August 2013

Lineup and Game Notes for August 24, 2013

When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal. – Bob Dylan

August 26 2013 001

You may follow tonight’s game on:
Television:
Time Warner Cable SportsChannel starting at 7:00pm

Radio: AM1280, WNAM
Internet Audio: IHeartRadio
Internet Video: MiLB.TV

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm

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

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Tyler Wagner
Kane County Starting Pitcher: James Pugliese

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesAugust262013
Kane County Game Notes: Kane County Aug 26 Game Notes

A consistent soul – Postgame Post for August 25, 2013

A consistent soul believes in destiny, a capricious one in chance. – Benjamin Disraeli

Got. Him. Looking.

Got. Him. Looking.

Kane County 1
Wisconsin 3
Boxscore | Game Story

Rodolfo Fernandez. I thought about just leaving it at that, but he deserves a little more. The discussion about Fernandez starting or not starting came down to: Why should we start him? He throws strikes. Okay. He’s starting. He threw strikes. He mixed speeds. He mixed locations. He pitched to contact. He got fortunate.

For example, the first play in the highlights shows Marco Hernandez trying to stretch a double into a triple and being thrown out by a lot. You can see the ball sneak in over his head and pop into Mike Garza’s glove in plenty of time for the out. Great throw from the track by Tyrone Taylor and a great relay throw from Alfredo Rodriguez for the play at third.

Speaking of Alfredo Rodriguez, he singled in a run in the bottom of the third to put the Rattlers up 1-0. Did you know that he has driven in at least one run in five of his last six games? He has driven in the run that put the Rattlers in front in each of the last three games.

There was some confusion on a play in the top of the fifth inning. Oliver Zapata appeared to attempt a check swing on an 0-2 pitch in the top of the fifth inning. The pitch bounced off something and into the Timber Rattlers dugout. It looked like the plate umpire had asked for an appeal from the base umpire and Zapata got rung for tfor the third strike, but he would get to first base on the wild pitch after strike three. I was confused because no one on the Rattlers had time to ask for an appeal and the plate umpire should have someone ask him for an appeal. It turns out that Zapata was hit by a pitch was being awarded first base by the plate umpire.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the call was, Zapata got on base somehow and stayed there.

The Fernandez Scoreless streak reached 22-2/3 innings before he surrendered an RBI double to Wilson Contreras with two outs in the third. That cut the lead to 2-1. Watch for the play in the highlights from Orlando Arcia to end the sixth inning. Wow.

Looking at my scorebook, I’m trying to figure out where things escalated to the point where a warning needed to be issued after Parker Berberet got hit by a pitch in the seventh inning. Best I can tell it went like this:

Leadoff batter Zapata hit by Fernandez in the top of the fifth on an 0-2 pitch
Leadoff batter Dustin Houle hit by pitch in the bottom of the fifth on a 1-2 pitch
Houle tries to score from third on grounder to second by crashing into Escobar at the plate. Out.
Leadoff batter Gioskar Amaya hit by Fernandez in the top of the sixth on a 2-0 pitch
Roache at first. Garza strikes out. KC Pitching coach makes brief visit to mound. Peralta hits Berberet with the first pitch.
Warning issued.

Hmmm.

So, Kane County brings in the lefty to face Walla and Max doubles in Roache for the insurance run.

That’s the best revenge, right?

Mike Strong threw strikes. Yes. He gave up a leadoff double in the seventh and a couple of hits in the eighth. But, he struck out five, didn’t walk a batter, didn’t allow a run, and picked up the save.

Clinton lost. Peoria lost. The math is still tough for the Rattlers. But, three games behind Clinton with eight games left sounds better than four games back or five games back with eight to play..

As the great Tug McGraw once said, “Ya Gotta Believe!”

004

High Five Line!
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Sunday’s Highlights:

Lineup and Game Notes for August 25, 2013

It is odd but agitation or contest of any kind gives a rebound to my spirits and sets me up for a time. – Lord Byron

August 25 2013 001

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

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm

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

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Rodolfo Fernandez
Kane County Starting Pitcher: Starling Peralta

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesAugust252013

Work on in despair – Postgame post for August 24, 2013

Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair. – Edmund Burke

Runner at third with one out in the bottom of the fifth and the infield playing on the grass.

