May 2012

Lineup and game notes for May 21, 2012

All games should be played on days like today.

Today’s Lineup:
Brandon Macias – 3B
Max Walla – RF
Jason Rogers – DH
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Greg Hopkins – 2B
Ben McMahan – LF
Chadwin Stang – CF
Rafael Neda – C
Yadiel Rivera – SS

Wisconsin’s Starting Pitcher:
Will West

Kane County’s Starting Pitcher:
Aaron Brooks

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesMay212012

Cougars Game Notes:
Kane Count Game Notes May 21

Timber Rattlers Roster Moves:
RHP Jacob Barnes activated from the Disabled List for today
RHP Kevin Shackelford placed on the DL retroactive to May 17

Updated Timber Rattlers Roster:
Timber_Rattlers_Roster_052112

Follow t0day’s game…
With the Radio:
AM1280, WNAM
With Internet Audio:
WNAM internet feed (free)
With Internet Video:
MiLB.TV (subscribers only)
With Cable: Sports 32 (Time Warner Cable subscribers only)

 

Nine after 9 for May 20, 2012

Kane County 6
Wisconsin 7
Boxscore | Game Story

Game winning run is about to score…

  1. Was there ever a doubt? Not according to Stephen Peterson:

  2. Oh, you want actual game insight?  How about this.  It was damn windy out there today:

    That would be out to left. Way out to left.

  3. David Goforth was in and out of trouble today and did a nice job keeping the Cougars to just two runs.  He walked four, struck out three, and was charged with a balk.  Goforth was in trouble just as much in the 2-2/3 innings he pitched at Kane County last Tuesday and he gave up eight runs.  Today was a different story.  But, 82 pitches is too many for five innings.
  4. If there is any doubt about the wind blown-ed-ness (If the Rattlers are in first place this late in a half, then, by God, I’m making up words) of the home run by Tyler Roberts in the seventh inning, watch his reaction after hitting it and watch Yadiel Rivera at second base.  Roberts was just trying to get the job done with a fly ball to get the go ahead run home.  He got the job done and then some.  Good things happen when you put the ball in play.
  5. Defensively, you’ll see the Ramirez play on the bunt.  Roberts also had a diving play to the warning track in front of the Cougars dugout.  The wind blew it back into play and Roberts stuck with it to make the catch.
  6. Chad Pierce limited the damage in the eighth.  Kane County loaded the bases with no outs after a single, a wind-blown popup that dropped in for a hit, and a sacrifice bunt that turned into a single when no one covered first base.  The runs scored on a sac fly and a grounder.
  7. Normally, an opposing player is not mentioned in this post.  But, that home run by Lane Adams with two outs in the top of the ninth inning….Do you see the Post-Crescent sign out there to the left of the batters eye?  Adams hit it over that sign.  Wind or no wind, Tip of the Cap to you, sir.
  8. Jason Rogers was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning and Chadwin Stang ran for him.  Rogers is in the celebration after the game winning hit, so he was not out for an injury.  Remember that the Rattlers starting outfield today was Rogers-Walla-McMahan.  When Rogers reached, Chadwin Stang pinch-ran for him and that led to a Rattlers outfield in the ninth of McMahan-Stang-Walla.  Stang just came on as a pinch-runner for a little better speed and a little better defense.
  9. Okay, winning rally.  The Rattlers had Brandon Macias on first with two outs. Walla and Stang drew walks on full counts to extend the game to Ramirez.  Walla’s walk totals have gone up from last season to this season.  Going into the plate appearance in the ninth, Stang had struck out 48 times and walked just 15 times. Both refused to chase pitches outside the strike zone.  Click the picture up top to get a good look at at Macias and Greg Hopkins telling Walla where to slide.  The ball is that little white dot about halfway down the first baseline.  Walla slid where they told him to slide and the Rattlers won.  Pretty good day.  Highlights are below.

Lineup and Game Notes for May 20, 2012

It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame!

