November 2012

Latest Renovation Photos

Head over here to see Episode 9 of Renovation Update.

We shot that episode before Thanksgiving and premiered it today.

As you can imagine, there has been a lot of work done since that time.  We had another video shoot on Wednesday.  The episode will be ready to air next week, but here are some photos of the latest work at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium.

The outside walls to the front office and the ticket windows are in place.

Here is a look at the steel going in for the second level.

This is the steel going in on the first base side.

A view of the area behind home plate.

The left field berm has been cleaned up with a retaining wall and a brick path along the fence.

The right field berm area is receiving the same treatment.

Things are moving quickly at the stadium. Can’t wait to get back there next week.

Walkoff Wednesday (2005 Season)

It’s Walkoff Wednesday on Rattler Radio.

Time to cover the 2005 season…aka The last season the Rattlers made the playoffs before 2012.

This season was covered – at least for the Rattlers - in this post back in June.  But, I wanted to get into a bit more depth than was handled at the time.  So, here we go.

There were lots of Rattlers walkoff wins – including a series ending walkoff, during 2005.  But, opposing teams made a lot of mistakes with the game on the line, too.  Opposing teams were also held to only two walkoff wins over the Rattlers.  Unfortunately, one of those walkoffs was the most ridiculous one against the Rattlers….ever!

TIMBER RATTLERS WALKOFFS (9):

Matt Tuiasosopo had the first walkoff homer of the season for the 2005 Timber Rattlers.

Mike Wilson was involved in a LOT of walkoff plays for the 2005 Timber Rattlers. One was a playoff series winning homer against Beloit.

DATE: April 13
OPPONENT: Swing of the Quad Cities
BATTER: Matt Tuiasosopo
PITCHER: Michael Gross
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 11th.
GAME WINNING PLAY: Leadoff home run by Tuiasosopo!
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 4, Swing 3
NOTES: The Rattlers trailed 2-0 after a pair of errors by Tuiasosopo in the top of the sixth eventually led two a pair of Quad Cities runs.  Wisconsin got on the scoreboard with a run in the seventh.  Tuiasosopo tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth.  He drilled a 2-2 pitch for his first homer as a Rattler and the game winning home run.

DATE: April 22
OPPONENT: Burlington Bees
BATTER:  Rob Johnson
PITCHER: Nate Moore
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the 11th.
GAME WINNING PLAY: Oswaldo Navarro scores from third on a wild pitch with two outs.
FINAL SCORE:  Timber Rattlers 5, Burlington 4
NOTES: Brandon Green tripled and David Hall drove in pinch runner Carlos Arroyo to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth.  Navarro was hit by a pitch to start the eleventh and Josh Womack followed with a single.  A fielder’s choice and a strikeout left Navarro at third and Yung Chi Chen at first with two outs.  Moore’s second pitch to Johnson went to the backstop and Navarro scored the winning run.

DATE: April 24
OPPONENT: Beloit Snappers
BATTER: Yung Chi Chen
PITCHER: Steven Duguay
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the 9th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Yung Chi Chen draws a bases loaded walk to force in Oswaldo Navarro with the winning run.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 5, Beloit 4
NOTES: Jack Arroyo tied the game in the seventh with a two-out, two-run single.  The ninth started with Brian Schweiger drawing a walk and Navarro taking his place as a pinch runner.  Brent Johnson dropped a sacrifice bunt.  Arroyo was walked intentionally.  Josh Womack singled to load the bases.  Chen drew a four pitch walk to force in the game winner.

DATE: July 4
OPPONENT: Beloit Snappers
BATTER: Mike Wilson
PITCHER: Kyle Asleton
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 6-6 in the bottom of the 13th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Mike Wilson draws a bases loaded walk to force in Chris Colton with the winning run.
FINAL SCORE:  Timber Rattlers 7, Beloit 6
NOTES: Wilson had tied the game 6-6 with a 2-out RBI double in the seventh inning.  Aaron Jensen was the starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers.  He allowed five runs on FOURTEEN HITS in 6-2/3 innings.  He actually left the game with a 5-4 lead.  But Ivan Blanco allowed an inherited runner score and one of his own to cross the plate in the seventh. Asleton gave up a double to Colton to start the thirteenth.  Josh Womack fouled out on a bunt attempt.  Then, Asleton walked Yung Chi Chen intentionally, Marshall Hubbard on four pitches, and Mike Wilson on a 3-2 pitch for the game winner.

DATE: July 22
OPPONENT: Clinton LumberKings
BATTER: Brent Johnson
PITCHER: Mark Roberts
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 6-6 in the bottom of the 10th.
GAME WINNING PLAY: Brent Johnson RBI single.
FINAL SCORE:  Timber Rattlers 7, Clinton 6
NOTES: The Rattlers led 6-4 with one out and the bases loaded in the top of the ninth.  Eric O’Flaherty came on to get a strikeout for out number two.  But, Tuiasosopo committed an error to allow the tying runs to score.  In the tenth, Chris Colton walked to start the inning.  A sacrifice bunt by Oswaldo Navarro moved Colton into scoring position.  Then, Brent Johnson singled to center to drive in Colton with the winning run.

DATE: July 27 (Game 1 of doubleheader)
OPPONENT: Kane County Cougars
BATTER: Chris Colton
PITCHER: Tomas Cabaniel
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the 7th.
GAME WINNING PLAY: Throwing error on catcher Raul Padron allowed Jack Arroyo to score.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 5, Kane County 4
NOTES: Yung Chi Chen tied the game with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth.  Brent Johnson started the bottom of the seventh with a double, but he was out at third when Jack Arroyo tried to bunt him over.  Arroyo stole second with Colton at the plate.  Arroyo stole third on a 1-2 pitch and scored when Padron’s throw sailed into left field.

DATE: August 2
OPPONENT: South Bend Silver Hawks
BATTER: Mike Wilson
PITCHER: Esmerling Vasquez
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 7-7 in the bottom of the 9th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Mike Wilson RBI single.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 8, South Bend 7
NOTES: Vasquez entered the game with runners at first and second with one out in the ninth.  He threw a wild pitch to move Brent Johnson to third and Yung Chi Chen to second.  Wilson fouled off three two-strike pitches before dropping a single to center on a 3-2 pitch to drive in the winning run.

