Truth isn’t – Postgame post for August 18, 2013

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t. – Mark Twain

Something wonderful is about to happen.

Something wonderful is about to happen.

Wisconsin 4
Beloit 3
Boxscore | Game Story

Like Ben Crenshaw in the Saturday press conference at the 1999 Ryder Cup, I had a good feeling.  Unlike Ben Crenshaw, I did not express it as such. Enough people think that I am A.) Crazy, B.) A Homer, and/or C.) A Crazy Homer.

No, Seriously. If I said something like, “I know the Timber Rattlers have had one runner past first base in the game through the first innings and they haven’t had two base runners on at the same time tonight and they are down 3-0, but I’ve got a good feeling going into the the top of the ninth inning.”…well, you can imagine what your reaction would have been.

And yet….and yet…I did lay the groundwork for the comeback. Mentioning that Tyler Vail had allowed three of the runs in that five run bottom of the ninth on August 5.

Enough about what I thought. Now to what actually happened.

Opposing batters were hitting almost .400 against Beloit starting pitcher Deyvi Jimenez in his first eight Midwest League appearances. So, of course he allowed three hits over six scoreless innings. He used a lot of breaking balls and off-speed and stuff and the Rattlers were off balance. He only worked one perfect inning, but the Rattlers never got going offensively against him.

Austin Ross ran into some bad luck on the first two runs scored against him in the game.  A throwing error by Parker Berberet on a stolen base let a runner take third base.  Then, a grounder got the run home in the second.  In the fifth, the bases were loaded and Ross jammed Aaron Shipman, but the grounder was too slow for the Rattlers to turn two.

Plus, the Snappers helped out a bit in the sixth inning to prevent a big inning.  Daniel Robertson doubled to start the inning.   Christopher Bostick was next.  Heading into the game, Bostick was hitting .287 with 13 homers and 83RBI.  Three of his homers and 13 of his RBI came against the Timber Rattlers and he was hitting well over .300 against Wisconsin.  The Snappers had him bunt Robertson over to third.  John Wooten, the next batter, doubled to drive in the third run for a 3-0 lead.  Makes you wonder where that game would have been had Bostick, who had doubled in his previous at bat vs. Ross, swung away in the sixth.

In the end, Ross wound up with his second straight quality start, walked one, struck out six, and (unofficially) had 79 pitches/52 strikes in six innings.

Also, Berberet threw out two of Beloit’s three would-be base stealers on Sunday.  He 27-for-67 (.403) at throwing out opposing base runners.

Let’s look at the first four batters in the top of the ninth:

Victor Roache retired on a line drive that was backhanded by the shortstop.
Garrett Cooper lines a single off Tyler Vail’s body so hard the ball deflected into foul territory about halfway between third and home.
Parker Berberet lines a singled over the head of Vail into center.
Max Walla lines a single to right so hard Cooper was unable to score from second.

Orlando Arcia stepped in after the second out and he swung at the first pitch.  Another line drive to right. Shipman tried to make the diving catch, but there was no chance. Then, the ball skipped to the wall.  Three runs scored.  Tie game.

In case you were wondering…..and I know I was…. Orlando Arcia is 7-for-16 (.438) with the bases loaded this season.  Three of his hits with the bases loaded are for extra bases.  Plus, he has driven in 15 runs with the bases full.

Ryan Fasano made his Timber Rattlers debut with two scoreless innings (7th & 8th).  He was hit by a line drive for a single in the eighth.  The ball went off a leg.   He stayed in the game and got the final out of the inning.   Fasano went back out for the bottom of the ninth and threw a couple of warmup tosses.  Then,  Matt Erickson, Jeff Paxson, and David Chavarria came out of the dugout to check on Fasano.  The decided to take him out and bring in Taylor Wall.  That top of the ninth did go a long time.  I have a text in to the manager to see if that was precautionary or a Tony LaRussa Gambit to buy Wall some extra time warmup for the bottom of the inning.

Taylor Wall with two more scoreless innings.  I don’t mean to make it seem like an afterthought as in: Oh, by the way, Taylor Wall tossed two more scoreless innings.  He has a scoreless streak of 9-2/3 innings over his last five outings.  In his last ten games, Wall has given up three runs on 14 hits over 17 innings with five walks and 15 strikeouts.  Outstanding work by Wall.

Adrian Williams came into the game for Mike Garza for the bottom of the eighth. Garza fouled a few balls off his foot in the game Friday at home and sat out Saturday’s game at Beloit.  He got back in there on Sunday and went 1-for-4, but was out of the game after he grounded out to third to end the top of the eighth.

Williams started the 10th inning rally with a one out single against Chris Lamb.  Victor Roache followed Williams and ended an 0-for-12 streak with a single.  Then, Williams got a great jump on a 1-2 breaking ball with Cooper at the plate and stole third base.  Roache picked up his fourth stolen base as the trail runnner.

That double steal led to the change in the defensive alignment with the Snappers bringing the infield in to get Williams at the plate.  Cooper lined a single through that drawn in infield to get Williams home and the Rattlers were a scoreless tenth from Taylor Wall away from their second straight win.

Western Division Playoff Chase:
Clinton 4 @Kane County 2
Cedar Rapids 3 @Peoria 1
@Quad Cities 3, Burlington 2

The River Bandits had a 2-1 lead, but Burlington tied the game in the top of the ninth.  Then, Rio Ruiz hit a leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth.

Peoria committed four errors and Cedar Rapids won its sixth straight game.

Victor Sanchez pitched seven scoreless innings for Clinton.

Up To Date Standings:
TEAM             W-L                Div. GB          WC GB
QC                  31-23                  —                    –
CLN                28-27                 3.5                   –
PEO                27-28                 4.5                 1.0
WIS                 25-30                 6.5                 3.0
BUR                23-32                 8.5                 5.0
KC                   20-34               11.0                 7.5

There are 15 games remaining and the Rattlers have three left at Clinton.

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