July 2011

Postgame Thoughts (July 15, 2011)

West Michigan 5, Wisconsin 4
Boxscore | Game Story

  • That’s 11 in a row, by the way. If you’re not sure what that means. Click the game notes in the post below and look at the left hand column of page one.
  • I wasn’t keeping track, but the first pitch strikes by Rattlers pitchers had to be…not good.
  • I did keep track of the number of full counts for Rattlers pitchers tonight: 12 out of 42 Whitecaps batters saw a 3-2 pitch on Friday. (Nelson – 6; Garman – 2; Holle – 2; Britt – 2).
  • Five of the seven walks issued by the Rattlers came on 3-2 pitches.
  • Nelson with a nice bounce back after the first inning.  He did not have a 1-2-3 inning on the night, but did not allow a runner past second after the first.
  • He could have, but he walked the number nine hitter on a 3-2 pitch with two outs and none on in the top of the seventh. That final pitch got him to 100 pitches…and ended his night.
  • Nelson looked upset when Matt Erickson came out to get him.  Not sure if it was because he was coming out or because he walked the #9 hitter who was 4-for-22 on the season.
  • Cody Hawn with a hit in the second inning. He’s at a 15-game hitting streak. Matches Edilio Colina for the longest hitting streak by a Timber Rattlers player since Josh Womack’s 22 game hit-streak in 2005.
  • This game took a bad turn in the third inning.  Romero and Keen singled to start the inning and were at second and third with no outs.  The next three Rattlers struck out and both Romero and Keen were still at second and third.
  • Maybe things turn out a little better with a couple of runs in that inning.
  • Four straight singles in the bottom of the seventh.
  • In the highlights, take a look at Shaw’s bunt single and see him barely get the hand on the plate for the run.
  • Sliding into the shin guards…ouch.
  • That’s 16 this season.
  • Okay, I won’t make you wait or do any work to find out what that means.
  • After Friday night, Rattlers opponents have won sixteen times in their final at bat.
  • The worst part of the game…after the
  • South Bend comes in on Saturday night. Game time is 6:35pm.
  • Rest up and get ‘em tomorrow.

Lineup & Game Notes (July 15, 2011)

Check the flags!

Before we get started with the main stuff today, I wanted to thank a few members of the Timber Rattlers.  We taped some really neat segments for upcoming editions of Timber Rattlers Field Pass on Sports 32 today with TJ Mittelstaedt, Reggie Keen, Franklin Romero, Nick Shaw, and Mike Brownstein.  Plus, there is a segment on the food here at Time Warner Cable Field.

I think that the Mittelstaedt, Shaw and Brownstein, and food segments will run on the next episode.  That will debut on – I think – July 26.

The segments with Keen and Romero will be in the episode that debuts on August 9.

Also, Hey! Watch the game on the internet tonight! (scroll down)

IMPORTANT UPDATE: I have just been informed that there will be no audio to go along with the video tonight.  There is a piece of equipment on the way, so the full deal (audio & video) will be up and running during the next homestand.  Consider the next few games a chance to check out the camera work of the crew here.

To the main reason for the post!

Friday’s Lineup:
Reggie Keen – CF
Nick Shaw – SS
TJ Mittelstaedt – 2B
Jason Rogers – LF
Mike Walker – DH
Cody Hawn – 1B
Mike Brownstein – 3B
Joey Paciorek – C
Franklin Romero, Jr. – RF

Wisconsin’s Starting Pitcher: Jimmy Nelson

West Michigan’s Starting Pitcher: Alex Burgos

Friday’s Game Notes:  RattlersGameNotesJuly15

Postgame Thoughts (July 14, 2011)

Sgt. Slaughter meets a HUGE fan before the Timber Ratlers game against the Whitecaps on Thursday night!

 

