June 2013

What we could become – Postgame post for June 30, 2013

The important thing is this: to be able, at any moment, to sacrifice what we are for what we could become. – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Find the ball.

Find the ball.

Kane County 4
Wisconsin 3
Boxscore | Game Story

I figured this was a record, I just wasn’t sure until I check the MWL Record Book:

Oh, by the way….

The Timber Rattlers had four sacrifice bunts as a team.   Chris McFarland also had a sac bunt in the second.  The Midwest League record for sacrifice bunts by a team is still safe.  Rest easy, 1949 Belleville Stags of the predecessor Mississippi-Ohio Valley League.  Your seven sacrifice bunts in a game on July 24 of that year is still untouched by those who seek to match it!

In the game story, I alluded to a pair of times Victor Roache was robbed of RBI.  Now, I will mention them and explain.  BULLET POINTS!

  • In the first, Roache drilled a line drive to center with Tyrone Taylor on second base and one out.  Roache crushed a line drive to center, but Oliver Zapata made a great running catch to rob Roache.
  • In the seventh, there were runners on first and second with one out.  Roache sent a hard grounder up the middle that looked like it would go through for an RBI single.  Gioskar Hernandez made a diving stop and flipped to second for the force out.

Michael Reed with a nice game: 2-for-3, stolen base, two walks, two runs.  But, he bit on a fake and got caught in the bottom of the seventh.  This was right after Roache had grounded into the force play at second.  Roache was at first and Reed was at third with two outs and Parker Berberet at the plate.  Roache took off for second base on the 0-2 pitch and was trying to draw a throw to get in a rundown to allow Reed to make a break for the plate.  Wilson Contreras faked hard on a throw to second and Reed made his move to the plate.  But, he was too far off the bag and Contreras threw to third for the pickoff to end the inning.

Speaking of Contreras, it looked like Harvey Martin struck him out in the top of the seventh.  Here’s the situation: Bases loaded, two outs, Rattlers lead 3-2 and Martin has Contreras in an 0-2 hole.  He fired a pitch that looked like strike three to end the inning.  But, the pitch was called a ball.  Contreras singled on the very next pitch to knock in the tying run.  Isn’t it always the way?

Now for your RDA of Tyrone Taylor:  He went 1-for-3 with a double, an RBI, a hit batsman, and a walk.  His hitting streak has reached 14 games (25-for-58, .431).  This streak is the longest active streak in the MWL and tied with several other players for the second longest streak in the MWL this season.  Only Devon Travis of West Michigan has a longer streak (21 games).

Taylor wraps up his month of June (25 games) with eye-popping numbers.  42-for-96 (.438).  Nine doubles, a triple, three home runs, 13 RBI, 20 runs, six HBP, 10 walks and an OPS of 1.159.  Oh, and he only struck out nine times.  

Where are my Brewers Minor League Player of the Month nomination forms?

The Timber Rattlers had some really nice defense on Sunday. 

In the highlights, you will see:


  • Parker Berberet diving catch on a line drive (BTW, just his 9th game at first this season)
  • Heads up defense by Orlando Arcia as he covers third for a routine 5-3-6 double play as a runner took off for third after Garza made a nice play off the base.
  • Great  stop, turn, leap, throw by Rodriguez
  • And a nifty 4-6-3 double play


Get them tomorrow.

Lineup and Game Notes for June 30, 2013

What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. – C. S. Lewis

A perfect day for baseball!

A perfect day for baseball!

You may follow the game in the following ways:
Radio: AM1280, WNAM
Internet Audio: IHeartRadio
Internet Video: MiLB.TV

First Pitch is 1:05pm.

Today’s Lineup:

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Leonard Lorenzo
Kane County Starting Pitcher: Brian Smith

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesJune302013

Insane on proper occasions – Postgame Post for June 29, 2013

No man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions. – Henry Ward Beecher

Chris McFarland scores the winning run on Saturday.

Chris McFarland scores the winning run on Saturday.

