May 2013

Lineup and Game Notes – May 31, 2013

Home is where one starts from. – T. S. Eliot

Great to be back home!

Great to be back home!

There are several ways to follow tonight’s Timber Rattlers game against the Peoria Chiefs.

My New32’s Sports Showdown will be broadcasting the game starting with their Pregame Show at 6:30pm.

In the listening area, dial around to AM1280, WNAM.  This is one of the internet links to listen to the game.   WNAM is also available on IHeartRadio as a website and as an app for your smart phone.

This game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.

First pitch is 7:05pm.

Timber Rattlers Lineup:
Alfredo Rodriguez – 3B
Orlando Arcia – SS
Tyrone Taylor – CF
Michael Reed – LF
Victor Roache – DH
Adam Giacalone – 1B
Parker Berberet – C
Max Walla – RF
Chris McFarland – 2B

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher: Damien Magnifico
Peoria Starting Pitcher: Kyle Helisek

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay312013
Peoria Game Notes: PeoriaMay31GameNotes

Nine is enough – Postgame post for May 30, 2013

Ulysses in his turn told her what he had suffered, and how much trouble he had himself given to other people. He told her everything, and she was so delighted to listen that she never went to sleep till he had ended his whole story. – Book XXIII of The Odyssey

Mike Reed's two-run single in the third.

Mike Reed’s two-run single in the third.

The Timber Rattlers ended the road trip with a 5-7 record -with one rainout.  Wisconsin went 1-2 in Burlington, 2-1 in Quad Cities, 1-2 at Peoria, and 1-2 at Beloit.

Clint Coulter was held out today, too.  Just precautionary.

Jose Sermo tried to avoid a tag on a grounder to second on the inning ending double play in the top of the third.  He could not avoid the tag and tweaked a little something.  He was limping a bit when the team got back to Appleton.  We’ll see where that goes for tomorrow.

It’s a shame because Sermo started that seven-run third inning and capped it, too.  He singled to start the frame.  Scored on a double by Tyrone Taylor. Singled to drive in the final two runs in the inning.

The Rattlers did a great job going back through the center of the diamond against Dakota Bacus, the starter for the Snappers.  Four of their first five hits were singles right through the middle of the infield.  The only hit that wasn’t up the middle was Taylor’s line drive double that the third baseman barely had time to get his glove up to get a piece of the ball.

Two hits for Tyrone Taylor on Thursday.  Good.  That should get him started.

Michael Reed drove in a run in the top of the first and probably saved a run in the bottom of the first.  He singled to drive in Alfredo Rodriguez for a 1-0 lead.  Then, the wind fooled him a bit on a line drive down the left field line off the bat of Brett Vertigan.  Reed came in, realized he had to go back, and had to run to the foul line as the bat was slicing off the bat of the left-handed leadoff batter.  Reed made the catch, staggered, tumbled, and held on for the out.   Reed ended the day – his first game as the cleanup hitter in the lineup – with two hits, three RBI, and a runs scored.

The wind was crazy today.   It was blowing straight out at about 25mph and was gusting to 31mph.  Fortunately, it didn’t affect much within the game.

Orlando Arcia with two more walks on the day.  He now has more walks (16) than strikeouts (15) in 177 plate appearances. His slashline is .253/.331/.316 through 47 games.

Tyler Wagner kept the ball down – 12 ground outs: 2 flyouts – and threw strikes – unofficially 96 pitches/70 strikes.  No walks with four strikeouts.  That’s a pretty good recipe for success.

One point to make about Wagner.  The Snappers had runners at second and third with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning.   Instead being too fine and walking the next batter or going for a strikeout and getting burned on another hit to extend the inning, Wagner just went after the guy and got him to ground out.  So what if a run scored.  It’s still 9-1 and there are two outs.  You can go far by doing that.  Keep doing that.

If you look at the picture up top, you’ll notice that there is a cameraman  behind home plate.  He works for WREX.  There are some highlights from the games off on the right side of the page here.

The team is home for the next ten games.  Let’s do what we can for good weather and come on out to see the team face Peoria, Beloit, and Clinton.

