September 2013

And then there were two….

The Midwest League Championship Series is set,  South Bend will represent the East and Quad Cities will represent the West.

South Bend won Game Five of the Eastern Division Finals at home

Fort Wayne pitching coach Burt Hooton had barely reached the dugout steps after talking with pitcher Joseph Ross about what to do with South Bend slugger Brandon Drury with runners at second and third and two out in the fifth inning, when Drury made the TinCaps regret their decision.

Drury swatted a three-run homer that rocketed off of the pro shop’s brick wall behind the left-field fence, sending South Bend on its way to a 9-5 Minor League Baseball victory and the Midwest League’s Eastern Division championship.

The Silver Hawks won the playoff series 2-1 against its Indiana rival. South Bend’s pennant is the seventh in franchise history. It won Midwest League crowns in 1989, 1993 and 2005, and was runner-up in 1990, 2001 and 2008.

South Bend Tribune  photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN

South Bend Tribune photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN

Quad Cities won Game Five of the Western Division Finals on the road

Rio Ruiz, Teoscar Hernandez and Carlos Correa ensured that victory for Quad-Cities in the deciding game of the Midwest League Western Division Championship Series was as easy as 1-2-3.

Each belted home runs as part of a power surge which carried the River Bandits to a 9-5 victory over Beloit on Monday at Pohlman Field, sending Quad-Cities to the Midwest League Championships for the second time in three seasons.

The River Bandits matched a season high with 17 hits, including four doubles and two triples in nine in addition to the three homers which came during the game’s first three innings and led Quad-Cities to a 5-0 lead which went untouched as Daniel Minor recorded his second straight six-inning start on the mound.

Note on that article states that this is the eleventh time the Quad Cities franchise has made the MWL Championship Series in 54 years.

Good luck to both.

Timber Rattlers in Japan

Wladimir Balentien played for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2004.  He hit 15 home runs in just 76 games with the Rattlers during that season.

In case you’ve missed the discussion over the last few weeks, Balentien is making a run at the single season record in Japan.

And who is the slugger who might soon usurp [Sadaharu] Oh? Wladimir Balentien, from a tiny island in the Caribbean.

“I’m going for the top,” Balentien, a native of Curaçao, in the Netherlands Antilles, told reporters after hitting his 52nd home run of the season last week for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. “I always want to be No. 1.”

Balentien, a hulking outfielder who once played for the Seattle Mariners and the Cincinnati Reds, has been unstoppable this season. Though he missed the season’s first 12 games with an injury, he has averaged a home run every two games and is hitting a league-best .340 with 111 runs batted in.

He is the lone highlight for Yakult, which languishes in last place in Japan’s Central League.

That story was written before Balentien hit home run #53 for the Yakult Swallows over the weekend. Sadaharu Oh’s record is 55. There is just over a month to go in the season over in Japan.  The 2013 season is the third year Balentien has played for Yakult.  He hit 31 home runs in 2011 and 2012.

I decided to see if there were other ex-Timber Rattlers playing in  Japan.

I found two others that are still playing – and one who made two starts – over there.

Jorge Sosa had just made the switch to being a pitcher from an outfielder when he joined the Rattlers near the end of the 2001 season.  He was in the majors in 2002 after Tampa took him in the Rule 5 draft.   

He’s with the Yokohama Bay Stars this year after spending last season with the Chunichi Dragons.

Bryan LaHair joined the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for the second half of the 2004 season.  He wound up leading the team in doubles that year.  LaHair was an All-Star with the Cubs in 2012, but since Anthony Rizzo was ready, there was no spot for LaHair in Chicago this year. 

He is playing for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League in 2013,

Justin Thomas was 5-5 in eleven starts for the Timber Rattlers in 2006.  He made it to the big leagues with the Mariners, Pirates, Yankees, and Red Sox.  Thomas started the 2013 season with Sacramento, the PCL affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, but was let go in June.  Thomas signed with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of the JPL and made two starts between July 31 and August 7.

There were a few other interesting names on that I found in Japan.

One of Sosa’s teammates in Yokohama is Nyjer Morgan.
NyjerMorganYokohamaBrooks Conrad spent two months with the Hanshin Tigers.

