June 2012

Lineup and Game Notes for June 12, 2012

What time is it?

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

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Will West

Clinton Starting Pitcher:
Brett Shankin

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesJune122012

Follow tonight’s game (7:00pm first pitch):
Radio: AM1280,  WNAM
Internet Audio: WNAM Internet Feed (free)

Nine after 9 for June 11, 2012

Beloit 6
Wisconsin 7
Boxscore | Game Story

I’ll explain in a moment…

Where’s Yadi?

  1. I know that I will never be confused with an impartial observer, but I never thought that the Timber Rattlers were out of Monday’s game.  Not after Miguel Sano did what he does when he deposited a hanger from David Goforth over the left field wall for a grand slam and a 6-2 Beloit lead. Not after Jhon Goncalves hit a homer to make it 7-4.  Even if Beloit scored a run or two in the top of the ninth, I would have thought that the Rattlers would come back to at least tie the game.  This team believes that they can win.  Every day.  There is a lot to like about that.
  2. Sano saw maybe two fastballs this whole series.  He went 2-for-13.  The Rattlers pitchers had a plan to not give into Sano and – except for one pitch – they executed that plan.
  3. It’s been a long time for Cameron Garfield.  His two-run home run in the seventh inning was the first for him as a Timber Rattler since May 24, 2010.  Now, it’s not really a fair time frame due to the two injuries that the missed time with in 2011 and not joining the Rattlers until a couple of weeks ago.  But, did that ball sound sweet when it left the bat? You bet it did.  It is so good to see hard work pay off with results like that.
  4. You don’t get to 41-23 just scoring eight runs a game.  He get there defense, too.  Three double plays, two pickoffs, and a well played 3-5 put out on an attempted sacrifice bunt.  Oh, and no errors…again.
  5. Look at that picture up top.  That shift isn’t on in the middle of the game.  That shift is on against Nate Roberts with runners at first and second with two  outs in the top of the eighth inning in a tie game.  Roberts flew out to center to end the inning, but the commitment to the shift may have unnerved him…just a bit.
  6. Ben McMahan has a four game hitting streak (six hits total) since coming off the DL for the last game against Clinton.  Good to see him swinging the bat well.
  7. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but Brandon Macias has scored eleven runs in his last ten games – all in the leadoff spot.  He has also driven in eleven runs in his last ten games.  You probably should have expected him to hit the home run to tie the game.
  8. So you want to be a closer?  Tie game with one out and a runner at first in the top of the ninth. Seth Harvey gets the call.  He doesn’t throw a strike in his first three pitches to Drew Leachman – including a wild pitch that moves the go ahead run into scoring position.  the decision was made to walk Leachman to set up the double play with Miguel Sano at the plate.  You all may have been a little nervous, but Sano hadn’t learned anything from his first 12 trips to the plate in the series.  He was sitting fastball on Harvey’s first pitch.  He didn’t get one and would ground into a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning.  I love it when a plan comes together.
  9. It’s only right that we put Yadiel Rivera in this spot today.  He gets the walkoff hit for the second straight day.  He is 6-for-10 in his last two games with only one strikeout and only one ball that was put in play that I would not call “well hit”.  All six of his hits in the last two days have been line drives.  Keep going and more of this will happen.  On to Clinton for the division!

Lineup and Game Notes for June 11, 2012

Whoo-hoo!

Today’s Lineup:
Brandon Macias – 3B
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Jason Rogers – DH
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Greg Hopkins – 2B
Ben McMahan – LF
Cameron Garfield – C
John Dishon – RF
Chadwin Stang – CF

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
David Goforth

Beloit Starting Pitcher:
Jason Wheeler

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesJune112012

Follow tonight’s game (7:05pm first pitch):
Radio: AM1280,  WNAM
Cable: Sports32, (Time Warner Cable Subscribers)
Internet Audio: WNAM Internet Feed (free)
Internet Video:
MiLB.TV (subscribers only)

Nine after 9 for June 10, 2012

Beloit 2
Wisconsin 5
FINAL – 10 Innings
Boxscore | Game Story

One angle on a walkoff…

A better angle on a walkoff!