Today’s Lineup:
Brandon Macias – DH
Max Walla – CF
Jason Rogers – LF
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Ben McMahan – RF
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Tyler Roberts – C
Carlos George – 2B

Wisconsin’s Starting Pitcher:
David Goforth

Kane County’s Starting Pitcher:
Brooks Pounders

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesMay202012

Follow t0day’s game…
With the Radio:
AM1280, WNAM
With Internet Audio:
WNAM internet feed (free)
With Internet Video:
MiLB.TV (subscribers only)

The production crew put this video together last year. Very appropriate today, a beautiful day for a ballgame:


Nine after 9 for May 19, 2012

Kane County 3
Wisconsin 7
Boxscore | Game Story

Leaping into a first place tie.

  1. Carlos Gomez finished his minor league rehabilitation assignment tonight.  He was 1-for-3 with a walk and came out when the Rattlers took the field for the top of the seventh inning.  He made a play tonight that was particularly major league.  A fly ball was hit deep to right-center with two outs in the top of the third.  My thoughts went to, “Wow, this might be a triple.”  Then, my thoughts went to, “He doesn’t even look like he’s running hard.” Then, I said, “And Gomez makes the catch for the final out.”
  2. Watch the highlights below for the home run by Jason Rogers and you will see what I am talking about when I say he is getting into hitters counts.  That was a 2-1 pitch…In fact, he was in hitters counts all night.  It seems like he has been at the plate with a 2-1 count all month.  In 17 games in May, Rogers has a slash line of .344/.411/.563 with13 runs scored and 18 RBI.  That is some good hitting.
  3. You’ll never guess who is second on the team in runs scored this month….Yadiel Rivera.  Rivera is at a slash line of .263/.295/.526.  The imbalance between average & on base percentage and slugging percentage has to do with the fact that the Rattlers shortstop has 15 hits this month and eight of them are for extra bases (3 homers, a triple, and four doubles).  People are excited about Rivera’s potential right now. Just imagine what it would be like if he can do a bit more with pitch recognition and stop striking out (17 times – vs. two walks – this month in 57 at bats).
  4. Not that he hit the homer tonight on a belt-high fastball.  He went down and got it and hit it a long way.
  5. Chad Thompson’s velocity was up – again – and he struck out seven without a walk in four innings tonight.  But he gave up three runs with two outs.  I just looked this up and I can’t believe the words I am about to write here.  All twelve of the runs that Thompson has allowed this season have scored with two outs.  Here are the plays: May 9 v. Quad Cities. 2-out RBI double in the first and 2-out two-run homer (after a two out walk) in the fourth.  May 14 at Kane County: 2-out, 2-run homer in the second and 2-out grand slam in the third.  May 19 vs. Kane County: 2-out RBI double in the first and 2-out, 2-run homer (after a 2-our double) in the fourth.  Thompson is what six pitches from not allowing a run in his four outings this season?  Baseball is a freaking weird game that can make you crazy.
  6. How about Mark Williams tonight!? Five innings of hitless relief.  He worked around a couple of walks and nailed this one down.  Williams extended his scoreless streak to eleven innings and lowered his ERA to 2.50.  Plus, Marietta won today!  Win tomorrow and it’s a return trip to Grand Chute for the DIII World Series.
  7. Chadwin Stang had two hits tonight.  Plus, Gomez looked like he enjoyed Stang’s diving catch in the sixth inning.
  8. Carlos George took advantage of the Cougars not realizing time had not been called in the fourth inning.  George saw that no one was covering second base when pitcher Kellen Moen had the ball in the center of the diamond.  George made a dash to second and wound up on third when Moen threw the ball into center.  The play was ruled a double and an E-1 to get George to third base.  He scored on Max Walla’s two out single to make the score 5-3.  It was something else.
  9. Odd play in the fifth inning.  Rogers at third and Parker Berberet at first.  Greg Hopkins sent a grounder to third.  Daniel Mateo looked at Rogers to freeze him at third and threw to second.  Rogers took off for the plate as soon as the throw left Mateo’s hand.  Justin Trapp, the second baseman, got the bag for the force play on Berberet and got taken out as he came off the bag to throw home.  Berberet was called out for interference and Rogers was also called out on the play.  From my angle it looked like Berberet did not go out of his way to take out Trapp and he still hit the base with his slide.  But, that’s not what the umpires saw.  Dusty Rhodes disagreed with the umpire’s interpretation and was ejected for the second time this season.