Vinny Rottino – of the Racine Rottino’s – has played 37 games with the Orix Buffaloes.

Casey McGehee is with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. McGehee has 24 homers and 81 RBI so far this season.


2013 MWL Final 4

All four of the Midwest League’s first round playoff series ended in sweeps on Thursday night.

The Gazette-KCRG photo by Jim Slosiarek

The Gazette-KCRG photo by Jim Slosiarek

In the West:

Quad Cities got past Cedar Rapids:

The Bandits walked into Perfect Game Field on Thursday night and walked out with a 4-2 victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels and a sweep of their opening-round best-of-three series in the Midwest League playoffs.

The Kernels had the best overall record and the best home record of any team in the league this season, but they went 6-13 against Quad-Cities. They managed to collect just three runs and eight hits in the two-game set.

And for the Cedar Rapids view of things…

Great season ends for Kernels

Some year, the Cedar Rapids Kernels will end what has become a two-decade drought and win the Midwest League championship. But it won’t be this year.

The Quad Cities River Bandits completed a sweep of the Kernels Thursday night via a 4-2 victory in Game 2 of this first-round playoff series.

A very nice midweek crowd of 2,660 fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium seemed more than ready to make noise, but their boys ended up not giving them a whole lot to cheer about. So many wins this season, but none when rings were on the line.

“We accomplished so much. Growth from every player,” said Kernels catcher Michael Quesada. “As a person and a player, everyone just grew up a whole lot this season. It didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, but we definitely battled. We never, ever gave up. This happens sometimes. Some teams just have your number. We ran into the wrong team at the wrong time.”

Quad Cities faces Beloit in the Western Division finals beginning Saturday. The River Bandits went 12-6 against Cedar Rapids this season, the only team in the division to have a winning record against a club that won a league-high 88 games, second-most in club history.

Beloit swept Clinton out of the postseason:

Beloit took the lead in the fourth when it scored two runs on a throwing error by LumberKings pitcher Dylan Unsworth, then tore into relief pitcher Jochi Ogando in the fifth. John Wooten drove in a pair of runs with a line drive double to left, then scored himself on an error by Clinton shortstop Brock Hebert.

Dylan Covey pitched six strong innings to get the win for the Snappers, allowing only three baserunners.

In the East:

Fort Wayne moved past Bowling Green

The TinCaps beat Bowling Green 9-5 on Thursday to sweep a best-of-three playoff series against the Hot Rods and move on to the Eastern Division finals. Fort Wayne will play South Bend in Game 1 at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Parkview Field.

All this after finishing the second half 12 games below .500 and watching the Hot Rods surge to the overall Midwest League Eastern Division lead.

“Not surprised at all,” TinCaps manager Jose Valentin said. “I got no doubt in my team.”

Fort Wayne starter Zach Eflin, the Midwest League leader in ERA among starters, put on another strong performance in front of a crowd of 4,377 at Parkview Field. The 19-year-old went six innings and gave up five hits, two earned runs and one walk while striking out five.

“We’re finally starting to play as a family,” Eflin said. “We really started to pick it up and cherish it.”

South Bend defeated Great Lakes

“We had one menace the whole season,” South Bend manager Mark Haley said. “Great Lakes owned us (taking the regular-season series 10-5). They kicked our butts. That works towards your favor, sometimes. Guys were ready to show what they really are. When it means something, we’re really going to go at it, and that’s exactly what our players did. I’m very happy with them. They stepped up.”

[Braden] Shipley, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ first-round pick in the 2013 Draft (15th overall), worked seven innings, allowing one run (unearned) and two hits. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound right-hander from Medford, Ore., struck out four and walked three.

And a reminder why this is a special season for Mark Haley

“This one here was really special, after all I’d been through the last year and a half,” Haley said before the Hawks’ 5-1 first-round playoff clinching win over Great Lakes. “It’s been nothing but hospitals and ailments. This one here has to go to my wife (Ann). She’s the one that got me going in times … 18 days in a coma; ileostomy; colostomy; stomach mesh; staph infection. Then, to top it all off, a heart attack. All in a year in a half.