  1. Playoffs!
  2. I repeat…PLAYOFFS!  For the first time since 2005….PLAYOFFS!
  3. Here’s the funny thing about Yadiel Rivera.  I saw him batting second in the lineup today.  Since this was the first time this season he has hit second, I gave Matt Erickson a look.  He responded with a joking, “Every time Macias gets on base Rivera is going to bunt him over.”  All I can say to that is that I am glad the manager took off the bunt play with two strikes in the bottom of the tenth.
  4. That is the sixth “walkoff” win of the first half for the Rattlers and the second “walkoff” home run.
  5. Rivera’s seventh homer of the season was also his third hit of the game.  It was a good day for the shortstop prospect.  You could say that, he called it: Juego de Dia! Ya Despierto Siento que sera un Buen Dia Day Game! I just Wake up and I feel it will be a Good Day!
  6. Brandon Macias has put on a defensive clinic at third base on this homestand.  The 5-3 double play in the highlights should be framed in some kind of Timber Rattlers museum.
  7. Chad Thompson with a big “bounce back” start on Sunday.  He pitched at Beloit on June 4 and allowed six runs on six hits in four innings.   On June 10, he allowed one run on four hits over five innings.  Nice work.
  8. Miguel Sano is Minnesota’s Uber-Prospect on the Snappers roster.  He is 4-for-21 in five games against the Rattlers, including 0-for-8 with four strikeouts in the first two games of this series.  Sano hasn’t seen a fastball in the strike zone in the last two days.
  9. The Rattlers are in the playoffs with at least the Wild Card.  The lead over the Snappers for the Division lead is four games with seven to play.  By my calculation, the magic number for the first half Western Division title is three.  The Rattlers could tie Beloit at 43-27 and still win the division because they clinched the first half season series over the Snappers with Sunday’s win.
  10. BONUS: The Timber Rattlers are 40-23 in the first half.  In case you are wondering, the franchise record for best record in a half was set in 1996.  The Rattlers went 46-21 the first half of that season.

Lineup and Game Notes for June 10, 2012

Another great day for baseball!

Today’s Lineup:
Brandon Macias – 3B
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Jason Rogers – 1B
Nick Ramirez – DH
Greg Hopkins – 2B
Ben McMahan – LF
Cameron Garfield – C
John Dishon – RF
Chadwin Stang – CF

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Chad Thompson

Beloit Starting Pitcher:
David Hurlbut

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesJune102012

Follow today’s game (1:05pm first pitch):
Radio: AM1280,  WNAM
Internet Audio: WNAM Internet Feed (free)
Internet Video:
MiLB.TV (subscribers only)

Nine after 9 for June 9, 2012

Beloit 0
Wisconsin 4
Boxscore | Game Story

Popped him up!

  1. That picture is prospect v. prospect.  Drew Gagnon v. Miguel Sano in the sixth inning.  Two runners on base. Two outs.  The Timber Rattlers are up 3-0. If I had clicked that picture just a fraction of a second later, you would have seen Gagnon turn and point straight up.  The ball was up there a long time and shortstop Adrian Williams parked underneath it for the final out of the inning.
  2. Gagnon had everything working tonight and by working, I mean everything was going for strikes.  Plus, to get out of a jam in the second inning he got two grounders to stop the Snappers.  Plus, no walks and eight strikeouts.  Very nice.
  3. Gagnon did take a grounder off the chest in the 7th inning and came out of the game before throwing another pitch.  Before getting all crazy, keep two things in mind.  First, Tommy Toledo was already warming up in the bullpen before that at bat.  Second, Gagnon had 100 pitches at the time.
  4. Greg Hopkins was quiet for a couple of days.  He spoke up with a homer and a double tonight.
  5. The home run by Hopkins was the first run in the second inning.  The next two runs scored without a swing of the bat.  Williams took four pitches outside the strike zone for a bases loaded walk.  Brandon Macias was hit by a pitch to force in another run for a 3-0 lead.
  6. Macias drove in a pair of runs on Saturday without a hit.  He also had an RBI grounder in the seventh.
  7. Toledo brought it on Saturday. He was sitting at 93 and his breaking stuff was nasty.  It’s rare for a middle reliever to get All-Star recognition, but Toledo’s stuff tonight was All-Star stuff.  Four strikeouts in 2-2/3 innings with no hits.  He has allowed one unearned run in his last 23-2/3 innings.
  8. The lead over Beloit for the division is one game, but let’s take a look at a different race.  Peoria beat the Kane County Cougars on Saturday night.  The Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot – their first since 2005 – is TWO.  Peoria hosts Kane County again on Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm.
  9. If you came out to the game on Saturday night, let me say, “Thank you!”  Star Wars Night drew 5,424 fans which was the biggest attendance this season.  Come on back, everyone.

