Manic Depression – Postgame post for July 6, 2013
Manic depression is touching my soul
I know what I want but I just don’t know
How to, go about gettin’ it –
Is it just me or is this second half just a Roller Coaster of emotions?
The third inning was tough for Eric Semmelhack. The first three hits that he gave up were a bunt, a soft chopper up the middle, and a dribbler through the middle. The second and third hits of the inning came with two strikes on the batter. What happened next…? Those were well struck and the Rattlers were down 4-0.
The Rattlers came back. Walla was up with the bases loaded and one out. He went the other way with a double down the third base line to knock in two runs. That’s good to see. The Bees committed an error on a grounder by Tyler Roberts to get the next two runs in and tie the game.
But, Semmelhack has had problems with the home run ball this season. He gave up a pair of homers in the bottom of the fourth. The first came on an 0-2 pitch. The second came on the first pitch of the at bat. Semmelhack has allowed 12 homers in 75 innings pitched this season.
Funny moment in the sixth. Roberts had a 1-1 count on him. The scoreboard read 0-2. The next pitch was a strike, but plate umpire Clint Vondrak acted like it was strike three and rang up Country with a little flair. Country just stood in the batter’s box and held up two fingers. Vondrak checked with his Nate Tomlinson, who confirmed that the count was indeed 1-2.
Rodolfo Fernandez pitched three great innings. He ran into trouble in the eighth. The 3-1/3 innings he pitched on Saturday night was the longest outing of his professional career and let’s focus on the first three frames. a couple of strikeouts, a couple of weak popouts, and two weak grounders. Not bad.
In the seventh, the Rattlers were faced with a similar spot that they faced in the bottom of the ninth inning against Kane County on June 30. The Rattlers had two on with no outs, were down by a run, and had Tyrone Taylor at the plate. In that spot, the bunt was on and Taylor popped out. Then, the next two batters were retired without a run crossing the plate. On Saturday, the bunt was NOT on and Taylor struck out on three pitches before the next two batters were retired without a run crossing the plate.
Baseball is a cruel game.
Great jump by Max Walla to score on that laser off the bat of Chris McFarland that deflected off the pitcher. And let’s recognize the contact by McFarland, too.
Interesting call on the suicide squeeze with Country at third and Rodriguez at the plate to try and get the go-ahead run home. Maybe a bit counter-intuitive and outside the box. Roberts is not a world class sprinter, but Rodriguez is a really good bunter. The element of surprise was definitely there and Roberts got a great jump off third. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.
The bottom of the eighth….ugh. Another hit on an 0-2 pitch started the rally. The next batter tried to bunt and Fernandez came inside to hit him. The Rattlers were arguing that he had offered at the pitch, but the argument didn’t hold. A sac bunt and an intentional walk loaded the bases. Fernandez came out in favor of the lefty strong to face the left-handed batter. Unfortunately, it didn’t work as a 4-pitch walk forced in the go-ahead run.
Dusty Rhodes got ejected for arguing a check swing that was ruled a ball. I’m surprised that was the first time a Rattler has been ejected by this crew during this stretch of … let me check … 17 of the last Timber Rattlers games 22 games in which Clint Vondrak and Nate Tomlinson have been the umpiring crew.
Mike Garza, who tripled again – his seventh of the season, struck out looking on an 0-2 pitch that he thought was both high and outside. But, he got rung up for strike three by Vondrak. The two exchanged words as they left the field.
Note: I’m not saying the umpiring cost the Timber Rattlers this game. The early runs and the late walk and the lack of a big hit late in the game did that. That’s just a lot of time for one umpiring crew to cover one team. Issues are going to come up and small things may blow a bit out of proportion. It’s just something to take a note on and file it away for later.
A preview for tomorrow’s notes: The last ten Timber Rattlers games have been decided by two or fewer runs. Six of the ten games have been decided by ONE RUN. The Rattlers are 6-4 in their last ten games and 4-2 in one run games during that stretch.
Get ’em tomorrow.