May 2013

Birthday Boys – Postgame Post for May 26, 2013

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? – Satchel Paige

Damien Magnifico went six scoreless and is now 5-0 on the season.

Damien Magnifico went six scoreless and is now 5-0 on the season.

Wisconsin 6
Peoria 3
Boxscore | Game Story

Bus leaves for the ballpark at 9:15am on Monday morning. So, this will be brief.

Damien Magnifico = Efficient. Unofficially I had him at 68 pitches/49 strikes. The most pitches he threw in an inning were 15. Granted the Chiefs helped him. There was a seven pitch fifth inning, in which the first batter grounded out on a 1-2 pitch. The next batter swung at the first pitch and singled. The next batter swung at the first pitch and reached on an error. The next batter swung at the first pitch and grounded into a double play.

Magnifico had two strikeouts and walked none and is 5-0 on the season.  Nice way to celebrate the first start after your birthday.

Said double play was of the 4-3 variety. It wasn’t just an offensive night for Alfredo Rodriguez. He made a nice place on the grounder near the base and decided to take the force himself and throw to first for the double play.

You want to talk about the offense?  Line drive single in the fourth.  Line drive homer in the sixth.  Rodriguez has a 9-game hitting streak to match the longest streak on the team this season.  Remember when Dusty Rhodes and I were talking about  Rodriguez and his bad luck early in the season?  That is turning around for him.  Look at it this way: He’s 2-for-4 as a 23 year-old.

Max Walla walked twice, had a two-run triple, and scored three runs on Sunday.  After the game, I jokingly asked him if he walked two times during the 2012 season.  He thought I was serious.  For the record he did walk 47 times in 101 games during the 2012 season.  A lot of guys are happy when they leave Extended Spring Training.  Max is ecstatic and making up for lost time.  He is 3-for-7 with a double, a triple, four runs, a stolen base, and two RBI in two games.

In case you were wondering, the bunt by Tyrone Taylor in the third inning with runners at first and third with one out was a safety squeeze.  It just didn’t work out on Sunday.

Heads up play by Mike Reed in the seventh.  Taylor singled.  Reed singled to send Taylor to third.  The Chiefs brought the infield in with no outs and Walla at the plate.  Reed saw that there was no way a middle infielder would be able to get back to cover second on a stolen base attempt.  Reed swiped that base easily.  He would score on the triple by Walla.

Leonard Lorenzo hadn’t appeared in a game since May 15.  He looked a bit rusty in the bottom of the seventh.  It was a little nerve-wracking to see the tying run at the plate in that inning.  But, he made the pitch to get out of the inning.  The unofficial tally for Lorenzo on Sunday was four broken bats.  Unfortunately, one of those broken bats was the two-run single by Ildemaro Vargas in the seventh.

Series wraps on Memorial Day at 1:00pm.  Then, the road trip continues to Beloit on Tuesday.  Then, home on Friday.

Lineup, Game Notes, & Transactions for May 26, 2013

Baseball is drama with an endless run and an ever-changing cast. – Joe Garagiola

Dozer Stadium Pregame on May 26, 2013

Dozer Stadium Pregame on May 26, 2013

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
Michael Reed – LF
Max Walla – RF
Victor Roache – DH
Adam Giacalone – 1B
Alfredo Rodriguez – 2B
Orlando Arcia – SS
Brent Dean – C
Jose Sermo – 3B

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Damien Magnifico
Peoria Chiefs Starting Pitcher: Joe Cuda

Timber Rattlers Transactions:
LHP Michael Strong has been placed on the Wisconsin DL retroactive to 5/25.
RHP Leonard Lorenzo has been reinstated from the DL at Wisconsin.

