July 2013

Supreme Solace – Postgame post for July 31, 2013

Writing is the supreme solace. – W. Somerset Maugham

Shift.

Shift.

Wisconsin 3
Kane County 6
Boxscore | Game Story

Pretty sure that the post on last night’s game would be pretty similar to the post on today’s game.

Tyler Wagner with a baseball rarity in the third inning. He struck out the side on nine pitches. I looked back at my scorebook after he got ahead of Albert Almora 0-1 with two outs after he struck out Oliver Zapata and Gioskar Amaya to start the inning. Good thing I fired up the camera for after he got ahead 0-2.

Got. Him. Swinging!

Got. Him. Swinging!

Believe it or not, Wikipedia has a list of MLB pitchers who have struck out the side on nine pitches. Take a look.

Through five innings, Wagner was really good. He pitched at his pace and worked well through five innings. The only hit he allowed in those first five innings was a leadoff single in the first inning. He struck out seven over those five innings.

But, the sixth was a tough inning for him.  He gave up the first run on a double, error, and grounder.  So, the Rattlers were still up 2-1 with one out and none on base.  He was 1-0 on the next four hitters.  The next three hitters singled to tie the game.  In all, he had 94 pitches/55 strikes for the game.  He was in line for the win after the Rattlers took the lead in the top of the seventh, but win #9 is still out there somewhere.

The Rattlers continued to frustrate Dan Vogelbach in his first two at bats. Orlando Arcia was playing about where he is in the top picture both times.  The first time was in the first inning with runners at first and second with no outs.  He hit the ball right at Arcia for a 6-3  double play.  The second time was in the fourth inning and he hit the ball right at Arcia again for a ground out.

In the sixth, Vogelbach hit the ball at the shortstop position where third baseman Mike Garza was stationed.  The ball barely cleared Garza’s glove for a single.  Later in the inning, he came around to score the tying run when Rock Shoulders singled to left.

The shift even came into play without Vogelbach putting a ball in play.  Gioskar Amaya tried to steal second with Arcia playing behind the bag.  All Arcia had to do was come in and take the throw from Parker Berberet to put the tag on Amaya for the final out of the seventh inning.

Unfortunately, the shift does not come into play when Vogelbach is walked as he was to leadoff the eighth inning just before the home run to right by Jeimer Candelario that put Kane County up 5-3.

The Timber Rattlers tried to put pressure on the Kane County defense a twice on Wednesday. Garrett Cooper tried to score from second on an infield single by Chris McFarland in the top of the fourth after a close play at first. It didn’t work. Orlando Arcia tried to go from first to third on an infield grounder when he saw that third base was uncovered. It worked as the throw to third was missed and Arcia scored the run to put the Rattlers up 3-2.

Back to Parker Berberet.  He singled in the sixth and now has a 15-game hitting streak.  That’s the longest active hitting streak in the Midwest League this season.

Mike Garza went 2-for-3 with a walk.  He has extended his hitting streak to a season high 10-games.

In the two games of this series, Wisconsin has 21 hits. They have scored five runs.

Most Timber Rattlers losses have followed one of two patterns of late:

  1. Take an early lead. Have plenty of opportunities to pad the lead, but don’t. Opponents get back to even.  Opponents take the lead.  Opponents hold on for the win.
  2. Fall behind early. Scratch and claw and tie the game. Opponents take the lead.  Opponents hold on for the win.

Get ‘em tomorrow.

Lineups and Game Notes for July 31, 2013

Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action. – Benjamin Disraeli

July 31 2013 001

You may follow tonight’s game on:
Radio: AM1280, WNAM
Internet Audio: IHeartRadio

First pitch is scheduled for noon.

