August 2013

Lineup and Game Notes for August 31, 2013

If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride – and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards. – Paul Bryant

August 31 2013 001

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

First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm

Tonight’s Lineup:
Tyrone Taylor – CF

Michael Reed – LF
Alfredo Rodriguez – 2B
Victor Roache – DH
Parker Berberet – 1B
Orlando Arcia – SS
Mike Garza – 3B
Dustin Houle – C
Max Walla – RF

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Tyler Wagner
Burlington Bees Starting Pitcher: Tyler DeLoach

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesAugust312013

Not with a bang – Postgame Post for August 30, 2013

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper. – TS Eliot

The final pitch of the 2013 home schedule.

The final pitch of the 2013 home schedule.

Quad Cities 6
Wisconsin 0
Boxscore | Game Story

The Timber Rattlers have been shutout seven times this season. Friday was the first time they have been shutout at home since May 10 when Clinton shut them out 7-0 in the second game of a doubleheader.

All Five runs scored against Rodolfo Fernandez were unearned. He tried to make a play when he didn’t need to in the second inning and it cost him. In the third, he got the pitch he needed, but an error kept the inning alive. Then, he issued a walk and hit a batter to get a run home. It was 2-0.

Then, Fernandez had Carlos Correa down 0-2, but gave up a two run single. Terrell Joyce was down 0-2, too and he singled to drive in a run to make it 5-0. That was pretty much the ballgame.

sigh

Wisconsin had five hits. All hits came with two outs in an inning. Of the runners the Rattlers got on base in the game on Friday, only two reached with less than two outs: Max Walla reached on a one-out error in the fourth and was erased on a 4-6-3 double play. Michael Reed drew a leadoff walk in the sixth and was left stranded there when the inning ended.

Parker Berberet hit the ball hard twice. One deflected off the River Bandits pitcher and was turned into a 1-4-3 putout. One was a line drive right to the left fielder.

Victor Roache hit a ball in the sixth inning that would have been out of the ballpark on any other night of this homestand. In the first six games of this homestand the wind was blowing out to left or center. Tonight, it was blowing in from center, which is weird because it usually only does that in April. Roache cracked a towering drive to left-center that sounded like it would clear the wall to tie the franchise home run record. The wind held it up and the ball didn’t even make the warning track.

Mike Strong tossed five innings and struck out nine while walking two. Strong, in what will be his final appearance of the season, ran his K:BB ratio for the season to 98:45 in 87 innings.

Clinton won tonight and that – coupled with Wisconsin’s loss – eliminates the Rattlers from the playoff race.  They made the LumberKings sweat down the stretch.  But, in the end, that 0-6 start to the second half was something from which the Rattlers could never recover.

The King is dead. Long live the King.

Three games in Burlington are ahead.  Then, this season will be no more.

August 30 2013 002Then, we’ll get ready for the 2014 season.

Friday’s Highlights:
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Lineup and Game Notes for August 30, 2013

Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? – Bluto, Animal House

August 30 2013 001

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

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm

Tonight’s Lineup:
Alfredo Rodriguez – 3B

Michael Reed – LF
Tyrone Taylor – CF
Victor Roache – DH
Parker Berberet – C
Max Walla – RF
Mike Garza – 1B
Chris McFarland – 2B
Orlando Arcia – SS

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Rodolfo Fernandez
River Bandits Starting Pitcher: Zach Morton

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesAugust302013

It goes on – Postgame post for August 29, 2013

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

August 29 2013 011

Quad Cities 6
Wisconsin 3
Boxscore | Game Story

The way I figure it – after tonight – Clinton’s magic number is 2. If the Rattlers go 4-0 over the last four games, they will be 34-36. If Clinton goes 2-2 over their last four games, they will be 34-36. Tie-breaker goes to Clinton.

There were so many chances for both teams. The Rattlers couldn’t get the big hit. The Bandits kept hitting into double plays…six of them to be exact.

Both teams had ten hits. A big difference: Quad Cities was 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position. The Rattlers were 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Back to the double plays. They ranged from routine to spectacular to ridiculous. In order:

3-6-3 double play with Berberet making a strong throw and tap dance at first on the return throw
4-6-3 double play on a runner’s interference call
6-4-3 double play with Arcia going to his back hand and Rodriguez hanging in there to make the turn
Strike-him out/Throw-him out double play with another strong, on target throw by Houle to second base.
7-6-3 double play on a fine running catch by Roache in left and the runner forgetting how many outs there were
3-unassisted double play with Berberet snagging a liner and stepping on first.

Mike Garza with his second 4-hit game of the season.

Michael Reed with his second 3-walk game of the homestand.

Alfredo Rodriguez with two more hits in the leadoff spot.