Another photo? Sure. Jorge Lopez was coaching first base. That’s why he’s wearing a helmet and coming into the celebration from first base.

Go crazy, Rattlers.

Go crazy, Rattlers.

I think Tyler Wagner is trying to suplex Orlando Arcia in this photo.  I think.

This was just about what was going on in my head after Saturday's game.

This was just about what was going on in my head after Saturday’s game.

Kane County 9
Wisconsin 10
FINAL – 11 Innings
Boxscore | Game Story

I really don’t know what I can add to the game story and the highlights.  Plus, that game was crazy.  But, I’ll give it a shot.

Preston Gainey made the longest start of his professional career with his 6-1/3 innings on Saturday night.  He scattered nine hits…Well, that’s not exactly true.  He gave up three hits in the first inning and didn’t allow a run; two hits in the third with only one run scored against him; and three hits in the seventh inning.  That would be a burst of hits.

The KEY for Gainey on Saturday night was his control.  He walked one batter.  ONE. Well done.

In the bottom of the third inning, Orlando Arcia got a 2-0 pitch in a spot where he could drive it…Look at the highlights to see where he drove it for his 3-run double.

Chris McFarland is starting to come around.  He was hitting .234 after the first half.  He is 7-for-18 in the second half to bump his average up to .250.  Really, really nice game for him on Saturday with two hits, two RBI, three runs scored, and a walk.  His error in the field came as he tried to field a grounder off the bat of Dan Vogelbach as he was positioned like this:

That's him in short right field.

That’s him in short right field.

Tyrone Taylor’s hitting streak almost came to an end on Saturday.  He was 0-for-3 heading into his plate appearance in the eighth.  Then, he got hit by a pitch.  The Rattlers were up 6-3 so it looked like he wouldn’t get a chance to hit again.  Then, he got a chance to hit again.  He singled to left to drive in the tying run.  Streak moves to lucky 13!

If you would like some quotes from Gainey, McFarland, and manager Matt Erickson about Saturday’s game, head over to this post on Brew Crew Ball. Kyle has some good stuff in there…stuff like:

“I actually told [McFarland] today before the game I like the way his body language is,” Erickson said. “He looks like he’s a little more confident than he was a month, a month and a half ago. It was good to see him get good at bats today. He took a good batting practice today, I liked the way he went about his preparation and ground balls. So a lot of times if your preparation is good your games are good, and hopefully he can continue to get that kind of feeling on a daily basis.”

We’ll see you tomorrow afternoon!


Lineup and Game Notes for June 29, 2013

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Batting Practice before Saturday's game.

Batting Practice before Saturday’s game.

You may follow the game several ways:
Television: My NEW32 Sports Showdown with Pregame at 6:00pm.
Radio: AM1280, WNAM
Internet Audio: IHeartRadio
Internet Video: MiLB.TV

First Pitch is 6:35pm.

Tonight’s Lineup:
Michael Reed – LF
Orlando Arcia – SS
Tyrone Taylor – CF
Victor Roache – DH
Max Walla – RF
Tyler Roberts – C
Mike Garza – 3B
Adam Giacalone – 1B
Steve McFarland – 2B

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Preston Gainey
Kane County Starting Pitcher: Felix Pena

Wisconsin Transactions:
RHP Austin Blaski place on Disabled List
RHP Harvey Martin transferred to Wisconsin from Helena

Updated Timber Rattlers Roster: Timber_Rattlers_Roster_062913

Wisconsin Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesJune292013
Kane County Game Notes: Kane County June 29

Looking at shadows – Postgame post for June 28, 2013

To contemplate is to look at shadows. – Victor Hugo

Pregame plate conference featured Jordy Lara for Clinton and Martin Viramontes for Wisconsin

Pregame plate conference featured Jordy Lara for Clinton and Martin Viramontes for Wisconsin

Wisconsin 1
Clinton 3
Boxscore | Game Story

Jorge Lopez with a real nice outing.  There was a rough patch in the fourth inning that featured some miscommunication between Lopez and Parker Berberet, but the overall results were good.