Today’s Lineup:
Alfredo Rodriguez – DH
Lance Roenicke – CF
Mike Garza – 3B
Victor Roache – LF
Garrett Cooper – 1B
Parker Berberet – C
Max Walla – RF
Chris McFarland – 2B
Orlando Arcia – SS

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Tyler Wagner
Kane County Starting Pitcher: Felix Pena

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesJuly312013

Lineup, Game Notes, and Transactions for July 30, 2013

People ask me a lot about the values I got from playing for the Cubs for so many years. The value I got out of it was patience. A lot of people these days are not very patient. – Ernie Banks

July 30 2013 003

You may follow tonight’s game on:
Radio: AM1280, WNAM
Internet Audio: IHeartRadio

First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm

Tonight’s Lineup:
Alfredo Rodriguez – 2B
Max Walla – RF
Mike Garza – 3B
Victor Roache – LF
Garrett Cooper – DH
Parker Berberet – 1B
Orlando Arcia – SS
Tyler Roberts – C
Adrian Williams – CF

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Eric Semmelhack
Kane County Starting Pitcher: Justin Amlung

Timber Rattlers Transactions:
OF Michael Reed placed on DL retroactive to July 26
OF Lance Roenicke transferred from Brevard County to Wisconsin

Updated Timber Rattlers Roster: Timber_Rattlers_Roster_073013

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesJuly302013

Lightning does not strike twice – Postgame post for July 29, 2013

Lightning does not strike the same place twice – Proverb

Baseball.

Baseball.

Burlington 5
Wisconsin 1
Boxscore | Game Story

Sorry about Sunday. I went home and sat down before starting on the post. Next thing I knew it was 5am.

For some quotes on Sunday’s comeback, here’s the Post-Crescent article by Mike Woods.

On to Monday.

Anyone who thought the Timber Rattlers would rally from a 5-1 deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning for the second game in a row against the Burlington Bees was not watching Monday’s game.

Patrick Lowery had 80 pitches through eight innings. He had a three-ball count on one hitter before the ninth.

Orlando Arcia had a eleven-pitch at bat in the bottom of the ninth. He fouled off five different 2-strike pitches to run the count full before popping out to the catcher.

Lowery ended the night with 95 pitches (67 strikes), six strikeouts, no walks.

Funny thing from before the game. Garrett Cooper and Victor Roache were on separate teams for a competition of situational hitting drills during batting practice. Cooper hit a moon shot to left as the last hitter for his side to give his team the lead. Roache was the last hitter for his side and he hit one off the middle of the batting screen over the wall in center. Cooper was given one more swing for his team….and he crushed another home run past the scoreboard in left-center.

Then, Cooper homered in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game. No doubt.

Unfortunately, that was about the only offense the Timber Rattlers had in the game.

Parker Berberet singled after the home run by Cooper to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. On the defensive side, Berberet committed his first error of the season as a catcher. Heck, that’s his first error of the season. Monday was his 43rd game as a catcher. He has also played 15 games at first base. That streak is more impressive than the current hitting streak.

That was a weird series for the Rattlers. They committed six errors on Saturday and won 9-3. Have I mentioned that they scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 6-5 win on Sunday? They were in the game on Monday until they committed three errors in the sixth. The Rattlers committed eleven errors in a three-game series and took two of three.

The lineup was a last minute thing on Monday. Michael Reed was out for the fourth game in a row and Tyrone Taylor needed a break from the field. The decision was to put Adrian Williams in center for the first time since last season. No word on Reed, but the team just passed the 100 game mark. It’s like hitting the wall in a marathon….or so I’m told…for players who have never been through a full season.

For example: Monday was game #101 for the Timber Rattlers. Taylor has played in 98 of those games: 86 in center, seven as the DH, three in left, and two as a pinch runner.

The Rattlers lost ground on Quad Cities and Peoria. The QC holds the 2nd half division lead after a 4-1 win at Beloit on Monday. Peoria got out to the early lead at home against Kane County and beat the Cougars 14-1.

WESTERN DIVISION GAMES for July 30:
Rattlers (15-21) at Kane County (10-25)
Peoria (19-17) at Quad Cities (20-15)
Beloit (20-16) at Clinton (16-20)
Cedar Rapids (25-11) at Burlington (14-21)

Chance to pick up ground on someone in one of those playoff spots for the next four days because – and I’m pretty confident in saying this – either Quad Cities or Peoria will lose over the next four days. Time to go to work.