Musical Interlude – May 30, 2013

I just need to NOT be on the computer for a few hours.  I’ll have the postgame post up right around the start of the Brewers game tonight.

For now

Rattlers 9
Snappers 5
Boxscore | Game Story

Van Morrison for the ride home after two weeks on the road:

Lineup and Game Notes for May 30, 2013

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. – Ernest Hemingway

Taken from the vantage point of a ninja.

Taken from the vantage point of a ninja.

In the listening area, dial around to AM1280, WNAM.  This is one of the internet links to listen to the game.   WNAM is also available on IHeartRadio as a website and as an app for your smart phone.

First pitch is 11:00am.

Timber Rattlers Lineup:
Alfredo Rodriguez – DH
Orlando Arcia – SS
Tyrone Taylor – CF
Michael Reed – LF
Adam Giacalone – 1B
Parker Berberet – C
Max Walla – RF
Chris McFarland – 2B
Jose Sermo – 3B

Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Tyler Wagner
Snappers Starting Pitcher: Dakota Bacus

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay302013

The Silence – Postgame post for May 29, 2013

Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute. – Josh Billings

It was a nice day and it didn't rain.

It was a nice day and it didn’t rain.

Rattlers 0
Snappers 3
Boxscore | Game Story

Michael Reed hit a ball to the wall in the fourth inning with Tyrone Taylor at first base.  Brett Vertigan made a catch against the wall to rob Reed of extra bases.

I still can’t believe the Christopher Bostick’s home run was a home run.  It barely made it over the fence in left-center.  It was hard to tell if it went out of the park because it went over all the white signs by the scoreboard.  It looked like Reed in left and Taylor in center couldn’t believe that it went over the fence either.

Eric Semmelhack had 71 pitches (47 strikes) in four innings.  He had a 25 pitch first inning that included a walk and a single to the first two batters (on full counts) and strikeouts to the next three batters.

Max Walla was charged with a caught stealing in the fourth inning.  He was not running until the ball popped away from the catcher.  I have seen that ruled as a regular 2-4 putout instead of a 2-4 caught stealing. Not this time.

The Beloit pitchers faced the minimum (21 batters) through seven innings despite a pair of hits.  Reed singled but was caught stealing. Walla reached on a fielder’s choice and we have already covered that.

Victor Roache had the other hit for the Rattlers on Wednesday.  He doubled in the eighth inning, but was left stranded.  The two-base hit was his fourth of the season.

I know that I keep saying this, but I saw stuff today that I have never seen on a baseball field.

  1. Renato Nunez was at second with two outs.  Chad Lewis hits a grounder to Mike Garza at third.  Garza was going to go to first with the throw for the final out.  But, he had trouble with the ball.  Nunez was about to run into the out on the bases.  So, he started to head back to second.  Garza reset his targeting system to throw to Alfredo Rodriguez covering second.  He threw. He hit Nunez on the shoulder.  But, the ball deflected to Rodriguez and Nunez turned to head back to third.  Rodriguez tossed the ball to Orlando Arcia covering at third.  Arcia applied the tag for the final out.  If you remember, Garza hit the base umpire with a throw to first in Tuesday’s game.  The Rattlers on the infield better watch out tomorrow (Aside: Kidding, Mike)
  2. There was a halt in play in when the Rattlers were batting early in the game – I think it was the second inning with Victor Roache at the plate.  I couldn’t figure out the reason for the stoppage.  I looked for a ball on the field or a fan on the field or a dog or maybe something like a bat weight was too far out in foul territory.  The umpire just stood there waiting.  Then, there was movement  in the left field wall to the right of the Best Western sign (Check the picture).  The wall MOVED.  It looked like it MOVED!  Then, I realized that it was a Beloit player from their bullpen.  He had managed to camouflage himself in the white of the sign by putting a white towel over his head and the colors in his uniform.  He must have snuck out there while everyone else was busy during the change over between innings.  He was out there for one pitch.  Then, the umpire spotted him.I think someone saw the end of A Game of Shadows on the last road trip (Skip ahead to 1:33).I wish there was film of this. Because I’ll bet you think I am making this up to pad out this post where not a lot happened in a 3-0 loss.  I’m crazy and do have my moments, but I am not that good.  I must find out who did this.