DATE: August 9
OPPONENT: Cedar Rapids Kernels
BATTER: Josh Womack
PITCHER: Miguel Gonzalez
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 5-5 in the bottom of the 11th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Error by Alexis Casilla allows Mike Wilson to score winning run from second base.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 6, Cedar Rapids 5
NOTES: The Kernels tied the game 5-5 with three runs in the top of the eighth inning.  Mike Wilson did not get the start in this game.  He came on as a pinch-hitter for DH Jeff Clement in the bottom of the eighth.  Wilson singled to start the eleventh, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Oswaldo Navarro, and scored when Casilla booted Womack’s grounder.

DATE: September 9
OPPONENT: Beloit Snappers
BATTER: Mike Wilson
PITCHER: JP Martinez
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 10th.
GAME WINNING PLAY: Mike Wilson hits a two-run walkoff homer!
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 4, Beloit 2
NOTES: This was Game Three of the first round playoff series between the Timber Rattlers and Snappers.  The Rattlers had a 2-0 lead early, but Johnny Woodard hit a two-run homer off Robert Rohrbaugh in the top of the fifth to tie the game.  The score stayed tied until the tenth.  Oswaldo Navarro singled to start the bottom of the tenth.  Jeff Clement struck out.  Then, Wilson cleared the scoreboard in left-center for a series winning home run!

OPPONENT WALKOFFS (2):

DATE: May 3
OPPONENT: Southwest Michigan Devil Rays
STADIUM: C.O. Brown Stadium
BATTER: John Asanovich
PITCHER: Eric O’Flaherty
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 9th.
FINAL SCORE: Southwest Michigan 4, Timber Rattlers 3
GAME WINNING PLAY: RBI single by Asanovich
NOTES: The Rattlers had a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning.  Mumba Rivera (7.0) and Roman Martinez (1.0) had allowed a run on four hits in the first eight innings.  Then, O’Flaherty walked the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth.  After a sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third, O’Flaherty gave up three straight RBI singles to Tommy Nichols, Craig Markel, and Asanovich.

DATE: June 1
OPPONENT: Cedar Rapids Kernels
STADIUM: Veterans Memorial Stadium
BATTER: Michael Collins
PITCHER: Craig James
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 10th.
FINAL SCORE: Cedar Rapids 4, Timber Rattlers 3
GAME WINNING PLAY: RBI single by Michael Collins
NOTES: This was the most ridiculous walkoff ever.  The Kernels got consecutive singles to start the bottom f the tenth inning.  James struck out the next two batters.  Collins sent an easy grounder to Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop.  The ball hit a pebble – or something – about ten feet in front of Cabrera.  The ball bounded over Cabrera’s head into left-center and Alexis Casilla scored the most undeserved game-winning run ever.

Past Walkoff Wednesdays:

Walkoff Wednesday (2004 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2003 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2002 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2001 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2000 Season)

MLB Memory Lane: July 7, 1978

I went to a lot of baseball games before I started working in baseball.  MLB Memory Lane is a look back at some of those games.

This week, Larry Hisle beats Louisiana Lightning!

Larry Hisle’s 1978 baseball card.

He may have been TSN’s Player of the Year, but Larry Hisle and the Brewers got to him at County Stadium on July 7, 1978.

Date: July 7, 1978
Teams: New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers
Stadium: Milwaukee County Stadium
Seat Location: Upper Deck, Third base side
With: Friends

The 1978 Milwaukee Brewers baseball season was different in a two ways.

1.) That was the first season of this sweet logo:

You know they’ve done studies, and it truly is the greatest logo in the world.

2.) The Brewers were really, really good.

It all started with a five game winning streak to start the season.  This streak included three straight wins over the Baltimore Orioles by scores of 11-3, 16-3, and 13-5.

Offensively, the Brewers added Paul Molitor, a rookie who made his MLB debut on Opening Day of 1978, and Larry Hisle, a free agent from the Minnesota Twins.

Hisle had 119 RBI and 28 RBI, was an All-Star, and finished 12th in the MVP voting in his final season with the Twins.  He signed with the Brewers.  On Opening Day of 1978, he stepped in as Milwaukee’s left fielder and clean up batter and delivered a 2-for-3 day with three runs, a homer, and two RBI.

By the time July 7 had rolled around, Hisle was hitting .288 with 15 homers.

The Brewers were 45-35 on the season, but were in third place – 10-1/2 games behind the first place Boston Red Sox.  The Yankees were in second at 46-35.

It was going to be difficult for the Brewers to pass the Yankees on this warm summer night.  Yes, the Brewers had the best offense Milwaukee had seen on a baseball diamond since the Braves of the late 50′s.  But, Ron Guidry was the scheduled starting pitcher for the Yankees this night.

Louisiana Lightning had made 17 starts prior to this game at County Stadium.  He was 13-0.  Guidry had allowed four runs in a start one time.  In his other 16 starts he had allowed three or fewer runs.  And Guidry was not a Five and Dive pitcher.  He had six complete games and only once had he not made it to at least the seventh inning.

But, there was something different on this night.  Maybe it was the crowd of over 40,000 on this Friday night.

Mike Caldwell, no slouch on the mound, worked out of a jam in the top of the first.  Then, the Brewers offense went to work.

Here is how retrosheet.org records the first four Milwaukee batters in the bottom of the first:

BREWERS 1ST: Molitor struck out; Money doubled to left; Bando walked; Hisle homered [Money scored, Bando scored]

Think on that. It took just four batters for the Brewers to do something to Guidry that took almost entire games to do.

As a side note, yes, Don Money did bat second…a lot.

When I sat in the upper deck at County Stadium, I could almost never judge how far a ball would fly. Those high fly balls or line drives to the gap always looked like they were going to be a home run. Most would die well short of the warning track.

The ball that Larry Hisle hit in the first inning was not a problem. There is a sound of the ball hitting the bat just right. You know it when you hear it. That lazer of a home run by Hisle had that sound…and the crowd went wild.

