Nine after 9 for May 21, 2012

Kane County 4
Timber Rattlers 7
Boxscore | Linescore

Last pitch at home until June 6

  1. Welcome to the Midwest League, Will West.  It was pointed out by Kyle from Brew Crew Ball that West is the first teenager to pitch for the Timber Rattlers since Nick Bucci in 2010.  I had a few questions about his velocity today and – to tell the truth – I couldn’t get an accurate read on speed.  He was pitching to parts of the plate to which the radar gun was blocked by the hitter, the umpire, or the catcher.  I did ask if anyone saw any readings for him and they said 88.  He fooled hitters with his curve ball and mixed it up a bit today.  Five innings and two earned runs isn’t a bad debut for a kid facing a team that just last week hung nine and 11 runs on the Rattlers pitching staff
  2. Jason Rogers is locked in.  Scalded a triple and a double in his first two at bats.  Then, with the score 5-3 in the seventh inning, two outs, and a runner on first, the Cougars just refused to pitch to him.  Four pitches that were nowhere near the strike zone and Rogers took them all.  Rogers went 6-for-10 with two walks and a hit batsman in the three game series against Kane County.  Locked in.
  3. The way the wind was blowing today I didn’t think that it would be possible to hit a home run today. Happy to say that Ben McMahan proved me wrong.    McMahan was 2-for-3 with three RBI today.  He has bumped his average up to .311.  McMahan was hitting .200 when the month started.  Keep going.
  4. Yadiel Rivera had a quiet game today, but that’s okay. He singled in his first at bat to extend his hitting streak to seven games and struck out twice.  Defensively, look at the sweet double play he starts.  That was in the first inning after West walked the first batter he faced in the game.  Few things can calm a pitcher down more than a smoothly turned double play.
  5. Jacob Barnes needed no such calming down.  He went three innings, retired the first eight batters he faced, a brought it at 91-92.  This was his first game since May 11 and the most important thing about Barnes in this outing was that he did not walk anyone.  Last year, he struck out 43 and walked six in 29-2/3 innings with Helena.  Before today, he walked 11 and struck out ten in 19-2/3 innings.  Today was a good step forward for Barnes.
  6. Early runs alert.  The Rattlers scored three runs in the bottom of the first today.  They have outscored opponents 37-12 in the first inning.
  7. Walla Watch.  Max Walla had a couple of tough at bats today with two strikeouts against Aaron Brooks.  But, in the seventh with a runner at second and two outs, he got the job done with a single on an 0-1 pitch to drive home Rafael Neda from second base.  RBI number 11 for Walla.
  8. I have been looking at my media guide and my own personal notes for the last few hours and keep saying, “That can’t be right.   But, it is.  Today, the Timber Rattlers completed a three game sweep of the Kane County Cougars at home.  This was the first ever sweep of the Cougars at home in a three or four game series.  Kane County has been coming to Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium since it was just Fox Cities Stadium in 1995.  I can’t believe that it has never happened before today.  But, there it is.  History made today.
  9. Speaking of history: September 5, 2005.  The Timber Rattlers ended the 2005 season at 76-63.  That was the last time the Timber Rattlers were anywhere near eleven games above .500…From the end of the 2005 season to the start of the 2012 season, the Rattlers played 830 games.  They were a combined 346-484 or 138 games under .500.  Most of you know that I am a big history buff.  The 2012 Timber Rattlers are going a long way to erasing the last six years. Keep going, guys.  Highlights:

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