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.

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