Runner at third with one out in the bottom of the fifth and the infield playing on the grass.

Kane County 5
Wisconsin 3
Boxscore | Game Story

I was thinking about some features that I would like to do for the blog and the website for the offseason. One of my ideas was Top Ten Tuesday. One of those Top Ten lists is going to be Top Ten Ways Oliver Zapata has KILLED the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

No. Seriously. This guy has gutted the Rattlers at least ten ways over the last two seasons. On Saturday night, he threw out Victor Roache at the plate in the second inning. That was the inning where the Timber Rattlers had three straight hits and didn’t score a run. Then, Zapata tripled with two outs in the top of the seventh to drive in the tying run. He scored the go ahead run moments later.

Preston Gainey threw a lot of pitches in five innings. He had 86 pitches (57 for strikes), but he worked around a three hits, a couple of walks, and an error to allow just one run. In his last four games (2 starts, 2 relief appearances), Gainey has allowed three runs on 14 hits with six walks and 19 strikeouts over 17-1/3 innings. He is 0-1 in those last four appearances.

Another Top Ten Tuesday feature is going to be a look at the Top Ten Times the Rattlers got the go-ahead/winning run to the plate in a game they trailed by more than one run heading into their last at bat. That may be a little wordy. I’ll need to work on it. But, it happened again on Saturday night. Down by two with one out, Alfredo Rodriguez singles and Michael Reed draw his third walk of the game. But, they were left stranded when the game ended.

Orlando Arcia struck out to start the ninth inning. It had been 26 plate appearances since his last strikeout. Top Ten Strikeout Free Streaks of Orlando Arcia? Does that sound like a good list? The Stat Keepers track of Lowest Total Plate Appearance:Strikeout Radio. Here are the top three Midwest Leaguers:

Breyvic Valera (Peoria) – 18.62
Maxx Tissenbaum (Fort Wayne) – 13.20
Orlando Arcia (Wisconsin) – 12.03

That would be one strikeout for every 12.03 plate appearances….for a kid who has been 18 most of the year.

Parker Berberet with three more hits on Saturday night. He caught his fourth consecutive game and had three hits. He’s doing the job behind the plate and at the plate.

You may have noticed that Chris McFarland pinch hit for Garrett Cooper in the bottom of the seventh inning. The report I got after the game was that Cooper had a bruised thumb and was having trouble gripping his bat. That’s all I have right now.

The playoff chase:
Clinton had a lead late at Beloit, but lost 7-4.
Peoria was down 1-0 in the bottom of the third and lost by that same score.

The Rattlers are still four games behind Clinton and one game behind the Chiefs. The could have picked up ground. But, they didnt.

sigh

Get them tomorrow…with Wisconsin’s Rodolfo Fernandez making his first professional start.

Saturday’s Highlights…Featuring a lot of dancing and not a lot of baseball *SIGH*:

Lineup, Transactions, and Game Notes for August 24, 2013

But for each of us, isn’t life about determining your own finish line? – Diana Nyad

August 24 2013 001

You may follow tonight’s game on:
Television: My NEW32′s Sports Showdown starting with their pregame show at 6:00pm
Radio: AM1280, WNAM
Internet Audio: IHeartRadio
Internet Video: MiLB.TV

First pitch is scheduled for 6:35pm

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

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Preston Gainey
Kane County Cougars Starting Pitcher: Tayler Scott

Timber Rattlers Transactions:
C Tyler Roberts placed on DL retroactive to 8/21
C Dustin Houle transferred from Helena to Wisconsin

Updated Timber Rattlers Roster: Timber_Rattlers_Roster_082413

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesAugust242013

 

Oh, and the Milwaukee Bucks Dancers are here tonight, too.

Oh, and the Milwaukee Bucks Dancers are here tonight, too.

While you see a chance take it – Postgame post for August 23, 2013

When there’s no one left to leave you
Even you don’t quite believe you
That’s when nothing can deceive you

While you see a chance, take it – Steve Winwood

Got. Him. Swinging.

Got. Him. Swinging.

Timber Rattlers 1
LumberKings 0
Boxscore | Game Story

Parker Berberet missed a home run by about three feet. Not by distance. He had plenty of pop in his bat in the top of the fifth. The ball hit off the 16′ high wall. If he pulled it about three feet to the left, the ball is gone and he’s got a home run. In the end it didn’t matter.

