September 2012

Game Three Highlights – September 7, 2012

Timber Rattlers advance to Western Division Finals with win in Game Three.

Burlington 0
Wisconsin 3
Boxscore | Game Story

David Goforth: 9IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 9K 113 pitches/73 strikes

Please see my comments on Goforth from his last start.  I don’t think I need to add anything to that except for this…NINE STRIKEOUTS! ZOMG!!!!!

If you will allow me to channel my inner Bugs Bunny for a moment:
Ben McMahan WHAM! A homer!!
Nick Ramirez WHAM!! Another homer!!

Rattlers v. Clinton in the Western Division Finals.

The schedule:
Saturday, 9/8 @ Clinton @ 6:30pm
Sunday, 9/9 @ Wisconsin @ 7:05pm
Monday, 9/10 @ Wisconsin @ 6:35pm – if necessary

The pitching matchups:
SAT: RHP Chad Thompson v. LHP Rusty Shellhorn
SUN: RHP Mark Williams v. RHP Seon Gi Kim
MON: TBA v. RHP Bobby Shore

When Clinton was at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium in the second half, hitting coach Tommy Cruz saw me on the concourse and said, “We want you guys in the playoffs.”

Well, they got the Rattlers.

The Rattlers won the season series with LumberKings.  In 15 meetings during the 2012 season, the Rattlers were 12-3, including 8-1 at Clinton.

But, this is a LumberKings team that had an unbelievable second half.  Clinton in the first half: 23-45.  Clinton in the second half: 48-22.  They finished the regular season with a ten game winning streak.  They won 17 of their last 18 games.

Plus, they won a pair of extra inning games in Beloit to bounce back after they lost game one of the first round series at home to advance to the Western Division Finals.

This is going to be a fun series.  Tickets for Game Two of the Western Division Finals go on sale Saturday at 10:00am at the Timber Rattlers Box Office.

I’ll have more in the morning.  Right now, sleep calls because there is a 9:30 bus to Clinton.

Enjoy the highlights:

Lineups & Game Notes for September 7, 2012 – First Round MWL Playoffs Game Three

Chad Pierce in the dugout between innings of Game Two. Photo Credit: Ann Mollica

Burlington Starting Lineup:
Aaron Shipman – CF
Royce Consigli – DH
Addison Russell – SS
Max Muncy – 1B
Bobby Crocker – LF
Wade Kirkland – 3B
John Wooten – RF
Sam Roberts – 2B
John Nester – C

Burlington Starting Pitcher:
Drew Granier

Wisconsin Starting Lineup:
Brandon Macias – 3B
Chadwin Stang – CF
Ben McMahan – LF
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Cameron Garfield – DH
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Max Walla – RF
Rafael Neda – C
Carlos George – 2B

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
David Goforth

Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesSeptember72012

Follow tonight’s game (6:35pm CDT first pitch):
Radio: AM1280,  WNAM
Internet Audio: WNAM Website (Click Listen Live Tab) (free)
Internet Video: MiLB.TV (Subscribers only)

A (brief) history of Game Threes & Game Fives

This series against the Burlington Bees is the 17th playoff series in Wisconsin Timber Rattlers history. Tonight will be the ninth decisive game in the history of the club.  The Rattlers are 3-5 (2-5 at home)  in decisive games in the playoffs.

Here are the previous Game Threes (or Game Fives) in Rattlers history:

September 5, 1996 – First Round Game Three
Peoria 1
Wisconsin 5

September 8, 1996 – Semifinals Game Three
Wisconsin 4
Quad City 3

September 10, 1998 – First Round Game Three
Rockford 4
Wisconsin 2

September 18, 1999 – Finals Game Five
Burlington 13
Wisconsin 4

September 7, 2000 – First Round Game Three
Kane County 3
Wisconsin 5

September 10, 2000 – Western Finals Game Three
Beloit 12
Wisconsin 5

September 9, 2005 – First Round Game Three
Beloit 2
Wisconsin 4 (10 innings)

September 17, 2005 – Finals Game Five
South Bend 4
Wisconsin 0

Game Two Thoughts – September 6, 2012

Game Two
Burlington 0
Wisconsin 4
Boxscore | Game Story

The start

In between:

The Rattlers finished the season with the best fielding percentage in the Midwest League.  But defense isn’t just about not making errors.  It’s also about showing range and getting to balls that other teams or players wouldn’t normally get to.  Watch the highlights.

If this were UEFA, the aggregate would be tied 4-4.  Rattlers might have the edge on fewest hits allowed.

Chad Pierce > Franklin Pierce > Mildred Pierce > Hawkeye Pierce

Last 9-inning complete game shutout by a Timber Rattlers pitcher: 5/29/11 Tyler Thornburg @ Kane County.

