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:


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:

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