See them driven before you – Postgame post for July 3, 2013
To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women. - Conan the Barbarian
To pick a completely arbitrary date on the season for Jorge Lopez…Including May 23 [the date he tossed six no-hit innings at Quad Cities] Lopez has made seven starts. He has gone at least six innings in six of those starts and all six of those starts are quality starts. Tonight, everything was working. If the first half was building confidence, I think the foundation is set. Time to start framing up the structure.
Seven innings on Wednesday makes the longest start of his career. He struck out five, walked one, and showed great control. Plus, he kept the pitch count relatively low. Lopez was at 98 pitches/65 strikes. I don’t have time to check this, but I think that this was his best pitch:strike ratio of the season. His fast ball was 91-92 and he showed the “Knee-buckling curve” that Baseball America mentioned in their Prospect Handbook for his scouting report. Keep going.
Victor Roache with a single, double, triple, and run scored, two RBI. He hit the ball hard on all three hits. He came up in the eighth with a chance for the first cycle in Timber Rattlers history. But, he popped out on a 2-0 pitch. That was the only ball he didn’t hit hard on the night. Keep going.
Mike Garza with a 3-for-4 night. You might have missed this, but Garza now has 17 multi-hit games this season and has raised his average to .287. Only Tyrone Taylor and Michael Reed have higher batting averages on the team now. Despite the error (His 14th of the season) on the throw that allowed the Cougars an unearned run in the third inning, Garza still made some really nice plays and keeps improving.
Parker Berberet hustled to beat out a potential inning ending double play in the bottom of the fourth inning. Watch the play in the highlights near the end of the entry. Michael Heesch had to leap for the ball and I think that was what threw off the timing of the play. But, still…Berberet beat the play to get the run home. Hustle!
Taylor’s hitting streak ended, but he drew a walk in a key spot and scored on the triple by Roache to put the Rattlers up 3-2. The hitting streak is over…so what. Walks work. Walks can win games.
The two runs for the Cougars came as Dan Vogelbach first hit against the shift and then over it. He also hit against the shift for a hit in the eighth inning. But, if a hitter like Vogelbach is hitting against a shift to get on base…let him do that.
Taylor Mangum with low a 90s fastball and good breaking stuff. Two scoreless innings out of the bullpen and save number four. This is nice.
So, the Rattlers are 5-8 on the half after winning four of five from Kane County. Remember. They were 0-6. A long, long way to go in this half BUT, the Clinton LumberKings are the wild card in the second half. They fell to 6-7. The Peoria Chiefs are 5-8, too. The Timber Rattlers are only one game out of a playoff spot after an 0-6 start.
Wisconsin hits the road for the next five games. They will take on the Cedar Rapids Kernels for two games and Burlington for three games. The Rattlers have lost six straight to Cedar Rapids (1-7). The Rattlers are 3-3 against Burlington (1-2 at Burlington). Cedar Rapids is already in the playoffs as the first half wild card in the Western Division, but are 11-2 in the second half. Burlington missed the playoffs in the first half and is 2-11 in the second half.
Get them tomorrow at 5:05pm.