Lineup and Game Notes for June 9, 2012

Let’s do this.

Tonight’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
Adrian Williams – SS

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Drew Gagnon

Beloit Starting Pitcher:
Tyler Jones

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesJune92012

Follow tonight’s game (6:35pm first pitch):
Radio: AM1280,  WNAM
Internet Audio: WNAM Internet Feed (free)
Internet Video:
MiLB.TV (subscribers only)

Nine after 9 for June 8, 2012

Clinton 4
Wisconsin 7
Boxscore | Game Story

Bring on Beloit.

  1.  I can’t believe I’m going to do this, but Matt Miller earned it tonight:

    Hail! to the victors valiant
    Hail! to the conqu’ring heroes
    Hail! Hail! to Michigan
    The leaders and best!

    Hail! to the victors valiant
    Hail! to the conqu’ring heroes
    Hail! Hail! to Michigan,
    The champions of the West!

  2. I hate that song, but I am happy for the way Matt Miller bounced back from that last start to pitch tonight.  He kept the pitch count low and had a legitimate shot at a complete game. He was at 89 pitches/58 strikes after eight innings on Friday.  To compare and contrast that to his last start, Miller had 72 pitches/54 strikes in four innings plus two batters.
  3. I doubt Miller will have to do much running tomorrow, he did plenty tonight.  He had four 1-3 putouts and a total of six assists in the game.
  4. Big sequence in the game was in the second inning.  Miller got the first two outs, but the LumberKings tied the game with a run and loaded the bases.  Miller got out of the inning with the 1-3 grounder off the bat of Nate Melendres.
  5. The defense stepped up tonight, too.  Yadiel Rivera made a really nice play to save a run in the first inning.  Right after that, Miller made a good play and Brandon Macias ran Jamal Austin before the speedy Clinton outfielder could cross the plate.  There were a couple of nice double plays in the middle portion of the game.
  6. Miller could cruise because of the job that the offense did in the bottom of the second inning.  There were a few little things early that helped that inning build to the avalanche of runs.  Ben McMahan (By the way, welcome back to the lineup Ben, 2-for-4 with a run and a stolen base on his first game back off the DL) was at third with no outs and Rivera at the plate with the infield pulled in to cut down the run at the plate.  McMahan held at third instead of being a sure out at home.  After Rafael Neda walked, Chadwin Stang was bunting for a hit.  Trevor Miller thought he had a play on McMahan coming to the plate.  Then, he thought he had a play on McMahan at third base.  Then, he had no play and the bases were loaded.  Then, the hit parade started with Macias, Max Walla, Jason Rogers, and Nick Ramirez delivering RBI hits.
  7. Just watch those hits in the highlights.  They were all hit hard and that pretty much put it away.
  8. I’m thinking of a number…Beloit and Kane County both won tonight.  The Rattlers lead in the division – over Beloit – is two games.  The lead for the Wild Card – over Kane County – is five games.  There are nine games left in the first half.  Top two teams in the division at the end of the first half qualify for the playoffs.  Feel free to check my math here – and keep in mind that the Rattlers have the tiebreaker on the Cougars by going 4-3 against Kane County in the first half, but I – after consulting several people – have the a magic number to clinch a playoff spot at 4.  We arrived at that number because: IF Kane County goes 9-0 and the Rattlers go 4-5, they teams will be tied with a record of 42-28 at the end of the first half.  Since the Rattlers have the tiebreaker, the Rattlers would get into the playoffs.  Kane County will be at Peoria while the Rattlers are playing Beloit from Saturday to Monday.
  9. The caption up top says “Bring on Beloit”.  This is the biggest regular season series for the Rattlers since…probably sometime in the first half of 2005.  Let’s just say that’s it has been a long time.  I’ll give you the pitching matchups and get out of the way to get ready for Saturday night.