Lineup and Game Notes for May 19, 2012

Early work on a Saturday.

 Tonight’s Lineup:
Carlos Gomez – CF
Max Walla – RF
Jason Rogers – LF
Parker Berberet – DH
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Chadwin Stang – LF
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Rafael Neda – C
Carlos George – 2B

Wisconsin’s Starting Pitcher:
Chad Thompson

Kane County’s Starting Pitcher:
Kellen Moen

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesMay192012

Timber Rattlers Roster Move:
LHP Will West has been transferred from the Helena roster to Wisconsin.  West is the scheduled starting pitcher on Monday afternoon against the Cougars.

Updated Timber Rattlers Roster:
Timber_Rattlers_Roster_051912

Follow t0night’s game…
With the Radio:
AM1280, WNAM
With Internet Audio:
WNAM internet feed (free)
With Internet Video:
MiLB.TV (subscribers only)

Nine after 9 for May 18, 2012

Burlington 3
Wisconsin 5
Boxscore | Game Story

Before

 

After.

  1. Carlos Gomez provided the fans with a moment to remember.  Freeze the highlights just before Gomez makes contact (about :33) and look for the kid in the blue shirt on the end of the row on the right as you look at the highlight.  Watch how fast he gets out of his seat and raised both hands over his head.  He doesn’t care that Carlos Gomez was 0-for-9 before that pitch.  He doesn’t care that Carlos Gomez hit a monster shot off an A-Ball pitcher who just made his 100th pitch of the game.  That kid is going to go home and talk about how he had great seats when Carlos Gomez hit a home run as a Timber Rattlers player. Look at the fans behind home plate in that second picture up top.  They are having a fun night at the ballpark and all is right with the world.
  2. For the nonsense after that – Max Walla hit on the first pitch by the new reliever – I have no comment.
  3. Well, maybe one.  The next time the Rattlers and Bees play is to start the second half of the season: June 22-24 in Burlington. We’ll see what happens at that time.
  4. Drew Gagnon made a few bad pitches and two of his 93 pitches were hit for home runs.  That’s 93 pitches in 5-1/3 innings. That’s a lot of pitches.  But, here’s the thing, on a night were his pitch count was way up, he still only allowed three runs on three hits and kept his team in the game.  Plus, a 9:3 GO:AO ratio will make people happy.
  5. I know that reliever wins is not the best indicator of how a particular player.  So, let’s look at Tommy Toledo, who is now 6-0 this season, with a few other metrics.  Tonight: 2-2/3 scoreless innings to run his current scoreless streak to 15-1/3 innings.  He hasn’t allowed a run in his last seven outings.  Opponents are hitting .134 against him.  He’s bringing it consistently at 91 and 92 with movement and with control.
  6. Seth Harvey with a much needed – for my heart at least – 1-2-3 ninth inning for a save.  Harvey can rush it up there at 94 and he didn’t want to waste the opportunity to finish off the Bees tonight.
  7. Carlos George hit his second home run of the season in Friday’s game, but I want to mention his at bat in the eighth inning.  He’s up with two outs and pinch runner Brandon Macias is on first base with the Rattlers down a run.  How many times over the last couple of seasons have you seen George swing at a first pitch and ground out?  How many times have you seen him swing out of his shoes at a 3-2 pitch and miss? He didn’t do any of that. He worked the count to 3-2 and hit a sharp single to center to send Macias around to third base and set up the Gomez AB.  The single by George impressed me much more than his home run.
  8. I will touch briefly on the pennant chase:  Beloit finally lost tonight.  Quad Cities beat them 7-6 in 11 innings at Pohlman Field.  The Rattlers trail Beloit by one game for the lead in the Western Division.  Kane County won tonight.  They won 5-4 at Cedar Rapids.  The Rattlers lead Kane County by two games for the Western Division Wild Card.  There are 28 games left in the half.
  9. Speaking of Kane County, they are in town for three games starting Saturday night.  This is a big  series in the first half playoff chase.
    Pitching Matchups:
    SAT: Chad Thompson/Mark Williams v. Kellen Moen
    SUN: David Goforth/Chad Pierce v. Brooks Pounders/Robinson Yambati
    MON: TBA v. Aaron Brooks

    That TBA should be filled in tomorrow.

