July 2011

A little off day excitement

Everyone was settling in for the night after killing the day in Clinton.

Then, the fire alarm went off.

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Everything is okay. Someone, a long term resident of the hotel, left popcorn in the microwave too long.

But, this passes for entertainment during the road trip.

Postgame Thoughts (July 25, 2011)

Earmuffs! Can you earmuff it for me! All ya gotta do is say "Earmuffs"!

Rattlers 6, Loons 3
Boxscore | Game Story

  • The Rattlers took two of three at Lansing and are 3-3 on the first six games of this trip.
  • Matt Miller scattered six hits and four walks and got some top notch defense tonight to even his record at 4-4.
  • That makes three straight quality starts for the right-hander.
  • By the way…Defense today…Let’s list the plays:
  • Brownstein robs Pericht of a leadoff single in the fourth with a great play catch & throw up the middle
  • Later in the inning, Miller gets a dribbler up the first base line, crosses into foul territory & throws out Landry
  • Keen throws out Akins at third for a key out in the seventh inning.
  • Mittelstaedt’s diving catch with runners at second and third to end the inning with the Rattlers up 6-2
  • The 6-4-3 double play to end the game
  • Not technically a defensive play, but also toss in Miller’s strikeout of Jacobs in the bottom of the first inning.
  • I’m sure I am missing one or two others.
  • Keen 3-for-4 with a stolen base, an RBI, a run scored, and that aforementioned outfield assist
  • Almost saw a triple play tonight.  But, it was overturned.  Probably the right call.
  • Brownstein was ruled safe on a play at first. But, it was overturned. Probably the right call.
  • But, I’ve seen more calls overturned this season than ever before.
  • The frustration of the Loons was what led to the picture above tonight.
  • First to go was catcher Michael Pericht. Chad Stang scored on a double by Joey Paciorek in the sixth.  The ball got caught up in Stang as Paciorek headed to third.  Pericht pushed Stang out of the way to get to the ball…and got ejected…
  • Then in the seventh, Bobby Coyle was ruled to have gone around on a check swing.  He must have said something….because there he went…and then he went off because it was earmuff time for the kid in the front row.
  • Of all the pictures I’ve taken this season, that one may be my favorite.  I wish I could have zoomed in without the railing getting in the way.
  • Mom and the kids collected dad on the way out and I think that there may be an email waiting in a few Loons front office inboxes in the morning.
  • Since Great Lakes joined the Midwest League in 2007, the Rattlers have been to Dow Diamond four times.
    2007: 2-2
    2008: 1-2
    2009: 0-3
    2011: 2-1
  • Yep, this is the first time the Rattlers have won a series in Great Lakes.
  • The team is on the bus heading for Clinton right now.   On the road for 45 minutes. Somewhere around six hours left.
  • I’d think about live blogging this journey, but I doubt it would be interesting.
  • Keep your eye on @CMehring to follow the progress and where we may stop and when we get into Clinton.
  • Off day on Tuesday with a day to kill in Clinton.  I’ll update the blog in the afternoon after taking a long walk around town.
  • Plus, there are a few more announcements at TimberRattlers.com.
  • Kind of like today: Rattlers games on MiLB.TV and Free Flix Night at Time Warner Cable Field on 7/29.

Lineup & Game Notes (July 25, 2011)

Dow Diamond in the sun.

Monday’s Lineup:
Reggie Keen – CF
Nick Shaw – SS
TJ Mittelstaedt – LF
Jason Rogers – DH
Mike Walker – 1B
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Chad Stang – RF
Joey Paciorek – C
Mike Brownstein – 2B

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Matt Miller

Great Lakes Starting Pitcher:
Greg Wilborn

Monday’s Roster Moves:
IF Nick Ramirez transferred to Rattlers from Helena

IF Cody Hawn placed on DL retroactive to 7/21

Monday’s Updated Roster: Timber_Rattler_Roster_072511

Monday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesJuly25

Postgame Thoughts (July 24, 2011)

Tommy LaSorda approves of your selection of the LaSorda Landing for your group outing at Dow Diamond.

