Nine after 9 (well after 9) for May 8, 2012


For highlights and the links to the boxscore, head down one post.

  1. I mentioned this on twitter, but in case you didn’t see it: Drew Gagnon will be back in his normal spot in the rotation.  He will make the start at Kane County on Sunday.
  2. Chadwin Stang busted out of his slump.  He had been 1-for-21 before today.  Then, he walked three times, doubled once, and singled.  Plus, he actually bunted for a single today!
  3. BUT… Here is the spot:  Stang is at second and Brandon Macias is at first with one out.  Lefty Max Walla is at the plate.  The Kernels brought lefty Stephen Tromblee in to face Walla.  Catcher Abel Baker (who had better be in the Minors Moniker Madness this year) is behind the plate and he had thrown out about 49% of would be base stealers on the season.  Stang tried to steal third.  He was out by a lot.  Win Probability Calculator time.  1st & 2nd with one out in the 7th puts the Rattlers at 42.23% chance of winning.  Runner at second with two out in the 7th puts the Rattlers at a 30.97% chance of winning.  On top of that, if Walla strikes out and Stang stayed put.  Right-handed batter Jason Rogers would be coming to the plate to face the lefty because there was no one else warming up in the Cedar Rapids bullpen.
  4. Speaking of bunts.  The Rattlers bunted twice in the seventh and twice in the eighth.  All four times were sacrifice bunts, but two went for hits. One was an unsuccessful sacrifice bunt that turned into an out at third.  The last was a bunt with runners at first and third with no outs in the top of the eighth.  It was not a suicide or safety squeeze it was just a bunt to move a runner into scoring position.
  5. Let’s run that last play through the Win Probability Calculator.  First and third with no outs in the bottom of the eighth inning with the Rattlers down a run.  At that moment, the Rattlers win probability was 63.15%.  After the bunt moved the runner to second and set up a second and third with one out, the Rattlers win probability dropped to 53.80%.
  6. I can understand the bunts though.  The Rattlers hit into three double plays in the game in key spots.
  7. The Kernels also tried a bunt today.  It was unsuccessful.  In fact, it was almost a carbon copy of the Rattlers unsuccessful sacrifice bunt in the seventh.  The bunt popped into the air, the fielder made a diving attempt and had the ball in his mitt, but could not hold on for the out.  The ball rolled to a different defender and the runner was an easy out on a force.  (In the Case of the Rattlers bunt in the 7th, a 5-2-6 putout at third.  For the Kernels bunt in the 9th, a 1-2-6 putout at second.
  8. Tip of the cap to the Rattlers pitchers today.  Shackelford pitched well, but made two mistakes with two outs in the second and lost it for a bit in the fourth.  Michael Strong, who was making his Timber Rattlers debut, pitched three scoreless – and for the velocity mavens out there – touched 92 once and 91 a few more times in his outing.  Stephen Peterson was making his first appearance since May 2 in the final two innings.
  9. This post is a little late tonight because I went to see The Avengers tonight.  I’ve seen enough Joss Whedon to know that I should have seen it coming – and I am not talking about the slo-mo power walk because you just knew that was going to happen.  But, I got caught up in the movie and it distracted me from the inevitable.  I won’t spoil it.  Just go see it.  It was great….Plus, they had trailers for the new Spider-Man and Batman movies.  Now, I can’t wait for those movies to come out.  I’m 12. Sue me.

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