Nine after 9 for July 4, 2012
- I tried very hard to avoid using ‘The Rattlers set off some fireworks of their own in the eighth inning of their Independence Day game at Cedar Rapids’. It was tough because that cliche was so true. It was like: Grand slam! BOOM! OOOOOOOO! Monster home run! AHHHHHHH!
- The main point that I’ve made about this Rattlers team this season is that they do not give up. They just keep coming back. They just happened to comeback in the eighth inning against a 2012 draft pick that had been lights out since joining the Kernels. More on that in a bit. Through the first seven innings. Wednesday’s game was frustrating. Every time Wisconsin got cut into the lead, the Kernels would get a run to answer. Plus, it was hot – 98 degrees at game time. Plus, there were some calls that made both teams boil a bit.
- Before you get on Kernels manager Jamie Burke for getting kicked out in the second inning, there is apparently a bit of history between this umpiring crew and the Kernels. Besides, that ejection seemed to jump start the Kernels offense. They sent nine men to the plate against Rattlers starting pitcher David Goforth. Not sure what it is, but in the last two starts Goforth has had one inning where he faced ten batters in an inning and nine batters in an inning. Then, he goes back to cruising along. It’s weird.
- To the offense! Chadwin Stang, Ben McMahan, and Nick Ramirez each needed one hit to complete the cycle. Stang and Ramirez each needed a triple. McMahan needed a home run. Still no cycles in Timber Rattlers history but who cares after a game like that.
- I’m not sure why Stang got switched into the lineup on Wednesday. Didn’t find out about it until he stepped into the box to start the game. He doubled in the third and had a bunt single in the seventh for his first two hits. In the eighth, Stang did a nice job working the count full against RJ Alvarez. He fouled off a two strike pitch, didn’t offer at a couple of pitches out of the strike zone – pitches that he has chased a lot this season. Then, he got a letter high fastball and crushed it!
SLAM ASIDE: That was grand slam number two on the 2012 season and number 38 in franchise history. Cedar Rapids has been a grand slam haven for the Timber Rattlers. Since 1995, the Timber Rattlers have hit eight grand slams in Cedar Rapids. Wisconsin has hit a total of nine grand slams against the Kernels in franchise history. That would be the most off one opponent. The MWL opponent Wisconsin has hit the second most slams off since 1995 is Kane County (4).
- Speaking of crushing. I believe I have commented on the pop in the bat of Nick Ramirez. Sweet Baby James, did he crush that home run in the eighth inning. He paused to watch it for a beat which was understandable.
- Keep in mind the Rattlers did all this eighth inning destruction against RJ Alvarez, the 2012 3rd round pick of the Angels out of Florida Atlantic. As mentioned on twitter: Kernels Pitcher RJ Alvarez prior to tonight: 6G, 7IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 11K. RJ Alvarez on 7/4 v. @TimberRattlers: .2IP, 4H, 6R, BB, HB, 2HR, K
- Tommy Toledo gave up a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth. It shouldn’t have come to that. A throwing error on Yadiel Rivera started the inning. The homer came with two outs to cut the lead to one run Then, the most anti-climatic ending in a while. The crowd was still celebrating the home run and trying to get revved up for the next batter, who swung at the first pitch and popped out to end the game.
- Carlos George was hit on the back of his right hand – his throwing hand – with a pitch in the eighth inning. He looked like he might come out of the game. Keep in mind, the Rattlers do not have an extra infielder on this trip. It looked like Roenicke would pinch run, but George stayed in the game. How would the defense would have looked in the bottom of the eighth had that happened? Maybe Macias to second and Roenicke to third?
- BONUS NOTE: The high on Thursday in Cedar Rapids is forecast to be be 100. Stay cool. Stay hydrated.