May 2011

Postgame Thoughts (May 12, 2011)

Video Highlights:

Timber Rattlers 5, Kernels 3
Boxscore | Game Story

WBAY has words:

The final was 5-3 Timber Rattlers, but the good news as far as the parent team’s concerned was Braddock’s near-perfect outing.

“I think I went out there with full intensity, attacking the zone, attacking the hitters, and just doing the best I could. It hasn’t been a real question of physicality; there’s no real injury, it’s a matter of time what the Brewers feel and what the doctors feel,” Braddock said.

Keep your eyes on the sports page over at WBAY because they did a story on Austin Ross for Thursday’s 10pm news. I was kind of busy at 10:20.

  • Bullet points. Right. It’s late.
  • It’s late because of the biblical downpour that hit the Fox Cities at about 5:30pm tonight.
  • I was almost trampled by the players in the clubhouse as they tried to rush to one of the doors in the batting cage to see the hail.
  • Hail hitting that metal roof at Time Warner Cable Field is…wow….it’s annoying.
  • BUT, the game went on.  The tarp may have been on the field every day – yes, every.damn.day. – of this homestand, but every game was played.
  • Zach Braddock will get one more start for the Rattlers. He’s going to face Clinton on Saturday at Clinton. Maybe 20 may 35 pitches. We’ll have to wait and see.
  • Go up and look at that defense again.  LOOK AT IT! That catch by Franklin Romero was spectacular.  I’m not even sure that was the best play that Yadiel Rivera made in Thursday’s game.
  • Cody Hawn is on another 5-game hitting streak.  This is his fourth 5-game hitting streak.
  • Speaking of streaks, Romero with an infield single in the third.  His hitting streak is at 13 games. Micah Gibbs of Peoria, who is also on a 13-game hitting streak, did not play on Thursday.  Romero is now tied with Gibbs for the longest hitting streak in the Midwest League this season.
  • How many bullet points do you want me to use on Austin Ross tonight?
  • Unofficially, 106 pitches in six innings and 83 strikes.  That isn’t just pounding the strike zone. That is taking up residence in the strike zone.  The zone should be charging Austin Ross a mortgage right now.
  • In the sixth – the inning that he got in trouble and gave up three runs – Ross threw 24 pitches…20 for strikes.
  • I talked with Chris Bosio about Ross for either the radio pregame show or the next episode of Timber Rattlers Field Pass on Sports 32.  He said that the way a pitcher handles adversity shows how far along in their development they are.  Ross had already given up those three runs in the sixth and the Rattlers lead was down to two runs.  Eichelberger had stolen second base and taken third on an error with one out.  Jean Almanzar fouls off five two strike pitches (four of those on 3-2 pitches).  Ross found a little extra and struck him out. Ross struck out Travis Witherspoon looking to end the inning.
  • Don’t worry about the promotion talk. Just enjoy the ride while Ross is here Timber Rattlers fans.
  • Tom Keeling…Tom Keeling, everybody!  He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his first professional save.
  • For you speed freaks out there, Keeling topped out at 94mph.
  • So in a homestand in which the Rattlers go 5-1, Keeling gets his first pro win and his first pro save.
  • Gotta sneak one more Ross note in here.  His nine punchouts tonight give him 45 on the season.  As of now, he is tied for second in the Midwest League in strikeouts.
  • The Rattlers get on the bus to Clinton in a couple of hours.  The LumberKings have lost six straight and are 9-26.
  • Clinton took two out of three games from the Rattlers in a series at Time Warner Cable Field May 29 & 30.
  • This little hot streak by the Rattlers has put them above .500 for the first time since they were 4-3.
  • This little hot streak by the Rattlers has moved them to 2.5 games behind the Kernels for the 1st half wild card.
  • Check out the standings right here.