“People say, ‘Aw, you’ve been through a lot.’ Heck, I just laid there in bed watching fishing shows and ‘Duck Dynasty.’ I’m laying there having people wait on me. Who’s raising the family? Who’s taking care of the bills? Who’s going to work? She’s the one doing it. When I’m having trouble, she’s pushing me.”

Timber Rattlers 2013 Numbers with Highs and Lows

Here are some Timber Rattlers By the Numbers for the 2013 season.  Take a look. I’m pretty sure it all adds up to the right totals.


Last 5 Games          0-5
Last 10 Games        3-7
Best Record:            2-0
Worst Record:         59-76
First Half                   29-36
Second Half             30-40
Home Record:        30-37
Road Record:          29-39
Daytime Record:    16-22
Night Record:          45-54
Starters:                    34-43
Relievers:                  25-33
Quality Starts:         43
Saves/Chances:      32/46

The Rattlers had seven walkoff wins in 2013.

The Rattlers had seven walkoff wins in 2013.

Longest Win Streak:       6
Longest Losing Streak:  7
Rattlers Score First:         34-25
Opp. Score First:               25-51
Comeback Wins:               30
Lead Entering 8th:            41-6
Tied Entering 8th:             5-10
Trail Entering 8th:             7-52
Lead Entering 9th:            43-2
Tied Entering 9th:             5-9
Trail Entering 9th:             5-57
Wins in last AB:                 16
“Walkoff” Wins:                 7
Opp. Wins in last AB:       19
Opp. “Walkoff” Wins:       7
Extra Innings:                    9-9
Double headers:               6-8
Shutouts:                            4-7
One-run game                 18-18
Scoring 4 or less:             13-60
Scoring 5 or more:          46-16
Allowing 4 or less:           40-27
Allowing 5 or more:       19-49

Longest Winning Streak:
                                      6 – 5/2 Game 1- 5/8 Game 1

Longest Losing Streak:                                         7 – 6/16-6/26
Most Runs, Inning:                                                 7 – (3x) Last: 5/30 @ BEL 3rd
Most Runs, Game:                                                14 – 4/15 @CR

Most Runs Allowed, Game:                              13 – 6/23 v. CR
Most Hits, Inning:                                                  7 – (3x) 6/2 v. PEO in 3rd
Most Hits, Game:                                                 17 – (2x) 5/22 @QC & 8/2 @KC

Most Hits Allowed, Game:                                20 – 6/23 v. CR

Most Doubles, Game:                                           5 – (2x) 5/22 @QC; 7/21 @DAY
Most Triples, Game:                                               3 – 5/22 @QC
Most Home Runs, Game:                                     3 – (2x) 4/15 @CR; 7/8 @BUR
Most Extra Base Hits, Game:                             9 – (2x) 4/15 @CR; 5/22 @QC
Most Stolen Bases, Game:                                   3(5x) Last: 7/12 v. FW

Most Left on Base, Game:                                  13 – (2x) 4/4 @PEO; 6/5 v. BEL
Most Errors, Game:                                                6 – 7/27 v. BUR

Most Strikeouts, Game (Rattler Hitting):     16 – (2x) 6/5 v.BEL & 8/15 v. PEO
Most Strikeouts, Game (Rattler Pitching):  17 – 6/5 v. BEL
Most Walks, Game (Rattler Hitting):             11 – 5/12 v. BUR
Most Walks, Game (Rattler Pitching):           10 – (2x) 4/4 @PEO & 5/15 v. QC

Longest Game by Innings:                               15 – 8/15 vs. PEO
Longest Nine Inning Game (by Time):       3:31 – 5/15 v. QC
Longest Extra Inning Game (by Time):      4:31 – 8/15 v. PEO
Shortest Nine Inning Game (by Time):      1:59 – 9/2 @ BUR

Largest Crowd (Home):                                     6,698 – 8/14 v. PEO
Smallest Crowd (Home):                                      416 – 4/23 v. QC
Largest Crowd (Road):                                      8,511– 6/14 @KC
Smallest Crowd (Road):                                       384 – 5/28 @BEL

Biggest Deficit Overcome in Win:  6 – Trailed @LAN 8-2 after B-7 on 5/3; Won 10-8 (10)
Largest Lead Lost in Loss:                 7 – Led @ DAY 8-1 after T-2 7/22; Lost 10-9


Longest Hitting Streak:  19 – Parker Berberet (7/8-8/4; 25-for-72; .347)

Parker Berberet had the longest hitting streak for the Timber Rattlers in 2013.

