday’s Lineup:
Nick Shaw – 2B
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Reggie Keen – CF
Mike Walker – 1B
Cody Hawn – DH
Chris Dennis – LF
Franklin Romero – RF
Tony Pechek – C
Yadiel Rivera – SS

Tuesday’s Starting Pitcher:
Brooks Hall

Tuesday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay31

Postgame thoughts (May 30, 2011)

I really, really hate this place.

Kane County 5, Wisconsin 4
Boxscore | Game Story

  • I really hate this place
  • Do you wanna know how I got these scars?
  • Not that I wanna know, but I think I need to know about the number of times the Cougars have walked off the Timber Rattlers.  It has to be at least 20 times.
  • To the game: Charly Bashara worked around eight hits and one walk to allow just one run in 5-2/3 innings.  It was quite the high wire act.
  • STOSH! continues to pitch the HELL out of the baseball.  STOSH! has allowed no runs and struck out 13 over his last three outings (8-2/3 innings). He has allowed one hit in each outing and allowed three walks over those three outings.
  • The Rattlers had just two hits from the 1st to the 8th. Then, nine hits from the 9th through the 11th.
  • The key play in the 10th was the reversed wild pitch.  Cody Hawn at the plate. Reggie Keen at third. Nick Shaw at first.  Chase Boruff’s pitch was inside and got back to the screen.  Now…this next part is important: Hawn didn’t even move or react as if he had been hit by a pitch. Keen scored and Shaw made it all the way to third.  Vance Wilson came out to argue the call and got the plate umpire to go out and ask for help from the base umpire.
  • The more the umpires talked, the more I was convinced they were going to change the call.
  • Hawn stood at the plate in disbelief.
  • I’ll say this. If that ball hit him, Cody Hawn is worthy of at least a Golden Globe award. Because he did not react AT ALL as if he had been hit.
  • The umpires changed it and only through self-control did Matt Erickson, Dusty Rhodes, and Hawn avoid getting tossed from the game.
  • Still bases loaded. One out. Walker at the plate. 4-6-3 double play.
  • Badger basketball analogy to the offense in effect yesterday.  Long drought…then.. in the 11th Dennis double.  Garvey single! PECHEK DOUBLE!  Keen’s RBI grounder was the equivalent to a free throw during the run and it was 4-1 heading to the bottom of the 11th.
  • But, Greg Holle, who pitched a 1-2-3 10th, went out for the 11th and gave up four hits to the five batters he faced.
  • It was funny at the time, but a call by the base umpire, the same umpire who made the call to reverse the wild pitch in the top of the tenth, brought out arguments by both managers.  Here’s the play. Runner at first with Cheslor Cuthbert at the plate. Slow grounder to Greg Hopkins at third. Hopkins goes to second for the out the relay throw to first was late. I’m thinking (and saying) runner at first with one out.  BUT, the call went safe at second (because apparently Shaw didn’t hold the base?) and out at first.
  • Vance Wilson got out to the umpire first and argued, but this one would not get overturned. After that argument was over, Matt Erickson came out to argue the call at second.
  • Like I said. It was funny at the time.
  • As far as playoff implications go…Peoria blew a lead at Cedar Rapids and lost.  Burlington blew a lead in both games of a doubleheader at home and lost twice to Quad Cities.  The Rattlers are still a game behind Peoria for the Wild Card, but now Quad Cities is tied with the Rattlers for third.  Plus, Cedar Rapids is only a game behind Wisconsin and the QC. Burlington leads the Chiefs by 7-1/2 and the Rattlers and Bandits by 8-1/2. 19 games left for Wisconsin in the half.
  • But, the next 12 are against Eastern Division opponents.
  • TCB and hope for a little help.
  • Well, today is a new day and a new city.
  • For those of you curious, we arrived in Bowling Green around 1:15 and dropped the equipment off at the stadium and pulled into the hotel around 1:45am.
  • Just in time to catch the last 15 minutes of the Final Mission episode of ST: TNG on some random Bowling Green channel. SPOILER! Welsey saved the day on his last mission!…not really a spoiler.
  • That should be all for now. There is work to do and a Waffle House at which to eat lunch/breakfast/whatever the heck meal this is.