Last complete game shutout by a Timber Rattlers pitcher in the playoffs: 9/8/00 Cha Seung Baek at Beloit.

The First round series in the Eastern Division have ended in sweeps.  Fort Wayne pulled an upset as they swept the Lansing Lugnuts.  The TinCaps were down 6-0 to the Lugnuts on the road and rallied back to win 9-6.

Lake County beat the Hot Rods 5-4 in ten innings at Bowling Green to advance.

Clinton forced a Game Three with a win 7-5 ten inning win at Beloit on Thursday.  Clinton is at Beloit for Game Three on Friday night.

Watch the end of the highlights to see the look on the face of Chad Pierce.  THAT is why we love sports!

The finish

Game Two Highlights:

Lineups & Game Notes for September 6, 2012 – First Round MWL Playoffs Game Two

Game Two preparations

Burlington Starting Lineup:
Aaron Shipman – CF
Sam Roberts – 2B
Addison Russell – SS
Max Muncy – 1B
Bobby Crocker – LF
Wade Kirkland – 3B
John Wooten – RF
Royce Consigli – DH
Nick Rickles – C

Burlington Starting Pitcher:
AJ Cole

Wisconsin Starting Lineup:
Brandon Macias – 3B
Chadwin Stang – CF
Ben McMahan – LF
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Cameron Garfield – DH
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Max Walla – RF
Rafael Neda – C
Carlos George – 2B

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Chad Pierce

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesSeptember62012

Bees Game Notes:
BurlingtonGameNotesNew9.6.12

Follow tonight’s game (6:35pm CDT first pitch):
Radio: AM1280,  WNAM
Internet Audio: WNAM Website (Click Listen Live Tab) (free)
Internet Video: MiLB.TV(Subscribers only)
Cable TV: Sports32 for Time Warner Cable Subscribers

Post Game One Thoughts

Wisconsin 0
Burlington 4
Boxscore | Game Story

Just before the end.

Paraphrasing manager Matt Erickson after the game: When a pitcher can throw three pitches for strikes, that’s what happens.

What happened was  Tanner Peters had a nasty changeup.  He threw his other pitches for strikes and – after a Rafael Neda single in the top of the second inning – Peters retired 18 straight Rattlers.  The streak eventually reached 23 – through two more relievers – until Nick Ramirez doubled with two out in the top of the ninth.

I am almost positive that there is an MiLB.com story with quotes from Peters on the way.

A couple from the This Is Just TOO Weird File:  The Timber Rattlers playoff game prior to Wednesday was on September 17, 2005.  Wisconsin lost that game 4-0.  The last Timber Rattlers playoff game in Burlington prior to Wednesday was September 15, 1999.  IT wasn’t 4-0, but it was a shutout and the Bees won that game 2-0.

I know it’s a completely different team, including affiliation, but the last time the Rattlers were swept in a series was in 2003.  Beloit swept the Rattlers out of the first round of the playoffs that year.

Want the really depressing part?  The Rattlers have been to the playoffs from 1996-2001, 2003, & 2005. They have lost been eliminated at home in  1996 (League Finals), 1997 (1st round), 1998 (1st round), 1999 (League Finals), 2000 (Division Finals) , 2003 (1st round), & 2005 (League Finals).  The only year the Rattlers did not get eliminated at home was 2001 (In Kane County in the Division Finals)

It would be nice if history doesn’t repeat itself.

Aside from that there really isn’t much to add to the game story. I tip my cap to the Bees on Game One.

In the other playoff games, Beloit won 8-6 in Clinton.  Fort Wayne beat Lansing 5-2.  Lake County beat Bowling Green 5-4.  Beloit will be the only team going for the sweep at home.  Everyone else heads home and will hope to force game three.

Chad Pierce is the scheduled starter for the Rattlers and he will face AJ Cole.

I won’t paraphrase Matt Erickson for this last part, but I will give him credit for this bit of information that might keep your hopes up  for Thursday.  The Timber Rattlers went 42-28 at home in 2012.   Best home record in the Western Division. That includes a 6-4 record against the Bees.

See you at the ballpark.

Lineup and Game Notes for September 5, 2012 – First Round MWL Playoffs Game One

A view of Community Field in Burlington taken 403′ from home plate.