Updated Timber Rattlers Roster: Timber_Rattlers_Roster_052613

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay26a2013

Sometimes the day just ends – Postgame post for May 25, 2013

Sometimes there are no words, no clever quotes to neatly sum up what’s happened that day. Sometimes, the day just…ends. – Aaron Hotchner, Criminal Minds

May 25 2013 007

Wisconsin 0
Peoria 6
Boxscore | Game Story

Saturday was the third time Wisconsin has been shutout, but the first time they have been shutout in a nine inning game.  The previous two times had happened in a seven inning game as part of a doubleheader.

Alfredo Rodriguez now with an eight-game hitting streak and Adam Giacalone now with a six-game hitting streak.  Both went 1-for-4 in the game.

Tyler Wagner had another quality start.  He has four quality starts in seven starts this season.  He walked two, struck out seven, and deserved a better fate.

Rodolfo Fernandez didn’t mess around when he came into the game.  He faced five batters and made sixteen pitches-11 strikes-to retired four of those five batters.

I’m looking through my scoresheet trying to find something else, but the only other positive that I can find is that there is another game tomorrow.

Get ’em tomorrow.

Lineup & Game Notes for May 25, 2013

Life is like a cash register, in that every account, every thought, every deed, like every sale, is registered and recorded. – Fulton J. Sheen

Pregame at Dozer Park in Peoria on May 25, 2013.

Pregame at Dozer Park in Peoria on May 25, 2013.

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

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher: Tyler Wagner
Peoria Starting Pitcher: Kyle Helisek

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay252013

Wait. What? Postgame post for May 24, 2013

Enthusiasm is followed by disappointment and even depression, and then by renewed enthusiasm. – Murray Gell-Mann

Nothing to do with tonight's game. But, to the right is the old fence.  To the left is the ribbon board that cut down the distance about five feet.

Nothing to do with tonight’s game. But, to the right is the old fence. To the left is the ribbon board that cut down the distance for a home run to right about five feet.

Timber Rattlers 3
River Bandits 4
Boxscore | Game Story

Max Walla wasted no time getting back into the swing of things.  Just talked to him on the bus and he just said that it’s been a long time.  A double, a single, and a a run scored.  Solid first game back.

The Rattlers didn’t try to steal on Roberto Peña on Friday.  They did try to hit-and-run.  It’s just that hit part was unsuccessful and the run part ended up being a caught stealing.

I think that I covered the first run of the game in enough detail in the game story, but for those of you who missed it or didn’t click on the link…Tyrone Taylor was running on a 3-2 pitch with two outs.  Victor Roache singled to right.  The outfield was shifted well off the line. Taylor kept running and running and Matt Erickson waved him home.  Taylor raced home and easily beat the throw.

I’m saying that Tyrone Taylor is fast.

Quad Cities manager Omar Lopez was ejected in the second inning on a play at third.  Taylor’s grounder rolled up the third base line.  There were runners on first and second with two outs.  Rio Ruiz stood on third, stretched for the ball, and appeared to have the ball roll into the glove in fair territory for the force out to end the inning.  The ball was ruled a foul ball and Lopez…disagreed.  The slow burn started on a check swing call that went against the River Bandits earlier in the inning.   This call set him off.

That leadoff walk in the bottom of the eighth almost didn’t happen if Ariel Ovando had anything to say about it.  Eric Semmelhack threw a really nice pitch on the outside corner on a 1-2 pitch.  Ovando dropped the bat off his shoulder in a dejected manner and started to walk to the Quad Cities dugout.  But, the pitch was ruled a ball.  The at bat continued. He walked.

That started a chain of events that happen in baseball and bad fiction:

Teoscar Hernandez pinch-ran for the right fielder and eventually scored the go ahead run on a passed ball.
Teoscar Hernandez went in to play defense and took over in center as Jordan Scott moved to right field in the top of the ninth.
Teoscar Hernandez made a spectacular running catch with his back to the infield on a deep fly ball off the bat of Chris McFarland to end the game with the tying run racing for home plate.

None of that happens without the walk to Ariel Ovando that he thought was a strikeout.