    SAT: RHP Drew Gagnon (4-1, 2.92) v. RHP Tyler Jones (0-1, 1.38)
    SUN: RHP Chad Thompson (2-1, 6.16)* v. LHP David Hurlbut (2-0, 1.35)
    MON: RHP David Goforth (5-4, 5.25)** v. LHP Jason Wheeler (7-2, 3.39)

    *-Chad Pierce scheduled to come on in relief
    **-Mark Williams scheduled to come on in relief

Highlights:

Lineup and Game Notes for June 8, 2012

Time to go to work.

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
Chadwin Stang – CF

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Matt Miller

Clinton Starting Pitcher:
Trevor Miller

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesJune82012

Timber Rattlers Transactions:
Carlos George to the DL
Ben McMahan off the DL

Updated Timber Rattlers Roster:
Timber_Rattlers_Roster_060812

Follow tonight’s game (7:05pm first pitch):
Radio: AM1280,  WNAM
Internet Audio: WNAM Internet Feed (free)
Internet Video:
MiLB.TV (subscribers only)

Nine after 9 for June 7, 2012

Clinton 2
Wisconsin 1
boxscore | game story

This is going to be a great view.

  1. Will West with a nice bounce back start.  He didn’t get out of the second inning last time he started.  Tonight, five scoreless innings.  He did have to pitch with seven base runners, but got out of trouble with four strikeouts and some good defense.
  2. Good defense like the play in the third inning that was the second foul pop 3-1 double play turned by the Rattlers against the LumberKings this season.  West alertly covers first base on that play, too.
  3. The last time the Rattlers did that to Clinton it was May 4 at Clinton.  Chad Thompson walked the first batter of the game, and got the next batter to popout foul to first.  Thompson covered first base for the easy double play.
  4. Jason Rogers doesn’t get enough credit for his base running.  The play on which he scored was a good example.  He was running on the 3-2 pitch and raced to third on the hit to center. He can see him notice that the ball is loose on the infield and take off for the plate to score the run.  That was the last offensive highlight of the night.
  5. Yes, Clinton won for just the sixth time on the road on Thursday night, but the LumberKings are not the same team from the first part of the season.  They picked up some new players and some hard throwing pitchers.  I know Eddie Menchaca and Tommy Cruz will have them ready to take on the Rattlers Friday and again next week at the start of that last road trip of the first half.
  6. The key sequence tonight was in the bottom of the seventh.  Clinton had just tied the game 1-1 in the top of the inning and Wisconsin had runners at first and second with no outs and Yadiel Rivera was called on to bunt.  He popped the ball foul and it was caught by the catcher.  John Dishon was next and he lined into a double play.  The Rattlers didn’t get another base runner.
  7. Tommy Toledo with another scoreless inning.  He has not allowed an earned run since April 15, a streak of 21-1/3 innings.  There should be no wonder as to why he is a Midwest League All-Star.
  8. The big story of the day was off the field.  The Timber Rattlers have announced a major renovation for the 2013 season.  A club level with six suites, plus lots more room. Additionally, there will be improvements that you will see: More bathrooms, more room in the concessions and the team store, and a “WOW! factor” for the entrance.  There will also be improvements that you probably won’t see: An improved clubhouse for the Rattlers and more office space in the, um, office.
  9. Links:  The Post-Crescent story with video is up here.   Fox 11 story is hereNBC26 story is here.  Channel 5 story is here.  WBAY story is here. Brew Crew Ball has the renovation story and has some quotes about the game here.

Highlights

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