Get this all of the base runners Clinton had against Lopez on Friday night reached base with two outs. 

Tyrone Taylor stays hot. Another multi-hit game with a pair of singles and an RBI.  That’s a 12-game hitting streak for Taylor.  Average is up to .309. Rest of the numbers are looking really, really good and people are noticing.

Taylor Mangum ran into some bad luck in the seventh inning.  There was a runner at first and no outs.  Clinton had a right-handed batter at the plate and went for a hit-and-run.  In that situation, the second baseman usually covers the base.  Usually.  Tonight, shortstop Orlando Arcia went to cover second.  The batter grounded the ball right where Arcia had been positioned.  That backfired as the ball went into left and the LumberKings had runners at first and third with no outs.  A fly ball deep enough to left got the go ahead run home for Clinton.

This may have been the seventh loss in eight games for this half for the Timber Rattlers.  But, they have had the tying or winning run at the plate late in the game in – and I can’t get to my scorebook now so this may be a little off the mark – five of those seven losses.  I may have to check this one later.  Perils of writing on the bus, I guess.

I need to cut this a little short tonight.  Apologies.  But, this writing on the bus is getting old.

Home series with Kane County starts on Saturday night at 6:35pm.  The Cubs affiliate is also 1-7 to start the second half.  This is a five-game series – I’m going to feel like Alex with Huntsville after this Southern League special.  Someone’s half is going to turn around for the better.  Be there.

Lineup and game notes for June 28, 2013

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Ashford University Field before Friday's game in Clinton.

Ashford University Field before Friday’s game in Clinton.

Follow tonight’s game:
Radio: AM1280, WNAM
Internet Audio: I Heart Radio

First pitch: 7:00pm

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

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Jorge Lopez
LumberKings Starting Pitcher: Tyler Pike

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesJune282013

Congratulations, Sean Halton

Sean Halton became the seventh Timber Rattler alum to make his major league debut in 2013.

Halton, who was called up to Milwaukee from Nashville after Wednesday night’s game, got into Thursday’s game as a pinch hitter.

He got a single in his first MLB at bat.
Click that link for the hit. Here’s the link with some quotes:

“It was an unbelievable experience,” Halton said after the Brewers’ 7-2 loss to the Cubs. “Just one of those moments you dream about. I wish it could have come in a win.”

Halton took the roster spot of Scooter Gennett, who was optioned to Nashville following Wednesday’s 5-4 loss. Halton was the seventh player to make his Major League debut for the Brewers this season, and when Johnny Hellweg starts Friday in Pittsburgh, he will be the eighth.

The two join Khris Davis, Josh Prince, Hiram Burgos, Donovan Hand, Caleb Gindl and Gennett on that list.

Halton said he was given the ball he hit between a diving Luis Valbuena and Starlin Castro off Cubs starter Matt Garza. He also said he will keep the lineup card.

“Every kid grows up wanting to fulfill their dreams and mine was to be a baseball player,” Halton said. “Today’s that day for me.”

Halton hit .288 with nine home runs and 35 RBIs in 66 games at Nashville this year. He was drafted by the Brewers in the 13th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho).
Halton was the Opening Day first baseman for the Timber Rattlers in 2010. But, he was not with the team long. Halton appeared in 23 games and hit .221/.269/.269 with no homers, four doubles, and eleven RBI as a Timber Rattler before being sent up to Brevard County.

He never returned to the team.

Patrick S. Blood did manage to get this action photo of Sean Halton in a Timber Rattlers jersey early in the 2010 season.

Patrick S. Blood did manage to get this action photo of Sean Halton in a Timber Rattlers jersey early in the 2010 season.

Now, he’s up with the Brewers.

