Strange game – Postgame post for August 19, 2013

This is a strange game. – Carl Yastrzemski

Somewhere near the pole in left, a ball went out. Was it Fair? Was it Foul? Of which it was, well, there was some doubt.

Somewhere near the pole in left, a ball went out. Was it Fair? Was it Foul? Of which it was, well, there was some doubt.

Beloit 8
Wisconsin 6
Boxscore | Game Story

Somewhere, Eddie Menchaca and the Clinton LumberKings are thinking that the scales have been balanced.  More on that in a bit.

Great start for the offense.  Garrett Cooper with a two-out, two-run home run on a fly ball that I thought was “Too High. Too High” to get out of the ballpark.  But, it got out by plenty.  Cooper with his second Midwest League home run since joining the Timber Rattlers.

Alfredo Rodriguez had a nice game in the leadoff spot.  He was on base four more times (Two singles & Twice being hit by a pitch)  His first hit was a two-out RBI single in the top of the second inning for a 3-1 lead.

Max Walla drove in a pair of runs with a two-out double in the top of the fifth.  A drive over the head of the right fielder.  Walla is now on an eight game hitting streak (15-for-35) and has bumped his average to .272 from .242 before the streak started.

But, those five runs were not enough.

Ryan Gibbard allowed eight runs on ten hits – including two home runs – in five innings.  Granted…neither home run is out of any other ballpark in the Midwest League.  Centerfield is 380′ with a 16′ high wall.  The second inning homer by Olson barely got over the wall.  Bostick’s first inning homer was hit to a bit to the right of the hitting background where it’s maybe…365’….370’?

However, both homers are probably doubles in other parks.  Who knows where  the innings go from there?

The bottom of the third inning snowballed with two outs.  There were a series of plays that led to that five-run frame for the Snappers to turn a 3-2 Wisconsin lead into a 7-3 Beloit lead.

There was a runner at third with one out.  Bostick singles to right to drive in the tying run.  Bostick takes second because the ball was booted for an error.  A ground out moves the runner to third but there are two outs.  Wooten walks on a 3-1 pitch.  Olson doubles on a 3-2 pitch to drive in one run and put runners on second and third.  Vertigan singles to center on an 0-2 pitch.  The throw home missed the cutoff man – and the catcher for that matter.  Vertigan takes second.  Next batter is Rickles and he singles to drive in Vertigan. 

There are a couple of places in that sequence where damage could have been limited.  But, the Snappers just kept hitting and kept running.

In the top of the sixth, the Rattlers got a single by Orlando Arcia and a single by Rodriguez to put two on with not out.  The next pitch was a 6-4-3 double play and two pitches later there was a fly out to center to end the threat.

Now…to The Play!

Two outs. Top of the 7th, None on. Parker Berberet hooks a line drive down the left field line.  Plate umpire Masa Ichiki calls it fair and a home run.

Unlike the situation in Clinton where Tyrone Taylor’s ball was fair and I saw it leave the yard fair only to have the plate umpire call it foul before reversing it, I did not see where the ball left the park in Beloit.  Look at the picture up top.  I do not have a great angle.  So, I immediately looked to the umpire for the call and a very definitive call of fair was made.

Berberet was around third and heading for home when Ryan Christenson came out to discuss the call.  Ichiki went to talk it over with San Allen and the call was reversed.  Now, truth be told, back in June, Taylor’s home run should not have been overturned.  The base umpire is not supposed to be looking at the ball.  It’s the plate umpires call.  There is no replay review.  There’s one call and that’s it.  But, for the second time this season, we have seen the call reversed.

Yaz is right.

And you knew this was going to happen:

The helmet came off as the argument continued...

The helmet came off as the argument continued…

Impressive follow through by Ichiki.

Impressive follow through by Ichiki.

I wish I could have got the helmet toss by Matty in a shot.  He got both height and distance on it.  Impressive.

There are a few other things you need to realize about Beloit’s Pohlman Field.  The players and coaches need to walk through the concourse to get from the dugout to the clubhouse.  MWL President George Spelius is based in Beloit and sits in the seats behind home plate for most Beloit home games.  There is a walkway in front the the seats that the league president uses.

Scene set?

Matt Erickson could have walked off the field and walked behind the bleachers, through the concourse, and to the clubhouse.  He could have walked across the field to a gate near the Beloit dugout and through a walkway between sections of the bleachers.  But, no.

He walked off the field, through the gate by the Rattlers dugout, down a walkway between the Rattlers dugout at the seats, into the section in which the league president sits, right past the league president, and back into the clubhouse.

I asked Matt what he said as he walked by the league president.  “Sorry, George. But, that had to happen.”

Preston Gainey tossed three scoreless innings and was helped out by a couple of nice double plays by the infielders.

Quad Cities and Clinton won.  Peoria lost.  The Rattlers are now 7-1/2 games behind Quad Cities and four games behind Clinton.  There are 14 games left in the season.

Get them on Tuesday.

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