Monday’s Highlights:

Lineup and Game Notes for July 29, 2013

Good habits formed at youth make all the difference. – Aristotle

Kids camp day!

Kids camp day!

You may follow tonight’s game on:
Television: Time Warner Cable SportsChannel starting at 7:00pm
Radio: AM1280, WNAM
Internet Audio: IHeartRadio
Internet Video: MiLB.TV

First pitch is 7:05pm

Tonight’s Lineup:

Orlando Arcia – SS
Chris McFarland – 2B
Tyrone Taylor – DH
Victor Roache – LF
Mike Garza – 3B
Garrett Cooper – 1B
Parker Berberet – C
Max Walla – RF
Adrian Williams- CF

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Ryan Gibbard
Burlington Bees Starting Pitcher: Pat Lowery

Timber Rattlers Transactions:
RHP Taylor Mangum transferred from Wisconsin to Brevard County
LHP Hobbs Johnson transferred from Helena to Wisconsin

Updated Timber Rattlers Roster: Timber_Rattlers_Roster_072913

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesJuly292013
Burlington Bees Game Notes: Burlington Media Notes 7-29

No matter how improbable – Postgame Post for July 28, 2013

Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. – Sherlock Holmes

Line drive to right off the bat of Garrett Cooper in the bottom of the ninth....

Line drive to right off the bat of Garrett Cooper in the bottom of the ninth….

Burlington 5
Wisconsin 6
Boxscore | Game Story

Game winner!

Game winner!

I’ll update this post later tonight. Right now enjoy much better pictures and ignore the goofball calling the highlights who can’t keep his own players straight in his mind.

PHOTOS:

A better angle on the winning run (Photo by Ann Mollica).

A better angle on the winning run (Photo by Ann Mollica).

Jorge Lopez got there first.

Jorge Lopez got there first. (Photo by Ann Mollica)

Then, everyone else got there.

Then, everyone else got there.(Photo by Ann Mollica)

Sunday, July 28, 2013 Highlights:

Lineup and Game Notes for July 28, 2013

Believe you can and you’re halfway there. – Theodore Roosevelt

Today is game #35 of 70 that are scheduled in the 2nd half.

Today is game #35 of 70 that are scheduled in the 2nd half.

You may follow today’s game on:
Radio: AM1280, WNAM
Internet Audio: IHeartRadio
Internet Video: MiLB.TV

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm

Today’s Lineup:
Alfredo Rodriguez – 2B

Tyrone Taylor – CF
Victor Roache – LF
Mike Garza – 3B
Garrett Cooper – DH
Parker Berberet – 1B
Max Walla – RF
Tyler Roberts – C
Orlando Arcia – SS

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Austin Ross
Burlington Bees Starting Pitcher: Reid Scoggins

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesJuly282013
Burlington Bees Game Notes: Burlington Media Notes 7-28

The best defense – Postgame post for July 27, 2013

The best defense is a good offense – Sun Tzu….or someone like that.

I'm pretty sure this is the RBI single by Victor Roache in the 5th inning.

I’m pretty sure this is the RBI single by Victor Roache in the 5th inning.

Burlington 3
Wisconsin 9
Boxscore | Game Story

The Rattlers had six errors on Saturday night. It was not pretty. But, Jorge Lopez and Taylor Mangum dealt with it and picked up their teammates.

For example: It’s the top of the third inning. Pedro Toribio has just doubled with two outs to drive in the run that made the score 3-1. Wade Hinkle reaches on the first of two errors by Orlando Arcia. That puts the tying runs on base. Lopez froze the next batter for strike three to get out of the inning and the Rattlers lead was still 3-1.

In the past we’ve seen the opponents start to build on that error and it starts pouring like an avalanche; coming down the mountain.

But, NOT TONIGHT!

Wisconsin had that lead thanks to Victor Roache. Take a look at the home run in the highlights. KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS! There was no doubt about it.