Game Notes, Roster Moves, & Lineup (May 30, 2011)

The picnic deck in left? Tyler Roberts his his second homer on Sunday over that.

The roster news first today: Timber_Rattler_Roster_053011
Carlos George to the DL retroactive to May 29
Del Howell has been activated from the DL

Also, Tyler Roberts had to fly home to Georgia to attend a family funeral. He should be back Wednesday.

Monday’s Lineup:
Reggie Keen – CF
Nick Shaw – 2B
Cody Hawn – DH
Mike Walker – 1B
Chris Dennis – LF
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Robbie Garvey – RF
Tony Pechek – C
Yadiel Rivera – SS

Monday’s Starting pitcher:
Charly Bashara

Monday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay30

Final note. It may take awhile to put up the postgame post. It will all depend on the wireless internet connection on the bus.

Postgame Thoughts (May 29, 2011)

Two pictures tonight.  Click the second for a larger image:


Tyler Roberts in control at Kane County on May 29.


See the Bud Light sign in left-center? Tyler Roberts first home run cleared that Bud Light sign.

Rattlers 2, Cougars 0
Boxscore | Game Story

  • Tyler Thornburg…HOLY MACKEREL!
  • Eight strikeouts. NO WALKS!
  • Unofficially: 108 pitches (76 strikes)
  • His scoreless streak is now at 19-1/3 innings.  No runs allowed in his last three starts (6IP, 3IP, & 9IP).
  • Thornburg gave up five hits on Sunday. I would qualify four of those hits as infield singles.  The other was a “dying quail” that barely dropped in front of a diving Robbie Garvey in left field.
  • One of those infield singles was a ball that rolled 70 feet down the third base line and stopped dead on the line.
  • The other two infield singles turned into a pair of outs.  No really.
  • If you look at the play-by-play of Sunday’s game you will see those two plays that will make you go…WHAT?
    Fourth Inning:
    Jacob Kuebler singles on a ground ball to second baseman Nick Shaw. Ryan Stovall out at 3rd, second baseman Nick Shaw to third baseman Gregory Hopkins.

    Fifth Inning:
    Yowill Espinal singles on a ground ball to second baseman Nick Shaw. Julio Aparicio out at 3rd, second baseman Nick Shaw to third baseman Gregory Hopkins.

  • In the fourth, the ball barely made it into the outfield and Stovall thought it got a lot deeper.  Shaw tracked down the ball just on the outfield grass and fired a strike to third to get the out.
  • In the fifth, Aparicio was running on the pitch and Shaw went to cover second.  The ball plopped down in the baseline between first and second.  Aparicio thought the ball got into the outfield and went for third. Shaw tracked down the ball and Aparicio was out by a lot at third.
  • I went my whole life without seeing a 4-5 putout at third after a single. Then, it happens in consecutive innings.
  • Speaking of weird plays.  Here is one from the bottom of the second:  Travis Jones reaches on a fielder’s choice out, third baseman Gregory Hopkins unassisted. Lane Adams out at 3rd
  • That out was for obstruction.  Jones just plain ran over Hopkins on a grounder.
  • Let me put those five Kane County hits into perspective one more time.  One of Tyler Roberts home runs went farther than all five hits the Cougars had tonight.
  • Two different kinds of homers from Tyler Roberts on Sunday. The first was a moon shot. The other was a Laser. Both cleared the various obstructions around the ballpark.
  • The first was on a 2-1 pitch. The second was on 2-0 pitch.  Hitter’s counts. Go figure. Yes. He’s still below .200, but maybe the switch got flipped a little bit tonight.
  • The Rattlers did not get a chance to hit on the field today.  AGAIN! That is five days in a row without being able to batting practice on the field.
  • Didn’t bother Roberts and it didn’t bother Reggie Keen either.  ReGGieReg21 with two ringing doubles on Sunday.
  • Playoff stuff.  Burlington got rained out. They play two against Quad Cities tomorrow.  Peoria won at Cedar Rapids.  The Rattlers still trail the Chiefs by a game. They are nine games behind Burlington.  20 games left in the half.
  • Day game tomorrow. Bus leaves for the ballpark at 9am. Charly Bashara on the mound.
  • The temperature is scheduled to jump from the 60s this weekend to the 90s tomorrow.
  • It’s about freaking TIME!

