Nine after 9 for April 28, 2012

Bowling Green 6
Wisconsin 0
Boxscore | Game Story


I just thought that this was a cool picture with the blur of the ball heading to the plate.

  1. Q.) How do you turn a double play on a pop up on the infield?  A.) With a heck of fake by someone.  Mark Williams was trying to pitch out of a first and third with no outs situation in the top of the first inning.  He got a strikeout for the first out.  The runner at first – Drew Vettleson – took off on a 1-1 pitch and Jeff Malm popped the ball up near second base.  Someone bluffed Vettleson into thinking that the ball went to the outfield and ran to second, but stopped when he noticed that the runner at third was still standing on the base.  It took him a second to realize what was happening, but he charged back to first. By that time, Greg Hopkins had caught the ball and fired to first for the double play.
  2. Mark Williams definitely deserved a better fate tonight.  He retired ten in a row at on time.  His velocity was around 88-89, but he spotted the ball and mixed speeds well.  However, the defense that helped him get out of the first and second innings with double plays, let him down in the seventh.
  3. Before we get to that, let’s take a look at the best scoring opportunity of the night for Wisconsin.  Bases loaded, one out, Greg Hopkins at the plate.  Fly ball to center.  Vettelson made up for his base running miscue by throwing home and beating Walla beat ten feet.  Walla’s only chance was to try to knock the ball loose.  It was a good, clean collision, but Alejandro Segovia held on for the out.  The Rattlers did not get another runner to third until the ninth inning.
  4. By the way, Hopkins singled back in the second inning to move his hitting streak to eight games.
  5. Williams pitched 6-1/3 innings without allowing a run on Saturday.  When you add the performance by Matt Miller (6IP) and Drew Gagnon (8IP) to the scoreless innings from William, Rattlers starting pitching went 20-1/3 consecutive innings without allowing a run.
  6. It should have been at least 20-2/3.  An uncharacteristic error by Yadiel Rivera allowed Todd Glaesmann to reach in the seventh.  First he bobbled an easy grounder.  Then, he rushed a throw against a slower runner.  The next batter lined a ball down the right field line and Walla gambled to make a diving catch.  He lost the gamble and the RBI triple knocked Williams out of the game.  Tyler Cravy came in and gave up an RBI double to let Williams run score.  Williams with a quality start, but a loss.
  7. Here is a Jayson Stark/Tim Kurkjian type stat that you can take for what it’s worth.  The Rattlers have outscored opponents 26-5 in the first inning.  They have been outscored 84-56 in all other innings.
  8. Another one that can be based off that one: Wisconsin has scored almost 32% of their runs in the first inning.
  9. In the first ten games of the season, Rattlers catchers were 4-for-24 (.167) in attempting to throw out opposing base runners on stolen base attempts.  In the last 13 games, they have thrown out 8 of 20 would-be thieves (.400).


My gripe of the day. I just don’t understand the strategy of intentionally walking a guy in the ninth to load the bases, when your already down 2-0 and haven’t been scoring runs late. If the game was tied or within one, I might see it as a viable option. I would like to see the relievers who make their bed, try and work out of these situations (such as guys on 2nd and 3rd with one out) as opposed to bringing in another reliever to give up hits and the previous reliever getting hit with all the earned runs.

Tyler Cravy had 41 pitches before that intentional walk. If he goes deeper into that inning, he would probably not be able to come back to pitch on Monday – if the team needs him.

Also, I didn’t see when Shackelford started warming up in the bullpen, but I am guessing that the intentional walk was there to allow him to get loose in the bullpen.

As to the strategy, I don’t have a problem with it. You had the top of the order coming up in the bottom of the ninth: Stang, Macias, & Walla. If you get out of the top of the 9th with the double play, get one guy on and you have a chance to at least tie.

Granted, it was a tough night offensively, but that walk was the was the call.

You make some valid points but I have noticed that on several occasions this year the bullpen call is very late and the guys down there don’t have adequate time to warm up before coming in, especially when the temps are in the low 40’s and the wind blowing. Cravy and Shackelford didn’t get enough warmup time in my opinion. I would think that the bullpen is a few degrees colder than the dugout. I did see Shackelford get up when Ericson went to the mound, but the 4 pitch IBB was quick and he probably didn’t get more than 5-8 pitches in, before entering the game. Just something I noticed that could be adjusted by warming guys up sooner. I won’t get started on my second gripe, which is base-running. I will say that we have had some timely hitting from the struggling guys, which is good to see. I would love to see these guys make the playoffs.

So would I.

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