For the statistical review of the season series between the Rattlers and the Bees go HERE

For the look back at the 1999 MWL Championship Series between the Rattlers and Bees go HERE

Rattlers Lineup:

Brandon Macias – 3B
Ben McMahan – LF
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Cameron Garfield – DH
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Rafael Neda – C
Chadwin Stang – CF
Max Walla – RF
Adrian Williams – 2B

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Jacob Barnes

Bees Lineup:
Aaron Shipman – CF
Sam Roberts – 2B
Addison Russell- SS
Max Muncy – 1B
Bobby Crocker – LF
Wade Kirkland – 3B
John Wooten – RF
Royce Consigli – DH
Nick Rickles – C

Burlington Starting Pitcher:
Tanner Peters

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesSeptember52012

Follow tonight’s game (6:30pm CDT first pitch):
Radio: AM1280,  WNAM
Internet Audio: WNAM Website (Click Listen Live Tab) (free)

A look back at the 1999 MWL Finals between Wisconsin and Burlington

The 2012 first round playoff meeting between the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (At the time an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners) and the Burlington Bees (At the time an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) is not the first time these franchises have butted heads in the Midwest League postseason.

Burlington and Wisconsin met in the 1999 Midwest League Championship series.  The Bees won the best-of-five series 3-2.

If you look at the dates, it is almost exactly 13 years ago that these two teams played for the pennant.

GAME ONE – September 14, 1999:
Wisconsin 2
Burlington 8

Winning Pitcher: Geronimo Mendoza
Losing Pitcher: Enmanuel Ulloa

Wisconsin Home Run: Craig Kuzmic

Key Moments:  The Bees scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie.

Attendance: 724

GAME TWO – September 15, 1999
Wisconsin 0
Burlington 2

Winning Pitcher: Edwin Almonte
Losing Pitcher: Jeff Heaverlo

Key Performances:  Almonte pitched a complete game for the Bees.  Heaverlo allowed three hits in eight innings.  Both Bees runs in the game (one in the third and one in the eighth) were unearned.

Attendance: 955

GAME THREE – September 16, 1999
Burlington 3
Wisconsin 4
12 innings

Winning Pitcher: Clint Chrysler
Losing Pitcher: Brannon Whatley

Wisconsin Home Runs: Craig Kuzmic and Fernando Espino

Key moments: Craig Kuzmic doubled in a run to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth.  He had his RBI double off Mark Buehrle.  Kuzmic homered – on a 1-2 pitch with two out -  in the bottom of the tenth inning to tie the game 3-3.  Fernando Espino hit his walkoff home run to win the game in the bottom of the twelfth.

Attendance: 726

GAME FOUR – September 17, 1999
Burlington 2
Wisconsin 4

Winning Pitcher: Justin Smith
Losing Pitcher: Jason Stumm

Wisconsin Home Run: Craig Kuzmic

Key Moments: Rattlers scored three runs in the first inning off Stumm.  Kuzmic homered in the eighth inning for a little insurance.

Attendance: 906

GAME FIVE – September 18, 1999
Burlington 13
Wisconsin 4

Winning Pitcher: Matt Ginter
Losing Pitcher: Aaron Looper

Wisconsin Home Runs: Juan Silvestre and Alan Zambrano

Key Moment: Game tied 3-3 with one out in the top of the eighth inning.  Bees have runners on first and second.  Ender Gonzalez singles to left. Juan Silvestre comes up throwing to the plate. Carlos Maldonado catches the ball and lets the runner slide into the tag.  Umpire Ryan West calls the runner safe.  Pandemonium ensues. Rattlers manager Steve Roadcap is ejected from the game.  Bees score two more runs in the eighth and add seven in the ninth.

Attendance: 1,223

Wisconsin v. Burlington 2012 in review

The Timber Rattlers and the Burlington Bees will play in a first round playoff series.  The Rattlers – thanks to their three-game sweep of the Bees – finished the season series 10-9.

The games and links to the boxscores of those games will be later in the post.  First, a tale of the tape in the head-to-head matchup:

OFFENSE:
RUNS:
Wisconsin: 72
Burlington: 65

DOUBLES:
Wisconsin: 23
Burlington: 24

HOME RUNS:
Wisconsin: 14
Burlington: 14

AVERAGE:
Wisconsin: .245
Burlington: .226

SLG PCT:
Wisconsin: .388
Burlington: .362

STOLEN BASES/CAUGHT STEALING:
Wisconsin: 15/11
Burlington: 18/4

PITCHING:
ERA:
Wisconsin: 3.34
Burlington: 3.47

STRIKEOUTS:
Wisconsin: 144
Burlington: 163

WALKS:
Wisconsin: 72
Burlington: 46

BURLINGTON STAT LEADERS vs. WISCONSIN (Active players):
AVG: Max Muncy – .448 (13-for-29)
HR: Muncy & Nick Rickles – 2
RBI: Wade Kirkland & Royce Consigli – 7
SB: Bobby Crocker – 2
SO: Drew Granier – 34

WISCONSIN STAT LEADERS vs. BURLINGTON (Active players):
AVG: Chadwin Stang – .357
HR:  Stang & Ben McMahan – 3
RBI: McMahan – 9
SB:  Stang – 6
SO: Chad Pierce – 17

