May 2012

Lineup and Game Notes for May 11, 2012

A dugout top view of batting practice

Rattlers Lineup:
Chadwin Stang -CF
Max Walla – RF
Jason Rogers – DH
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Greg Hopkins – 3B
Ben McMahan – LF
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Tyler Roberts – C
Carlos George – 2B

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher:
Jacob Barnes

Quad Cities Starting Pitcher:
Dail Villanueva

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesMay112012

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

The Production crew put a time-lapse video together for last night’s game:

Nine after 9 for May 10, 2012

River Bandits 5
Timber Rattlers 3
Boxscore | Game Story

In the ninth…with a chance.

  1. The Rattlers continue to make it interesting.  Down by three in the ninth, they get two on with none out.  I really had the feeling that they would at least tie it up.  I’ll take interesting over predictable every day of the season.
  2. Brandon Macias reached base three more times tonight.  A walk, a hit, and a hit batsman.  His .OBP is at .368, which is second on the team, this season.  Plus, some outstanding defense from him again tonight.
  3. The play that tied the game in the bottom of the third inning is in the highlights.  But, not everything. You may notice that Macias was just going for third as the ball was being picked up by Sam Gaviglio, the pitcher.  Even if that throw doesn’t end up in left field and is thrown perfectly to third, Macias would had taken third.  Williams, the shortstop, collided with Macias as tried to round the bag.  The base umpire was right on it and was ready to make an interference call.  It was moot because that throw sailed so much it would have made Jack Aubrey and the crew of the HMS Surprise proud.
  4. Unfortunately for the Rattlers, that was about the only bad throw byGaviglio.  He went eight innings, mixed speeds, and struck out six.  The only real jam he was in came in the sixth.  The Rattlers had runners at first and third with no outs and down 4-2.  Jason Rogers was in a count – 2-1 – that he has done a lot of damage this season.  But, Gaviglio jammed him and got a grounder to third that was turned into a double play.  Then, he ended the inning with a fly out.
  5. This is the most non-Cardinal like River Bandits team I have seen since the STL-QC partnership started in 2005.  They chase a lot of pitches.  They have committed 52 errors in 34 games.  They have missed cutoff men and just not playing to the “brand’.  It’s weird to see.  But, still…They found a way to win a game in which they stranded runners and were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
  6. David Goforth’s velocity was up a tick or two from Saturday.  But, – at least tonight – when his velocity was up, his control was down.  He hit Luis Mateo on the left elbow with a 96 mph fastball.  Strikeouts were up, but he walked four tonight.  Goforth showed a very nice curve at times, but he was touched for five hits.  There were some good things to pick out of this start.  But, there are plenty of things that he will be working on for his next start
  7. Chad Pierce was in and out of trouble in his four innings on Thursday.  The sequence that impressed me the most was the spot in the seventh inning.  There were runners at first and second with one out and the Rattlers were down two.  He cranked it up a little bit and struck out Mateo and Roberto Reyes on seven pitches to finish off the inning.
  8. Here’s something new, mentioning a player that didn’t play in the game, but I felt it necessary to mention Tommy Toledo because he hasn’t pitched since May 2.  Not his fault. Pitching breakdown since May 2: Gagnon 7, Shackelford 2; Thompson 5, Williams 4; Goforth 5, Pierce 4, Harvey 1; Rainout; Moye 5, Barnes 2; Miller 6, Harvey 1; Shackelford 4, Strong 3, Peterson 2; Thompson 5, Williams 3.1; Harvey .2; Goforth 5, Pierce 4.  I’ll make an educated guess here for Friday: Barnes is starting and Moye will be coming on in relief.  Both pitched on Monday. Toledo will be on at some point in the game on Friday.
  9. There was no time wasted in getting Nick Ramirez into the lineup.  I walked down to the clubhouse at 10am this morning and the lineup was already available with Ramirez plugged into the cleanup spot as the DH.  He got to the ballpark around 4pm today and already doing media requests by 5:15.  He was a little anxious in his first three at bats – he only saw four pitches and swung at three of them.  In his final at bat, with runners at first and second with no outs and Ramirez as the tying run…my gosh, it sounded so good off the bat.  But, somehow, the ball didn’t carry.  Look at the flags in the picture.  How that ball didn’t carry to at least the wall….I don’t know…I just don’t know.

Highlights

Lineup & Notes for May 10, 2012

The pitchers huddle up on another great day for baseball!