Adrian Williams with an important plate appearance in the fifth inning. He was down 1-2 in the count, fouled off a two-strike pitch, worked the count full, and drew a walk to extend the inning.

That brought Alfredo Rodriguez to the plate. He doubled on a 1-2 pitch to knock in Berberet for the first – and only – run of the game.

Austin Ross with five more scoreless innings with the velocity in the low 90’s. The only walks he gave up were to Dario Pizzano, the bane of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. He struck out five and got out of both jams he was in by getting a double play and a strikeout. Outstanding.

Alan Williams is with the Timber Rattlers as he is working his way back. He looked good, allowed two hits, and was aided on a great running catch by Tyrone Taylor with two outs in the bottom of the eighth after Pizzano doubled just out of the reach of Taylor moments earlier.

The No Doubles Defense Worked! Mike Garza was guarding the line and behind the bag at third base in the bottom of the ninth. Marcus Littlewood pulled a hard grounder…right to where Garza was playing him. How many times have you seen that grounder go right to where the third baseman would normally be playing? More often than not it seems like. But not this day. Not this time.

Taylor Wall got that out and struck out the next two batters for a 1-2-3 ninth, his seventh save, and another scoreless inning for him. That runs his scoreless streak to 10-1/3 innings. That’s the entire month of August without allowing a run. He’s also walked one, struck out ten, and allowed seven hits in those 10-1/3 innings. In his last ten games, that’s 17 innings and one run with three walks and 17 strikeouts.

August 23 2013 013

August 23 2013 014

PLAYOFF UPDATE:
Peoria lost 3-0 to Burlington. Clinton’s lead over Peoria for the Wild Card is three games. Their lead over the Timber Rattlers is four games. There are ten games remaining in the regular season.

The next four games are:
Clinton at Beloit
Peoria at Cedar Rapids
Kane County at Wisconsin

The three games after that are:
Quad Cities at Wisconsin
Clinton at Peoria

The math is still against the Timber Rattlers, but it is not impossiblePost.

If they go 9-1 over the last ten games to get to 36-34, Clinton would need to go 4-6 to finish 35-35. Peoria could go 7-3 to finish at 35-35.

If they go 8-2 over the last ten games to get to 35-25, Clinton would need to go 3-7 to finish 34-36 and Peoria could go 6-4 to finish at 34-36.

The Rattlers cannot finish in a tie with either Clinton or Peoria. Both opponents have the tie-breaker on Wisconsin. They must be a game up on both of them.

Keep it going on Saturday night.

Lineup and Game Notes for August 23, 2013

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

August 23 2013 001

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

First pitch is 6:30pm

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

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Austin Ross
LumberKings Starting Pitcher: Victor Sanchez

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesAugust232013

A thing of beauty – Postgame post for August 22, 2013

A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness. – John Keats

Cooper's single to right drives in two runs and the Rattlers take a 6-5 lead.

Cooper’s single to right drives in two runs and the Rattlers take a 6-5 lead.

Wisconsin 8
Clinton 5
Boxscore | Game Story

Victor Roache homer tote board is at 21. This one was to a little to the right of straight away center:

Krakadoooum

And it wasn’t just the home run on Thursday night. There was the RBI double down the line in right, the RBI single up the middle, and the infield single where he beat out the throw to first base. Outstanding game for Roache.

Garrett Cooper with his TWELFTH multi-hit game and SIXTH multi-RBI game in 27 games with the Timber Rattlers. He is hitting .340 with 20 RBI in the Midwest League. Plus, a WEB GEM on a leaping grab of a liner for the final out of the seventh inning. He doesn’t make that catch, two runs score and there’s a runner on at least second base with the score of 8-7.

Scary situation in the third inning. DJ Peterson, the #1 pick of the Mariners in the 2013 draft, was hit in the face with a pitch by Jorge Lopez. He was down for a long time. The trainers for both teams were out to tend to Peterson and there was lots of blood on the towel. He needed to be carted off the field back to the clubhouse beyond the wall in left field.

August 22 2013 004

Like I said scary.

