Strike as hard as you can and keep moving on – Postgame post for August 2, 2013

Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on. – Ulysses S. Grant

Austin Ross on the mound.

Austin Ross on the mound.

Timber Rattlers 7
Kane County 4
Boxscore | Game Story

NO MERCY! NO PRISONERS!

Sorry had to get that out of the system.

The Rattlers offense had timely hits, restarted rallies, extra base knocks, and their first home run since Tuesday and it was still almost down to the wire.  But, that happens in the place formerly known as Elfstrom Stadium.

The triple by Victor Roache was a flyball to right that kept going and hit about 2 feet from the top of the wall.  Opposite field power is there, too.

Parker Berberet with the oddest 4-hit game I’ve ever seen.  A double, an RBI single, and two singles where he was thrown out trying to stretch the single into a double.  But, he’s on a 17-game hitting streak.  Keep on going.

Lance Roenicke also with a 4-hit game.  Two singles, a bunt single on a sacrifice bunt attempt, and a home run.  Funny moment on the home run.  He stopped a little around second as if he thought the ball bounced on the track and over the wall for a ground rule double.  After a moments hesitation, he continued on around the bases.

Michael Reed was back in the lineup for the first time since July 25.  He had two hits, stole a base, and…fell on the track going after a deep fly ball to right-center.  He took a little time to get back to his feet, but stayed in the game.  That first game back can be a little odd.  We’ll see where this goes.

Austin Ross with three scoreless innings.  He was at 59 pitches (30 strikes) with three walks and three strikeouts, hit 92 on the stadium gun once or twice and had some nasty breaking stuff.  Progressing nicely.

When was the last time a reliever came into a game and struck out ten batters?  That’s what Mike Strong did in just four innings.  One mistake on an 0-2 pitch to Rock Shoulders with the bases loaded in the fifth inning let the Cougars tie the game, but the Rattlers offense covered that and got some more runs and Strong got the win.

If you remember last year, Strong had nine strikeouts in four innings twice.  Tonight’s Mike Strong pitched more like that Mike Strong.

Rodolfo Fernandez didn’t mess around with hitters.  With a one run lead in the bottom of the eighth and Bête Noir Oliver Zapata due up in the inning, Fernandez don’t care. Three-up, three-down.  Even with a little more margin for error after the insurance runs in the top of the ninth, there was no tentativeness in his approach.  Here it is. He ain’t hitting this.  If you do, so what. I’ll get the next guy.

In other games in the Western pennant chase: Peoria lost to Quad Cities; Burlington beat Cedar Rapids; & Clinton beat Beloit.  Quad Cities is pulling away in the division race with Clinton and Peoria tied for the Wild Card. 

Quad Cities is 5-1/2 games clear of Clinton and Peoria.   But, the LumberKings and Chiefs are just two games up on Burlington and three games up on the Rattlers.  No. Seriously.  The 16-24 Timber Rattlers are just three games out of a playoff spot with a month to go in the season.

The road is not easy.  Starting Saturday Wisconsin has eight games with Beloit (64-46; 21-19), six games with Peoria (57-50; 19-21); three games with Quad Cities (62-46; 24-15);  and three games with Clinton (52-57; 19-21) over the next 20 games.

Saturday’s Western Division Games:
Beloit at Wisconsin
Burlington at Peoria
Kane County at Clinton
Quad Cities at Cedar Rapids

Buckle up and get ready for tomorrow.

Lots of motion in this photo. It looks weird and bad and I don't know why I'm sharing it...but, I am.

Lots of motion in this photo. It looks weird and bad and I don’t know why I’m sharing it…but, I am.

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