The fans had a low buzz after that, but reached another crescendo when Caldwell struck out Reggie Jackson to end the top of the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, two of the most popular Brewers combined for a run. Sixto Lezcano doubled to start the inning. Robin Yount drove him home with a triple and it was 4-0 Brewers.

Hisle started the sixth inning with his second home run of the game. He had allowed four home runs ALL SEASON before this game. Guidry finished the inning, but he would be done for the game.

That homer made it 5-0 and Caldwell went into cruise control. He struck out Jackson again in a 1-2-3 seventh inning and got a double play to help him face the minimum in the eighth.

The final Brewers run of the game scored on a two-out solo home run in the eighth inning by Sixto Lezcano off Bob Kammeyer.

Caldwell closed out his 4-hit shutout with a perfect ninth inning and the Brewers moved into second place in the American League East.  Plus, they picked up a game on the Red Sox and were just 9-1/2 games back.

All was right and the future was looking very promising for baseball in Milwaukee.

NOTES:
A few years ago, Larry Hisle was a guest of the Timber Rattlers on a Brewers Sunday. After I introduced myself to him, I told him that I was at this game. He remembered everything about that game and he didn’t have to look it up on retrosheet.org or baseball-reference.com to jog his memory. For him, it was as if it had happened a few days ago.

If you never heard County Stadium PA Announcer Bob Betts announce Leczano’s name as Sixto walked to the plate for an at bat, it is something that can’t be recreated.  There was something so perfect about it.  The way both names were drawn out is – as the saying goes – often imitated, but never duplicated.  It really is a case of You had to be there.

Caldwell’s win was his eleventh complete game of the season.  He was on the way to a 22-9 record with 23 complete games.  He finished second in the AL Cy Young race.  Guidry, who finished 25-3, won the 1978 AL Cy Young and received all 28 first place votes.

This win started a streak of 12 wins in the next 14 games for the Brewers.  After a 17-8 win at Texas on July 23 – in which Hisle hit his 23rd home run of the season, Milwaukee was 57-37 and trailed the Red Sox by five games.

Guidry would get some revenge on Milwaukee later in the season.  On August 10 at Yankee Stadium, he shutout the Brewers on three hits and a walk with nine strikeouts in a 9-0 Yankees win.

That loss on August tenth dropped the Brewers to 61-49.  They were in third place and nine games behind Boston.  The Yankees were 64-49 and in second place.

Milwaukee recovered but wouldn’t catch Boston or New York.  They ended the season at a very successful 93-69, but that was six games behind the Red Sox and Yankees who tied for the AL East Pennant and needed a one game playoff to decide the winner.  A Brewers postseason spot was still a few years away.

July 7, 1978 Lineups:
New York Yankees
Mickey Rivers, cf
Roy White, lf
Thurman Munson, c
Lou Piniella, rf
Chris Chambliss, 1b
Reggie Jackson, dh
Graig Nettles, 3b
Bucky Dent, ss
Fred Stanley, 2b
Ron Guidry, p

Milwaukee Brewers
Paul Molitor, 2b
Don Money, 1b
Sal Bando, 3b
Larry Hisle, lf
Sixto Lezcano, rf
Dick Davis, dh
Jim Wohlford, cf
Robin Yount, ss
Charlie Moore, c
Mike Caldwell, p

Paul Molitor: 1-for-4
Robin Yount: 1-for-3, RBI, 3B
Reggie Jackson: 0-for-3, 2K

Retrosheet.org boxscore and play-by-play
Baseball-Reference WPA Chart
Google News Archive of Milwaukee Journal Article

Past MLB Memory Lane entries:
Rally against The Eck & Walkoff the A’s (1989)

Dennis Lamp near no-hitter (1981)

Teddy & Team Streak (1987)

Chester Marcol steals the show (1980)

Nolan Ryan at Wrigley (1987)

Hostess Card Collection

Hostess may be gone for now.  But, my collection of Hostess Baseball Cards lives on for ever!

1975-1976:  That Hank Aaron card is also known as The only Hank Aaron card I have in my collection.

1976: Gene Tenace and Bobby Murcer switched teams that offseason.  I felt the need to note that.

All 1976 except for the 1977 Johnny Bench.  All of your favorite players from the mid 70′s….and Felix Millan.

1976 The Astros should ALWAYS wear these jerseys.

All 1977 except for Phil Niekro. Mike Torrez was with Oakland?  Also, I’d like to think that Champ Kind has several copies of that Gene Tenace card….WHAMMY!

All 1977: Felix Millan…again. And Bill Singer’s last year in the Majors was with the expansion Blue Jays.

All 1977: Think I could trade that Doyle Alexander card for a John Smoltz rookie card?

1977-1978: Tony Perez never looked right in an Expos uniform.

1978-1979: Bob Horner was a rookie in 1978. Bobby Murcer was on the right team.

Uncropped shot of Mehring Monday banner for this week.  Yes. I forgot to add Joe Lahoud to this image. How could I forget Joe Lahoud?

Walkoff Wednesday (2004 Season)

It’s Walkoff Wednesday on Rattler Radio.

Time to cover the 2004 season.

The Rattlers had a rough year on the field in 2004.  That included walkoff victories.  The ’04 Rattlers had many close calls, but…

TIMBER RATTLERS WALKOFFS (3):

Clockwise from Top Left: Chris Colton, Justin Ruchti, & Oswaldo Navarro.

The Rattlers had one in May against Cedar Rapids and didn’t record another until consecutive walkoffs on July 26 & 27 against the Beloit Snappers.  But, those aren’t the full details.  Those are……..NOW!

DATE: May 18
OPPONENT: Cedar Rapids Kernels
BATTER: Oswaldo Navarro
PITCHER: Bob Zimmerman
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 9th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Error by third baseman Matt Brown allowed winning run to score from second
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 3, Cedar Rapids 2
NOTES: Eric Blakeley started the inning with a double.  Navarro did not get the first two bunt attempts down.  Manager Steve Roadcap made Navarro bunt again on an 0-2 count.  Brown fired the ball wildly to first base and into right field.  Blakeley scored easily and the Rattlers won to go to 17-22 on the season.
 