The pitching matchups for the games in Clinton:

FRI: RHP Tyler Thornburg (2-0, 1.80) v. LHP James Paxton (0-1, 3.27)
SAT: LHP Zach Braddock (Brewers: 0-1, 2.79)*  v. RHP Forrest Snow (1-4, 4.54)
SUN: LHP Del Howell (0-3, 3.77) v. RHP Taijuan Walker (0-2, 9.95)

*-Matt Miller will come on in relief on Saturday.

I’m going to close this post out with a slideshow…I hope.  You have seen Time Warner Cable Field in snow, sun, and rain.  You have seen a windy Time Warner Cable Field.  But, tonight, as I was packing up the radio equipment, I noticed a fog rolling in from right field.  I was half expecting the hound of the Baskervilles to show up during the walk on the field.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There are times when I love my job and there are times when I really love my job.  This is one of the times when this doesn’t even feel like a job.

On to Clinton!

Lineup and Game Notes (May 12, 2011)

Yes, the game is on TV tonight. Why do you ask?

Another busy day at the ballpark has prevented me from posting until now. Sorry. I thought that I would be in some kind of routine by now. I guess it’s good that I’m not in a routine. That would be boring.

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

Thursday’s starting pitcher:
Zach Braddock (2 innings or 20 pitches)

Thursday’s scheduled reliever:
Austin Ross

Thursday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay12

Postgame thoughts (May 11, 2011)

Video highlights:

Rattlers 9, Kernels 7
Boxscore | Game Story

  • The 7-run inning in the bottom of the fifth inning was the largest inning for the Rattlers as an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.
  • The last time the Rattlers scored more than five runs in an inning was on June 25, 2008.  The Rattlers scored seven runs in the fourth inning at Cedar Rapids…They lost to the Kernels 15-14 in a game that was suspended and picked up the following day.
  • The way the wind was blowing I did not think that Chris Dennis got enough to get that ball out in the fifth.  He did.
  • Against the wind. We were young and strong, we were running against the wind.
  • I always think that it is cool when a Timber Rattlers player hits a home run over the Milwaukee Brewers billboard.
  • Jimmy Nelson with another quality start.  That’s four in six starts.
  • What I liked about his outing tonight was the way that he came back out for the sixth and set down the Kernels in order.  How many times over the years have you seen the Rattler rally to take a lead only to have the opponents come back out and score again in their very next at bat.  Nelson got that lead and set down the Kernels in order on 10 pitches with a strikeout and two grounders.
  • It reminded me of a line from an episode of ColumboThe Conspirators, which was the final Columbo episode on NBC.  This far…and no farther.
  • I KNOW that it was Mike Walker at first base tonight. I just got locked in on Cody Hawn playing there this season.  I’m an A-ball announcer for a reason.
  • Yadiel Rivera. 6-3 double play with the runner going. Yes. Defense. Good.
  • Franklin Romero extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a bunt single in the fifth.  Micah Gibbs of Peoria also extended his hitting streak tonight.  Gibbs has reached 13 games.  Those are the two longest current streaks in the MWL.
  • Wrap your head around this: Nick Shaw has faced Kernels pitcher Justin La Tempa six times this season. He was walked five times and been hit by a pitch.  La Tempa has pitched 29 innings and walked 10 batters this season.
  • Those of you who had the fifth inning on May 11 in the ‘First Matt Erickson Ejection’ Pool please turn in your tickets.
  • I think that he went out there to protect Walker…(Mike Walker Fact: Mike Walker doesn’t need protection.  Mike Walker IS protection)…from getting tossed because of Walker’s reaction to the call…which was the double by David Harris to put the Kernels up 3-0.
  • Dusty Rhodes looked he wanted to have a debate on a call in the eighth inning when Dan Britt looked like he threw out Carlos Ramirez at first but Walker was ruled to have pulled his foot off the base.  He figured it would be better to stay in the game.  If Chris Hook says something on a close ball/strike call then your looking at the last few minutes of the game turning out like the end of Varsity Blues with the West Canaan Coyotes running the show without Bud Kilmer.
  • I don’t know why I referred to the movie. I hate that movie.
  • However, “I don’t want. Your life.” has got to be one of the most unintentionally funny lines in any movie
  • And do people really want to go to Brown THAT bad?  Really?
  • Oh, baseball.. Sorry…It’s been a long day.
  • Greg Holle’s ninth inning was like the game. It wasn’t pretty but it got the job done.  He is 7-for-7 in save opportunities this season.
  • Something to keep your eye on for tomorrow night: Ricky Alvarez has struck out to end the game each of the last two nights.
  • Something else to be on the look out for tomorrow night: Zach Braddock will be the starter.  He is set for 20 pitches. Austin Ross is scheduled to come on in relief tomorrow.