Timber Rattlers 2, Whitecaps 2
Boxscore | Game Story

  • What a fun night!
  • And I don’t mean just because the Rattlers won.
  • Maverick, you have permission to buzz the tower.
  • Rough third inning with a pair of two out walks, including one to force in a run that put the Rattlers behind 1-0.
  • By the way, that’s TEN straight games in which the opponents have scored first.
  • Put that third inning off to one side.  The other six innings are why Maverick has been a prospect.
  • In all, I only had him at 76 pitches through seven innings and he threw 51 strikes.
  • Keep going.
  • Adrian Rosario showed a few flashes of why the Orioles took a chance on him with the Rule 5 draft.
  • Yes, he got into trouble in the eighth.  But, he got out of it with some nasty stuff.
  • Velocity was good. Movement was better.
  • Dusty Rhodes got kicked out of the game in the third inning. Chad Stang was ruled out on a pickoff play.
  • Dusty disagreed.
  • The Rattlers lost three runners on the bases tonight. That will need to be cleaned up a bit.
  • The Dirtbag strikes again.  Three more hits and TJ Mittelstaedt bumps his average up to .326.
  • Cody Hawn with a pair of singles and he extends his hitting streak to 14 games.
  • That matches Scooter Gennett’s 14-game streak from last season as the longest of the Brewers Era for the Rattlers.
  • Jimmy Nelson gets the ball tomorrow.  Brooks Hall is being skipped this time through the rotation.
  • On a somewhat related note, something that has been in the works for awhile happened tonight without my knowledge
  • Timber Rattlers HOME GAMES are now available on MiLB.TV!!!
  • I wish I would have known. That way I could have altered my call a bit. Not much, but enough to synch up a bit with what is going out over the video feed.
  • There is a subscription price, but it is minimal for the rest of the season.
  • I guess that I can’t make stuff up anymore.
  • Enjoy the win and get ‘em again tomorrow.
  • Speaking of fun!

Bonus video: Sgt. Slaughter sings Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

Lineup & Game Notes (July 14, 2011)

Military Appreciation Night is tonight!

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

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Maverick Lasker

West Michigan Starting Pitcher:
Kyle Ryan

Thursday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesJuly14

Thursday’s Bonus Video:

Postgame thoughts (July 13, 2011)

Two pictures - taken 30 years apart - of a father and son watching Space Shuttle launches.

For video highlights of last night, head over here.

For the story on that photo above, head over here.

For the explanation of why I am using that photo above, who knows.  It just looks cool and there’s a neat story behind it.

  • Not only was last night the ninth straight…NINTH. STRAIGHT…time the opponents have scored first, it was also the fourth game in a row the opponents have scored at least one run in the first inning.
  • And it’s the second straight time the opponents have scored a run in the first inning after the first two batters in the first inning had been retired.
  • Tonight, Matt Miller gave up three runs over seven innings.  He had some nasty movement on his pitches.  But, two of the pitches that didn’t have any movement hit out of the ballpark for solo homers.
  • Which is weird because Miller had allowed one homer in his first 49-2/3 innings pitched this season.
  • Still, a nice outing for Miller, even with a lot of pitches (106 w/ 63 strikes) over 7 innings.
  • Cody Hawn & TJ Mittelstaedt stayed hot.
  • Hawn with an opposite field home run, a 2-for-4 night, and a 13-game hitting streak.
  • However, it looked like Hawn missed the sign for a suicide squeeze in the 8th.
  • I didn’t get to talk to Matt Erickson after the game, but I did get a chance to talk to the third base bag, the one that Matt kicked a couple of times after Romero was tagged out for the second out of the inning.
  •  Third base had no comment, but the Timber Rattlers announced that third base will be on the DL for a week.  Another third base bag will be called up from the groundskeeper’s shed before tonight’s game.
  • Mittelstaedt 3-for-6 with a long home run.
  • I really thought that STOSH! was going to get out of the 12th inning.
  • But – speaking of missed signs – it looked like STOSH! missed the call for a pitchout on an 0-2 count with a runner at first.
  • Stosh seemed surprised that Paciorek had jumped out of his crouch for a pitchout and wound up hanging on to the ball.
  • The runner at first wasn’t going.  So, instead of a 1-2 pitch with a runner at first.  The texture of the inning completely changed and eventually led to the bases loaded with no outs.
  • TWO STRIKEOUTS! Two outs, bases still loaded, still tied 3-3.
  • Then, the 3-2 pitch to Clay Jones was crushed to the bullpen for a 7-3 Whitecaps lead.
  • But, the Rattlers weren’t crushed.  Even with two outs and nobody on base Wisconsin rallied to put two runs on the board in the bottom of the twelfth.
  • Wisconsin even brought the winning run to the plate in the form of Mike Walker.
  • If there is any justice in the world of baseball, Walker would have turned around one of Bruce Rondon’s 98-mph fastballs for a game winning home run.
  • Why?
  • Well, Walker was hit by a pitch when the score was still 3-3 back in the eighth inning on a 2-0 pitch from Michael Torrealba.
  • Walker was angry. I don’t think you’d like Mike Walker when he’s angry.
  • After being hit, Walker threw his bat towards the Rattlers dugout, took a couple of steps to the mound, and pointed at Torrealba.
  • Walker stopped and started to head to first.  Just about every hitecaps player on the field started to converge on the mound
  • The door from the bullpen even opened and two players from the Whitecaps started to head out.
  • Cooler heads prevailed on the Rattlers side as no one left the dugout. Everyone was on the top step of the dugout, but I think that any fines handed out will be going to the Whitecaps.
  • But, as the 12th inning taught us yet again, there is no justice in this cruel, dark, uncaring world of baseball.
  • The Rattlers are now 1-7 in extra inning games, including 0-3 at home.
  • Last night was the 15th time an opponent has scored the winning runs in game against the Rattlers in a last at bat.
  • Get ‘em tonight.