Great Lakes 5, Wisconsin 1
Boxscore | Game Story

  • Brooks Hall  was so close to getting out of the bottom of the first inning on Sunday.
  • It was so similar Bashara’s fifth inning on Saturday night.
  • SATURDAY:
    First two batters with a double and a single.  The single goes to right and the runner holds at third.
    Next two batters retired with a strikeout & a popout
    Final batter retired on a flyout
  • SUNDAY:
    First two batters with a double and a single. The single goes to right and the runner holds at third
    Next two batters retired with a popout & a strikeout
    Runner from first moves to second on a wild pitch for strike three
    Single to right, two runs score.
  • Another run scores in the first and the Rattlers are down 3-0.
  • The Rattlers offense with three hits.
  • The Rattlers defense with three double plays
  • That included Chad Stang throwing out a runner at the plate for his seventh outfield assist.
  • That outfield assist was #37 for the Rattlers outfield this season.
  • Seth Lintz, a 2nd round pick of the Brewers in 2008, tossed a scoreless inning with a BB & a K today.
  • Interesting Loons Notes: Great Lakes manager John Shoemaker was ejected in the fourth inning.
  • It was the first time he’s been ejected this season.
  • It was the first time a member of his coaching staff has been ejected this season.
  • Six Loons players have been ejected from games this season.
  • Let’s turn this into a Post-Induction Thoughts Post:
  • Pat Gillick and Roland Hemond were both recognized this weekend at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
  • Both were already in the Appleton Professional Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • Hemond was given the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I’ve enjoyed every day that i’ve been in the game,” said Hemond, a baseball lifer. “I’ve had some real challenges, but then, when sometimes you get a job and it’s a tough situation, you say, ‘That’s why you got the job.’ They hired you because they think maybe you can do something about it.”

  • Gillick pitched for the Fox Cities Foxes in 1960 and went 11-2 with a 1.91ERA before moving on up in the Baltimore Orioles system.  He was also the general manager of the Seattle Mariners from 2000-2003 when the Rattlers were the Midwest League affiliate of the M’s.
  • Here is a link to the video of Pat Gillick’s remarks in Cooperstown on Sunday afternoon.
  • Congratulations to Roland and Pat.
  • As a side, if you have never been to the Hall in Cooperstown…What the HECK are you waiting for?  Just go.  Doubleday Field.  The Hall with the plaques. TJ’s Place. The memorabilia.  Dear DiMaggio…I want to go back…Because I have a better camera now!

The National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007

 

Babe Ruth's Bowling Ball...BABE RUTH'S BOWLING BALL!

 

Doubleday Field

  • Get ‘em tomorrow.

Lineup & Game Notes (July 24, 2011)

Dow Diamond is quiet...too quiet.

Sunday’s Lineup:
TJ Mittelstaedt – DH
Nick Shaw – SS
Mike Walker – 1B
Jason Rogers – LF
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Chad Stang – CF
Mike Brownstein – 2B
Tony Pechek – C
Franklin Romero, Jr. – RF

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Brooks Hall

Great Lakes Starting Pitcher:
Rick Anton

Sunday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesJuly24

Postgame Thoughts (July 23, 2011)

And Mike Walker watches over all...including that cement walkway thingy in right-center, where Jason Rogers hit his homer in the 7th.

Rattlers 8, Loons 6
Boxscore | Game Story

  • Tip of the cap to Charly Bashara as he picked up his first win this season as a starter.
  • Weird start to the game, and TJ Mittelstaedt right in the middle of it.
  • Let’s go to the recap:
    T. J. Mittelstaedt singles on a pop up to shortstop Casio Grider. Mittelstaedt advances to 3rd, on throwing error by shortstop Casio Grider. Mittelstaedt advances to 3rd, on fielding error by shortstop Casio Grider.
  • Okay, blooper down the left field line. Grider had the ball in his glove but he knocked the ball free and the ball went into the Timber Rattlers bullpen.  Mittelstaedt to second. Grider thought the play was over and flipped the ball into the stands.  Mittelstaedt to third.
  • Hello, Larry Walker!…kinda. Sorry for the Bleacher Report link.
  • I believe the umpires ruled that Mittelstaedt was not yet at second base and gave two bases to let him take second and third? What? RULEBOOK?
  • The Rattlers pulled away in the third with four runs scoring all sorts of ways. RBI double. Balk, sacrifice fly, RBI single. 7-3 lead.
  • In case you are wondering why Greg Holle came in for the sixth inning and went three innings in Saturday’s game: “Right now, [Holle's] in a position where we’re trying to extend him out. We’re trying to get him some extended innings where he can work on those pitches and develop those pitches.” – Rattlers manager Matt Erickson
  • Jason Rogers KAH-rushed his seventh inning homer.  He has three homers, all to right field, and all on the road this season.
  • Asking me to pick my favorite Warren Zevon is like asking me to pick my favorite Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode. Impossible. But, Eric Marzec’s 1-2-3 ninth inning with two strikeouts for his fourth save of the season brought to mind this Zevon classic.
  • You know…because Marzec pitched for Youngstown State…in Ohio….
  • Oh…now you made the mime usher sad:

Sad mime usher.

Lineup & Game Notes (July 23, 2011)

Welcome to Dow Diamond in Midland, Michigan.