Lineup & Game Notes (May 11, 2011)

The tarp is coming off the field soon. Game on for 6:35pm.  If there is any change, check Facebook, @TimberRattlers, or @CMehring.

Wednesday’s lineup:
Nick Shaw – 2B
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Cody Hawn – DH
Chris Dennis – LF
Mike Walker – 1B
Franklin Romero – RF
Robbie Garvey – CF
Tyler Roberts – C
Yadiel Rivera – SS

Wednesday’s Starting pitcher:
Jimmy Nelson

Wednesday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay11

Cody Hawn at First

Bob Brainerd of Sports32 caught up with Cody Hawn and here is the result.

“One of the first things I remember was when I was three years old, playing Wiffleball with my parents and things like that,” said Hawn.  “I’ve had a love of the game from about that time on.  But I really became more interested in it when I started going to University of Tennessee baseball games because it was like ten minutes from my house.  I was very lucky.  My parents were very supportive of me and kept me around the game…they’re a big reason why I’m here today.”

Click through for the whole thing.

Zach Braddock rehab start on Thursday

Left-handed Brewers reliever Zach Braddock is scheduled to make a rehab start for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Thursday night at Time Warner Cable Field.

He went on the disabled list with a sleep disorder.  The road back to the big leagues starts on Thursday against Cedar Rapids.  I heard that Braddock will pitch an inning.  Then, Austin Ross will come on to pitch on his regular day.

Game time is 6:35pm. Tickets available at (800) WI-TIMBER, (920) 733-4152, or in person at the Time Warner Cable Field Box Office.

“I’m happy it’s here right now.”

That is a quote from Mike Wilson in this Seattle Times story from this morning about getting his first call to the big leagues.

After 10 long years kicking around the Mariners farm system, Mike Wilson finally wore a big-league uniform on Tuesday.

He also wore the biggest grin at Camden Yards.

“It’s a great feeling, with my long road I’ve been through, everything that’s been going on with me,” he said. “It’s one of the best feelings of my life right now. Hopefully, I can take full advantage of it.”

Wilson said he was a minor-league free agent at three different junctures of his career, but each time elected to return to Seattle. This last offseason, he was in fairly serious discussions with another team but opted for Seattle. In previous years, he flirted with the idea of playing in Japan but decided against it.

“I felt so comfortable with the Mariner organization, and they’ve treated me well,” he said. “I’ve been on the roster, been off the roster. It’s been a constant struggle with it. I kept playing hard and stayed focused.”

The toughest time might have been last year, when an anticipated September call-up never came.

“We won the Triple-A championship, and I was the MVP of the playoffs,” Wilson said. “I thought I had a chance, but it didn’t come. It was a little frustrating, but I told myself, keep working hard and it’s going to come eventually.”

Make the most of it, Mike Wilson!

Today in Timber Rattlers History: May 11, 1997

At Fox Cities Stadium on May 11, 1997:

Kane County 6
Timber Rattlers 7

The Rattlers were down 6-2 in the game as Brian Fuentes struggled early in the game.

All was forgiven when Mike Burrows hit a two-out, two-run, ‘walkoff’ home run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Rattlers got a run in the seventh, two in the eighth, and two in the ninth to rally for the win over the Cougars.