Parker Berberet had the longest hitting streak for the Timber Rattlers in 2013.

Most Hits, Game:             5 – Tyrone Taylor; 8/20 @BEL

Most Walks, Game:         3 – Mitch Haniger; (2x) Last: 5/4 @GL
3 – Alfredo Rodriguez; 8/17 @BEL
3 – Michael Reed; (2x) Last: 8/29 v. QC

Most Runs, Game:           3 – Chris McFarland; 4/15 @CR
3 – Jose Sermo; 4/15 @CR
3 – Adam Giacalone; 5/17 @BUR
                                                3 Clint Coulter; 5/22 @QC
3 – Tyrone Taylor; 6/9 v. CLN
3 – Michael Reed; (3x): Last: 8/6 v. BEL
3 – Chris McFarland; 6/29 v. KC
3 – Max Walla; 7/24 v. CLN
3 – Mike Garza; 7/27 v. BUR
3 – Alfredo Rodriguez; 8/12 @QC
3 – Dustin Houle; 8/27 v. KC

Most Doubles, Game:     3 – Max Walla; 8/9 @PEO

Most Triples, Game:        3 – Michael Reed; 5/22 @QC

Michael Reed tied a MWL record with three triples in a game.

Michael Reed tied a MWL record with three triples in a game.

Most Home Runs, Game:  2 – Victor Roache (2x); 7/22 @DAY & 8/10 @QC

Victor Roache hit two homers in a game twice during the 2013 season.

Victor Roache hit two homers in a game twice during the 2013 season.

Most Total Bases, Game:   9 – Michael Reed; 5/22 @BUR

Most RBI, Game:                   7 – Victor Roache; 7/22 @DAY

Most Stolen Bases, Game: 3 – Mitch Haniger; 5/3 @LAN

Most Innings Pitched, Start:  8.1 – Tyler Wagner; 7/2 v. KC

Most Innings Pitched, Relief: 6.0 – Eric Semmelhack; 5/13 v. BUR

Most Strikeouts, Game:            10 – Tyler Wagner; 5/8 G1 v. CLN
10 – Mike Strong; 8/2 @KC

Tyler Wagner set a lot of Individual highs for the Timber Rattlers pitchers this season.

Tyler Wagner set a lot of Individual highs for the Timber Rattlers pitchers this season.

Most Walks, Game:                     7 – Tyler Wagner; 4/8 v. CR
7 – Mike Strong; 5/2 G1 @LAN

Low-Hit, CG (9 inning game):
Low-Hit, CG (7 inning game):
          3 – Tyler Wagner; 5/8 (G1) v. CLN

Low-Hit (Combined) (9 innings):   1 – Wagner/Martin; 8/11 @QC 8/10

Low-Hit (Combined) (7 innings):   4 – Gainey/Semmelhack; 4/20 (G2) @CLN

Longest Winning Streak:                  5 – Damien Magnifico

Damien Magnifico won five straight decisions this season.

Damien Magnifico won five straight decisions this season.

Longest Losing Streak:                     5 – Ryan Gibbard


Alfredo Rodriguez hit in the leadoff spot more than any other Rattler this season.

Alfredo Rodriguez hit in the leadoff spot more than any other Rattler this season.