Game notes, Lineups, & After the Rain photos (May 29, 2011)

I am seriously getting sick and tired of this.  These photos were taken between 2:30pm and 2:45pm on Sunday.  Tonight’s game is scheduled to start at 6:00pm.

Left field corner of Elfstrom Stadium at 2:30pm on Sunday, May 29

Right field corner at Elfstrom Stadium at 2:45pm on Sunday afternoon.


And prepared to play.

No. Seriously. The tarp is about to come off the field. There is no rain coming in the rest of the night. AND Kane County radio announcer Jeff Hem just told me that he was told to expect a game tonight.

PLAY BALL!…eventually.

UPDATE: In fairness to our hosts, here are two pictures of the affected areas that were taken at approximately 4:30pm.  Yes. Good drainage.

Right field at Elfstrom Stadium taken about 90 minutes before the scheduled start time of Sunday's game.


Left field at Elfstrom Stadium approximately 90 minutes before the scheduled start time of Sunday's game.


Like I said…PLAY BALL!

Sunday’s Lineup:
Reggie Keen – CF
Nick Shaw – 2B
Cody Hawn – DH
Mike Walker – 1B
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Robbie Garvey – LF
Franklin Romero – RF
Tyler Roberts – C
Yadiel Rivera – SS

Sunday’s Starting Pitcher:
Tyler Thornburg

Sunday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay29

Postgame Post (May 28, 2011)

Does the obstructed view from the radio booth make me hate this place?

Kane County 6, Wisconsin 1
Boxscore | Game Story

  • Weird start to this game. First they said it was going to be a 6:15pm start.  Then, about 5:45 I was told it would be a 6:10-ish start.  Actual start time was 6:13pm.  If it was going to be that, why not wait until 6:15?
  • Plus, the game was started in a steady rain.  Lots of umbrellas and ponchos in the stands for the first 45 minutes or so.
  • Austin Ross was the starter tonight.  Shortest outing of the season for him.  He couldn’t get out of the jams that he was getting into over his last few starts.  He gave up a two-out RBI single in the first. The fourth inning snowballed after the first batter reached on a Yadiel Rivera error.
  • Ross with 75 pitches in four innings. That’s a lot.
  • Dan Britt…yes…Dan Britt…I’ll explain later…came on in relief in the fifth. He worked four innings in his first outing since May 22.  After allowing two runs in the first inning, he kept the Cougars off the scoreboard.
  • The second run against Britt was just bad luck.  Runner at third, two outs, and  a grounder was hit to first – and I do mean first.  The damn ball hit the bag and bounced over the head of Mike Walker into right field for an RBI.
  • When it rains, it…whoops not gonna use that one.
  • Carlos George had to come out of the game after legging out a play at first.  It’s the second time since May 7 he’s had to come out. No word on his status.
  • Rivera has committed three errors in the last three games.
  • Nick Shaw is on a 10-game hit streak.  Mike Walker is on a 6-game hit streak.
  • In the playoff chase, Burlington swept a doubleheader on Saturday and Peoria lost 6-5 at Cedar Rapids despite leading 5-2.  Wisconsin is still in third place in the West. They are one game behind the Chiefs for the Wild Card. They are 9-1/2 games behind the Bees for the division lead.
  • Also, Cedar Rapids and Quad Cities are both a game behind the Rattlers.
  • Tomorrow is game #50 in the 70 game half.
  • Personal note. I was terrible tonight.  I can’t believe the mistakes I made and the HUGE mistake of calling Britt “Brooks Hall” for three innings.  I knew it shouldn’t have been him, and yet…
  • I’ll be better tomorrow.
  • Charly Bashara was named the starter on Monday for the Rattlers.
  • Here are the probable pitching matchups for the series in Bowling Green that starts on Tuesday:
    RHP Brooks Hall v. LHP CJ Riefenhauser
    RHP Jimmy Nelson v. LHP Enny Romero
    RHP Jameson Dunn v RHP Victor Mateo

Lineup & Game Notes (May 28, 2011)

Tarp on the field. Game is at 6pm tonight. Well, scheduled for 6pm tonight.


