Kneel before Zod – Postgame post for June 14, 2013

It’s not about where you were born. Or what powers you have. Or what you wear on your chest…. It’s about what you do… It’s about action.Superman, Infinite Crisis

Jorge Lopez strikes out Oliver Zapata in the third inning of Saturday's game.

Jorge Lopez strikes out Oliver Zapata in the third inning of Saturday’s game.

Timber Rattlers 5
Kane County 1
Boxscore | Game Story

I thought Jorge Lopez pitched better in this game than he did in the game with six no-hit innings earlier this season. The difference. He walked one batter on Friday at Kane County. He walked five on May 23 at Quad Cities. He remained confident in his pitches. He kept going back to the same spot – just a little off the outside corner at the knees to both lefties and righties – and proved the plate umpire that he was going to hit that spot. He did with a low 90’s fastball and there wasn’t much the Kane County hitters could do with that pitch except get more and more frustrated. It was another well-pitched game by Lopez and that guy we saw earlier in the season is quickly receding in the rearview mirror.

Look at the first inning. A walk and a single by the first two batters of the inning.  Then, a deep flyout to center allows the runner at second to tag and go to third.  In April, this inning gets out of hand.  On June 14, Lopez strikes out Jeimer Candelario on a 3-2 pitch and Brent Dean throws out the runner trying to steal second.  Lopez retired the next ten batters he faced.

Victor Roache’s hitless streak SHOULD have come to an end in his on of his first two at bats of the night. He tattooed a ball that was headed for the corner in left. But, a leaping, backhanded grab by Jeimer Candelario turned that double into an out. Then, in the fourth, Roache hit another hard shot to third, but the ball went right at Candelario, who turned it into an inning ending force out at third. The hitless streak ended at 0-for-27 when Roache lined a single to center. The ball was hit so hard, Tyrone Taylor couldn’t score from second on the single. Roache was hit by a breaking ball in the eighth inning. That’s three hard hit balls and a hit batsman with 0 strikeouts by Roache on Friday night. You can choose to look at the 0-for-27 or you can choose to look at the contact and the approach.  I know what I am looking at and when he heats up…well, I’m happy to have the opportunity to watch every Midwest League at bat by Victor Roache .

Speaking of happy to watch, Tyrone Taylor is no longer one-hit, one-hit, one-hit. He finished Friday at 4-for-5 and he is hitting .292 on the season. Taylor was hitting .240 before the game on June 1. Slashline for the month of June: .478/.561/.674.

Michael Reed now with a 34-game on base streak. He walked twice and scored once. That’s the longest streak in the Midwest League this season.  In case you were wondering…

Jordan Lennerton (Toledo, International League) – 45*
Jamal Austin (High Desert, California League) – 38
Mookie Betts (Greenville, South Atlantic League) – 35
Kevin Plaweck (Savanah, South Atlantic League) – 35
Reymond Fuentes (San Antonio, Texas League) – 34*
Michael Reed (Wisconsin, Midwest League) – 34*

*-Active Streak

Alfredo Rodriguez had two hits.  the double to right-center was a rope and split the outfielders.  Plus, it came with two outs and it scored two runs.  Big hit.

The Rattlers ran themselves out of the first inning.  Arcia gambled on going to third after Candelario missed the barehand pick on Taylor’s bunt single.  But, a heads-up play by the pitcher turned into an out at third base.  Michael Heesch saw Arcia running for third, picked up the ball, and just got to Arcia before Arcia could get to the base.  Then, Taylor took off early before Heesch threw to the plate and it turned into a 1-3-6 caught stealing.

Before I forget…The Shift Lives!

Rock Shoulders at the plate.  Three infielders to the right of second base.

Rock Shoulders at the plate. Three infielders to the right of second base.

Of course, Shoulders reached on a weak grounder to where Mike Garza would normally play.  But, if Rock Shoulders (12 homers, 39RBI) wants to reach that way…go right ahead!

Brent Dean! Double caps the three-run rally and called a great game for both Lopez and Ryan Gibbard.

Errorless game!  That’s 23-1/3 innings of error-free ball by the Timber Rattlers.

Handshakes all around!

A game well played!

A game well played!

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