And…it’s been a long day. One more home game in the season and then it’s off to Burlington. Let’s see what happens.

Thursday’s Highlights:

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Lineup & Game Notes for August 29, 2013

Right now, hey
It’s your tomorrow
Right now,
C’mon,it’s everything
Right now,
Catch a magic moment, do it
Right here and now
It means everything – Van Halen, Right Now

August 29 2013 001

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

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm

Tonight’s Lineup:
Alfredo Rodriguez – 2B
Michael Reed – RF
Tyrone Taylor – CF
Victor Roache – LF
Parker Berberet – 1B
Garrett Cooper – DH
Mike Garza – 3B
Dustin Houle – C
Orlando Arcia – SS

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Ryan Gibbard
River Bandits Starting Pitcher: Joe Bircher

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesAugust292013
River Bandits Game Notes: 2013-08-29 QC at WIS

Missed again – Postgame post for August 28, 2013

Well it feels like something you want so bad
And then you think you’ve got it, but it’s somethin’ you already had
And you can feel it all around you, but it’s somethin’ you just can’t touch – Phil Collins, Missed Again

Ross is about to get out of the top of the fifth.

Ross is about to get out of the top of the fifth.

Quad Cities 4
Wisconsin 2
Boxscore | Game Story

The Timber Rattlers had their winning streak snapped at three games. Wisconsin has had four three-game winning streaks in the second half of the season. They have not won four consecutive games in the second half. Missed again.

The rehabilitation of Austin Ross continues apace. He has allowed four runs – three earned – over his last six innings. That’s 26 innings. On Thursday, he found his strikeout mojo with seven K’s and his velocity was up to 92 and 93. His next start is scheduled for Labor Day, the last day of the regular season, at Burlington.

Dustin Houle threw out three of four would-be Quad Cities base stealers on Wednesday. His throws were right on the bag, too. Really nice defensive work as he was catching his fourth straight game.

Tyrone Taylor’s double in the third inning gave him 33 on the season. He is in tenth place on the Timber Rattlers single season list for doubles. First place belongs to Bo Robinson (50 in 1999). But, with five games remaining, there is a possibility to move up the list. Scooter Gennett (39 in 2010) is #2 and John Castellano (34 in 2001) and Juan Silvestre (34 in 1999) are tied for 9th. Let’s see where Taylor winds up.

Mike Garza’s triple in the seventh inning was his ninth of the season. He’s tied with Chadwin Stang and Josh Womack for sixth on the single season list. It was also triple #51 of the season for the Timber Rattlers team. The team record for triples is 58 and was set by the 2010 Timber Rattlers.

Alan Williams, a lefty, got into trouble in the sixth and the eighth with a leadoff walk against a left-handed batter. Both times that leadoff walk scored.

Taylor Wall did what he has done so often this season. He came into the game in a tough spot and got the pitch he needed to get out of the inning. But, this time, the ball was misplayed into an error that let an inherited runner score. Still, out of 28 inherited runners, Wall has allowed only eight to score.

In the eighth and ninth innings, the Timber Rattlers hit three balls that sounded good off the bat. Alfredo Rodriguez and Orlando Arcia hit back-to-back flyouts to the track in left. Victor Roache with a line drive to the gap in right-center that was caught at the track. For some reason, the ball just didn’t carry on Wednesday.

PLAYOFF CHASE:
The Peoria Chiefs gave up four home runs, had two runners thrown out at the plate, trailed 4-0 and 6-3, and had lost six games in a row. They managed to beat the Clinton LumberKings 7-6 in twelve innings…and outhit Clinton 23-13. That is amazing.

So, with five games remaining, the Timber Rattlers remain one game behind Clinton (31-34), a team that has lost seven straight games. Wisconsin (30-35) is only one game in front of Peoria (29-36).

The Best the Rattlers can do now is 35-35. Clinton only needs to finish at 35-35. The math is still hard. But, they get to start climbing up that hill again on Thursday night.

Wednesday’s Highlights:

Lineup and game notes for August 28, 2013

We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

August 27 2013 004

You may follow tonight’s game on:
Television: My NEW32′s Sports Showdown starting with their pregame show at 6:30pm
Radio: AM1280, WNAM
Internet Audio: IHeartRadio
Internet Video: MiLB.TV

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm

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

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Austin Ross
River Bandits Starting Pitcher: Chris Devenski

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesAugust282013

Things begin to happen – Postgame post for August 27, 2013

It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen. – Muhammad Ali

August 26 2013 005

Kane County 7
Wisconsin 8
Boxscore | Game Story

Secondary quote: That just happened – Ricky Bobby

Tuesday’s game may have been the most frustrating, nerve-grating, gut-churning, satisfying win in a season that is full of a couple of those.  Both teams could have blown that game wide open at several points.  But, just when one appeared ready to hang a crooked number, the other would make a big pitch or a big defensive play.  Also, when one team appeared ready to slam the door in an inning, a mistake would open that door wide and invite the other team in to help themselves to a few runs.