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

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher:
David Goforth

River Bandits Starting Pitcher:
Sam Gaviglio

Timber Rattlers Roster Moves:
1B Nick Ramirez transferred from Helena roster to Wisconsin
IF Adrian Williams placed on Wisconsin DL retroactive to 5/8

Updated Timber Rattlers Roster:
Timber_Rattlers_Roster_051012

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesMay102012

Quad Cities Game Notes:
QC2012-05-10 at WIS

Follow tonight’s game…
With the Radio: AM1280, WNAM
With Internet Audio: WNAM internet feed (free)
With Internet Video: MiLB.TV (subscriber only)
With Cable TV: Sports32 for Time Warner Cable Subscribers

Nine after 9 for May 9, 2012

River Bandits 5
Timber Rattlers 8
Boxscore | Game Story

 

This was a familiar sight on May 9.


  1. What can 18 hits in a game do for your team batting average?  Say good-bye to .242 and say hello to .250.  Also, EVERYBODY HITS!  For the first time this season – and I am sure of it this time – all nine Rattlers hitters had at least one hit.
  2. My Gawd! That’s Ben McMahan’s music! McMahan gave the River Bandits pitchers no chance tonight.  He doubled twice, tripled once, and singled once.  The single was a little dribbler up the third baseline that scored a run.  The other three hits were smacked pretty well.  Good to see him get hot at the plate.  He is on a four game hitting streak and is 9-for-16 during the streak.
  3. Jason Rogers drove in four runs during this game.  McMahan got on and Rogers knocked him in.  Rogers has 24 RBI in 33 games this season.  Last season he had 37 RBI in 64 games.  It’s exciting to see the progress from one season to another for Rogers.  As I have mentioned quite a bit this season Rogers is getting into hitters counts and doing lots of damage when he gets a pitch to hit.
  4. Also exciting, Rafael Neda’s recent hot streak.  He had three hits on Wednesday.  Neda has a season long four game hitting streak and is 6-for-13 during the streak.
  5. Yadiel Rivera had one hit tonight.  But, it was a good one.  He hit a 3-2 pitch in the fourth inning about 12 feet up on the 16 foot high wall in centerfield that is 400′ from home plate.
  6. Someone thought that it was ironic that the Chad Thompson and Mark Williams both gave up a hit to the first batter they faced in Wednesday’s game.  I disagree with ironic as a description.  Don’t you think?
  7. Thompson’s velocity was up a couple of ticks tonight.  There was an 89 and a 90 in there.  I talked a little with pitching David Chavarria about the reports on Thompson’s velocity and that it was down a bit from what people said that it was.  He said not to worry.  Once he’s loosened up and has been pitching for a while, he thought the velocity would come back.  I know it’s hard, but give it time.  Patience.
  8. The run that Williams gave up in the sixth inning deserves a big * by it.  There was a runner at first and Juan Castillo sent a routine fly ball to right.  But, John Dishon never saw it off the bat.  The ball dropped less than ten feet to the right of Dishon.  Instead of one out and one on base, there were two on with no outs.  Williams got the next two outs, but a double scored a run and – at the time – the River Bandits took a 4-3 lead.
  9. Seth Harvey came out firing tonight.  The first batter he faced was Roberto De La Cruz.  The situation was second and third with one out.  De La Cruz had homered in the seventh.  De La Cruz had also apparently never met a pitch he didn’t like.  De La Cruz saw 12 pitches on Wednesday.  He swung at 11 of those 12 pitches.  Harvey got him to chase a 93-mph fastabll at eye level on a 1-2 pitch.  Harvey struck out Anthony Garcia to end the game to earn the save and a little fist pump.  He’s inherited five base runners this season and he’s stranded all five.

Highlights:

Lineup & Game Notes for May 9, 2012

Hitters meeting before Wednesday’s game.

Tonight’s lineup:
Chadwin Stang CF

Brandon Macias DH
Ben McMahan LF
Jason Rogers 1B
Greg Hopkins 3B
Yadiel Rivera SS
Carlos George 2B
Rafael Neda C
John Dishon RF

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher:
Chad Thompson

River Bandits Starting Pitcher:
Kyle Hald

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesMay92012

Quad Cities Game Notes:
QC 2012-05-09 at WIS

Timber Rattlers Roster:
Timber_Rattlers_Roster_050512

Quad Cities Roster:
2012-05-08 River Bandits Roster

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

Nine after 9 (well after 9) for May 8, 2012

UPDATE: THIS IS NOW A FULL POST

For highlights and the links to the boxscore, head down one post.