Highlights:

Lineup and Game Notes for May 18, 2012

Cruising into the weekend.

Tonight’s Lineup:
Carlos Gomez – DH
Max Walla – RF
Ben McMahan – LF
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Chadwin Stang – CF
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Parker Berberet – C
Carlos George – 2B

Wisconsin’s Starting Pitcher:
Drew Gagnon

Burlington’s Starting Pitcher:
Sean Murphy

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesMay182012

Follow t0night’s game…
With the Radio:
AM1280, WNAM
With Internet Audio:
WNAM internet feed (free)
With Internet Video:
MiLB.TV (subscribers only)

Nine after 9 for May 17, 2012

Burlington 8
Wisconsin 3
Boxscore | Game Story

Breezy.

  1. Carlos Gomez went 0-for-3 with a strikeout tonight. He also made a real nice running catch on a Sean Jamieson fly ball in the fourth.  He left after seven innings – as planned.  Gomez should be ready to play nine tomorrow.
  2. Matt Miller‘s first inning: 31 pitches/16 strikes. Toss in a 12 pitch at bat against Dusty Robinson in the third inning and you’ll see how you can get to 70 pitches in three innings.
  3. I don’t know what it is about this matchup, but Matt Miller has made six starts against the Burlington Bees in his Timber Rattlers career.  He has allowed 26 runs (25 earned) on 42 hits with 10 walks and 25 strikeouts over 30 innings in those six starts against Burlington.  Miller is 0-6 with a 7.50ERA against the Bees.  Miller is 8-6 with a 3.74ERA in his other 24 appearances for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.  That is just weird
  4. The first seven runs for the Bees (and all three runs for the Rattlers) scored after there were two outs.  A couple of pitches here or there and this game might still be going
  5. Michael Strong recorded nine strikeouts in four innings tonight.  This should not be surprising.  He struck out 13 in seven innings for Helena last year.
  6. Max Walla had three hits – two sharp singles and an infield single. Yadiel Rivera had two hits – a well struck line drive to left-center for a triple that drove in Walla and a flare into right field that put runners on first and second with no outs in the bottom of the seventh.
  7. Nick Ramirez with a little wall ball in the sixth inning for an opposite field double.  That makes it a seven game hitting streak for the former Cal-Stat Fullerton Titan.
  8. Here is a list of Brewers rovers, co-ordinators, and front office people who were here to see this game tonight: Dan O’Brien, Charlie Greene, Lee Tunnell, Reggie Williams, Bob Miscik, and Don Money.  I said it during the broadcast tonight and I will write it here: That is a lot of eyes on this club.
  9. I really don’t want to end on a down note again here, but this seems the best place to put this.  Kevin Hickey pitched for the Appleton Foxes in 1979 and again in 1984.  He was signed out of a White Sox tryout camp and never played high school baseball.  Hickey made the major leagues with the White Sox from 1981 to 1983 and the Baltimore Orioles from 1989 to 1991.  Hickey had been a pregame instructor for the White Sox since 2004 and was loved by the players on that team.  Hickey died on Wednesday after being in a coma since opening day of this season.  Hickey was 56 and to find out more just click this link.  Then, hug someone close to you.

Lineup and Game Notes for May 16, 2012

The view from home plate before a game.

Tonight’s lineup:
Brandon Macias – 3B
Carlos Gomez – CF
Jason Rogers – DH
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Ben McMahan – LF
Max Walla – RF
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Tyler Roberts – C
Carlos George – 2B

Wisconsin’s Starting Pitcher:
Matt Miller

Burlington’s Starting Pitcher:
Raul Alcantara

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesMay172012

Timber Rattlers Roster Move:
RHP Andy Moye promoted to Brevard County

Updated Timber Rattlers Roster:
Timber_Rattlers_Roster_051712

Follow today’s game…
With the Radio: AM1280, WNAM

With Internet Audio: WNAM internet feed (free)
With Internet Video: MiLB.TV (subscribers only)

Nine after 9 for May 16, 2012

Burlington 4
Wisconsin 5
Boxscore | Game Story

Raise both your arms if you had the winning hit tonight? Photo Credit/Ann Mollica, who took a way better picture than the one that I was going to use.

