May 2011

Lineup & Game Notes (May 21, 2011)

Picture a tarp on the field and it’s raining.
It’s easy if you try.
Because it’s been on so freaking much this season!

Couple of things:

Roster moves:
Matt Miller and Cody Hawn to the DL retroactive to May 20
Carlos George is activated from the DL for tonight
Brooks Hall is transferred from Helena to the Rattlers he will make the start in game one.

Game two starter: TBA

I talked with Chris Hook about this.  He isn’t sure.  It all depends on what happens in game one and which member of the bullpen has been least used.  I didn’t get any options for game two.

It’s raining. Again.  Has been since about 1pm.  They are definitely going to try to get this twinbill in.  If they don’t it could mean a doubleheader on Sunday and a doubleheader on Monday.

Also, keep in mind that any decisions about if a game will be played or not will come from the Timber Rattlers website, @TimberRattlers, and/or the Timber Rattlers Facebook page.

Game One Starting lineup:
Reggie Keen – CF
Nick Shaw – 2B
TJ Mittelstaedt – LF
Chris Dennis – DH
Mike Walker – 1B
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Tony Pechek – C
Robbie Garvey – RF
Yadiel Rivera – SS

Game one starter:
Brooks Hall

Saturday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay21

Postgame Post (May 20, 2011)

Victory leap! Is Nick Shaw out-jumping Yadiel Rivera or did I just take this picture at a weird time?

Rattlers 4, Bees 3
Boxscore | Game Story

Video Highlights:

  • That was a much needed home run by TJ Mittelstaedt.  Both for himself and for the Rattlers.  For the team because it gave them the lead against the team with the best record in the Midwest League.  For the dirtbag because he had been 3-for-16 in his last six games without an RBI.
  • This needs to be said about TJ Mittelstaedt home runs, when he hits them, they travel.  That home run he hit in Quad Cities back on May 3 wound up on the top of one of the Tiki huts in right field.  The one tonight went deep onto the Miller High Life Home Run Porch, well beyond the 360′ sign.
  • Yes, My voice cracked. Twice. I really hate this freaking cold!
  • One other note on Mittelstaedt.  That RBI single in the second impressed me more than the home run.  He got a 2-2 change-up, stayed with it, and lined a single to center.  That is one of the textbook definitions of how to hit that pitch.
  • Does TJ stick with the TV Theme Song he used for a walkup song tonight?
  • I talked with Matt Erickson before the game and he said that they needed Charly Bashara go deep into the game…no matter what.  That no matter what meant that if the game went south, the lefty out of Northeastern would have to “wear it” in baseball parlance.  Thankfully that didn’t happen and Bashara recorded a quality start.  With all of the turmoil in the OMYGOD DID YOU, PRINCE!!!!!??!?! DID YOU!!!???  YOU DID!!!!
  • Sorry, where was I?
  • Oh, right….With all of the turmoil in the Timber Rattlers rotation right now, expect Bashara to make at least one more start…Maybe next Wednesday in the doubleheader at Peoria.
  • Doubleheader.  There’s another word I don’t want to hear again.
  • Tyler Cravy found another gear after giving up those two hits to start the seventh inning.  Five K’s in two innings  Three looking.  You can see why he struck out so many at Napa Valley College and why the Brewers drafted him.
  • You know who – besides me – was happiest about the 1-2-3 9th inning for the save by Greg Holle?  Greg Holle.  Look at the emotion after the strikeout to end the game.
  • Those are not old highlights.  Yadiel Rivera and Nick Shaw continue to make web gems (please do sue me, espn) on a nightly basis.
  • Reggie Keen picked up his eighth outfield assist.  This one may have been more due to luck that a great arm.  Runners at first and second, Yordy Cabrera doubles to left-center.  Keen misses both cutoff men, the ball bounces to Hopkins in short left.  Hopkins throws a strike to the plate to get the runner trying to score from first.  Luck is where preparation meets skill or something like that.
  • Reggie really didn’t do anything easy tonight.  As you see in the highlights, he stole third, but took off early and if the pitcher makes a good throw Keen is out.  But, the throw was rushed and Keen scores.
  • Reggie also with 17 stolen bases on the season.
  • I’d like to be able to tell you who will be starting for the Rattlers over the next few days.  I THINK that Brooks Hall is supposed to start tomorrow and I THINK it is supposed to be game one.  But, game two?  I don’t know.  Sunday? I don’t know.  Monday?  That would be Happy Austin Ross Day!
  • Just pointing this out. The Timber Rattlers are 22-18 after 40 games.  They are four games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2005 season.
  • No updates on Matt Miller or Cody Hawn.  Maybe tomorrow.
  • The best way to get rid of a phrase or a song that has been buzzing around in your head is to share it with someone.

