August 2011

Lineup & Game Notes (August 26, 2011)

Game tonight! Game Tonight!

Friday’s Game Notes:
Nick Shaw – SS
TJ Mittelstaedt – 2B
Cody Hawn – 1B
Nick Ramirez – DH
Chad Stang – LF
Brandon Macias – 2B
Reggie Keen – CF
Joey Paciorek – C
Franklin Romero, Jr. – RF

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Brooks Hall

Kane County Starting Pitcher:
Santiago Garrido

Friday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesAugust26

Postgame Thoughts (August 25, 2011)

Talk it out. Talk it out.

Rattlers 5, Cougars 2
Boxscore | Game Story

  • Matt Miller looked good on Thursday. Oh, there were spots where he was not hitting his spots, but I think that he can claim about four broken bats.
  • He’s got good stuff and it has been exciting to watch him develop over the season.
  • Miller scattered seven hits, recorded six strikeouts, walked two, and hit two.
  • And it wasn’t just that he was getting strikeouts.  It was WHEN he got the strikeouts, most notably the two in the fifth inning.
  • The Cougars had just tied the game. Geulin Beltre had just stole second and went to third on an error.  There was only one out.
  • Miller struck out the #3 and #4 batters in the Kane County order to end the inning and keep the game tied.
  • Casey Medlen actually gave up a run on, but it was on a two-out RBI in the top of the ninth inning.  Didn’t walk anyone.  He struck out three.
  • On the offensive side, TJ Mittelstaedt walked, stole a base, and scored on the Jason Rogers single in the fourth.  That was stolen base #25 for the Dirtbag.
  • Reggie Keen with a big hit to drive in the run that put the Rattlers up 2-1.
  • Alert base running by Brandon Macias.  He scored from third when a pickoff throw to first was dropped and barely trickled into foul territory.
  • Rafael Neda ends an 0-for-15 start with the Rattlers in a big way.  His 2-run single in the sixth gave the Rattlers a 5-1 lead.
  • So…What do the Rattlers do after beating Kane County?
  • Settle in for the show, of course:

Monkeys? Dressed as Cowboys? Must be in the front rooooow.

Lineup & Game Notes (August 25, 2011)

Notice anything different?

Thursday’s Lineup:
Nick Shaw – SS
TJ Mittelstaedt – RF
Cody Hawn – DH
Jason Rogers – LF
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Rafael Neda – C
Brandon Macias – 2B
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Reggie Keen – CF

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Matt Miller

Kane County Starting Pitcher:
Leondy Perez

Thursday’s game notes: RattlersGameNotesAugust25

Postgame Thoughts (August 24, 2011)

Eric Arnett - photo credit Ann Mollica/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Kane County 4, Wisconsin 1
Boxscore | Game Story

  • Well, shoot.
  • First, we will not have highlights the rest of the season.  The computer with the capability to do that task in the control room, um, stopped working.  Sorry.
  • To the game:
  • How different is Wednesday’s game if the throw from Arnett to second is on target in the top of the first inning.  Double play, two outs, none on…
  • Arnett’s velocity was up, his slider looked as good as I’ve seen it, and he retired 11 in a row two different times.
  • No walks, two hit batsmen, and eight strikeouts.
  • Unofficially he had 99 pitches (65 strikes) and deserved better than he got.
  • I know the game doesn’t owe anybody anything, but Joey Paciorek is owed at least a double and a game-tying RBI at some point before the end of the season because of what happened in the bottom of the seventh.
  • Nick Ramirez doubled to start the inning with the Cougars up 2-1.  Ramirez was still at second with two outs.  Then, Paciorek lined a pitch to the gap in right-center.
  • Right fielder Geulin Beltre ran over, reached up for a back handed catch…and  made one fantastic catch.
  • Dang it.
  • Then, in the eighth Arnett gets the first two outs, gives up a single and a hit batsman, and leaves the game.
  • Wild pitch, two-run single, 4-1 lead.
  • Heckfire.
  • Oh, three more hits and two more stolen bases for TJ Mittelstaedt.
  • For informational purposes only: Clinton won tonight.  Kane County and the LumberKings are both 33-25 in the second half.
  • The Rattlers are 24-34 in the second half.  That puts them at nine games behind the teams that are tied for the playoff spots in the Western Division.
  • There are 12 games left in the regular season.
  • One of those games is Thursday night with a performance by Team Ghost Riders…I think this video will give you the best idea of what the Cowboy Monkeys are all about:


Lineup & Game Notes (August 24, 2011)

Back home again at Time Warner Cable Field

Wednesday’s Lineup:
Nick Shaw – SS
TJ Mittelstaedt – 2B
Cody Hawn – DH
Jason Rogers – LF
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Chad Stang – RF
Brandon Macias – 3B
Joey Paciorek – C
Franklin Romero, Jr. – CF

