Pitching is…. – Postgame post for July 2, 2013
Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing. – Warren Spahn
Tyler Wagner was outstanding on Tuesday. He took advantage of Kane County being aggressive and hit his spots. How aggressive were the Cougars? Wagner had 65 pitches (45 strikes) over SEVEN innings. Part of that is the whole “pitch to contact” theory. Part of it was the Cougars were going up there hacking.
This ought to get your attention: Wagner’s GO:FO on Tuesday was 19:2……NINETEEN:TWO. THAT, Tyler Wagner, keep doing THAT!
Wagner broke at least three bats and was backed up by some outstanding defense. In the first inning alone: Tyrone Taylor threw out Albert Almora trying to stretch a single into a double, Mike Garza made a nice play to cut down a runner at the plate, and Adam Giacalone made a nice pick that turned into a 3-1 putout. Plus, Wagner and Chris McFarland covered for Giacalone on a grounder that the first baseman missed and turned it into a 4-1 putout.
Plus, Wagner pitched to the shift against Dan Vogelbach. The Rattlers moved their second baseman (Williams in the third and McFarland in the sixth) to short right when the left-handed Vogelbach was at the plate. Both times, he sent a grounder that normally would have been an easy single. Both times, Vogelbach was out 4-3 because he hit the ball right to where the defense was playing him. That is hitting your spots.
Bravo to Chris McFarland and Adrian Williams as they had to make some adjustments after Orlando Arcia left the game in the bottom of the fourth (More on that in a moment). McFarland went to second and Williams moved to short for the top of the fifth. Both made some fine defensive plays. The one Williams makes on Candelario in the seventh is in the highlights. So, is the game ending 4-6-3 double play.
Orlando Arcia tripled to right to drive in the run that put the Rattlers up 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning. He was at third with one out. The Cougars brought the infield in to get the out at the plate. Tyler Roberts hit the ball right at the Kane County shortstop. Arcia, who took off on contact, was out by about 20 feet at the plate. He tried to slide in, but the Cougars catcher had completely blocked the plate. Arcia wound up sliding into the shin guards and he was in some pain. He needed assistance to get off the field. Here’s all I have on the situation:
Rattlers shortstop Orlando Arcia had his right ankle X-Rayed after he was removed from the game. The ankle will be re-evaluated tomorrow.
— Chris Mehring (@CMehring) July 2, 2013
If there is more that I am allowed to give tomorrow, I’ll share.
Tyrone Taylor has speed and is not afraid to use it. He reached on a bunt single in the first inning. That hitting streak has reached 16 games. Stay hot!
Did you notice that Mike Garza had three hits today? His triple was to the gap in right-center exactly against the way Kane County was playing him. He cruised into third with his sixth triple of the season.
The Kane County outfield was playing shallow on Michael Reed in the seventh inning. He may not have a home run this season, but playing that shallow with runners on first and second, I even noted that before the double. I said something like: Boy, Kane County’s outfield is really playing shallow for Reed….Hmmmm.”
One note to, um, note…The Timber Rattlers could have tacked on to their lead in the eighth inning as they picked up three straight singles to load the bases with no outs. Unfortunately, the Rattlers didn’t score there. Fortunately, they didn’t need that extra insurance, but they ave got to start getting those runs home when those opportunities are there.
Jono Armold faced one batter and got two outs on three pitches. He got Contreras to hit into the game-ending double play. He earned his first professional save.