DATE: July 26
OPPONENT: Beloit Snappers
BATTER: Chris Colton
PITCHER: Tim Dillard
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 9th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Chris Colton RBI single
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 3, Beloit 2
NOTES: The Timber Rattlers had a 2-2 lead in the top of the ninth inning.  Jason Mackintosh was going for a complete game victory.  He had 95 pitches through eight inning.  Vinny Rottino hit a solo home run on an 0-1 pitch to start the ninth and tie the game 2-2.  Mike Hrynio entered the game and retired the next three batters.  Eric Blakeley singled to start the ninth, went to second on a grounder, and scored on the single by Colton. 
 
DATE: July 27
OPPONENT: Beloit Snappers
BATTER: Justin Ruchti
PITCHER: Greg Kloosterman
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the 9th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Justin Ruchti singled to drive in the winning run.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 5, Beloit 4
NOTES: Don Money, the manager of the Snappers, was sooooooooooo angry after this game.  He and his coaching staff felt they were getting – pardon the language – screwed by the official scorer.  There was a game earlier in the series in which a call was debated in the press box for almost an hour after the game.  Wladimir Balentien doubled with one out in the ninth.  Then, Ruchti’s sharply hit grounder for the game winning hit skipped past third baseman Adam Heether to let Balentien score the winning run.  There were a few choice profanities from the Beloit coaching staff when they were told the play was a single for Ruchti.
 
OPPONENT WALKOFFS (5):
 
DATE: May 30
OPPONENT: Peoria Chiefs
STADIUM: O’Brien Field
BATTER: Tyler Parker
PITCHER: Juan Ovalles
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 9th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Tyler Parker with an RBI single.
FINAL SCORE: Peoria 3, Timber Rattlers 2
NOTES:  Lefty Casey Abrams entered the game to face lefty Daric Barton to leadoff the bottom of the ninth.  He walked Barton and was replaced by Juan Ovalles.  Sacrifice bunt, intentional walk, and Parker followed with his single to drive in pinch runner Anthony Monegan.
 
DATE: June 19
OPPONENT: Clinton LumberKings
STADIUM: Alliant Energy Field
BATTER: Abigail Sandoval
PITCHER: Brian Stitt
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 3-3 in the 9th
FINAL SCORE: Clinton 4, Timber Rattlers 3
GAME WINNING PLAY: Abigail Sandoval drove in winning run with a single.
NOTES: Mike Hrynio walked Emerson Frostad with one out in the bottom of the ninth and was replaced by Brian Stitt.  A walk to Larry Grayson was followed by the game winning hit by Sandoval.
 
DATE:  July 6
OPPONENT: Kane County Cougars
STADIUM: Phil Elfstrom Stadium
BATTER: Brian Ingram
PITCHER: Brad Rose
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 7-7 in the 9th
FINAL SCORE: Kane County 8, Timber Rattlers 7
GAME WINNING PLAY: Brian Ingram with a two-out RBI single
NOTES: The Rattlers had tied the game 7-7 when Josh Womack scored from first base after a throwing error by pitcher JR Pickens after a sacrifice bunt attempt by Nick Orlandos.
 
DATE: July 7
OPPONENT: Kane County Cougars
STADIUM: Phil Elfstrom Stadium
BATTER: Trevor Brown
PITCHER: Brian Stitt
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Timber Rattlers 2, Kane County 1 in the bottom of the 10th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Brown hit a two-run double with one out in the bottom of the tenth.
FINAL SCORE: Kane County 3, Timber Rattlers 2
NOTES: The Rattlers took a 2-1 lead with a solo home run by Michael Cox in the top of the tenth.  Stitt gave up two singles (one to Brian Snyder and one to Vasili Spanos) to start the bottom of the tenth.  The Rattlers got a 5-6 force at third (Eric Blakeley to Adam Jones) on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Dustin Majewski.  But, Brown doubled to drive in two for the Cougars comeback.
 
DATE: August 1
OPPONENT: Battle Creek Yankees
STADIUM: CO Brown Stadium
BATTER: Erold Andrus
PITCHER: Chad Fillinger
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the tenth
GAME WINNING PLAY: RBI single with the bases loaded by Andrus
NOTES:  The Rattlers had tied the game with two runs in the top of the ninth inning on RBI by Bryan LaHair and Chris Colton.  Chad Fillinger gave up a single and a walk to start the bottom of the tenth.  The Rattlers pulled off another 5-6 putout on a sacrifice bunt attempt to get the lead runner.  But, Fillinger walked the next batter to load the bases.  Andrus singled on a 1-0 pitch to drive in Enrique Cruz from third with the winning run.

Past Walkoff Wednesdays:

Walkoff Wednesday (2003 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2002 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2001 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2000 Season)

Walkoffs 2005-2012

Ohio’s Most Wanted, Organizational All-Stars, & Roster Moves

Three items for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

This place is evil. But, you shouldn't steal from it
Ohio Stadium. aka ‘The Horseshoe’.

#1.  Do you know this person?

A fan of a Milwaukee Brewers minor-league affiliate and some pals walked out of Ohio Stadium last week with flat-screen televisions, signed memorabilia and other items.

All they left behind was a purple hat with the logo for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Ohio State University Deputy Police Chief Richard Morman said yesterday.

The theft took place after the Illinois game on Nov. 3 — between 11:20 p.m. on Nov. 4 and 8 the next morning, police said.

The thieves apparently scaled the fence that surrounds the stadium, then used a trash can to climb onto the suites’ patio, Morman said. The doors to the suites were unlocked.

Six suites were entered, he said, and four flat-screen TVs, valued at $2,000 total, were taken. Eleven autographed photographs valued at $200 were taken after the glass of the frames was smashed. The memorabilia was owned by the companies or families who lease the suites, Morman said. A kiosk on the Huntington level was broken into, and $1,800 worth of merchandise was taken.

Police are working on getting video to identify the thieves, but they’re also relying on the hat left behind. It’s a purple hat with the Timber Rattlers’ logo: a snake wrapped around a W.

“It’s not something that’s real common in central Ohio, to see someone wearing a Wisconsin Timber Rattlers hat,” Morman said. “If this person is a student, staff or faculty member, (someone) might recognize him.”

The Timber Rattlers — 2012 Midwest League Champions — play in Appleton, Wis.

Break-ins at the stadium are unusual, Morman said.