  1. I mentioned this on twitter, but in case you didn’t see it: Drew Gagnon will be back in his normal spot in the rotation.  He will make the start at Kane County on Sunday.
  2. Chadwin Stang busted out of his slump.  He had been 1-for-21 before today.  Then, he walked three times, doubled once, and singled.  Plus, he actually bunted for a single today!
  3. BUT… Here is the spot:  Stang is at second and Brandon Macias is at first with one out.  Lefty Max Walla is at the plate.  The Kernels brought lefty Stephen Tromblee in to face Walla.  Catcher Abel Baker (who had better be in the Minors Moniker Madness this year) is behind the plate and he had thrown out about 49% of would be base stealers on the season.  Stang tried to steal third.  He was out by a lot.  Win Probability Calculator time.  1st & 2nd with one out in the 7th puts the Rattlers at 42.23% chance of winning.  Runner at second with two out in the 7th puts the Rattlers at a 30.97% chance of winning.  On top of that, if Walla strikes out and Stang stayed put.  Right-handed batter Jason Rogers would be coming to the plate to face the lefty because there was no one else warming up in the Cedar Rapids bullpen.
  4. Speaking of bunts.  The Rattlers bunted twice in the seventh and twice in the eighth.  All four times were sacrifice bunts, but two went for hits. One was an unsuccessful sacrifice bunt that turned into an out at third.  The last was a bunt with runners at first and third with no outs in the top of the eighth.  It was not a suicide or safety squeeze it was just a bunt to move a runner into scoring position.
  5. Let’s run that last play through the Win Probability Calculator.  First and third with no outs in the bottom of the eighth inning with the Rattlers down a run.  At that moment, the Rattlers win probability was 63.15%.  After the bunt moved the runner to second and set up a second and third with one out, the Rattlers win probability dropped to 53.80%.
  6. I can understand the bunts though.  The Rattlers hit into three double plays in the game in key spots.
  7. The Kernels also tried a bunt today.  It was unsuccessful.  In fact, it was almost a carbon copy of the Rattlers unsuccessful sacrifice bunt in the seventh.  The bunt popped into the air, the fielder made a diving attempt and had the ball in his mitt, but could not hold on for the out.  The ball rolled to a different defender and the runner was an easy out on a force.  (In the Case of the Rattlers bunt in the 7th, a 5-2-6 putout at third.  For the Kernels bunt in the 9th, a 1-2-6 putout at second.
  8. Tip of the cap to the Rattlers pitchers today.  Shackelford pitched well, but made two mistakes with two outs in the second and lost it for a bit in the fourth.  Michael Strong, who was making his Timber Rattlers debut, pitched three scoreless – and for the velocity mavens out there – touched 92 once and 91 a few more times in his outing.  Stephen Peterson was making his first appearance since May 2 in the final two innings.
  9. This post is a little late tonight because I went to see The Avengers tonight.  I’ve seen enough Joss Whedon to know that I should have seen it coming – and I am not talking about the slo-mo power walk because you just knew that was going to happen.  But, I got caught up in the movie and it distracted me from the inevitable.  I won’t spoil it.  Just go see it.  It was great….Plus, they had trailers for the new Spider-Man and Batman movies.  Now, I can’t wait for those movies to come out.  I’m 12. Sue me.

Highlights for now

FINAL
Kernels 5
Rattlers 4
Boxscore | Game Story

This is a place holder for right now.  There is a LOT of other stuff that I have had to take care of since the game ended…including an unscheduled tarp pull in about five minutes.

Plus, I really want to go see The Avengers tonight since it’s probably my last chance to see it between now and the DVD release.  AND I would really like to call my parents on their 47th Anniversary.

This is all just a way of saying that Nine after 9 will be along later tonight.

As for now, here are Monday’s highlights.

Lineup and Game Notes for May 8, 2012

What a great day!


Today’s Lineup:

Chadwin Stang – CF
Brandon Macias – 3B
Max Walla – RF
Jason Rogers – DH
Greg Hopkins – 1B
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Ben McMahan – LF
Tyler Roberts – C
Carlos George – 2B

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher:
Kevin Shackelford

Kernels Starting Pitcher:
Eswarlin Jimenez

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesMay82012

Kernels Game Notes:
KernelsGame Notes 5-08

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

Nine after 9 – Doubleheader edition for May 7, 2012

Game one
Kernels 0
Rattlers 2
Boxscore | Game Story

Game two
Kernels 2
Rattlers 3
Boxscore | Game Story

NOTE: Keeping to the nine points.  Fourteen after14 sounds weird AND there is a day game tomorrow.

Overshifts work when you’ve won eight in a row.