Example 1:  In the third inning, Kane County had just tied the game 4-4 and had the bases loaded with no outs.   Jorge Lopez gets out of the inning with a popup and a 1-6-3 double play.

Example 2: The Rattlers loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth.  They scored a run on a 4-3 double play and a two-out single to grab a 6-4 lead.

Example 3: Lopez had a 6-4 lead and had retired seven in a row.  There were two outs and none on in the fifth inning and he had a two-run lead.  Double, Home Run. Tie Game.

Lopez had a rough day.  He was leaving a lot of pitches up and he was getting hit hard.  In all, he allowed six runs – four earned – on ten hits in five innings.  BUT, he didn’t walk anyone.  That helped a lot.

Hobbs Johnson with two innings and five more strikeouts.  His K:BB ratio with the Rattlers 21:4 in eleven innings.  His K:BB ratio since joining the Brewers organization: 30:4 in 19 innings.

Kane County was charged with six errors.  They very easily could have been charged with at least two more…maybe three.  They were horrible defensively.  And the Rattlers took advantage by scoring eight runs – five UNEARNED.

A couple of the errors are on the highlights below.  The first Wisconsin run scores when the shortstop can’t field a grounder with the bases loaded and two outs.  Alfredo Rodriguez sacrifice bunt in the second wound up scoring two runs and got him into scoring position.  But, before that happened, there was an error on a potential double play ball that let the Rattlers have two runners on with no outs in the first place.  Opportunity knocked and the Rattlers finally are answering the call.

Bismarck is incorrectly quoted with the following: God has a special providence for drunkards, fools, and the United States of America.  Can we add the Timber Rattlers somewhere in there?

There were two plays in particular that got me thinking about that quote – whether Bismarck said it or not.

The Rattlers have two on with no outs in the fourth inning in a tie game.  Rodriguez is at the plate and the Cougars bring in a new pitcher.  Rodriguez has a great at bat and fouls off four different pitches as he gets the count to 3-2.  He pops up the tenth pitch of the at bat.  Off the bat, I thought it was just a popup on the infield and I looked to the umpire to call for the infield fly rule.  The ball kept carrying into the outfield and four Cougars let the ball drop between them.  No infield fly rule and heads-up base running by Dustin Houle and Chris McFarland result in no force outs on the bases.  Wisconsin would score two runs in the inning.

The other play was Houle in the eighth inning.  He sends a fly ball to right-center.  The right fielder looked like he took a bad angle on the fly ball.  The ball dropped and rolled to the fence 400′ from home plate.  Houle pulled into second base and stopped. Then, started for third when the centerfielder couldn’t pick up the ball AND slipped.  Houle made it to third.  He scored two batters later on the sacrifice fly by Rodriguez.

By the way, have you noticed a trend?  The names Houle, McFarland, and Rodriguez keep popping up in this post.  That would be the 8, 9, & 1 hitters.  Houle was the leadoff batter in four innings, he reached base three times, and scored three runs.  McFarland followed Houle getting on base twice and got on a total of three times.  Rodriguez was back in the leadoff spot in the  order and got on three times and knocked in a run for the sixth time in his last eight games.

In all the 8-9-1 hitters for the Rattlers were 4-for-9 with two walks, and seven runs scored.

Tyrone Taylor started the game winning rally with a bunt single against Michael Hamann.  He was still at first with two outs.  At that point, everyone in the stadium knew that Taylor would be running to try to get into second with a stolen base.  He didn’t go on either of the first two pitches as the count went to 1-1 on Mike Garza.  Hamman threw three times over to first base before making the 1-1 pitch to Garza.

Look at the highlights and see where that 1-1 pitch was and where Garza lined it.  All Taylor had to do was stay on his feet and he scores the winning run.  No problem.

Pictures by Ann Mollica:

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Playoff Chase:

I listened to the Clinton LumberKings game tonight. They lost 2-0 at Beloit. Clinton fell behind 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning as the first three Snappers reached on a double and two singles. Ryan Mathews homered to leadoff the Beloit fifth. Clinton had five hits, drew six walks, stranded ten men, and went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position as they lost their sixth straight game.

Peoria also lost their sixth straight game. Peoria hosts Clinton for the next three days.

Wisconsin trails the LumberKings by a game and leads Peoria by two games. There are six games remaining in the season.