Here’s the play in the bottom of the sixth that started the rally. There was one out and none on base. The Rattlers were up 4-2. Gaby Guerrero’s grounder is just out of the reach of Cooper, who dove out to his right. However, Chris McFarland covered a lot of ground to get over and cleanly field the ball. He whirled and threw a strike to Lopez covering at first base. The throw had Guerrero by a step and a half. Lopez dropped the ball for a hit. The next batter hit a home run. The next batter grounded out for out number two. Then, the next batter homered.

Jono Armold came on and – thanks to Cooper’s leaping grab – tossed 2-1/3 scoreless innings.

Hobbs Johnson pitched the ninth inning and retired the side in order. He struck out two and walked none. Johnson, the 14th round pick of the Brewers in the 2013 draft, has pitched nine innings in five games with Wisconsin this season. He has allowed one run, walked four and struck out sixteen. His combined K:BB between Wisconsin and Helena is 23:4 in 17 innings. Not bad. #understatement

August 22 2013 012

Playoffs possibilities: Rattlers are five back of Clinton with eleven to play.

And as if that didn’t make it tough enough, the Rattlers need to finish a game in front of Clinton to claim the wild card spot. There is no playoff game if there is a tie at the end of the regular season. Clinton owns the tie-breaker (Head-to-Head).

But, as the Sam Cooke song goes, “Where there’s life there’s hope.”

Handshakes tonight:
August 22 2013 014

Get ‘em tomorrow.

Lineup and game notes for August 22, 2013

A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition. – William Arthur Ward
 
August 22 2013 001 You may follow tonight’s game on:
Radio: AM1280, WNAM
Internet Audio: IHeartRadio

First pitch is 6:30pm

Tonight’s Lineup:
Tyrone Taylor – DH

Michael Reed – CF
Mike Garza – 3B
Garrett Cooper – 1B
Victor Roache – LF
Parker Berberet – C
Max Walla – RF
Chris McFarland – 2B
Orlando Arcia – SS

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Jorge Lopez
LumberKings Starting Pitcher: Charles Kaalekahi

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesAugust222013

Do not go gentle into that good night – Postgame Post for August 21, 2013

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas

image

Okay. I am going to try this from my phone tonight because the internet in this hotel after 11pm turned to crumbs.

Wisconsin 3
Clinton 4

All four of Clinton’s runs came after two outs. 

Close call on a 3-2 pitch in the second inning went against Tyler Wagner to walk a batter that put runners on first and second with two out.  How close?  Wagner took a couple of steps to the first base dugout after the ball popped in the mitt of Parker Berberet.

That led to the single to knock in the first run of the game. A line drive to center. A good throw may have been enough to throw Taylor Ard out at the plate.  But, Tyrone Taylor threw over the cutoff man and over Berberet. Are scored and the poor throw let two runners into scoring position. Of course, the next hitter singles to drive in two for a 3-0 lead.

A word about Wagner’s defense. It has been great all season.  I count four solid to spectacular plays plays from him in Wednesday’s game. The leaping backhanded stab of a high chopper in the sixth was particularly highlight reel worthy.  There was also getting over to cover first ons grounder that Cooper missed, but Rodriguez fielded. Defense is part of the game that pitchers need to learn, too.

The Rattlers bats had chances to bust the game open. Two runs in and a runner at second in the fourth and they stranded the runner.

Key inning was the top of the seventh.  Orlando Arcia rips a double with one out. He tries to steal third with Rodriguez at the plate and got thrown out. Then, Rodriguez singles to center. He tries to steal second and was out tor the final out of the inning.  Ugh.

I am not a person who goes…well, the game would have been tied. It doesn’t work that way. The pitcher would have been approaching the hitter differently with a runner at second and one out as opposed to two outs and the bases loaded. Completely different situations calling for completely different pitches.

And they did it again. The Rattlers got the tying run on base in the ninth inning. I going to be able to make a weekly series out of the close calls of the 2013 Timber Rattlers.

I really thought Max Walla had tied the game. He cracked a pitch to right-center that looked like it would drop and roll to the wall to drive Victor Roache in from second. Alas, it was not to be.

The Timber Rattlers are now six games behind Clinton with 12 to play. For this to have a happy ending, the LumberKings are going to need to be the ’64 Phillies and the Rattlers will need to be the ’64 Cardinals.

Rage against the dying of the light. Get them on Thursday.

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