Lineup & Game Notes (May 20, 2011)

It's team picture day! You can't lose on team picture day!

The Timber Rattlers production crew talked the Rattlers into doing a little something different with their walkup music tonight.  TV Theme Songs:  I have placed the walkup song between the player and his position.

Friday’s Lineup:
Reggie Keen (Fresh Prince of Bel Air) – CF
TJ Mittelstaedt (Ducktales) – LF
Chris Dennis (Scooby Doo) – DH
Mike Walker (Walker, Texas Ranger) – 1B
Tyler Roberts (Beverly Hillbillies) – C
Greg Hopkins (The Simpsons) – 3B
Franklin Romero (Spongebob Squarepants) – RF
Yadiel Rivera (Doug) – SS
Nick Shaw (The Office) – 2B
Friday’s Starting pitcher:
Charly Bashara – Hawaii Five-O

Friday’s Game notes: RattlersGameNotesMay20

Postsweep Post (May 19, 2011)

Video Highlights

Game one:

Game two:

Not available yet.  Please check and click on 2011 Game highlights.  I’ll update with the video in the morning.

As promised:

Game one
Rattlers 6, Snappers 1
Boxscore | Game Story

Game two
Rattlers 4, Snappers 3
Boxscore | Game Story

Game one:

  • Tyler Thornburg 6IP, 0R, 7K and his third straight win.
  • I had Thornburg at 50 pitches through four innings in game one.  To put that in perspective, he was at 79 pitches through four innings in his last start.  It helped quite a bit that he was ahead 0-2 on a lot, and I do mean A LOT, of hitters tonight.
  • A little surprised when he did not come back out for the seventh inning.  I did not get a chance to ask why, but in the grand scheme of things does a 7-inning complete game shutout in the Midwest League help Tyler Thornburg when he gets the Big Leagues.
  • Yes. I said “when”, not “if”.
  • He helped himself with that athletic play on the double play to end the fifth inning.
  • I would guess that Chris Dennis has his confidence back.  He was so confident that he would score from second on Mike Walker’s single to left in the third inning that he blew through Matt Erickson’s stop sign.  The Rattlers manager could have brought down a couple of those big gates with the flashing lights and ringing bells at railroad crossings and Dennis still would have thought he could beat the train.
  • That being said,  Dennis was 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI in game one.
  • Walker, Timber Rattler doesn’t need confidence. He is confidence.  3-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBI, AND a SB
  • Take another look at that game-ending double play from game one.  Rivera, yes, I’ve come to expect that from Rivera at short.  But, when you see TJ Mittelstaedt hang in there to turn it, keep in mind that he has started all of ZERO games at second base this season.  That, my readers, is the definition of a “Dirtbag”.
  • I saw a lot…and I mean A LOT…of interest  about Cody Hawn on twitter and some of the minor league sites tonight.  Here is the timeline:
    1. Cody Hawn starts at DH in his usual #3 slot in the batting order
    2. Cody Hawn scores from first base on a Chris Dennis 2B in the third inning
    3. Greg Hopkins pinch-hits for Hawn in the 5th inning
    4. Cody Hawn does not start at 1B or DH in game two of the twinbill
    5. That is about it.  Hawn had played in the first 38 Timber Rattlers games this season.  If there are any updates that I can give, I will pass them along.