Tonight’s Haiku:
Looking at the tarp
My eyes are drawn to the clouds
I Ask: AGAIN?! NOW?!

Cody Hawn’s first appearance in the lineup since May 19. Batting 5th and in at the DH spot.

Tonight’s Lineup:
Reggie Keen – CF
Nick Shaw – 2B
Chris Dennis – LF
Mike Walker – 1B
Cody Hawn – DH
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Franklin Romero – RF
Tony Pechek – C
Carlos George – SS

Tonight’s Starter:
Austin Ross

Tonight’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay28

Postgame Thoughts (May 27, 2011)

I hate this place.

Cougars 2, Timber Rattlers 1
Boxscore | Game Story

  • No. Seriously. I hate Elfstrom Stadium.  I don’t have the records in front of me, but in my 11 seasons as the Rattlers announcer, Kane County has ‘walked the Rattlers off’ more that any other team.  It definitely feels that way.
  • I can feel the hate flow through me.
  • But, you want a little news and a little game analysis and an explanation as to why the internet feed decided to go to an extended commercial break near right before the top of the ninth inning….
  • Starting with the last one first, It just does. We try to catch it when it happens.  I get e-mails, but I can’t catch every one in time. Facebook posts to the Rattlers website are good, but I don’t have that website up all the time. Best way to let me know is to send something to @TimberRattlers and/or @CMehring on twitter.  Those two are almost always up on my computer during the game.  If you listen on the internet send a tweet (NOT A DIRECT MESSAGE) to either one of those that says, HEY @CMEHRING, THE @TIMBERRATTLERS INTERNET FEED ON @1280WNAM IS DOWN!
  • If the commercial break is longer than three minutes, that’s how you know the internet feed is down.  The engineer in the studio will get it back up and working ASAP.
  • Game Analysis.
  • Eighteen strikeouts by the Rattlers offense tonight.  Kane County starter Yordano Ventura with 10 in five innings. Reliever Greg Billo with eight in four innings.
  • Tonight was the fourth time this month an opposing starter has reached double digits in Ks against the Rattlers. James Paxton (CLN) 10 on May 13; Taijuan Walker (CLN) 11 on May 15; Manuel Soliman (BEL) 11 on May 17 were the others.
  • Ventura would have been pulled over had he been driving on Ventura Highway where the days are longer and the nights are stronger than moonshine. He was hitting 94 easy.
  • Speaking of pitching, let’s hear it for Jameson Dunn.  For you velocity mavens out there, the stadium gun had him at 91-92.  He showed some good pitchability with the off speed stuff and he froze a couple of righties with a  good curve.  Plus, he got out of an adverse situation (Runner at third with one out in the 5th) with a popup and a strikeout.
  • Franklin Romero with a great throw to the plate in the seventh to keep the game scoreless for a bit longer.  Romero with six assists.  Rattlers outfielders now with 20!
  • Nick Shaw with a single in the first to extend his hitting streak to nine games by punching a ball through the left side of the infield on a hit and run play with Keen running from first.  But, his walk in the ninth was big, too.  He worked the count full against Billo and took a pitch well off the outside corner to set the stage for…
  • WALKER, TIMBER RATTLER. Walker got a first pitch from Billo to drive and he cracked it to right-center for a double to tie the game.
  • HOWEVER, the Cougars loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth against Marzec.  Holle came on and got the grounder he needed.
  • BUT, Rivera threw wildly to the plate and the winning run scored.
  • damn.
  • Rivera will be back and he will be fine.  It happens.  The thing with the good ones is that it is a shocking play when something like that happens.  Yes, shock was the reaction from the radio booth on that play.
  • Do you have any idea how close Marzec was to getting away with something in the 9th.  Ryan Stovall led off the inning with a line drive over the head of Reggie Keen in center.  He was trying to stretch the hit into a triple.  He fell down…just flat fell down…halfway between second and third.  He should have been out easily because Walker followed him to second base as Shaw and Rivera went out for the cutoff.  But, Shaw rushed the throw to third and the ball sailed over Greg Hopkins and Marzec backing up.  The ball hit off the new protective screen on the railing in front of the Rattlers dugout.  Stovall managed to get back to second.  Who knows how that inning might have played out if Stovall is out on that play.
  • But, he wasn’t.
  • damn.
  • I know there will be some questions about this so…Tyler Roberts left the game after a foul bunt got him on his throwing hand in the bottom of the seventh.  He took a few warmup tosses after that to try to stay in the game. His first two throws back to Marzec sailed over the pitcher’s head.  He missed Hopkins a few tosses later and was removed from the game in favor of Tony Pechek.
  • Roberts was on the seat across from me on the ride back to the hotel and he said that he felt fine now, but couldn’t feel the ball at the time.  He may be out tomorrow, but he thought that he would be back soon.
  • Happy Austin Ross Day on Saturday.