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Eric Arnett

Kane County Starting Pitcher:
Jason Adam

Wednesday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesAugust24

Postgame Thoughts (August 23, 2011)

This would be a much better picture of the last out if there wasn't a screen...and if I were a better photographer

Rattlers 8, Bees 4
Boxscore | Game Story

  • The Rattlers were up 7-0 and they took advantage of what the Bees gave them.
  • Nick Shaw scored three runs from the leadoff spot
  • TJ Mittelstaedt had three hits and scored three runs from the number two spot
  • Mittelstaedt (4) and Shaw (6) turned a key 4-6-3 double play in the third inning against a couple
  • Rafael Neda could have had three hits on Tuesday.  But, there were three very nice pick and throws by Burlington infielders
  • Which is weird…considering they had SIX errors in the game.
  • By the way, Burlington has 176 errors on the season and they are nine games over .500
  • Jimmy Nelson started with five scoreless innings, but three straight hits and two grounders in the sixth gave the Bees three runs.
  • Then, a walk and a single put runners on second and third with no outs in the bottom of the seventh.
  • Nelson got the first out.  Then, Casey Medlen – stop me if you’ve heard this before – came on and threw strikes.
  • Medlen struck out both batters he faced and the Rattlers maintained their 7-3 lead.
  • Cody Hawn drove in a run in the eighth with a ground rule double.  He knocked in two in the game on Tuesday.  He now has eight in seven games since returning from the disabled list.
  • Alan Williams was less sharp than he had been in past appearances.  Gave up a run in the eighth and walked three in the ninth.
  • Adrian Rosario relieved Williams with the bases loaded and an 8-4 lead and two outs.  Then, he fell behind Crisotomo 2-0.
  • Then, he got the popup that is the blurry photograph above for the final out of the game.
  • It was a very warm and humid night in Burlington, but the bus is cool, and it shouldn’t be that long before the team is home.
  • The last seven home games on the schedule are August 24-30.
  • See what is going on during the homestand right here.
  • Signing off for the night.  See you all at Time Warner Cable Field.

Lineup & Game Notes (August 23, 2011)

Center field view of Community Field.

Tuesday’s Lineup:
Nick Shaw – SS
TJ Mittelstaedt – 2B
Cody Hawn – DH
Jason Rogers – LF
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Chad Stang – LF
Rafael Neda – C
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Reggie Keen – CF

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Jimmy Nelson

Burlington Starting Pitcher:
Nate Long

Tuesday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesAugust23

Postgame Thoughts (August 22, 2011)

Unfortunately for the Rattlers, Burlington shortstop Yordy Cabrera played like Asdrubal Cabrera on this play.

Boxscore | Game Story

  • We’ve talked a bit lately about the Rattlers low average with the bases loaded.  You can’t fault Rafael Neda for not cashing in a bases loaded opportunity in the first inning on Monday.
  • Neda was absolutely ROBBED by shortstop Yordy Cabrera after a great at bat.  Neda fouled off four 3-2 pitches with two out and the bases loaded. He cracked one back through the middle and Cabrera made a lunging grab, kept his feet, spun, and got Neda at first with a perfect throw for the third out of the inning.
  • Nuts.
  • Umpires got a call right after a discussion in the bottom of the first.  Ryan Pineda went out of the baseline about 20 feet from first to avoid a tag attempt by Nick Ramirez.  He was initially ruled safe by the base umpire.  The plate umpire overruled the call after Matt Erickson came out to calmly discuss the call.
  • Bottom of the second – Ugh.
  • Chad Stang made a great running catch near the warning track in left-center with runners on first and second…for the second out.
  • But Stang appeared to think it was the third out, because he kept jogging with the ball.  Then, he realized it was only the second out and he dropped the ball on the exchange to his throwing hand.  John Nester, the Burlington catcher, had tagged from second and scored without a play by the time the ball was returned to the infield.  Also, Royce Consigli went from first to second on the play.
  • That play made it 2-0.
  • The next play had Consigli break for third.  Brandon Macias went to cover the base and Tyreace House smacked a grounder right to where Macias had been playing.
  • It could be argued that the score should have only been 1-0 after the second inning.
  • Nick Ramirez got the Rattlers on the scoreboard in the third with a sacrifice fly.
  • But that bottom of the fourth inning…It was like watching Dave Hester win all of the locker auctions on Storage Wars and wind up with an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, a lost Da Vinci masterpiece, and a pristine first edition of Action Comics #1
  • In case you don’t watch Storage Wars…That’s bad.
  • Del walked two with one out and was relieved by STOSH!, who hit the first batter he faced to load the bases.
  • Grounder to second, but there was a weird in-between bounce that Mittelstaedt had to wait on, so he couldn’t turn two to end the inning.
  • It really would have been nice to turn two, but it was a tough, tough play, especially with Crisotomo running.
  • Then, the Crisotomo stole second and drew a throw. The runner from third broke for the plate and scored.
  • The throw bounced, but appeared to have him beat…but, Neda couldn’t hang on.
  • Cody Hawn doubled in two runs with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to get Ramirez to the plate as the tying run.
  • Off the bat, it sounded like a broken bat and I thought it was be a flyout to medium right.  However, the ball carried to the track and Crisotomo had to make the catch a few steps shy of the wall.
  • Nuts…again.
  • Something to keep your eye on in the boxscore.  In the first inning, Nick Shaw was clearly hit by a pitch on a 3-0 count.  The umpire held up his arms to signal play dead.  But, it was ruled as a walk in the boxscore.
  • If it stays that way, Shaw will have three walks on the night and 72 on the season.  If not, two walks tonight and 71 on the season
  • One thing that won’t change is Shaw’s two runs in Monday’s game.  He’s scored 73 runs this season.  He’s scored almost 14% (13.7% to be almost exact) of the Timber Rattlers runs this season.
  • Is that good?  I think that’s good.
  • Jimmy Nelson goes tomorrow to try for the split in this series and end the road trip on a high note.