Story from The Columbus Dispatch. Bold for emphasis.

#2. MiLB.com names Brewers Organizational All-Stars for 2012

The following list has twelve spots.  Six belong to Timber Rattlers from 2012.  Five belong to Timber Rattlers of past seasons.  One spot on the list is a possible Rattler for the 2013 season.  I have pulled a few notes on each player, but make sure to click the link above for the complete notes on them. 

C   – Cameron Garfield: “He missed some time with injuries, but he jumped into the Midwest League and did a great job at the plate with his bat,” special assistant to the general manager and director of player development Reid Nichols said. “I think his offense was nice to see; he responded with the bat. He still has some work to do defensively, but he’s a more offensive type of guy at this point.”

1B – Hunter Morris: Led the Southern League in a number of categories, including homers, RBIs, hits (158), extra-base hits (74) and slugging percentage (.563). Defensively, his .995 fielding percentage was the most among all Southern League first basemen. Morris made six errors in 1,259 chances, had a league-best 1,198 putouts and teamed up on 112 double plays.

2B – Scooter Gennett: “I think that was a good choice. He’s a young guy that responded to being pushed to Double-A,” Nichols said. “He will be a good big league hitter. He improved defensively which was what we were pleased most with. The main issue used to be that if he made an error, he would let it get him down and he would maybe make another one. But he overcame that and became a good defensive second baseman this year. He expects so much of himself that when he doesn’t perform he gets down.”

SS – Yadiel Rivera: While Rivera has not displayed the ability to consistently hit for average in his brief Minor League career, his other stats are trending upward. His 12 homers and 49 RBIs ranked first among Milwaukee shortstops, and his .247 average, while not spectacular, was still a career best for the 20-year-old native of Puerto Rico who was selected in the ninth round of the 2010 Draft. Defensively, Rivera posted a .962 fielding percentage, having committed 22 errors in 586 chances.

3B – Brandon Macias: While his home runs tally fell behind the likes of Andy Gonzalez and T.J. Mittelstaedt (both 13) and Mike Walker (12), his 35 doubles meant he finished with more extra-base hits (45) and total bases (198) than any of them. Not afraid to crowd the inside half of the plate, Macias was hit by 21 pitches this season. No other player on the Milwaukee farm was hit more than 12 times, and only two other batters racked up double-digit HBPs.

OF – Ben McMahan

Despite playing as many as 28 games fewer than some of the other outfielders in the organization, McMahan led all Brewers outfielders in homers (15), triples (11), RBIs (68) and slugging percentage (.500).

The University of Florida alum, selected in the 23rd round of the 2011 Draft, made the jump from the short-season Pioneer League seamlessly. While he struggled with plate discipline at times (29 walks to 129 strikeouts in 414 at-bats), his raw power and plus speed impressed coaches who hope to see his growth continue in 2013.

OF – Josh Prince: What third-rounder Prince lacks in power, he makes up for in speed and aggressiveness, according to Nichols. The 24-year-old, a Louisville Slugger All-American in his freshman year at Tulane University, ranked second in the organization with 41 stolen bases this year.  His 74 walks and 28 doubles were the most of any outfielder in the system, while his 55 RBIs and 74 runs scored were both career highs.

OF – Chadwin Stang: “Chadwin is a little older player who is Canadian,” Nichols observed. “He has a lack of playing experience, but it’s always up to the individual. He accepted that he had to catch up with some of the other players. I saw him have a more consistent approach at the plate this year, and he stayed on the field even though he had minor injuries. He played a good, full season.”

UT – Jason Rogers: At his fourth level in three years, the 24-year-old adjusted well to the jump, posting a .300/.416/.412 slash line. With five more longballs and an additional 23 RBIs, Rogers set career highs in virtually every offensive category. His 35 doubles were tied for the second-most in the system, while his 83 runs were second only to Stang.

RHSP – Hiram Burgos: “He will start for a Major League club. He didn’t miss a beat going through the levels; he was right in sync. He stayed within himself. He’s a command pitcher, but because his command is so good, it makes his fastball look even faster when he throws it inside.”

LHSP – Taylor Wall: Selected in the 22nd round of the 2012 Draft out of Rice University, Wall went 3-1 with a 3.98 ERA in 14 games, including 10 starts, in his rookie year with Helena in the Pioneer League. He struck out twice as many batters (40) as he walked (20), and he allowed three homers over 54 1/3 innings.

RP – Jim Henderson: He held hitters to a .214 average, and he yielded two homers in 48 innings pitched. A Pacific Coast League midseason All-Star, Henderson struck out more than a batter an inning (56) and recorded a 1.21 WHIP before earning a promotion to Milwaukee.

#3. Brewers add five former Timber Rattlers to their 40-man roster.

This note arrived in an email from the Brewers so no link yet.

Milwaukee added the following former Timber Rattlers to their 40-man roster:

Nick Bucci (’10)
Hiram Burgos (’10)
Khris Davis (’10)
Scooter Gennett (’10)
Josh Prince (’09)

Congratulations to all five!

MLB Memory Lane: August 23, 1987

I went to a lot of baseball games before I started working in baseball.  MLB Memory Lane is a look back at some of those games.

This week, Nolan Ryan at Wrigley Field!

Date: August 23, 1987
Teams: Houston Astros & Chicago Cubs
Stadium: Wrigley Field
Seat Location: Home plate, Upper Deck
With: High School Friends

I may as well let the cat out of the bag. The Brewers were my American League team when I was young.  But, I grew up a Cubs fan.  It’s not my fault.  I loved baseball.  I lived close enough to Chicago to be able to pick up WGN on the TV Antenna.  The Cubs were on all summer.  It just kind of happened.  I did not fully shake the fandom until the results of the 2003 NLCS.  But, it is still a part of what makes me love baseball.  It also prepares me for sporting disaster at any moment so that I am no longer shocked when it happens.  But, that is another topic for another day.

Late August of 1987.  I about two weeks away from going off to campus at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.  Some high school friends (For the record it was Bob Rowe & Ron Gorsche) called me up that Sunday around 10:30 and asked if I wanted to go to the Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

You bet!