UPDATE: HERE! PHOTOS! AS IN PLURAL!

Instagram doesn’t lie

He – #33 Dakota Bacus, who is Thursday’s starter for the Snappers – may have also just seen GI Joe 2 and is cos-playing Storm Shadow because he was moving along the wall.

Final game of the road trip starts Thursday morning at 11am.  Then, home!

Lineup and Game Notes for May 29, 2013

It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it. – Amelia Barr

Beloit's front office takes the tarp off the field before Wednesday's game at Pohlman Field.

Beloit’s front office takes the tarp off the field before Wednesday’s game at Pohlman Field.

In the listening area, dial around to AM1280, WNAM.  This is one of the internet links to listen to the game.   WNAM is also available on IHeartRadio as a website and as an app for your smart phone.

First pitch is 11:00am.

Wednesday’s Lineup:
Tyrone Taylor – CF
Michael Reed – LF
Max Walla – RF
Victor Roache – DH
Adam Giacalone – 1B
Alfredo Rodriguez – 2B
Parker Berberet – C
Mike Garza – 3B
Orlando Arcia – SS

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher: Eric Semmelhack
Beloit Starting Pitcher: Vincent Voiro

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay292013

Writing it out – Postgame post for May 28, 2013

Everybody has to write out of rage sometimes. – Amy Clampitt

Turning point

Turning point

Rattlers 5
Snappers 6
FINAL – 5 innings
Boxscore | Game Story

Rule 4.10(c)(2)’d!!

I had a brief chat with manager Matt Erickson after the game tonight. I think both of us were calm enough to discuss things rationally. So, here goes:

Clint Coulter was taken out as a precautionary measure. That’s all I was told. He did have two more hits on two hard hit balls to claw his way above .200.

The grounds keeper was updating the umpires on the progress of the storm during every inning break. If they knew it was going to rain that early in the bottom of the 5th, it should NOT have started. OPINION: It was WRONG that the bottom of the fifth inning even started.

It was especially wrong to start that inning after Jorge Lopez came into the game. He throws four pitches and – if that game had been restarted – there is no way he could have gone back out there.

BUT and there are some really big ones that Matt brought up during our chat. In order:

  1. The umpires, the weather, and the grounds crew didn’t fail to push more runs across the plate with runners at second and third with one out in the top of the fourth.
  2. The umpires, the weather, and the grounds crew didn’t misplay a two out grounder in the bottom of the fourth inning that let the Snappers tie the game.
  3. The umpires, the weather, and the grounds crew weren’t the ones who didn’t score with runners at second and third and one out in the top of the fifth.
  4. The umpires, the weather, and the grounds crew weren’t the ones who gave up a home run on the first pitch of the bottom of the fifth.

Orlando Arcia had two hard hit balls for a double and a single.  He drove in two runs – both with two outs.  Arcia has his batting average up to .255 now.

You read that right.  Mike Garza hit the umpire with a throw to first.  It looked like he was going to go to second for the base umpire got in position for a play there.  Garza changed his mind and first to first…and hit the umpire.  Maybe there was something in the air tonight.

Matt did tell a brief story about when he hit an umpire in a 2001 World Cup game when he played for Team USA.   He made a play at short faked to first and came back to third with a throw to get a runner who had rounded third base too far.  The umpire bought the fake, too.  Matt said that he hit him in the side of the head.

So….it does happen.

This wasn’t even the worst rain-shortened loss in Timber Rattlers history.  That “honor” goes to May 17, 2006 at Kane County.  The Timber Rattlers trailed Kane County 2-0 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning during a day game.  It started to rain and play was halted.  The tarp went on the field and it rained, but it looked like it was going to stop and the game would restart.  The front office of the Cougars CONVINCED the umpires that this MONSTER thunderstorm was just five minutes away and for everyone’s safety, the game HAD to be called.

The umpires called the game.

Five minutes later the Sun was out.  The Sun was still out thirty minutes later as the team got on the bus to head back to the hotel.  The SUN WAS STILL OUT 45 minutes later when we pulled into the team hotel.

