Nine after 9 for May 30, 2012

Wisconsin 10
Cedar Rapids 2
Boxscore | Game Story

It was late in the evening and they blew that room away.

  1. The best teams have the shortest memories.  There are teams that take a couple of days to recover from a loss like Tuesday.  Lose a heart-breaker in 14-innings on get away day get in at 3am and play that night.  I just have to go back to last year. Remember the Memorial Day loss in Kane County last year?  The Rattlers scored three in the top of the eleventh, but lost when the Cougars scored four in the bottom of the eleventh.  Then, they get on the bus, go to Bowling Green, lose two more games before salvaging the final game in the three game series with the Hot Rods.  That didn’t happen tonight.
  2. The possibility of that happening was gone in the first five batters.  They scored five runs in the first inning.  Wisconsin has now outscored opponents in the first inning 44-14.
  3. Wisconsin knocked around Austin Wood pretty good tonight and the last thing the Kernels needed was to go to their bullpen in the first inning.  But, they did because of this:

    …starter Austin Wood (2-4) was removed after two-thirds of an inning and five runs against. The parent Angels have new pitch-count philosophies for their younger arms. They are limited to a certain number of pitches per game, as usual, but also a certain number of pitches per inning.

    That particular 36-pitch limit hit Wood last night and forced his removal. Same thing happened in the first inning last week to Cam Bedrosian in a game at Beloit.

    “It puts stress on your arm, these long innings like that,” Burke said. “For a younger pitcher, that’s stress on their arm.”

  4. The biggest hit of that first inning belonged to Adrian Williams.  If Williams is retired by the Frank DeJiulio, the Rattlers leave the bases loaded and are up 3-0, a nice start.  By smacking a two-run single to center, Williams makes it 5-0 and it’s a great start.
  5. Chad Thompson pitched very well tonight.  He kept his pitch count down and worked through six innings.  Yes, he struck out seven in each of his last two starts.  But, he only went four innings in each of his last two starts.  The only blemish tonight was an unearned run in the second.  Two strikeouts and a very confident start for him.
  6. I am running out of ways to describe the offense of Greg Hopkins.  Three more hits, two more RBI, and a laser beam of a home run that wound up in someone’s front yard.  He leads the team in homers now with seven and – on the strength of going 16-for-35 on this road trip – Hopkins leads the Midwest League batting race with a .332 average.  By the way, that 16-for-35 on this road trip includes on 0-for-4 in the first game.  That puts Hopkins on a seven game hitting streak and he is 16-for-31.  Broadcaster math tells me that would be above .500.
  7. It was a good day to be Mark Williams.  His alma mater wins twice to claim their second consecutive NCAA Division III College World Series Championship and he works three solid innings for his second save.
  8. Good news from Quad Cities.  The River Bandits destroyed Beloit 20-3 tonight.  If you thought five runs in the first was impressive, how about twelve runs in the first?  Beloit’s loss and Wisconsin’s win means the Rattlers have a three game lead on the Snappers in the division with 17 games remaining.
  9. The Rattlers won 10-2.  But, they could have had a lot more.  Brandon Macias got robbed by Kaleb Cowart in the first inning with a leaping grab of a high bouncer ticketed for the left field corner with two on and two out.  In the second, – as I put on twitter: Wow. If Cowart robbed @Cias12, Ryan Jones just mugged @maxwalla and drove away in Walla’s carDon’t believe me?  The plays are back-to-back on the Kernels highlights starting at the one minute mark:

    That diving play by the left fielder Hairgrove later in the highlights also took a hit away from Macias.  I just couldn’t get excited about that one after the catch that Jones made.  Walla got the last laugh on Jones and the Kernels.  He crushed a homer to right in the fourth. No one could take that thing away from him.

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