We didn’t have tickets in advance.  But, these were the 1987 Cubs.  Andre Dawson was having an MVP season, but they were languishing in fifth place at 62-61 and 10-1/2 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League East.  We just walked up and got some cheap tickets.  I am positive I have the ticket stub in a shoebox somewhere in the trailer.

I had failed to check the paper before leaving for Chicago, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw that the pitching matchup was Nolan Ryan for the Astros against Rick Sutcliffe for the Cubs.

Nolan Ryan at Wrigley Field. (Credit: World of Wallpapers)

Houston was only 1/2 game behind the first place San Francisco Giants in the NL West and looking for a series win from the Cubs.  In game one of the series, Chicago had snapped the Astros’ 7-game winning streak.  But, Houston had won game two in eleven innings.

We were a little disappointed when Manny Trillo broke up Ryan’s no-hit bid with a two-out single in the second inning.  But, Sutcliffe set down the Astros in order in the first three innings.

Then, Sutcliffe tripled with one out in the bottom of the third inning. Ryan struck out Dave Martinez and Ryne Sandberg to end the threat.

Of course Gerald Young would single to leadoff the top of the fourth and there would be no no-no at Wrigley Field that day.

Later in the inning, Kevin Bass was walked intentionally to load the bases with two outs and bring Ken Caminiti to the plate.  Camaniti was a rookie in 1987.  Sutcliffe walked him to force in a run.

In the sixth, Bill Doran was at second with two outs and the Cubs intentionally walked Bass again.  Caminiti delivered a single.  Doran scored. Astros up 2-0.

Ryan had been cruising.  He gave up two hits and struck out seven through the first five innings.  The Express retired Sutcliffe to start the sixth inning.  But, he walked Martinez and was replaced by Rocky Childress.  Childress got the second out.  All he had to do to get out of the inning was retire Leon Durham.

Then, Leon Durham hit one of the longest home runs I have ever seen in person.

A building across the street from the right field bleachers at Wrigley Field had a sign on top of it.  It was for Torco and said “Hit it here, Cubbies!”  It looked like Durham was going to take the advice of Torco High Performance Racing Oils and Advanced Lubricants.

Leon Durham on the cover of SI.

The photo below is not that Torco sign, but it does show a Torco sign.  It is from this post at Cubby Blue, a blog by Tim Sauers.  As always, click to enlarge the photo.

Look past the bleachers in right field for the Torco sign.

Heading into the top of the seventh, we were getting ready to sing along with Harry Cary for the Seventh Inning Stretch.  Especially with two outs and nobody on base.  Then, Terry Puhl hit a pinch-hit double and Young walked.  Billy Hatcher followed with a triple that scored two runs for a 4-2 Astros lead.

That would be it for the game.  Jeff Heathcock pitched a perfect seventh and a perfect eighth for the Astros.  Dave Smith closed out the game with a scoreless ninth and the Astros won the game.

After the game, we made a stop at Sears Tower and headed up to the observation deck to take in the sights.  Then, we headed home – with The Loop, 98 FM blasting on the radio.

NOTES:
Three future hall of famers participated in this game: Andre Dawson, Nolan Ryan, and Ryne Sandberg.

There is a very remote chance for a fourth player from this game to make it to Cooperstown.  Rafael Palmeiro pinch hit for Sutcliffe in the bottom of the eighth.

If the bullpen had held on to win this game, Nolan Ryan’s 300th career victory would have been at home against Detroit on July 20, 1990 instead of against the Brewers in Milwaukee on July 31, 1990.

About that Sports Illustrated cover from 1984.  The best photo that SI could find to represent the Cubs at that point in the season was Leon Durham tossing away his bat after taking ball four for a walk?  Really?

Hal Lanier was the manager of the Astros in 1987.  I would cross paths with him a few years later.  I was an announcer for the Duluth-Superior Dukes from 1996 through 1998.  Lanier was the manager of the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the Northern League at the same time.  He was an intense dude.

8/23/87 LINEUPS:
HOUSTON:
Gerald Young, cf
Billy Hatcher, lf
Bill Doran, 2b
Glenn Davis, 1b
Kevin Bass, rf
Ken Caminiti, 3b
Craig Reynolds, ss
Robbie Wine, c
Nolan Ryan, p

CHICAGO:
Dave Martinez, cf
Ryne Sandberg, 2b
Leon Durham, 1b
Andre Dawson, rf
Jerry Mumphrey, lf
Manny Trillo, 3b
Shawon Dunston, ss
Jim Sundberg, c
Rick Sutcliffe, p

Ryne Sandberg: 0-for-4, 2Ks
Andre Dawson: 1-for-4

LINKS:
Retrosheet.org boxscore & play-by-play
Baseball Reference WPA Chart

Past MLB Memory Lane entries:
Rally against The Eck & Walkoff the A’s (1989)

Dennis Lamp near no-hitter (1981)

Teddy & Team Streak (1987)

Chester Marcol steals the show (1980)

Renovation Photos & Video

Here’s Episode Eight:


These are some photos from areas that will be in Episode Nine*:

Lots of new walls.

 

Building out from the old footprint.

 

The expanded Snake Pit Team Store is taking shape.

 

Also taking shape – the first base concession stand.

 

If you sit in Sections 103 through 107, Rows R though U, don’t worry. Your seats will be back in plenty of time.

*-Episode Nine was shot yesterday, but won’t premier until the Thursday the 29th.  There’s this thing called Thanksgiving that you humans celebrate.

Walkoff Wednesday (2003 season)

It’s Walkoff Wednesday on Rattler Radio.

This week we head back to 2003.

The 2003 season featured an Opening Day walkoff, consecutive home games with extra-inning walkoffs against two different opponents, and – four walkoffs without hits.

The 2003 Timber Rattlers went 69-66 in the regular season before losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Beloit Snappers.  They had future major leaguers Rene Rivera and TJ Bohn, but watch for the names Gary Harris and Corey Harrington to pop up often in the game winning plays.