Lineup & Game Notes & Roster Transactions (May 27, 2011)

Does it stand for Kansas City? Does it stand for Kane County? Whatever it stands for the "M" in Platteville is Much better

Roster moves first:
IF Cody Hawn has been activated off the DL for tonight’s game
IF TJ Mittelstaedt has been placed on the DL

Latest Timber Rattlers Roster: Timber_Rattler_Roster_052711

Friday’s Lineup:
Robbie Garvey – LF
Reggie Keen – CF
Nick Shaw – 2B
Chris Dennis – DH
Mike Walker – 1B
Franklin Romero – RF
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Tyler Roberts – C
Yadiel Rivera – SS

Friday’s Starting Pitcher:
Jameson Dunn

Friday’s game notes: RattlersGameNotesMay27

Postgames post (May 26, 2011)

Completion of the suspended game

@Peoria 6, Rattlers 4
Boxscore | Game Story

Thursday’s game

@Peoria 4, Rattlers 1
Boxscore | Game Story

  • Sometimes there are no words, no clever quotes to sum up what’s happened that day. Sometimes, the day just… ends.
  • Rattlers missed some opportunities in both games.
  • In the continuation from Wednesday, the bases were loaded with two outs (4th), A runner was thrown out at the plate (5th) if he scored the lead would have been 6-5, First and third with one out and a runner got picked off first (6th).
  • Chiefs pitcher Cam Greathouse has now walked 32 batters this season.  He faced 13 batters in two innings.  The Rattlers scored two runs off him.
  • Jimmy Nelson is the third Timber Rattlers pitcher to pitch a complete game and lose.
  • Matt Miller and Del Howell were the first two.
  • As was the case with Howell and Miller, it was one bad inning that did in Nelson.
  • He was cruising along with 45 pitches in four innings and had allowed one base runner.
  • In the fifth, Nelson got another grounder, but it was mishandled for an error.  One out later Anthony Giansanti drilled a 1-0 pitch to the grass seats in left and the Rattlers were down 2-1.  A walk, a double, and another error and it became a 4-1 deficit.
  • Three of the four runs were unearned.
  • Unofficially, I had Nelson at 83 pitches (50 strikes) in his outing.
  • From @Jimmy_J_Nelson himself: Always learning.
  • Spooky stat of the series: The Rattlers committed nine errors in the three game series with the Chiefs. Oddly, they won the game in which they committed four errors.
  • Heading into Memorial Day Weekend: The Rattlers are 26-21…Right now, they trail Peoria (27-20) by one game for the Western Division Wild Card and Burlington (33-14) by seven for the Western Division Lead.  There are 23 games left in the first half.
  • The Rattlers are back in Peoria June 14-16.  There will be a doubleheader on June 15.
  • Wisconsin has a series with Kane County this weekend.  Peoria starts a series in Cedar Rapids and Burlington begins a series at home against Quad Cities tonight.
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