One play that has me puzzled…A lot….  Adam Giacalone singled to start the top of the ninth.  Jose Sermo came on to pinch run.  Parker Berberet was at the plate.  The Bandits were expecting a bunt…Well, most of the Bandits were expecting a bunt.  Ruiz charged from third.  Miles Hamblin, the first baseman, charged from first.  Daniel Minor, the pitcher,….he whirled and threw to Hamblin?  Hard. Had Hamblin not got his glove up in time the ball would have got him in the face.  There was a long conference on the mound about defensive signals.  But, while that happened, Matt Erickson was talking things over and wondering why there was no balk called.  The throw was not to the base.  I don’t have my rule book handy and I may need to look it up later, but I’m pretty sure that the throw needs to go to a base in that spot.   The reason Matt got for no balk call was that the throw was towards a base?

I really need to look that up.

On the bus to Peoria.  Running out of battery life.  Gotta run.  I may revise and extend this post once we get to the hotel.  I may just go to bed and wake up fresh for tomorrow.  We’ll know in an hour or so.

Lineup and Game Notes – May 24, 2013

Lazy stadium night
Catfish on the mound.
“Strike three,” the umpire said,
Batter have to go back and sit down.

Bob Dylan, Catfish

May 24 2013 002

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 7:00pm.

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

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Preston Gainey
Quad Cities Starting Pitcher: Lance McCullers

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay242013

Leaving you with a photo of the place where Victor Roache’s home run left the ballpark last night. It cleared the second fence above the WQAD or Hayman’s Ace sign. Did it land under the spreading chestnut tree where I sold you and you sold me? Did it take a chunk out of the back of the ancient bandshell? No man can say.

Back in the trees...or something

Back in the trees…or something

Confidence Builder – Postgame post for May 23, 2013

If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

A reminder why we can’t do in game photos at Modern Woodmen Park

Window. Still. Doesn't. Open.

Window. Still. Doesn’t. Open.

Wisconsin 7
Quad Cities 4
Boxscore | Game Story | Story

Jorge Lopez with six no-hit innings.  More on that in a bit.  First,  confidence? Did someone say confidence?

“I’m really, really excited, because the last couple starts, my delivery is getting better. I’m confident with all my pitches,” [Lopez] said. “I feel like the last two starts, I am getting better. I had a couple walks, but that happens in this game.”

A couple walks would be five, but… SEVEN strikeouts!  What say you, pitching coach David Chavarria?

“He’s making big strides, from his first outing where he got roughed up a little bit, leaving pitches up in the zone, to now where his mound presence is better. He’s trusting his stuff more,” Rattlers pitching coach David Chavarria said. “It’s just a confidence factor that he knows he belongs, and credit to him, he’s putting the work in every day on it. That’s the big part. Some guys have a little bit of success and they’re feeling comfortable ’cause they had a good outing and they tend to sit back and coast, but this kid keeps working and working and working. We’re real happy with his progress.”

Unofficially, I had Lopez at 96 pitches (53 strikes).  My old high school baseball coach used to call that effectively wild.

But, seriously he worked up and down, in and out, fast and slow.  His back-to-back strikeouts of Teoscar Hernandez and Carlos Correa in the sixth inning were perfect in the way he got them to chase the pitches that they had no chance of hitting.  The strikeout of Correa to end the night for Lopez was a rising fastball on a 3-2 pitch that Correa could not lay off even though it was nowhere near the strike zone.

Not sure on velocity.  There is no pitch speed indicator, but he sounded like he had really good pop on the fast ball…even 90 pitches into the outing.

Final word on Lopez to Chavy:

“Tonight it took a little bit for him to realize why we were taking him out. then he realized, but that’s the look you want from a guy, to want to go out there and have the mentality to finish what he started. Tonight he had that look a little bit in his eye. It was a big stepping stone for him to build on.”