The other six Timber Rattlers to reach the Major Leagues for the first time this season are:
Khris Davis – April 1 with Milwaukee
Josh Prince – April 6 with Milwaukee
Hiram Burgos – April 20 with Milwaukee
Caleb Thielbar – May 20 with Minnesota
Scooter Gennett – June 3 with Milwaukee
JC Ramirez – June 23 with Philadelphia

Meeting with Triumph and Disaster – Postgame post for June 27, 2013

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a man, my son!
– Rudyard Kipling

This COULD have been the final out.

This COULD have been the final out.

Timber Rattlers 5
LumberKings 4
Boxscore | Game Story

So….I’m staring at the scorebook and the game story and the boxscore and some of the pictures from the game and I don’t even know where to start.

How about this?  The ball that Tyrone Taylor hit out of the park to tie the game in the top of the ninth was fair.  The umpires eventually got it right.  I figured that Eddie Menchaca was going to get kicked out when the officials called him out to explain that they were going to overturn it.  Just like I knew they were going to overturn the call when they called him out of the dugout to talk.

I’m glad they got it right.

Taylor jumped all over an 0-2 pitch from Vargas to tie the game and extend his hitting streak to eleven games.  Plus, he added a single in the tenth.  Taylor is really starting to turn some heads.

Chris McFarland gave the Timber Rattlers the lead in the top of the ninth.  He just drove an off speed pitch back through the middle to drive in Adrian Williams and Alfredo Rodriguez with a really nice piece of hitting.

McFarland doesn’t get a chance in the ninth if not for Adam Giacalone and Rodriguez singling with two outs.  Then, Tyler Roberts drew another walk to load the bases.  Great job to get it there.

The Rattlers almost won the game in the bottom of the ninth.  Gabby Guerrero was on first with two outs and Jabari Henry hit this one hopper to the right of Orlando Arcia at short.  Arcia was playing more up the middle and – at first – I thought that the ball was going to wind up in left for a single.  Arcia got to the ball with a couple of easy and quick strides.  He turned and fired to second for the force out.  Then, McFarland made a great pivot and a quicker throw to first. Henry barely beat the throw and kept the game alive.  But, it was one heck of a turn at second by McFarland.

Then, Disaster reared its head.  The line drive to the mound would have been a tough catch for anyone.  Looking at the picture up top, it, you can kind of see the ball (it’s just coming out from behind the cable that is farthest to the left).  Judging that and were the runner is, you can see why Viramontes rushed the throw.  The underhand toss is something he’d like back.  By the time the dust settled a run was in and another runner was on third base.  Then, Dario Pizzano did was Dario Pizzano does, he drives in runs against the Timber Rattlers.

I mentioned it in the story, but let’s go back to the bottom of the eighth.  Pizzano triples off the first base bag to start the inning.  Then, Viramontes gets a strikeout, walks Taylor Ard – another Rattler killer – to get around him, gets another strikeout, and gets a flyball out to end the inning and keep the Rattlers down by a run heading to the top of the ninth.  THAT was some great pitching.

Back to Tyler Roberts. Country 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored.  All the Rattlers staff could talk about on the ride back was what a great job he did with other things. I heard something like ten blocks on balls in the dirt with runners on base.  There was on where the only way he could block the ball was to move to his right and use his shoulder.  It was impressive.  If one or two of those balls get by him to the backstop, it’s a very different game.

Also noted for Roberts was going from first to third on the hit by McFarland in the eleventh inning.  There was one out and it was a flyball to medium right-center.  Roberts got a great read on the ball and saw that no one was going to catch it.  He chugged for third base and made it ahead of the throw.  He scored moments later on the Michael Reed single.

Victor Roache may have hit the hardest ball that’s turned into an out that I have seen this season.  The ball came off the bat with this sound that echoed around the ballpark.  The ball got to the outfield in a hurry.  Unfortunately, it went right to Pizzano, who had Roache played perfectly.