Lineup & Game Notes (August 22, 2011)

View of players going to work from the top of the dugout at Community Field

Monday’s Lineup:
Nick Shaw – SS
T.J. Mittelstaedt – 2B
Cody Hawn – DH
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Chad Stang – LF
Rafael Neda – C
Reggie Keen – CF
Brandon Macias – 3B
Franklin Romero, Jr. – RF

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Del Howell

Burlington Starting Pitcher:
Jonathan Joseph

Monday’s Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesAugust22

Postgame Thoughts (August 21, 2011)

The last out

Timber Rattlers 5, Bees 4
Boxscore | Game Story

  • Shhhhhh.  Brooks Hall has very quietly won seven games.
  • Today he had five strikeouts, no walks.  A couple of missteps, but allow me to use “Pitchability” and “Gumption”
  • Gumption came into play for Hall in the third inning.  Wade Kirkland did not appreciate getting hit by a 2-2 pitch.  Hall did not appreciate the way that Kirkland showed that he did not appreciate getting hit.  Words were exchanged.
  • Wiry Casey Medlen struck out five in 2-2/3 innings, including the first four batters he faced.
  • Medlen throws hard, mixes in the soft stuff, and throws strikes.
  • I know, I make it sound easier than it is, but sometimes it’s that simple.
  • There is a discussion about an E-5 on a bunt by Chad Stang in the first inning possibly being changed to a hit.
  • I seriously doubt there will be change, since if it is ruled a hit (as it probably should have been in the first place) that will make it three earned runs against Blake Hassebrock instead of one earned run against Hassebrock.
  • Reggie Keen with four hits today.  He has two four hit games this season for the Rattlers.
  • Cody Hawn with a couple of key RBI in the game on Sunday.  He drove in a run (the first run of the game) with a single through the drawn in infield in the first inning.  He drove in the go ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.
  • Which leads me to my first question that I am going to ask because I don’t know.  Why are teams bringing the infield in with a runner at third in the FIRST inning?
  • The Rattlers scored three runs in the first inning on Sunday.  Does that inning – and maybe the game – turn out differently if the infield is back and that is an RBI grounder instead of an RBI single?  Just a thought exercise.
  • The Rattlers had the bases loaded and no outs in the fourth inning.  They did not score to add to their 3-2 lead.
  • I only bring this up because of a discussion that Dusty Rhodes and I had on the bus to the ballpark in Peoria late last week and maybe I can hid this little stat in the midst of the post: The Rattlers are 19-for-111 (.171) with the bases loaded this season.
  • Flash forward to the sixth Romero on second and Shaw on first with no outs.  Mittelstaedt sends a flyball to medium left-center.  Romero had started for third.  Rushed back to second to tag and took off for third when the center fielder took it easy on a throw in to second base.  Romero’s base running gets him on third and he scores the go ahead run on the sac fly by Hawn.
  • A shaky ninth inning, but the Rosario pitched around an error and a walk…
  • …You know what, that wasn’t that bad of a walk.  Josh Whitaker was on as a pinch-hitter representing the winning run…not a bad walk at all when you are facing a guy hitting .324 with 16 homers and 64 RBI.
  • Save number four for Rosario and say good by to that three-game losing streak.
  • Go get the Bees on Monday night.
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