TIMBER RATTLERS WALKOFFS (9):

DATE: April 9 – Game one of doubleheader
OPPONENT: Clinton LumberKings
BATTER: Gary Harris
PITCHER: Franco Peezly
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF:Tied  1-1 in the bottom of the 7th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Gary Harris drives in Carlos Arroyo with RBI single in bottom of the seventh.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 2, Clinton 1
NOTES:  This was the first game of the 2003 season.  The Timber Rattlers were supposed to open on April 3 against the Beloit Snappers.  The first four games of the season were snowed out.  Then, the games scheduled against Clinton on April 7 and 8 were postponed because of weather issues.  The season finally started with a doubleheader on April 9.  Game one started at 1:05pm.  It ended after the Rattlers rallied from a 1-0 deficit in the bottom of the seventh.  Michael Garciaparra scored the tying run on a throwing error after a bunt by Arroyo.  Harris knocked in Arroyo moments later for the win.

DATE: April 22
OPPONENT: Cedar Rapids Kernels
BATTER: Gary Harris
PITCHER: Austin Bilke
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Scoreless tie in the bottom of the 13th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Eric Aybar commits an error to allow Corey Harrington to score.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 1, Cedar Rapids 0 in 13 innings
NOTES: The bases were loaded with one out.  The Kernels infield was in to force Harrington at the plate.  Harris hit the ball right at Aybar.  But, the Kernels shortstop fired the ball to the backstop and Harrington scored for the 1-0 victory.
 
DATE: April 24
OPPONENT: South Bend Silver Hawks
BATTER: Dustin Delucchi
PITCHER: Sam Taulli
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 13th inning
GAME WINNING PLAY: Two-out RBI single by Delucchi drive in Harrington.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 3, South Bend 2
NOTES: There was an off day for the Rattlers on April 23, so this would be the consecutive walkoff games in this season.  Harrington doubled and went to third on a sac bunt to start the inning.  Harris had a chance to win the game, but struck out for the second out of the inning.  Then, Delucchi singled on a 1-0 pitch for the win.
 
DATE: April 27
OPPONENT: South Bend Silver Hawks
BATTER: TJ Bohn
PITCHER: Enrique Gonzalez
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 12-12 in the bottom of the 10th
GAME WINNING PLAY: TJ Bohn leadoff homer in the tenth!
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 13, South Bend 12
NOTES: South Bend scored five runs in the top of the eighth inning to take a 12-7 lead.  The Rattlers tied the game in the bottom of the eighth with five runs.  Bohn hit a three-run h0mer in the eighth to make the score 12-11.  Bohn had one of the all-time great single game performances by a Rattler in this contest.  He went 4-for-5 with a single, double, two homers, three runs, five RBI, and a stolen base.  Add in that one of the homers was the walkoff homer and that is a really, really good day.

 
DATE: May 16
OPPONENT: Lansing Lugnuts
BATTER: Michael Garciaparra
PITCHER:  Jason Wylie
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the tenth
GAME WINNING PLAY: Matt Hagen scores on a wild pitch
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 4, Lansing 3
NOTES: Rattlers were down 3-2 heading to the bottom of the tenth.  Hagen drove in the tying run – Jon Nelson – with a one-out double, took third on a grounder, and scored on a two-out wild pitch.
 
DATE: June 4
OPPONENT: Fort Wayne Wizards
BATTER: Gary Harris
PITCHER: Nobuaki Yoshida
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 1-1 in the 14th inning
GAME WINNING PLAY: Fort Wayne first baseman Paul McAnulty committed an error on a grounder off the bat of Gary Harris to let Corey Harrington score the game winning run with no outs in the 14th.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 2, Fort Wayne 1
NOTES: Harrington started the 14th inning with a single.  Then, McAnulty committed an error on a sacrifice bunt by Dustin Delucchi on the play prior to the walkoff.
 
DATE: August 5
OPPONENT: Quad City River Bandits
BATTER: Rene Rivera
PITCHER: TJ Prunty
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 1-1 in the 12th
GAME WINNING PLAY: TJ Bohn scores from third on a wild pitch
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 2, Quad City 1
NOTES: This game doesn’t get to extra innings without Gary Harris.  He drove in the tying run with a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth off Justin Olson. 
 
DATE: August 7
OPPONENT: Beloit Snappers
BATTER: Gary Harris
PITCHER: Bo Hall
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Ties 2-2 in the 9th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Two-out RBI single by Harris drives in Arroyo
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 3, Beloit 2
NOTES: TA Fulmer was the starting pitcher for the Rattlers in this game.  He had a 2-0 lead through seven innings.  But, Beloit tied the game with two runs in the eighth (SAC FLY by Chas Terni and 2-out RBI single by Calix Crabbe).  Fulmer got out of the eighth and pitched a scoreless ninth to set up the possibility of a walkoff win.  This was the fifth and final complete game of the season for Fulmer.
 
DATE: August 24
OPPONENT: Burlington Bees
BATTER: Brent Metheny
PITCHER: Nate Hoelscher
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 5-5 in the 9th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Two-out RBI single by Brent Metheny scores TJ Bohn.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 6, Burlington 5
NOTES: The Rattlers were down 5-1 heading to the bottom of the ninth.  They scored five runs in their last at bat to claim their final walkoff win of 2003.  This game is also notable for the Timber Rattlers debut of Felix Hernandez.  The future Cy Young Award winner would have taken the loss in this game if the Rattlers had not rallied in the 9th.
 

OPPONENT WALKOFFS (4):

DATE: April 15 – Game one of doubleheader
OPPONENT: Beloit Snappers
STADIUM: Pohlman Field
BATTER: Steve Moss
PITCHER: Oscar Delgado
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 9th.
GAME WINNING PLAY: Steve Moss drove in pinch-runner John Vanden Berg with the winning run.
FINAL SCORE: Beloit 4, Timber Rattlers 3
NOTES: The Rattlers took a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh when Arroyo scored on an error.  They held that lead until there were two outs in the bottom of the seventh.  That was when Callix Crabbe pushed the game to extra innings with an RBI double off Rich Dorman.
 
DATE: May 3
OPPONENT: Dayton Dragons
STADIUM: Fifth Third Field
BATTER: Dominique Lewis
PITCHER: Bryan Heaston
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 9th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Dominique Lewis hits an RBI single with one out to drive in Junior Ruiz.
FINAL SCORE: Dayton 4, Timber Rattlers 3
NOTES: The Rattlers had tied the game in the top of the ninth on an RBI single by Gary Harris to score Tim Merritt and make the score 3-3.  The game tying hit by Harris was off Todd Coffey.
 