Mike Burrows hit 12 homers for the Timber Rattlers in 1997.  He had been a fourth round pick of the Mariners in 1994.  Burrows played 27 games for Lancaster in the 1998 season and his baseball career ended right there.

Rattlers MLB Alumni – Games of May 10, 2011

@Baltimore 7, Seattle 6 (13)

BAL:
Adam Jones (’04): 3-for-6, 3RBI

SEA:
Mike Wilson (’05): 1-for-4, RBI First MLB HIT!
Carlos Peguero (’07): 0-for-2
Michael Saunders (’06): 2-for-6, 2 RUNS
Michael Pineda (’08): 6IP, 7H, 3R, BB, 6K

@New York 3, Kansas City 1

NYY:
Alex Rodriguez (Foxes, ’94): 1-for-4, 2RBI

@Toronto 7, Boston 6 (10)

BOS:
David Ortiz (’96): 3-for-5, 2 RUNS, RBI, HR #5

@Cleveland 5, Tampa Bay 4

CLE:
Asdrubal Cabrera (’05): 3-for-5, RBI
Shin-soo Choo (’02): 1-for-3

@Los Angeles 6, Chicago 2

LAA:
Joel Pineiro (’98): 7.2IP, 8H, 2R, BB, 5K, WIN #2

@Florida 2, Philadelphia 1

FLA:
Greg Dobbs (’02): 1-for-3

PHI:
Raul Ibanez (Foxes, ’94): 2-for-4

Postgame post (May 10, 2011)

Video Highlights:

Rattlers 4, Kernels 1
Boxscore | Game Story

  • For the prospect watchers out there, Yadiel Rivera got the start at short and looked very good on defense.  Strong, accurate throws to first and solid work around second on the 3-6-3 double play turned with Cody Hawn in the fifth inning.  And his throw home on the relay to get the runner at the plate in the first inning…HOLY MACKEREL!  I mean it’s the first higlight in the video above.  Go watch it if you haven’t already.  Now…Rivera at the plate…
  • …His single in the sixth was right back through the middle…He struck out swinging on his other two at bats.
  • Still some work to do for Rivera.  But, who doesn’t need to work on some things at this level.
  • Del Howell walked one batter tonight. That is all.
  • Okay, maybe not. Howell was 13-1 in ground out/fly out ratio.  Since, I saw a question somewhere…The other balls put in play against Del were: Ground single into left…Ground double down the third base line…Home run…ground ball kicked for an E-3…Line drive single to center…fly ball single to right…
  • I’m not up on this GO/AO ratio but there were two popups that were not included in the AO part of the ratio..13/3? Still not bad. Right?  These new stats are tough.
  • Since coming off the disabled list, Eric Marzec has pitched six scoreless innings, allowed two hits, walked three, and struck out nine.
  • Franklin Romero has an 11-game hitting streak.  His RBI single in the second inning tied the game.  During his streak, Romero is 16-for-41 (.390).  The only other current hitting streak that is longer than Romero’s is the 13-gamer that belongs to Micah Gibbs of Peoria.
  • A few games ago, I compare the Rattlers offense to the Badger basketball team. Tonight was an example of that.  Drought conditions despite favorable scoring conditions for a long time.  Then…Mike Bruesewitz for three….Book it!…Jordan Taylor drives the lane! YES!…Jon Leuer….GOT IT!…Time out Indiana!
  • Playing the role of Mike Bruesewitz for three was Chris Dennis whose two-run triple put the Rattlers up 3-1.  Jordan Taylor was played by Mike Walker’s RBI single.  Greg Hopkins should have been Jon Leuer tonight with an RBI double, but since it was a ground rule double Walker had go back to third base.
  • I want to be Matt Lepay….for just one day. Can you tell?
  • I feel old because when I saw Braulio Pardo as the catcher for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, I thought of Don Pardo.
  • Jimmy Nelson’s turn tomorrow.
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