Nine after 9 for May 12, 2012

Rattlers 2
Cougars 1
FINAL – 11 Innings
Boxscore | Game Story

That’s Greg Hopkins charging in from first base on the bunt attempt in the 11th.

  1. Matt Miller tonight: 6IP, 4H, R, 0ER, 0BB, K.  Matt Miller, Last four starts: 25IP, 16H, 7R, 6ER, 5BB, 16 K.  The movement on the fastball was there tonight but the offspeed stuff is really coming around for him.
  2. He is in control, too.  In one full season and six weeks, Miller has made 29 appearances – 28 starts – for the Rattlers.  Here is a list of the times he has walked no batters in an appearance: 6/27/11 over 1.2IP at Peoria, 8/30/11 over 6.0IP v. Cedar Rapids, and Saturday night in Kane County.
  3. Chadwin Stang made an amazing catch in the first inning Jorge Bonifacio.  It was a full out dive to rob Bonifacio of an RBI and at least a double.  Pitchers need plays like that.
  4. Tyler Roberts with a nice at bat to get Ben McMahan home from second in the fifth inning for a 1-0 lead.  The Kane County defense was shaded a bit like the Cubs were on Friday night when Corey Hart his the game winning single in the bottom of the thirteenth.  Not as severely – the second baseman wasn’t on the left side of second base – but there was still a hole and Roberts found it and the Rattlers had their first run.
  5. If he had it to do over again, I think that Greg Hopkins would have run the ball in to the mound or thrown to the plate instead of throwing behind the runner to third base in the bottom of the fifth.  The situation would have been first and third with two outs instead of a run in on the wild throw by Macias.
  6. Welcome back, Tommy Toledo.  He had not pitched since May 2, but he was there on Saturday when the Rattlers needed him.  He tossed four innings, walked two, struck out one…and that’s all.
  7. A couple of notes on Macias.  He absolutely crushed a ball in the top of the eighth and the ball did not carry.  It just stopped.  It was a cooler night down here…probably 58…, but I thought he hit it.  Then, he made a great pick on a hard grounder in the bottom of the ninth in a tough spot.  First and second with one out and Orlando Calixte at the plate.  Here are a few notes on the  back story of that play: Data point A.) Calixte had a walkoff hit for the Cougars on Friday night in their comeback win over Clinton. Data point B.) Macias had missed a similar grounder in the bottom of the ninth inning in a game at South Bend back on April 22. Data point C.) The Rattlers have lost a lot – I mean A LOT – of really, really, really tough games on walkoffs  here in Kane County in the past.  But, Toledo executed the pitch he wanted and Macias started a text book 5-4-3 double play to send the game to extra innings.  Let’s go to the Win Probability Inquirer to show how big that play was.  By turning that double play, Macias turned a 69.87% chance of the Cougars winning the game into a 50-50 proposition.  That’s a pretty big play.
  8. The Rattlers rally in the top of the 11th was all about getting a bat on the ball and being patient.  Jason Rogers smacked a single through the middle on an 0-1 pitch.  Nick Ramirez drew a four pitch walk. Greg Hopkins with the butcher boy/slash bunt play to find a hole in the defense to load the bases with no outs. Then, it was up to Ben McMahan to get the run in from third.  You can’t do that by striking out…At least, I’m pretty sure…Where was I? Oh, right putting the ball in play.  When the team got back to the hotel I found myself waiting for the elevator in the lobby with manager Matt Erickson.  He noted that the Cougars have the worst defense in the league…It’s true…It’s darn true…Their fielding percentage after the game is at .953 and the bobble by Mateo that let Rogers score the go ahead run was the 64th of the season by the Cougars.  Make them make a play.
  9. Seth Harvey must need a couple of base runners on to focus.  Tonight was his thirteenth appearance of the season.  He has retired the first batter he has faced seven times.  He has allowed at least one base runner in 12 of his 13 games.  The only game that he retired all the hitters he faced was on May 9.  That was the game the Rattlers led Quad Cities 8-5 in the top of the ninth inning and there were already two runners on with one out.  Harvey struck out both batters in that game.  On Saturday against the Cougars it was walk, stolen base, single.  Then, K, K, 3U to close it out.  Not that I’m complaining.  I don’t get as much exercise as I should.  Need to get my heart rate up there somehow.  Final thought on Harvey: Strikeout to walk ratio: 22:3.  He’s been getting into trouble, but he has shown that he has the stuff to get himself out of trouble.

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