Saturday’s Lineup:
TJ Mittelstaedt – DH
Nick Shaw – SS
Mike Walker – 1B
Jason Rogers – LF
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Chad Stang – CF
Mike Brownstein – 2B
Joey Paciorek – C
Franklin Romero, Jr. – RF

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Charly Bashara

Great Lakes Starting Pitcher:
Ryan Christenson

Saturday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesJuly23

Postgame Thoughts (July 22, 2011)

Handshakes all around

Wisconsin 7, Lansing 2
Boxscore | Game Story

  • Amazing what a long home run on the first pitch of the game can do.
  • Mittelstaedt crushed that first pitch and the game never felt in doubt after that.
  • Nelson continues to get results. He is 3-1 w/ a 2.56ERA in six second half starts.
  • I know that others may have caught this too, but No walks tonight for Nelson.
  • One other split for Nelson: First Half: 61.2IP/43K Second Half: 38.2IP/36K
  • But, remember it’s not all about strikeouts.
  • Shaw with three more hits.
  • The offense hit the snooze alarm for a bit again, but pushed out to a bigger lead with three run seventh inning.
  • By the way, Mittelstaedt with nine homers and 17 stolen bases this season
  • Welcome to the MWL, Alan Williams.  1-1/3 scoreless innings in your Timber Rattlers debut.
  • It gets no easier for the Rattlers.  Great Lakes is the host for the next three days and they just swept Beloit.
  • But, that is for tomorrow.  Friday’s game was one that you can hang a star on to remember in the offseason and just a really, well-played game by the Rattlers.
  • There isn’t a lot to add to this one. Except for maybe this little thing that I found on the internet earlier today.  It makes me smile when I see it.  I don’t see how it can’t make everyone smile.

I mean...it's Sam the Eagle as Captain America!!

  • Enjoy that win, Rattlers and Rattlers fans.  Another game on Saturday night.

Lineup & Game Notes (July 22, 2011)

It was either the statues or the Lugnut in the Sky

Friday’s Lineup:
TJ Mittlestaedt – DH
Nick Shaw – SS
Mike Walker – 1B
Jason Rogers – LF
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Chad Stang – CF
Mike Brownstein – 2B
Joey Paciorek – C
Franklin Romero, Jr. – RF

Wisconsin’s Starting Pitcher:
Jimmy Nelson

Lansing’s Starting Pitcher:
Egan Smith

Friday’s Game Notes:  RattlersGameNotesJuly22

Friday’s Transactions:
RHP Seth Lintz and LHP Alan Williams join the Rattlers from Helena

LHP Del Howell transferred to Arizona League Brewers

Friday’s Updated Roster: Timber_Rattler_Roster_072211

Bonus Friday Picture:

So, I don't have to explain, the Lugnut in the Sky

Postgame thoughts (July 21, 2011)

Cooley Law School Stadium at night.

Lansing 5, Wisconsin 4
Boxscore | Game Story

  • Well, shoot.
  • I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again before the end of the season. The Rattlers do not give up. They keep coming back.
  • Down 5-1 against the team in the best record in the league and they scraped back to get the lead run on in the ninth.
  • That has GOT to pay off at some point this season.
  • Thanks to TJ Mittelstaedt for the scouting report on the Lansing starting pitcher, one of his former teammates at Long Beach State.
  • He did exactly what Mittelstaedt said he was going to do.
  • Chad Stang w/ four hits, including two well struck triples to right-center.
  • You might notice Brian Garman for the 1-2-3 sixth inning. How about the job he did to get out of the jam in the seventh though?
  • Bases loaded no outs with the top two hitters in the Lansing lineup coming to the plate.
  • Weak popup up to third and a 6-4-3 double play to get out of the inning.
  • Eric Marzec off the DL and into the game with a 1-2-3 8th that included a pair of strikeouts.
  • I was in the dugout after Eric did a little side session in the bullpen before the game and as he passed me, he let out an “I’m BACK, Mehring!”  Yes. Yes, he was.
  • Overheard, “I can see why Lansing has 153 errors. You hit a bullet that they just get a piece of here and it’s an error.”
  • For the record, Mike Brownstein – who did not say the above quote – hit two bullets that were ruled errors on Thursday. One of those errors cost Brownstein an RBI.
  • Oooohhh, the lockout didn’t end. Here’s your football content for today. Michael Crouse, an outfielder for the Lugnuts is the son of former Green Bay Packers running back Ray Crouse, who also played in the CFL.
  • Franklin Romero, Jr. drew his first walk of the season.  After 226 at bats and 237 plate appearances, Romero drew a walk with two outs in the top of the eighth inning on a 3-1 pitch from Shawn Griffith.
  • Griffith missed with his first three pitches, hit the target with his fourth, but missed with his fifth.
  • The fans in Cooley Law School Stadium may have been wondering why all of the players on the Timber Rattlers dugout were leaning on the railing by the dugout and got more excited with each pitch after the count got to 2-0.
  • The fans in Cooley Law School Stadium were wondering why the players in the Timber Rattlers dugout gave Romero a standing ovation and generally whooped it up after what – to the folks in Lansing – was a routine walk.
  • Let them wonder.
  • Look, this is why I really like this team. Yes, things are tough right now. But, they all still pull for each other.
  • Get ‘em tomorrow.
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