    Game two:

  • I don’t know what happened to Matt Miller.  He gave up a ground rule double to the second batter he faced.  Then, trainer Jeff Paxson, pitching coach Chris Hook, and manager Matt Erickson headed out to the mound.  I saw Miller wince once as he turned to go back to the mound, but he was not allowed to throw any pitches to show that he was okay.  The just walked him back to the dugout from there.  I did not receive an update during the game.  If there are any updates that I can give, I will pass them along.
  • Jameson Dunn.  I said in the game story that he was a little shaky, but that may have been an exaggeration.  He allowed both inherited runners to score, but one was on a grounder and one was on a potential inning-ending double play that Nick Shaw couldn’t turn because – and I am just guessing here – that his tag of the 6’7, 270-something Michael Gonzales may have disrupted his throw to first base.
  • STOSH!  3IP, H, 2BB, 6K…Imagine what he could do if he started out 0-1 on most of his hitters.  I am not kidding when I say that he was 1-0 on the first six batters he faced in the game.  He had to have been at 1-0 on 8 of the 12 Snappers he faced.
  • BONUS STOSH! The Canucks are up 2-0 on San Jose in the Western Campbell Conference Finals.  I think he went three innings tonight so he could somehow find a way to follow game three on Friday night.  There’s a lot more privacy in the bullpen.
  • Eric Marzec has now made six outings in May, pitched 10 innings, and allowed ZERO runs.  That save tonight was his first as a professional.
  • Dennis drives in two more, including the game winning run in the fourth.  He did stop at third after coming around from first base on Walker’s double in the third.
  • Although, I am still trying to wrap my head around that play that scored the winning run.  This is how I wrote it up in the game story.Dennis was at the plate with Yadiel Rivera at third and Keen at first. Dennis hit a flyball to shallow center and Wang Wei Lin came on to make a diving catch. Rivera tagged and scored. However, Keen, who went halfway to second on the flyball, thought the ball had been caught and did not see or hear the out call by the base umpire. Keen headed to second base as the throw went home to catcher Matt Parker.Gonzales, the first baseman for the Snappers, was not covering first base since he was the cutoff man on the throw home. Parker realized the that the catch had been made before Keen. This allowed Parker to begin sprinting for first base and eventually just barely beat Keen to the bag to double him off first to end the inning with an odd 8-2 double play.And since Rivera scored before the final out had been recorded, the run counted to put the Rattlers up 4-3.
  • Not sure if Reggie didn’t see the out call because he sure as heckfirethought that he saw the ball hit the ground.  His vantage point was just about as good at the base umpire who made the call.Miscellaneous
  • There was a little confusion before the game today.  First, Zach Braddock was supposed to start game two.  Then, an hour later he was not going to start.  Then, Brooks Hall was placed on the roster and Del Howell went on the DL.  Then roughly 10 minutes before I went on with the pregame show Jimmy Nelson and Hall were moved to the Helena roster*.  Damon Krestalude came off the DL and Dunn was transferred to the Rattlers.
  • Just a guess, but there will probably be more roster moves coming up in the next day or two.  Because Hall was scheduled to pitch one of the games against Burlington this weekend.
  • *-meaning do not read too much into these moves.  Remember that the Rattlers are in a stretch of 12 games in 8 days…or to really shock you 7 games in four days.
  • I would love to give you the probable rotation for the Rattlers series with Burlington (and the Bees rotation, too).  But, everything is off kilter.  It is still Charly Bashara on Friday.  Saturday was supposed to be Del Howell/TBA. Sunday was Nelson. Monday was Ross.  As of now, the only one that I certain of is Bashara on Friday an Ross on Monday.
  • The Rattlers are 21-18 after 39 games this season.  Just for reference:
    2010: 13-26
    2009: 18-21
    2008: 19-20
    2007: 11-28
    2006: 17-22
    2005: 21-18
    2004: 17-22
  • Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am dehydrated, my throat is sore, my nose is stuffed up, and yet I am not even close to tired.  But after a sweep of the Snappers by the Rattlers, I don’t mind at all.  Has anyone seen Broomy McSweep?