  1. First things first.  Carlos Gomez was 0-for-3 with a run scored.  He was not running all out, but he is still working himself up to that.  Watch the highlight for him to score on the sacrifice fly in the first inning.  A good throw would have got him, but the main thing is that he made it through his five innings without incident.  Plus, he made a couple of nice catches in the first inning.
  2. Ben McMahan just wrapped up going 6-for-15 in a series at Kane County.  He blasted that home run in the fourth and went 2-for-4 on night.  He has bumped his season average up to .308 and is now eighth in the league in hitting.  McMahan hit .200with three doubles in April.  McMahan is hitting .404 with five doubles, three triples, and two homers in May.
  3. Jason Rogers just keeps on doing what he’s doing.  He absolutely killed that home run. No doubt.  But, the plate appearance that impressed me was in the tenth.  Situation: Winning run at second with one out.  Opponent Strategy: Nibble and get Rogers to chase a bad pitch out of the zone.  Last year, Rogers may have chased pitches out of the strike zone and either struck out or made an out that didn’t move the runner. This year, Rogers didn’t take his bat off his shoulder and took the walk.  Not as exciting for the fans at the game, but definitely exciting for player development.
  4. Andy Moye ran his scoreless streak to 17-2/3 innings until he allowed a two-out solo homer in the sixth.  He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.  In his 37-1/3 innings with the Rattlers, Moye’s K:BB ratio is 33:8 and tonight was his last game with the Rattlers.  Twitter announced that Moye is headed to Brevard County.  There has been no corresponding move to fill the Rattlers roster.  I am guessing that Jacob Barnes is due to come off the DL, but don’t quote me on this.  We’ll see what the move is in the morning.
  5. Dueling diving catches in the eighth and ninth innings.  Bobby Crocker made an incredible diving catch to rob McMahan of a triple in the bottom of the eighth.  Then, Max Walla topped that catch with the play in the top of the ninth. Just look at it near the end of the highlights.
  6. FLASHBACK:  Tommy Toledo is pitching in the bottom of the ninth inning at Kane County on May 12.  The winning run is at second with a tie game and one out.  Toledo intentionally walks a batter to set up a double play.  The next batter grounds into an inning ending double play.  WEDNESDAY: Tommy Toledo is pitching in the top of the tenth inning with the score tied and one out and runners on second and third.  Toledo intentionally walks a batter to load the bases.  The next batter grounds into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
  7. Max Walla came on defensively in the top of the sixth for Carlos Gomez – Chadwin Stang moved to center and Walla took over in right.  Walla’s double in the bottom of the tenth was hit very well. I heard it smack off the padding on the sign underneath the chain link by the Rattlers bullpen.
  8. I am moving Nick Ramirez from the heating up column to the hot column.  He put the game winning hit off the wall in left on one hop. That opposite field game-winner gave him a six game hitting streak.  Key words: Opposite Field
  9. It was a really emotional night in the ballpark for the folks in the font office.  Brock Calmes has worked at the ballpark as a concessions hawker since 1998.  He was 28 and he died on Monday.  We found out about it in the staff meeting today and it silenced everyone.  Brock is a popular person around the stadium.  Even if all you have done is listen to the games on the radio or internet, you’ll know Brock: PEEEEAAAAAANNUTTTTS!!!!  POPCOOOOOORRRRNNNN!  COTTON CANDYLICORICEROPE!  The team held a moment of silence for Brock before the National Anthem tonight and ended it by playing his call one more time and a shot of his parents on the video board.  It was heartbreaking.  I will need to ask the production crew if they saved that for posterity because if you heard the silence and the reaction you would know how we all feel tonight.  Minor league baseball is more than a business.  If you come out to enough games, it becomes a part of you.  You start calling the ballpark home and the people you work with family and it doesn’t feel weird at all.  And it’s not just the people who work here, head over here and look at the comments from the people who came out to the games on the Rattlers facebook page.  The fans loved Brock and he loved interacting with them. My boss said it best“He was a great young man with a big, caring heart and he was taken from us all too soon. The big guy will be missed.” Amen.
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