Rodolfo Fernandez did not mess around in the ninth inning.  Seven pitches – five strikes – for a three-up, three-down inning and his second save of the season.

Offense Anyone?

I’ll get to the homer by Victor Roache in a minute.  I want to talk about his double in the third inning.   He got pitched way in, but managed to get the bat around, kept his hands inside the baseball for a ball that went down the left field line for a fair ball and an RBI double.  If he wasn’t correct on his swing technique, that ball hooks foul.   Instead, a line drive double to left.

Roache left the stadium with his home run in the fifth inning.   He left the stadium with a foul ball last night.  But, this one stayed fair and there was a stunned silence in the stadium as he trotted around the bases.  It’s 343′ to left, one of the deeper distances down the line in the MWL and this thing….My god, it’s full of stars….That’s what the baseball said after Roache made contact…I like to think that it felt a little like this:

Alfredo Rodriguez stepped into the leadoff role tonight and he took a five-pitch walk to start the game and scored on the double by Tyrone Taylor.  In the third he singled and scored on a triple by Michael Reed.  Officially, he went 1-for-4, moved his hitting streak to six games, and kept his average at .255.  Plus, he played a solid shortstop as Orlando Arcia got the night off on Thursday.

Clint Coulter had one hit and was robbed of another on a diving catch by Jordan Scott in left field.  But, that one hit pushed his hitting streak to five games and bumped his average to .194….That might not sound like much, but he was hitting .165 before this hitting streak started.

Mitch Haniger played 14 games with the Timber Rattlers in 2012.  He played 41 games with the Timber Rattlers in 2013.  He was promoted to Brevard County early on Thursday.  His time with the Rattlers was brief but you can’t help but pull for him to do well as he moves up the ladder.  Especially after seeing this tweet from earlier today:

We’ll be following and pulling for you, too.

Rattlers are back at .500.  They are 21-21.  Here’s the link to the current standings through Thursday’s action in the MWL.  Cedar Rapids and Beloit in the top two spots.  Beloit has won six in a row.  Quad Cities has lost six in a row.  Wisconsin is 4-1/2 games behind Beloit and 7-1/2 games behind Cedar Rapids.  There is Peoria, Clinton, and Quad Cities standing between the Rattlers and Beloit.  There 25 games left in the half. 

Games remaining in the half for the Rattlers:
QC: Away 1
PEO: Away 3, Home 4
BEL: Away 6, Home 3
CLN: Home 3
KC: Away 5

Oh, you really want to see what a photo of the field looks like from the radio booth during the game.

Pay no attention to the reflection.

Pay no attention to the be camera lens in the reflection.

Lineup, Game Notes, & Transactions – May 23, 2013

The big picture doesn’t just come from distance; it also comes from time. – Simon Sinek

Right around where Clint Coulter's homer landed last night.

Right around where Clint Coulter’s homer landed last night.

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 7:00pm.

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

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Jorge Lopez
River Bandits Starting Pitcher: Jamaine Cotton

Timber Rattlers Transactions:
OF Mitch Haniger has been transferred from Wisconsin to Brevard County
OF Max Walla Has been transferred from Helena to Wisconsin

Updated Timber Rattlers Roster: Timber_Rattlers_Roster_052313

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay232013

Triple Decker – Postgame post for May 22, 2013

The triple is the most exciting play in baseball. Home runs win a lot of games, but I never understood why fans are so obsessed with them. – Hank Aaron

I may need to add a 12th inning...Don't JUDGE my handwriting!

I may need to add a 12th inning…Don’t JUDGE my handwriting!