He also had two singles, a walk, two runs, and a total of three RBI. After he scuffled a bit in the Clinton series, this was a big performance by Roache. Home Run Tracker at 15. RBI Tracker at 57.

The walk, by the way, was a 4-pitch walk and the Burlington pitcher wanted nothing to do with Roache in that at bat. There were two outs and none on when Roache walked. Then, Mike Garza walked on four pitches. Then, Garrett Cooper tripled to right-center and the Rattlers were up 5-1.

Cooper had three of hard hit balls for a double, a triple, and three RBI. The other hard hit ball was a 5-3 double play with the bases loaded an no outs to get a run home from third. Great to see him back in the lineup.

Parker Berberet extended his hitting streak to 11-games with his two-run home run in the fifth. That’s the second longest hitting streak on the team this season.

Get ‘em again tomorrow.

July 27, 2013 Highlights:

Lineup and Game Notes for July 27, 2013

To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me. – Isaac Newton

Another day at the beach...er, ballpark.

Another day at the beach…er, ballpark.

You may follow tonight’s game on:
Television: My NEW32′s Sports Showdown starting with their pregame show at 6:00pm
Radio: AM1280, WNAM
Internet Audio: IHeartRadio
Internet Video: MiLB.TV

First pitch is scheduled for 6:35pm

Tonight’s Lineup:
Alfredo Rodriguez – DH
Orlando Arcia – SS
Tyrone Taylor – CF
Victor Roache – LF
Mike Garza – 3B
Garrett Cooper – 1B
Parker Berberet – C
Max Walla – RF
Adrian Williams – 2B

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Jorge Lopez
Burlington Bees Starting Pitcher: Nic DellaTorre

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesJuly272013
Burlington Bees Game Notes: Burlington Media Notes 7-27

We remember our sufferings – Postgame post for July 26, 2013

We forget our pleasures, we remember our sufferings. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

I thought this was a pretty cool picture.

I thought this was a pretty cool picture.

Clinton 3
Wisconsin 1
Boxscore | Game Story

Cicero also said something about Brevity being the best recommendation of speech….With that in mind.

Letting you know this up front, I made a mistake in the original game story. I originally wrote that three Clinton pitchers did not retired the side in order on the night. Tyler Pike did get a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fifth. I tried to edit the story to reflect that change.

Wisconsin (1-for-9) and Clinton (1-for-14) combined to go 2-for-23 with runners in scoring position in the game. That’s amazing.

Parker Berberet has quietly put together a 10-game hitting streak. He is 11-for-35 during this streak.

Tyler Wagner threw 80 pitches. It was 40 strikes and 40 balls. He walked five and battled through 5-1/3 innings. He Tyler Wagner threw 80 pitches. It was 40 strikes and 40 balls. He walked five and battled through 5-1/3 innings. Wagner left with the bases loaded with one out in the sixth and the team down 1-0. Then, ….

Harvey Martin did a really nice job getting out of the sixth inning. Bases loaded with one out and he got back-to-back popouts to end the frame to keep the game a 1-0.

Chris McFarland nearly put the Rattlers back to even in the seventh inning. His line drive was slicing away from the right fielder, who made a sliding catch to keep Adrian Williams at second and Alfredo Rodriguez at first. It was nice to see him deliver the single to drive in Tyler Roberts in the bottom of the ninth to avoid the shutout.

Speaking of Adrian Williams.  Check out the highlights for some stellar plays by Williams as the shortstop tonight.  Tip of the cap to AW.

The Rattlers begin a three game series with the Burlington Bees on Saturday night. Both teams are 13-20 in the second half. Both teams trail Quad Cities for the top second half playoff spot by 5-1/2 games. Both teams trail Peoria for the second half wild card spot by four games. Clinton stands between the Rattlers and the two playoff teams.

Saturday’s Western Division Schedule:
Burlington (13-20) at Wisconsin (13-20)
Clinton (16-17) at Cedar Rapids (22-11)
Kane County (9-23) at Peoria (17-16)
Quad Cities (18-14) at Beloit (19-14)

That sets the stage for the weekend pretty well.

Friday’s highlights with some good defense:

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