DATE: August 18
OPPONENT: Battle Creek Yankees
STADIUM: C. O. Brown Stadium
BATTER: Gabe Lopez
PITCHER: Dave Viane
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 9th.
GAME WINNING PLAY: Lopez singles with one out to drive in Joaquin Arias for the win.
FINAL SCORE: Battle Creek 4, Timber Rattlers 3
NOTES: The Rattlers had a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 9th inning.  Greg Wear, who had pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, gave up a leadoff single in the ninth.  Oscar Delgado entered and gave up a single, but got a force at third on a sacrifice bunt attempt to a pair of lefties.  Then, Dave Viane entered the game.  He gave up an RBI single to Arias, threw a wild pitch, and issued an intentional walk to load the bases.  A walk to pinch-hitter Sandy Madera forced in the tying run.  Lopez singled in the winning run moments later.
 
DATE: August 30
OPPONENT: Kane County Cougars
STADIUM: Phil Elfstrom Stadium
BATTER: Brant Colamarino
PITCHER: Brandon Moorhead
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 5-5 in the bottom of the 9th.
GAME WINNING PLAY: Bases loaded RBI single by Colamarino to score Nick Rogers with the winning run.
FINAL SCORE: Kane County 6, Timber Rattlers 5
NOTES: The Rattlers had a 5-4 lead going to the bottom of the ninth.  Moorhead struck out the first batter in the bottom of the ninth.  But, a single and two walks loaded the bases.  John McCurdy drew the third consecutive walk – this one a 4-pitch free pass – from Moorhead to force in the tying run.  Then, Colamarino delivered his game winning hit.

Past Walkoff Entries:

Walkoff Wednesday (2002 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2001 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2000 Season)

Walkoffs 2005-2012

1994 Foxes Home Games (#3 – April 16 v. Fort Wayne)

A folder was found during the renovations of Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Inside this folder, an era of Appleton Professional Baseball was rediscovered. The original scoresheets and boxscores from home games of the first half of the 1994 Foxes season. This was the time of Alex Rodriguez, Raul Ibanez, and many other future major league ball players.

Rattler Radio will look back at each of these games from 1994 between now and Opening Day, 2013. Enjoy.

DATE: April 16
OPPONENT: Fort Wayne Wizards
FOXES STARTING PITCHER: Tim Harikkala
OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Russell Lehoisky
TRIVIA:  Home Game #3 of the 1994 Foxes season was a 7-inning game.  It followed the conclusion of the game that was suspended on April 15.
ATTENDANCE: 499

 

FOXES LINEUP:
Marcus Studivant – LF
Manny Patel – 2B
Alex Rodriguez – DH
David Lawson – RF
Jason Cook – 3B
Alex Sutherland – C
James Clifford – 1B
Giomar Guevara – SS
Mike Barger – CF

FORT WAYNE LINE UP:
Jason Baker – LF
Danny Venezia – 2B
Ryan Radmonovich – 3B
Tim Costic – 1B
Chad Rupp – DH
Tom Knauss – RF
James Mott – SS
Ben Jones – CF
Scott Stricklin – C

This game started at 7:05pm, a little over thirty minutes after the conclusion of the suspended game from April 15.  Official scorer Jim Youngwerth notes Windy/Brisk in the weather box, but does not indicate a temperature.  Brisk will have to do.

The Wizards scored a pair of runs in the second inning.  The first scored an error by second baseman Manny Patel during a rundown.  The second run scored on an error by first baseman James Clifford.

Foxes starting pitcher Tim Harikkala went into shutdown mode after that.  He allowed two hits, one walk, and no runs the rest of the way in the seven inning game.

Appleton’s offense got going in the fourth.  Russell Lehoisky, who escaped a bases loaded, one out jam in the bottom of the second with a double play, walked Jason Cook and Alex Sutherland with one out in the fourth.  Clifford made up for his error with an RBI single.  A walk to Giomar Guevara loaded the bases and brought Mike Barger, the #9 hitter in the order, to the plate.

SUICIDE SQUEEZE!

Barger got it down and Sutherland with the tying run.

The game stayed tied to the last of the seventh.  Alex Rodriguez singled to start the inning.  David Lawson followed with a single to put runners on first and second with Cook due up next.

A-Rod went to steal third…and got caught for the first out.

Cook picked up Rodriguez with a single to score Lawson from second with the winning run!

Jason Cook, the first Walkoff Hero for the Appleton Foxes of 1994!

FOXES OF THE GAME:
Jason Cook 2-for-2, 2 walks, run scores, GW RBI
Tim Harikkala 7IP, 3H, 2R, 0ER, 2BB, 3K, Winning Pitcher

NOTES:
Alex Rodriguez: 1-for-3, BB, K, SB, CS
Raul Ibanez: DNP

Jason Cook was a 55th round pick of the Mariners in the 1993 draft.  He played 51 games for the Foxes in 1994 and repeated the Midwest League as a Timber Rattler in 1995.  Cook made it as high as AA Memphis in 1997.

Tim Harikkala made the big leagues with the Mariners in 1995 & 1996, Boston in 1999, Colorado in 2004, and Oakland in 2005 & 2007.  His last appearance in an affiliated league was when he pitched three games for Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League in December of 2010.

Harikkala has kept his hand in the local game.  This link goes to the old blog and the link there goes to a dead story on The Post-Crescent website, but you get the idea.

“Pitching here is a little different from pro ball,” said Harikkala, a married man like Gassner with two children. “You’re not as locked in, not as focused and you don’t worry as much when he give up a hit. It’s a lot of fun, but my competitiveness still comes out a little too much. I’m used to baseball being a seven-day-a-week thing. I didn’t know if I could just come out and pitch on Sundays.

“But you get to the point where you’d rather be with the family. You’re gone so much when you’re playing professionally. I used to bring my family along when the kids were younger or out of school, but it was tough when they were in school. You don’t want to be packing them up and moving them around every three months.”

Click for the PDFs:

April16FortWayneSheet

April16FoxesSheet

April161994Boxscore

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