Lineup & Game Notes (May 19, 2011)

In the immortal words of John Winger, I wish I hadn’t drank so much cough syrup.  But, since my feelings on sick days mirror the thoughts of Russell Ziskey on the Russians, we will proceed with the frivolities tonight.

Two things that I am sure everyone else has seen, but since I just found them today:

The Midwest League website has a profile of Austin Ross.

“Pitching every fifth day has helped,” Ross said. “In the college game, you had metal bats, hot weather, small parks. … I gave up a lot of hits. The entire pro ball thing has helped me. I’m real confident right now.”

“I’m throwing a lot more changeups,” Ross said. “Teams know that I have it and have to respect it. I’m not just a fastball-slider guy.”

I should say not.

This video seems appropriate since the Rattlers are playing the Beloit Snappers tonight:

One other thing.  There are two roster moves to announce right now:

LHP Del Howell is on the DL retroactive to May 14
RHP Brooks Hall has been transferred to the Timber Rattlers from the Arizona League Brewers.

As of now, Hall is scheduled to make the start in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader.  But, that may change.

There may be two more roster moves in the next 90 minutes.  I am just waiting on official confirmation.

Game one Lineup:
Reggie Keen – CF
TJ Mittelstaedt – 2B
Cody Hawn – DH
Chris Dennis – 1B
Mike Walker – 3B
Tyler Roberts – C
Franklin Romero – RF
Robbie Garvey – LF
Yadiel Rivera – SS

Game one starting pitcher: Tyler Thornburg
Game two starting pitcher: Matt Miller

Thursday’s game notes: RattlersGameNotesMay19
(They were saved when Braddock was still going to start tonight.  Keep that in mind)

Postdoubleheader post (May 18, 2011)

Sorry. If you heard the games yesterday or if you listen to the highlights below, you’ll realize why this is so late.

Game one Highlights:

Game two Highlights:

  • Austin Ross. That is all
  • Greg Holle got it done
  • Chris Dennis crushed that homer in the first game
  • Only a great diving play by Gunner Glad in the bottom of the seventh inning kept the Rattlers from the sweep
  • That play robbed Dennis of the game-winning hit in both games
  • Dan Britt retired 15 in a row after the third inning.
  • It’s weird when you talk about an extra-inning game ending in the eighth.
  • Two more today.

Lineup & Game Notes (May 18, 2011)

Good morning.

No picture today. You really do not want to see the tarp on the field again…Do you?

The rain…which isn’t supposed to be here…is supposed to be gone by the start of game one.

Wednesday’s game one starting lineup:
Nick Shaw – 2B
TJ Mittelstaedt – LF
Cody Hawn – 1B
Chris Dennis – DH
Mike Walker – 3B
Tony Pechek – C
Robbie Garvey – RF
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Reggie Keen – CF

Wednesday’s game one starting pitcher:
Austin Ross

Wednesday’s game two starting pitcher:
Dan Britt

Wednesday’s game notes: RattlersGameNotesMay18

Postgame post (May 17, 2011)

The Timer Rattlers and the Snappers observe a moment of silence before Tuesday's game at Time Warner Cable Field to honor Harmon Killebrew. Killebrew spent many years with the Twins. Beloit is the Midwest League affiliate of Minnesota.