THAT is still the Undefeated Champion for the worst rain-shortened lost in Timber Rattlers history.

That one still gets me going, in case you couldn’t tell.

Gotta run. 8am bus to the ballpark in the morning. Miles to go before I sleep.

Raining

Raining

REALLY raining!

REALLY raining!

Lineup and Game Notes for May 28, 2013

There is no shortcut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation – veneer isn’t worth anything. – George Washington Carver

Michael Reed works with Dusty Rhodes in the cage at Pohlman Field before Tuesday's game.

Michael Reed works with Dusty Rhodes in the cage at Pohlman Field before Tuesday’s game.

In the listening area, dial around to AM1280, WNAM.  This is one of the internet links to listen to the game.   WNAM is also available on IHeartRadio as a website and as an app for your smart phone.

First pitch is 6:30pm.

Timber Rattlers Lineup:
Tyrone Taylor – CF

Alfredo Rodriguez – 2B
Max Walla – RF
Victor Roache – LF
Adam Giacalone – DH
Parker Berberet – 1B
Clint Coulter – C
Mike Garza – 3B
Orlando Arcia – SS

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Ryan Gibbard
Beloit Snappers Starting Pitcher: Seth Streich

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay282013

Why do we fall? Postgame post for May 27, 2013

Why do we fall sir? So we might learn to pick ourselves up – Alfred in Batman Begins

Orlando Arcia is about to score the run that will put the Rattlers up 3-1 in the top of the 12th

Orlando Arcia is about to score the run that will put the Rattlers up 3-1 in the top of the 12th

Wisconsin 3
Peoria 4
FINAL – 12 INNINGS
Boxscore | Game Story

Austin Blaski with his fourth straight quality start. No strikeouts, but So what? He pitched well. Got out of the one jam that he was in during six innings and only walked two. He continues to pitch well.

He also picked off two runners…in the same inning. It was pretty impressive. His move may be close to a balk. He got called for a balk later in the game, but that’s just quick feet. It reminds me of David Goforth’s move from last year.

Clint Coulter took his walks (2 4-pitch walks) and hit the ball hard the other three times at the plate. His hit in the twelfth was a line drive through the right side of the infield. He also showed some speed going from first to third on the base hit to right by Orlando Arcia in that inning. Plus, he thrw out the one player who attempted to steal second on him.

There was nothing that he could do on wild pitch that moved the tying run into scoring position in the eighth inning. The pitch was very high and Coulter was lucky to get a glove on it.

The weather…First, it looked like a huge storm was going to hit the stadium around the start of the game (1:00pm). Then, we heard it was going to hit around 2:30. The rain started right around 2:25. I had the weather radar up on a tab in my browser. It looked like we just needed to get through the seventh inning, wait 30 minutes, and that would be that. BUT, it never rained hard enough for the game to be halted. Just enough to affect play.

Pardon my language but today’s weather and the game winning play were two of the damndest things I’ve see in a long time.

Nathan Baliva sent along the highlights of Monday’s game.

Of note in those highlights:

Look where Parker Berberet’s homer landed
Look at Swinson rob Clint Coulter of a home run
Look at Jose Sermo’s single in the top of the 12th and look at Arcia’s slide to the back of home plate.
*Sigh* Look at the last play. I still can’t believe that happened.

One of the damndest things I’ve ever seen.  Off to Beloit.

Lineup and Game Notes – May 27, 2013

Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations, that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of a free and undivided Republic. - John A. Logan

The tarp is off the field...for now.

The tarp is off the field…for now.

In the listening area, dial around to AM1280, WNAM.  This is one of the internet links to listen to the game.   WNAM is also available on IHeartRadio as a website and as an app for your smart phone.

First pitch is 1:00pm.

Timber Rattlers Lineup:
Alfredo Rodriguez – 2B
Michael Reed – RF
Tyrone Taylor – CF
Victor Roache – LF
Parker Berberet – 1B
Clint Coulter – C
Orlando Arcia – SS
Chris McFarland – DH
Jose Sermo – 3B

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Austin Blaski
Peoria Chiefs Starting Pitcher: Hector Hernandez

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay272013

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