At the right time – Postgame post for July 10, 2013
I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing. – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
The Rattlers had an answer for everything that the Fort Wayne TinCaps threw at them on Wednesday night. The Rattlers were down 1-0, 4-2, and 6-5. They rallied to win 8-6 and had 13 hits and – like Kareem said – everything they did came at the right time.
You probably are wondering how Orlando Arcia did in his first night back. He was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts. It was his first game since July 2. The strikeouts don’t concern me. He has still walked 27 times and struck out 27 times over 74 games this season. He tested the ankle early and often. He easily went from first to third on a single to right by Michael Reed in the second inning. He also stole second – despite a pitch out – in the sixth inning.
Also, Arcia’s single for the insurance run in the eighth inning was just…..odd. He was at the plate with runners at first and second with one out. The TinCaps were playing as if they were expecting a bunt. The corner infielders charged, the middle infielders broke for other bases. Arcia calmly singled to right-center and Tyler Roberts scored from second base for an 8-6 lead. I don’t know if the entire Fort Wayne team forgot there was already an out, if they thought that little of Arcia, or if they had some weird play on to get something to happen. But, they chose….poorly.
Chris McFarland just missed a home run early in the game. It was a high towering home run deep to left. But, it hooked foul at the last moment. The triple that he hit in the sixth inning to score Walla was also cracked pretty good. When McFarland can make contact, the ball does get hurt.
Another note on McFarland. He was 2-for-4 on making over-the-shoulder catches on Wednesday. He ran a long way after all four popups and got a glove on all four as he showed a lot of range from second base. The catches that he made were great plays. The catches that he didn’t make, well, it was amazing that he got there to get the glove on them.
Mike Garza was 1-for-4. Three hard hit balls by Garza and the one hit was a big two-out, two-run single to center that gave the Rattlers their first lead of the night.
Preston Gainey had a rough night, but this play should tell you a little about his tenaciousness. Mallex Smith was at second base with one out and three runs already in for Fort Wayne in the top of the second. Gainey threw to second on a pickoff and Smith made it back. Gainey threw again to second and Smith just made it back. Smith took a longer lead at second thinking that there would be no way Gainey would throw back there a third time in a row. Gainey picked Smith off second base when he did throw back there a third straight time.
Three solid innings out of Rodolfo Fernandez. The only run he allowed came after the TinCaps had runners on first and third with one out. At a different point of the season, that inning gets out of hand. Fielder’s choice and a Tyrone Taylor catch in right-center ended the inning with minimal damage.
Ryan Gibbard with four hitless and scoreless innings just when it was most needed. Gibbard has staggered a bit over the last few weeks. Wednesday was the first time since May 5 Gibbard has made a scoreless appearance. But, he threw 42 pitches with 26 strikes in four innings and got the win. This was probably his best Pitch to Strike ratio since that game back on May 5 and he got ahead of batters. Good to see from Gibbard.
I was told after the game that YouTube needed 5,000 minutes to generate Wednesday’s highlights. I’ll need to post those in the morning. But, look at this highlight of Tyrone Taylor running down a flyball and turning it into an 8-6-3 double play. Holy smokes indeed!
Speaking of Tyrone Taylor. I’m running out of words for the kid. He made two catches in the outfield – the one in the highlight above and one other – that, when they left the bat, made me think that there was no way anyone would make. Both times Taylor was coasting by the time he got to the ball. It’s amazing watching the progress he has made in all phases of the game this season.
Also, his double in the first inning cost him an RBI. The ball lodged under the fence in foul territory down the left field line. Reed would have scored from first base without a the ball getting trapped for a ground rule double.
There was a point in the top of the second inning where the game was about to go sideways for the Timber Rattlers. Matt Erickson went out to the mound for a quick pep talk for the entire infield along with Gainey and Tyler Roberts. Whatever he said, it worked. The Rattlers got out of the inning and went on to the win. I’ll just note here that Matt Erickson is doing a heck of a job with the Timber Rattlers of 2013.