Beloit 7 @Wisconsin 0
Boxscore | Game Story

  • Zach Braddock is just waiting for the okay from the doctors to get back with the Big League club. He looks ready.  Tonight he pitched three scoreless, hitless innings, walked one, and struck out a pair.
  • Manuel Soliman struck out 11 over six innings and gave up just two hits.
  • HOWEVER, the Rattlers had two on with one out in the first and two on with one out in the fourth.  Wisconsin went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine runners in the game,
  • ADDITIONALLY, as you can imagine with some many strikeouts, there were no productive outs tonight.  None of the outs with runners in scoring position moved a runner along to the next base.
  • In the last two games, Wisconsin has scored one run on seven hits and they have struck out 28 times.
  • Think about that.  28 strikeouts.  That is one more K than the number of outs needed in for one game.
  • Nelson did a nice job getting ahead of hitters in the game.  But, he walked three batters on 3-2 pitches.
  • If Wisconsin gets through the fifth inning without allowing a run, it would at least have not been as lopsided.  But, with two outs and none on base, Nelson gave up a double, a walk, and back-to-back singles to see the game turn from a 3-0 game to a 5-0 game.
  • I am not being sarcastic about Brian Garman as the player of the game tonight.  As Tony Pechek said on the interview on Sunday, “THAT’S the Brian Garman who pitched in Helena last year.”  It should continue.
  • Great. wanted to talk to Soliman after the game tonight.  That makes two stories on the opposing starters at Time Warner Cable Field over the last four games.
  • Shake it off. Doubleheader tomorrow.  Game one is an Austin Ross start.  Game two is Dan Britt.  Come on out for the twinbill on Wednesday starting at 12:05pm
  • Regarding tomorrow…Happy North Day!  Why Happy North Day?
    Q: How did you get your middle name of North?
    A: “I get that a lot. That’s my dad’s middle name, too, but it is his mom’s maiden name. She was one of four sisters. Obviously, the name wasn’t going to continue, so my grandmother gave my dad the middle name of North and then they in turn gave it to me. So we’ll probably just keep going from here on, keep the name in the family.”
  • Happy North Day!  I know it’s an early start on Wednesday, but let’s see if we can get #HappyNorthDay trending.
  • Sorry.  Too much cough medicine…and cold medicine…and cough medicine…and cold medicine…and cold medicine….and cough/cold medicine.
  • Highlights…We Got defensive highlights!  You can sense the catch by Keen even with the net support in the way.

Lineup & Game Notes for May 17, 2011

It is a beautiful night for baseball:

Taken from a moving golf cart in right field during batting practice on May 17, 2011 at Time Warner Cable Field.

This was the happiest picture I have from Sunday in Clinton:

They love Louie the LumberKing in Clinton!

Apologies.  I think that I came down with the cold that the entire Timber Rattlers team has had at one point or another this season.  Good thing that I’ll have time to heal up…oh, wait.

No excuses.

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

Tuesday’s Starting Pitcher:
Zach Braddock

Tuesday’s Scheduled Reliever:
Jimmy Nelson

Tuesday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay17

Postgame Post (May 15, 2011)

The original dedication plaque of Riverview Stadium, now Alliant Energy Field.

LumberKings 11, Timber Rattlers 1
Boxscore | Game Story

  • And the end of the streak comes.  But, HEY! 2-1 on the road trip. Do that a few more times and that works pretty well.
  • Taijuan Walker was very good today with 11 strikeouts in 6-1/3 innings.  He is going to be very good in the future.
  • I was asked what I thought of Yadiel Rivera the other day.  Advanced defensively and Needs work Offensively was my response.  Today, he was charged with two errors.  One on a dropped popup that cost two runs.
  • Let’s see…what else…The Sun came out in about the 5th inning.
  • Bashara pitched well, but the defense and the bottom of the order did him in today.  It just snowballed after the leadoff walk and back-to-back-bunts in the third. He did a nice job just keeping that at three runs.
  • Carlton Tanabe, the number eight hitter in the lineup score four runs today for Clinton.  Robbie Anston, Clinton’s number nine batter, scored three runs.
  • The Rattlers hits today were two for Cody Hawn, one for Mike Walker, and one for Robbie Garvey.  All of them were sharp singles.
  • Brian Garman got into and out of trouble.  He pitches two days in a row and does not allow a run.  Better.
  • A much needed off day on Monday.
  • The challenge starts on Tuesday.  At home, there will be 5 games in three days with Beloit.  5 games in four days with Burlington.
  • Then, the road trip starts on May 24 with 4 games in three days in Peoria; 4 days in Kane County, 3 days in Bowling Green, and 3 days in Dayton.
  • Then, a much needed off day on June 6.
  • Speaking of days off, I am signing off from the bus right now.  Back in the morning or the afternoon or something.
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