Timber Rattlers 12
River Bandits 5
FINAL – 11 Innings
Boxscore | Game Story

You never know when history is going to occur.  Michael Reed had three triples in Wednesday’s game.  That is only the fourth time in Midwest League history a player has had three triples in a single game.  According to the MWL Media Guide & Record Book, they are:

  • Andrew Smith – Mattoon Indians (May 14, 1950)*
  • Oscar Flores – Quincy Giants (August 18, 1960)
  • Jason Smith – Rockford Cubbies (September 2, 1998)
  • Michael Reed – Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (May 22, 2013)

Keep your eye on Ashley Marshall called to talk to Reed after the game.  There may be an article up by the time I have this post done. (UPDATE: Here is that article)

*-The 1950 Mattoon Indians roster at Baseball-Reference does not list Andrew Smith.  The 1949 Mattoon Indians roster at Baseball-Reference DOES list Andrew Smith.  I would go deeper into this, but…it’s been a long day.

Before getting into the hitters:

Austin Blaski 6IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 4K.  One of the runs he gave up was a home run over the ridiculously short porch in right field by Austin Elkins. I thought that Blaski made a pretty good pitch, but…have I mentioned the ridiculously short porch?

Jono Armold picked up his first professional win with two scoreless innings.  He needed a little help from some weird base running by the River Bandits in the tenth.  They had runners at first (Jesse Wierzbicki) and second (Carlos Correa) with no outs.  Rio Ruiz sent a fly ball to center.  Mitch Haniger looked like he made a sliding catch. Correa was going back to second, but Wierzbicki took off for second.  The umpire ruled that Haniger trapped the ball.  After a moments hesitation, Haniger threw the ball  into second.  BUT, the ball trickled away from Alfredo Rodriguez and Wierzbicki made it safely to second.  BUT, Rodriguez had time to throw to third and get the force out on Correa.  Armold got the final out of the inning.  Then, the Rattlers went to work…oh, boy, did they!

Seven runs on seven hits with a pair of walks and eleven men batting in the eleventh inning.  In the eleventh inning alone:

  • Reed had his third triple
  • Victor Roache drew his second walk of the game and scored his second run of the game
  • Alfredo Rodriguez had his third hit of the game
  • Clint Coulter has his second hit of the game and drove in his third RBI
  • Tyrone Taylor walked, doubled, and drove in two runs

Coulter had his second straight multi-hit game and hit his first home run since April 13.  This was a monstrous shot.  I’ll need to get a shot from the place it landed for the pregame post on Thursday.

Rodriguez continues to hit the ball hard and now the ball is falling in for him.   His average is up to .255 from .211 on May 15

Want to hear about bad luck?  Adam Giacalone hit the ball hard four times and probably should have had four hits on Wednesday.  In the second inning Rio Ruiz robbed him blind with a a diving play to his left.  In the fourth, Roache was running on a hit-and-run.  Giacalone, a left-handed hitter, is trying to hit the ball to the spot the shortstop vacates to cover second.  But, Correa did not go to cover second and the ball was hit right to him. Ridiculously bad luck.
Roache has walked 19 times and scored 19 runs.  His OPB is .347.  Only a matter of time before that AVG starts to rise, too.  Plus, my gosh, he hit a long, loud foul ball that had the pitchers in the Quad Cities bullpen turning around to see if they saw where it left the stadium right the first time well after it happened.

Your weird random stat of the night: Heading into Wednesday’s game, the Timber Rattlers had been outscored 10-5 in extra innings.  After Wednesday. the Timber Rattlers have outscored opponents 12-10 in extra innings.

Lineup and Game Notes – May 22, 2013

If things don’t come easy, there is no premium on effort. There should be joy in the chase, zest in the pursuit. – Branch Rickey

Pregame at Modern Woodmen Park on May 22, 2013

Pregame at Modern Woodmen Park on May 22, 2013

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 7:00pm.

Tonight’s Lineup:
Orlando Arcia – SS
Michael Reed – RF
Mitch Haniger – CF
Victor Roache – LF
Adam Giacalone – 1B
Parker Berberet – DH
Clint Coulter – C
Alfredo Rodriguez – 2B
Jose Sermo – 3B

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Austin Blaski
River Bandits Starting Pitcher: Jordan Jankowski

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay222013

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