Something else that was talked about on the way back to the hotel was the defensive play that Giacalone made in the second inning.  Gabby Guerrero was up with no outs and a runner at second base.  He hit a line drive that was sure to wind up in right first for at least an RBI double.  Giacalone leapt higher than I thought he could, snared the liner and turned it into a double play.  Huge play early in the game.

One other defensive play to talk about.  Runners at first and second in the bottom of the tenth.  Guerrero hits a grounder back to the mound.  Armold had to wait a bit for Arcia to get to the base for the force.  Arcia unleashed a throw to first and Guerrero was called out on a close play.  Guerrero showed his disgust with the call and was ejected, too.

Get them tomorrow.  Then, get on the bus and go home.

Michael Reed's go-ahead single in the 11th.

Michael Reed’s go-ahead single in the 11th.

Deep sigh of relief.

Deep sigh of relief.

Lineup and Game Notes – June 27, 2013

When you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Ashford University Field before Thursday's game.

Ashford University Field before Thursday’s game.

Follow tonight’s game:
Radio: AM1280, WNAM
Internet Audio: I Heart Radio

First pitch: 7:00pm

Tonight’s Lineup:
Michael Reed – RF
Orlando Arcia – SS
Tyrone Taylor – CF
Victor Roache – LF
Mike Garza – DH
Adam Giacalone – 1B
Alfredo Rodriguez – 3B
Tyler Roberts – C
Chris McFarland – 2B

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Tyler Wagner
LumberKings Starting Pitcher: Scott DeCecco

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesJune272013

All that is not gold – Postgame post for June 26, 203

Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold. – Leo Tolstoy

This was the two-run single by Taylor Ard in the first inning.

This was the two-run single by Taylor Ard in the first inning.

Wisconsin 3
Clinton 6
Boxscore | Game Story

I touched on the positives in the game story, but I’ll add a little bit to each.

Tyrone Taylor reaches double digits with his hitting streak now at ten games. He is 19-for-36 (.528) in his last ten games. June numbers: 21 games 36-for-79 (.456) with an OPS of 1.185. Plus, with his RBI on Wednesday, he’s reached 30 RBI for the season.

Victor Roache with another three-hit night. It was ridiculous how hard he hit his singles tonight. He is 10-for-26 (.385) in the second half.

THE Mike Strong is another player starting to find the range. Let’s go back to May 14. On that day, Strong made the start against Quad Cities and allowed 7 runs – 6 earned – over four innings. His ERA went to 4.18. Since that game, Strong has made seven appearances and has allowed five runs – two earned – over 20-1/3 innings pitched. That’s 0.89ERA. His K:BB over those 20-1/3 innings is 20:10.

Max Walla’s first start at first base. Well, two errors. One was on a throw as he cut off a throw from the outfield and tried to get the runner at second. It wasn’t a horrible throw. It was just off by enough to not be catchable. The other happened like this: He was playing in with runners at second and third with no outs. He charged a grounder and went to throw home, but the runner was not running on contact. Max saw this and tried to change direction and catch the runner at first, but the slight bobble was enough to get the runner to first and load the bases. Fortunately, Strong got out of that bases loaded no out situation.

Walla did put his outfield experience to use in the fifth inning. He charged from first as he was holding a runner on the bag. A high pop up allowed Walla to race to catch the ball near the Rattlers on deck circle at the home plate end of the dugout for the catch. He had a better angle to make the play and he made it.

Orlando Arcia hit a line drive home run to left center.  It was his second of the season and there was no doubt.  He also drew another walk without striking out.  He has walked 25 times and struck out 22 times this season.

Do you want to know the difference between starting a half 5-1 and starting a half 0-6?

Look at the picture up top. Clinton had runners at second and third with two outs in the bottom of the first.  The ball off the bat of Taylor Ard would just make it over the the glove of third baseman Mike Garza to drive in a pair of runs.

Fast forward to the ninth inning.  There are two outs with runners at first and second.  The Rattlers have the tying run at the plate and Garza sends a liner for right-center.  But, Tim Lopes makes a leaping grab to catch the ball and end the game.

Dang it.

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