  1. Everything is clicking right now as you might expect with an eight game winning streak
  2. DEFENSE: Fourteen error-free innings with some outstanding defensive plays.  The relay from Walla to Hopkins to Roberts in the fifth inning of game one that kept the Kernels off the scoreboard in game one.  The barehanded play by Yadiel Rivera after a  deflection off Miller in the second inning of game two to get Frazier Hall. The 3-6-3 by Rogers and Rivera in the fourth.  Chad Stang’s diving catch of Hall’s line drive in the sixth.  Neda catching pinch-runner Trevor Hairgrove stealing to end the game.
  3. PITCHING:  Moye, Barnes, Miller, & Harvey combined for 14 innings, nine hits, two runs, three walks, seven strikeouts. 
  4. HITTING: Three homers tonight.  Brandon Macias and Ben McMahan both hit their first of the season in the first game.  If the ballpark still had the old lightbulbs in the scoreboard, Jason Rogers may have shattered a few of them with his homer in the second game.
  5. Back to Matt Miller for a moment.  Since his turn was skipped on that West Michigan-South Bend road trip, Miller has pitched three games.  In his three starts before the break: 0-3, 14 innings, 23 hits, 12 runs, six walks and 19 strikeouts.  In the three starts after the skipped start: 2-0, 19 innings, 12 hits, six runs, five walks, and 15 strikeouts.  You can never know what flips the switch for some players, but whatever it has been for Miller, he needs to just keep doing it.
  6. The home run by Rogers in game two was all about being in a good count.  He has been so much better at getting into the proverbial “Hitters Counts” (2-0, 2-1, 3-1).  In this case, I think that his plate appearance against Wood in the second may have set up the home run in the fourth.  In the second, Rogers let a close 2-0 pitch go by for a ball.  Then, he took a strike. Then, he took ball four to take his team leading 17th walk of the season.  In the fourth, Rogers took two more pitches for a ball and didn’t even look like he was going to swing.  Wood may have been thinking that he could try to just something over the plate for a strike and figure out what to do on the 2-1 pitch.  Rogers didn’t give him that chance.  Look at where the pitch was at 1:37 or so and look at where the ball wound up at 1:41.  Other hitters should see that just to understand what you can do when you are in a 2-0 count and get your pitch.
  7. As an announcer, it has been tough to watch the Cedar Rapids Kernels run and run and run and run and…well, you get the idea… on the Timber Rattlers.  I know that it’s not just the Rattlers.  The Kernels do it to everyone….or as Gary Oldman says, EVERYONE!…but it seems like whenever they want the extra base against the Rattlers they take it.  Using a completely arbitrary time frame of the start of the 2010 season to just before the seventh inning of game two of tonight’s doubleheader, the Kernels stole 80 bases in 91 attempts over 43 games.  That included an incredible 22 successful attempts in 24 tries last season. Cedar Rapids was 13-for-15 this season.  Then, Neda threw out Hairgrove – the potential tying run – on an attempted steal to end game two.  That was probably the most satisfying defensive play to a Timber Rattlers game in a long, long time.
  8. Tonight’s doubleheader sweep gives the Rattlers an eight game winning streak.  This is the longest winning streak for the franchise since the 2003 team won eight in a row twice.  The 2003 team actually had a 10 game unbeaten streak.  They won eight in a row, then had a game with Fort Wayne that ended in a 1-1 tie, then won a game.  But, after internal discussions it was decided that the win streak ended with the tie game (which is probably worth a Mehring Monday or a Flashback Friday this offseason).  In case you are wondering, the longest winning streak for the Rattlers since I have been with the team was a 12-game win streak in 2001.  That team won their final seven games of the first half and their first five games of the second half.  The weird thing about that season was that the Rattlers, who finished the first half at 42-26, missed the first half playoffs because they tied Quad City for the Wild Card and the River Bandits, who won their last six in a row, had the tiebreaker on Wisconsin.  The five game win streak to start the second half did jump start the Rattlers to win the second half Western Division Finals.
  9. All of this is great, but let’s not get too far ahead of the chickens that haven’t hatched on the cart that’s before the horse or we’ll be closing the barn door after the cow has jumped over the moon….Wait. What? Where was I? Oh, right. What I’m trying to say is this: Game two was only game 31 of a 70 game half.  There are 39 games left in the half.  Let’s just enjoy this because the team is playing very well, the weather has been getting better, and the crowds are starting to get larger.  There are four games left on this homestand and six more in May (16-21).  Come on out and bring some friends along for the ride.Highlights:

Lineup and Game Notes for May 7, 2012

If it rained so much in the last five days, why is there a big garden hose on the infield grass?

GAME ONE LINEUP:
Carlos George – DH
Brandon Macias – 3B
Max Walla – RF
Jason Rogers – 1B
Greg Hopkins – 2B
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Ben McMahan – LF
Tyler Roberts – C
John Dishon – CF

Timber Rattlers Game One Starter:
Andy Moye

Timber Rattlers Game Two Starter:
Matt Miller

Kernels Game One Starter:
Cam Bedrosian

Kernels Game Two Starter:
Austin Wood

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesMay72012

Kernels Game Notes:
KernelsGame Notes 5-07

Follow today’s doubleheader…
With the Radio: AM1280, WNAM
With Internet Audio: WNAM internet feed (free)
With Internet Video: MiLB.TV (subscriber only)

Interview with Timber Rattlers manager Matt Erickson will air between games of the doubleheader.  Tune in and Let’s go, Rattlers!

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