The ideal situation for the Timber Rattlers will be to keep winning (CAPTAIN OBVIOUS) and for Peoria to beat Clinton. Remember, Clinton’s magic number is still at 4 and they only need to finish in a tie with the Timber Rattlers. Wisconsin MUST finish a game in front of the Clinton (or Peoria for that matter) to claim the Wild Card spot because both the LumberKings and Chiefs won the season series to own the tie-breaker.

The Timber Rattlers host Quad Cities for the next three games. Quad Cities just clinched the Top Playoff spot in the second half with a win at Burlington. We’ll see if there is a special Providence that continues for the Timber Rattlers on Wednesday night.

Keep in mind that the Rattlers have won three straight. They have not won four consecutive games at any point of the second half. Time to change that.

Ya Gotta Believe!!

Tuesday’s Highlights:

Lineup and Game Notes for August 27, 2013

Be open to extreme possibilities, Scully. – Fox Mulder

I-want-to-believe

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

First pitch is scheduled for 12:05pm

Today’s Lineup:
Alfredo Rodriguez – DH
Michael Reed – RF
Tyrone Taylor – CF
Victor Roache – LF
Parker Berberet – 1B
Mike Garza – 3B
Orlando Arcia – SS
Dustin Houle – C
Chris McFarland – 2B

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Jorge Lopez
Kane County Starting Pitcher: Nathan Dorris

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesAugust272013

Here are the highlights from Monday’s game:

To accomplish great things – Postgame Post for August 26, 2013

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. – Anatole France

August 26 2013 011

Kane County 2
Wisconsin 4
Boxscore | Game Story

Tyler Wagner gave up two runs in the second inning and nothing else. This got me thinking. Here is his ERA breakdown by inning:
1st: 4.88
2nd: 3.75
3rd: 3.38
4th: 4.50
5th: 1.71
6th: 2.08
7th: 0.00

He has pitched into the 7th inning seven times – five times as a starter.

Wagner was right around 91-92 on the gun, but he snapped off some great breaking stuff. The called third strike on Rock Shoulders in the fifth inning comes to mind. He’s had a great season. But, he’s not done yet. Next scheduled start for him is Saturday at Burlington.

Victor Roache smacked two singles through the infield in the game. The hardest hit ball he had in the game was his lineout in the eighth. It probably should have been a hit. But, the Cougars infield had a shift on against Roache and the second baseman was about two steps to the right of second base and playing on the outfield grass.

Roache’s legs came into play on the first Wisconsin run in the bottom of the second. He was running on a 3-2 pitch to Parker Berberet and scored when Berberet lined a double to the wall in left-center. Roache was caught stealing in the sixth inning, but he is 5-for-7 on stolen base attempts this season. The power is the main tool, but the base running helps.

Orlando Arcia saved a run and created a run. He made another spectacular diving stop of a hard grounder up the middle for the final out of an inning. It happened in the second inning on Sunday. It happened in the first inning to rob Shoulders of a two-out RBI on Monday. It was perfect.

Arcia singled in the fifth. Went to second on a wild pitch. Took third on slow grounder to short that the third baseman cut off to play to first. Then, with Adrian Williams at the plate, Kane County was playing for a squeeze. But, the starting pitcher apparently forgot that because when the catcher jumped out for a pitchout the pitcher stopped in the middle of his delivery for a balk. That scored the go-ahead run for the Rattlers.

Harvey Martin had struggled in his prior two appearances. He did not struggle on Monday. Two innings, one hit, two strikeouts, save number three.

Clinton and Beloit each lost their fifth straight game on Monday. Clinton’s loss was…well, here’s the play-by-play of Beloit’s sixth inning. The Snappers entered the inning trailing Clinton 5-3:

  • Ryan Mathews strikes out swinging.
  • Daniel Robertson strikes out swinging.
  • Chris Bostick singles on a ground ball to center fielder Janelfry Zorrilla.
  • Matt Olson singles on a ground ball to right fielder Alfredo Morales. Chris Bostick to 3rd.
  • John Wooten reaches on a fielding error by center fielder Janelfry Zorrilla. Chris Bostick scores. Matt Olson scores. John Wooten to 3rd.
  • Renato Nunez singles on a line drive to right fielder Alfredo Morales. John Wooten scores.
  • Brett Vertigan grounds into a force out, second baseman Brock Hebert to shortstop Martin Peguero. Renato Nunez out at 2nd.

That. Just. Happened.

So, the Rattlers are a game in front of Peoria and two games behind Clinton for the Wild Card with seven games remaining.

Ya Gotta Believe!

Handshakes! Handshakes for everyone!
August 26 2013 013

There was a problem with YouTube and uploading the highlights. If they are ready, I’ll put Monday’s highlights in Tuesday’s pregame post.

Sleep fast, Rattlers fans.

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