Wednesday’s Highlights

West Michigan 7, Wisconsin 5 (12 innings)
Boxscore | Game Story

Video Highlights:

Lineups & Game Notes (July 13, 2011)

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

Timber Rattlers starting pitcher:
Matt Miller

Whitecaps starting pitcher:
Kevin Eichhorn

Wednesday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesJuly13

Postgame Thoughts (July 11, 2011)

This would have been a great picture...if the damn window opened in the visiting radio booth

River Bandits 4, Timber Rattlers 1
Boxscore | Game Story

Good night, lights.  Good night, mosquito bites.
Good night, bridge.
Good night, Cody Hawn’s 12-game hitting streak which he extended with a 9th inning single by just a smidge.
Good night, Rattlers bullpen.
Good night, Dan Britt and Adrian Rosario, who worked a combined six innings out of the pen.
Good night, warning track.
Good night, Del Howell who threw a lot of pitches (63 in 3 innings) but never seemed to get into whack.
Good night, seats.
Good night, Chad Stang who made a heck of a catch in left in which he left his cleats.
Good night, bases.
Good night, opportunity to score a bunch in the second inning when the sacks were full and it looked like the Rattlers were going places.
Good night, lines made of chalk. You sure got a workout from Nick Shaw – three times he did walk.
Good night, river. This game made me feel like a kid sitting down to a dinner of onions and liver.
Good night, hot dogs that someone probably bought.
Good night Timber Rattlers 4 hits, 2 in the 2nd then 1 each in the 8th & 9th – another unfortunate drought.
Good night, eighth game in a row in which the opponents have scored first.
Good night, Cardinals farmhands.  See you next month. The Rattlers will to take another shot at your bubble to burst.
Good night, to the place on the other side of the bridge called Illinois.
The effort is still there so there is no need to get annoyed.
Good night, 18 straight days of games.  This team will rest on Tuesday. Then, be ready to kick tail and take down some names.
Good night, Quad Cities. Good night, Modern Woodmen Park.
Good night, radio booth with windows that don’t open. One day you will and that will be a lark.
Good night, tarp.  Good night, gentle readers.
Good night from a crazy blogger who may spend an off day building birdfeeders.

Lineup & Game Notes (July 11, 2011)

This is a photo of the cornfield that is planted in foul territory down the left field line in Modern Woodmen Park.

I heard a voice telling me, "If you something-something, he will something." It was kind of hard to hear.

Monday’s Lineup:
Nick Shaw – SS
Reggie Keen – CF
Mike Walker – 3B
Jason Rogers – DH
Cody Hawn – 1B
Joey Paciorek – C
Chad Stang – LF
Mike Brownstein – 2B
Franklin Romero – RF

Monday’s Starting Pitcher (Wisconsin):
Del Howell

Monday’s Starting Pitcher (Quad Cities):
Anthony Ferrara

Monday’s Game Notes:  RattlersGameNotesJuly11

Scheduled pitching matchups for West Michigan series:
WED: RHP Matt Miller (3-4, 4.89) v. RHP Kevin Eichron (7-3, 3.46)
THU: RHP Maverick Lasker (0-2, 6.89) v. LHP Kyle Ryan (4-7, 3.65)
FRI: RHP Brooks Hall (4-2, 4.14) v. LHP Alex Burgos (4-1, 2.15)

Bonus Photo of the Modern Woodmen Park Cornfield:

Ease whose what? Really!? I can't hear you!

Postgame Thoughts (July 10, 2011)

