Nine after 9 for May 23, 2012
The Rattlers were headed for a nice, simple, boring 5-2 win tonight. Then, things got hectic. I think that this team’s motto should be Facilis Stolidusat (Based on my muddily recollected Latin that should be: Easy is Boring). Tonight’s Nine after 9 will start with a look at a few things from the eighth inning on that caused chaos. Before we get going a few notes. Matt Miller settled in, retired 11 in a row to finish up his seven innings, and picked up a much-deserved win despite giving up seven hits in to the first 16 batters he faced. Chadwin Stang was one of my Chinese Fortune Cookie Lucky Number Picks to Click and he had a big two-run single along with a pair of outfield assists. The Rattlers committed four errors – three by outfielders – and picked up three total outfield assists. Shhhhhh. Yadiel Rivera lined a double down the third base line on a 1-2 pitch and has a nine-game hitting streak. Get ready for the Chaos!
- In the top of the eighth inning, Nick Ramirez hit his second double of the game. Max Walla came on to pinch run for Ramirez. Ben McMahan moved him over with a grounder. Parker Berberet got Walla in with a sacrifice fly for a 5-2 lead. When the Rattlers went back out for the bottom of the eighth they made some defensive changes. Tommy Toledo came into the game in relief of Miller, Walla to RF, McMahan to LF, and Jason Rogers to 1B with Ramirez out of the game. The official scorer went thought Walla went into LF and McMahan stayed in RF. Chaos Meter at 53%
- The first play of the bottom of the eighth inning was a fly ball to left and McMahan got turned around on it, but managed to get to the ball in time. He had the ball in his glove…and dropped it. The scoreboard operator put it up as a hit. The official scorer marked it as a double, but didn’t bother to tell anyone over the internal PA. The next batter doubled to drive in a run to make the score 5-3 and Toledo’s scoreless streak ended at 15-1/3 innings. Chaos Meter at 65%
- Toledo retired the next three hits and the Rattlers lead stayed at 5-3 when Wisconsin did not score in the top of the ninth. Seth Harvey relieved Toledo for the bottom of the ninth inning and walked Virgil Hill with one out. The Rattlers chose not to hold Hill on at first base. He took off for second and took the base on a defensive indifference. Chaos Meter at 71%
- David Medina lined a sharp single to right – where Walla fielded the ball cleanly – and River Bandits manager Luis Agauayo put up the stop sign on Hill. HOWEVER, Hill rounded third, barely avoided crashing into his manager (Hill did this by going to the outside of his manager who was 15 feet down and 8 feet off the line) and scored without a play. Why without a play? Because as Walla went to throw the ball in, it slipped out of his hand and rolled into short right-center to allow Medina to take second base and put the tying run into scoring position with one out. Chaos Meter at 89%
- Pinch runner Casey Rasmus takes over at second base and moves to third base on the very next pitch when Harvey uncorks a wild pitch. Chaos Meter at 93%.
- Harvey walks the batter at the plate – Roberto Reyes – on four pitches and the winning run is on base. Chaos Meter at 95%
- Harvey gets the second out with a strike out and gets ahead of Matt Williams 0-2. Chaos Meter at 91%
- Harvey tried to get Williams to chase something in the dirt, but Williams lays off the pitch AND Reyes steals second base uncontested to put the winning run in scoring position. Chaos Meter at 95%.
- Williams hits a high bouncer to the mound. Chaos Meter at 83%. Harvey bobbles. Chaos Meter at 94%. Harvey’s throw to first sails and Rogers has to make a leaping attempt to catch the ball! Chaos Meter at 99%. Williams arrives just as Rogers comes down to tag him and there is a collision! Chaos Meter: Above Classification! Rogers holds on to the ball and Williams is out! Rattlers Win! Chaos Meter broken. Say what you will about the 2012 Timber Rattlers, but you have got to include that they thrive on chaos. Also, they have won five in a row. Also, since Beloit lost, they are now two games up on the Snappers in the MWL Western Division. What a way to start a road trip.