SAVES/SAVE OPPORTUNITIES:
Wisconsin: 7/11
Burlington: 5/5

DEFENSE:
ERRORS:
Wisconsin: 15
Burlington: 15

GAME ONE STARTING PITCHERS:
Wisconsin: Jacob Barnes
vs. Burlington: 0-2; 2 games, 1 start, 9.1IP, 6H, 3R, 5BB, 9K

Burlington: Tanner Peters
vs. Wisconsin: Has not faced Wisconsin

GAME TWO STARTING PITCHERS:
Wisconsin: Chad Pierce
vs. Burlington: 1-1, 3 games, 1 start, 13.2IP, 12H, 6R, 7BB, 17K

Burlington: AJ Cole
vs. Wisconsin: 0-1, 1 game, 1 start, 5.0IP, 5H, 3R, 2HR, BB, 5K

GAME THREE STARTING PITCHERS:
Wisconsin: David Goforth
vs. Burlington: 2-0, 4 games, 4 starts, 22.0IP, 16H, 7R, 6ER, 11BB, 9K

Burlington: TBA

TIMBER RATTLERS vs. BURLINGTON, 2012 GAMES:
4/9: Wisconsin 6 @ Burlington 2 WP: Goforth LP: Perlman
4/10: @Burlington 5, Wisconsin 1 WP: Powers LP: Barnes
4/11: @Burlington 3, Wisconsin 2 WP: Granier LP: Miller SV: Tyson

4/17:  Burlington 5 @Wisconsin 1 WP: Granier LP: Miller
4/17:  @Wisconsin 2, Burlington 0 WP: Gagnon LP: Joseph SV: Harvey
4/18: @Wisconsin 10, Burlington 6 WP: Toledo LP: Powers

5/16: @Wisconsin 5, Burlington 4 (10) WP: Toledo LP: Frankoff
5/17:  Burlington 8,@Wisconsin 3 WP: Alcantara LP: Miller
5/18: @Wisconsin 5, Burlington 3 WP: Toledo LP: Murphy SV: Harvey

6/22: @Burlington 2, Wisconsin 1 WP: Urlaub LP: Cravy
6/23: @Burlington 8, Wisconsin 5 WP: Tyson LP: Peterson SV: Joseph
6/24: @Burlington 5, Wisconsin 4 WP: Mye LP: Pierce SV: Urlaub

7/31: @Wisconsin 5, Burlington 3 WP: Pierce LP: Lamb SV: Strong
8/1: Burlington 3 @Wisconsin 1 WP: Frankoff LP: Cravy SV: Joseph
8/2: @Wisconsin 3, Burlington 1 WP: Semmelhack LP: Cole SV: Shackelford
8/3: Burlington 1 @Wisconsin 0 WP: Macias LP: Barnes SV: Joseph

9/2: Wisconsin 4 @Burlington 2 WP: Goforth LP: Granier SV: Strong
9/3: Wisconsin 6 @Burlington 1 WP: Thompson LP: Hassebrock SV: Suter
9/3: Wisconsin 8 @Burlington 3 WP: Manzanillo LP: Mota SV: White

Tomorrow morning, I’ll have a post up on the one playoff series that was played between these teams.

Quick post doubleheader thoughts…..

Game one:
Wisconsin 6
Burlington 1
Boxscore | Game Story

Game two:
Wisconsin 8
Burlington 3
Boxscore | Game Story

I try to never read too much into performances on the last day of the season…

Especially in a game that features a 6-5 double play with a runner at second and a grounder to short starts the play and a different play in which a pitcher does not cover home plate on a wild pitch that didn’t get too far away from the plate with a runner at third base  resulting in a run scoring and that pitcher getting yanked from the game with a 2-2 count on the batter with two outs in the inning…

BUT, gol durnit, that was a fun way to spend about five hours on Labor Day.

Five home runs on the day with some timely hitting and good relief work.

Max Walla kept game two  from getting out of hand with a spectacular diving catch.  Read the game two game story for details.

Chad Thompson and Brent Suter do the job in game one.  Eric Semmelhack, Santo Manzanillo, and Michael White do the job in game two.  Bullpen should be fresh and ready to go on Wednesday in game one against the Bees.

By sweeping the three game series from the Bees at the end of the regular season, the Rattlers wound up with a winning record against the Bees (10-9) in 2012.  The Rattlers did not have a losing record against any team from the Western Division. As the great Mel Allen might say, “How ’bout that?”

The team will work out in Burlington tomorrow morning and take the afternoon to relax.  Next game is Wednesday at 6:30pm right back here at Community Field.

It’s been a long day and the plan is to put a detailed playoff preview up sometime tomorrow afternoon – or, once I know the starters for Burlington. 

Until then, Rattlers fans, just roll with it:

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