Empty

Quad Cities 6, Wisconsin 5 (11 innings)
Boxscore | Game Story

  • Apologies for taking so long to get this post up.  It’s taken me awhile to collect my thoughts.
  • Also, I went back and counted up all of the “walkoffs” (for and against) since 2004.
  • By the way it’s: 39 -For; 49 – Against
  • Since 2008 it’s: 13 – For; 28 – Against
  • I have also quantified my hate for Kane County.  The Cougars have walked the Rattlers off NINE times since 2004. The most of any team in the MWL.
  • Today was only the third time the Bandits have walked off the Rattlers.
  • Neither team came on the field until about 1:30 today. Both teams were back in their clubhouses watching the USA-Brazil Women’s World Cup game.
  • To the game: Jimmy Nelson 5IP, 7H, 3R, 6BB, 5K
  • In five innings, Nelson allowed 13 base runners. I have no idea how he only let in three runs.  Magic?
  • Well actually, Jason Rogers made one of the most amazing catches I have ever seen from anyone…much less anyone the size of Jason Rogers.  Also, Stang threw out a runner at the plate in the fifth. Four of the runners reached after there were two outs in an inning, and, um, there has to be another reason that doesn’t involve pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
  • But – unofficially – Nelson threw 92 pitches (53 strikes) in five innings.  He did not retire the side in order once today.
  • Greg Hopkins crushed a three-run homer to left in the second inning and the Rattlers took a 3-1 lead.
  • Then, it was the Badger basketball drought.  The next 18 batters were retired – 17 by Quad Cities starter Boone Whiting.
  • Included in that streak was a play that the umpires got right, but the way that they got it right was what got Matt Erickson frustrated.
  • BUT, before that play happened in the top of the sixth, there was a play that might have lit the fuse in the bottom of the fourth.
  • Runner at second one out for the River Bandits.  Colin Walsh sends a high chopper near second base. Mike Brownstein had to wait for it to come down, but his throw to first appeared to get Walsh by half a step.
  • HOWEVER, just before the ball got to first, Jonathan Rodriguez signaled safe. Rodriguez a player with the day off – to that point – was coaching first and decided to help out a bit. The base umpire called Walsh safe.  Matt Erickson came out to argue the call.
  • Instead of two out with nobody on base, runner at first one out and the Bandits eventually score twice to tie the game 3-3.
  • Fast forward to the top of the sixth. Nick Shaw sends a high pop up to shallow right-center.  Michael Swinson has a long run from center and Kolten Wong has a long run from second.  Swinson comes in an gets a glove on the ball, but it deflects away from him…right to Wong’s bare hand as Wong was sliding away to avoid contact…for a hit
  • Yes. It was originally called a hit by the base umpire.  Out comes Johnny Rodriguez, the Bandits manager.  He gets the base umpire to check with the plate umpire about the call.  After a brief discussion, the plate umpire rules Shaw out.
  • Erickson made a beeline from the third base box to the base umpire and he looked like he wasn’t going to leave until he got kicked out.  That’s what happened.
  • Again, the umpires made the right call. But, if the call is made correctly the first time there is no problem.
  • MIKE BROWNSTEIN!
  • Very nice eighth inning for Brownstein in his first game back off the DL.
  • He’s up with Paciorek at third and one out (After Paciorek TRIPLED, by the way).  Brownstein chopped a single over the drawn in infield for the run that put the Rattlers up 4-3.
  • Then, with smart base running and a lot of hustle, Brownstein took advantage of an indifferent throw to the cutoff man to score a run.
  • Brownstein was running on a hit-and-run single by Shaw.  The ball went to Oscar Tavares, who likes to show off his arm. Tavares had thoughts of throwing out Brownstein at third.  BUT, he forgot the ball as he overran it.  Brownstein made it to third and watched what was going to happen next.
  • Tavares showed a little too much disappointment at not being able to get Brownstein at third, so he lobbed the throw to the cutoff man about 30 feet away. Brownstein took off when the throw left Tavares’ hand.  Brownstein just beat the throw home for a 5-3 lead.
  • Alas, the lead did not last.
  • Brian Garman walked a batter with one out.  Then, Wong drove a ball just past Shaw at short on a hit-and-run.  The ball trickled into left-center and Wong hustled it into a double.
  • On comes Holle for the save opportunity.  Strikeout!
  • Then, Jonathan Rodriguez…remember him…comes on to pinch hit for Tavares.
  • The count was 3-1 and right before Holle made the pitch I said, “Be careful here.”
  • I should have said it louder.
  • Rodriguez hit the ball on a line off the wall in left so hard he only got a single out of it.
  • Only the second blown save of the season for Holle.
  • The Rattlers best chance in extra innings was in the 10th. Paciorek drew a one out walk and Franklin Romero went in to pinch run.
  • Romero has stolen two bases as a pinch runner this season. Alas, no third as he was caught 2-6.
  • It’s a good sign when Eric Marzec gets the first batter he faces in an inning. He gave up a single to the first batter he faced.
  • The 11th inning just built from there.  You could see it heading at the Rattlers like one of those big barges on the Mississippi River beyond the outfield fence.
  • Stolen base, walk, 3-4-1 grounder (well, maybe you couldn’t see that one coming) that moves the runners along, intentional walk to load the bases.
  • Fly ball to center was just deep enough to get the winning run home.
  • The benches were emptied in this game.
  • Quad Cities used 11 players & 3 pitchers.
  • The Rattlers used 12 players & 4 pitchers.
  • Colin Walsh played three positions in the game for Quad Cities: 3B, LF, & RF
  • Get ‘em tomorrow.
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