1st: Taylor (50), Reed (20), Sermo (1), Rodriguez (56), Arcia (6), Roenicke (2)

2nd: Arcia (39), Rodriguez (10), Reed (76), Sermo (2), Walla (2), McFarland (2), Taylor (1), Roenicke (3)

3rd: Haniger (40), Arcia (1), Taylor (68), Walla (3), Roache (1), Garza (19), Reed (1), Rodriguez (1), Berberet (1)

4th: Berberet (9), Garza (3), Haniger (1), Sermo (1), Roache (99), Reed (8), Walla (5), Giacalone (2), Cooper (7)

5th: Coulter (10), Sermo (4), Rodriguez (1), McFarland (5), Giacalone (35), Berberet (15), Roache (17), Walla (9), Garza (24), Cooper (15)

6th: Garza (33), Sermo (6), Rodriguez (8), Coulter (8), Giacalone (13), Berberet (36), McFarland (11), Roberts (1), Cooper (8), Roache (2), Walla (8), Arcia (1)

7th: McFarland (16), Dean (1), Sermo (3), Garza (10), Rodriguez (17), Giacalone (8), Berberet (13), Coulter (14), Walla (29), Arcia (16), Cooper (3), Roberts (3), Roenicke (3)

8th: Sermo (7), Rodriguez (9), Dean (11), McFarland (27), Arcia (4), Berberet (19), Garza (11), Giacalone (6), Walla (5), Roberts (29), Houle (7)

9th: Reed (12), Arcia (53), Taylor (1), Sermo (7), Rodriguez (4), Garza (2), McFarland (23), Williams (27), Dean (1), Walla (5)


Orlando Arcia made 118 starts at shortstop in 2013.

Orlando Arcia made 118 starts at shortstop in 2013.

  C: Coulter (27), Berberet (57), Dean (12), Roberts (32), Houle (7)

1B: Garza (15), Berberet (30), Giacalone (63), Walla (1), Cooper (26)

2B: McFarland (72), Rodriguez (46), Williams (17)

3B: Sermo (24), Rodriguez (29), Garza (82)

SS: Arcia (118), Rodriguez (9), Williams (8)

LF: Reed (43), Roache (86), Taylor (3), Roenicke (3)

CF: Taylor (108), Haniger (12), Reed (9), Williams (2), Roenicke (4)

Haniger (23), Reed (56), Walla (56)

DH: Berberet (6), Coulter (5), Dean (1), Rodriguez (22), Sermo (7), McFarland (11), Haniger (4), Roache (32), Reed (11), Taylor (9), Giacalone (1), Walla (11), Garza (6), Cooper (6), Roenicke (1)

2013 Timber Rattlers Pinch Hitters:
Garza:               1-for-1
McFarland:     0-for-0, HBP
Sermo:             1-for-2, 2B
Walla:               0-for-1, BB, K


ALL          H          A
Beloit                             7-10     3-4        4-6
Burlington                   6-9        4-2       2-7
Cedar Rapids              2-8        0-5       2-3
Clinton                         9-10      5-5       4-5
Kane County            11-7        8-3       3-4
Peoria                           6-11      2-5       4-6
Quad Cities                 6-9        2-7       4-2

Western Division    47-64   24-31    23-33

ALL          H             A
Bowling Green     0-3           0-0        0-3
Dayton                   1-2           0-0        1-2
Fort Wayne           2-1           2-1        0-0
Great Lakes          3-0           0-0        3-0
Lake County        2-1           2-1        0-0
Lansing                 2-1           0-0        2-1
South Bend         0-3           0-3        0-0
West Michigan    2-1           2-1        0-0

Eastern Division 12-12      6-6        6-6

April:             8-13
May:             15-14
June:             8-17
July:             13-15
August:        15-15
September:    0-2

Sunday:         8-13
Monday:       10-10
Tuesday:        5-7
Wednesday:   5-11
Thursday:     10-11
Friday:           9-12
Saturday:     12-12


PLAYER       G     CS     ATT      .PCT     PB        E        REC
Berberet   59     30        70       .429        8        4       27-29
Coulter     28      17       50       .340      17         8       11-17
Dean         13        8        15       .533       2        3          5-6
Houle         7         5        12       .417        0        0          3-4
Roberts    33      11        47       .234        5        4       13-20

Total                     71     194       .366      31       19       59-76


                           IP          H           R          ER       BB        K            WP   HR    ERA
      677.2      688        380       327    278       485         56      57    4.34

Relievers    516.0      518        271       215    218       468         48      45    3.75
TOTAL     1,193.2   1,206        651       542    496       953       104    102    4.09

Balks (9):  Gainey (1), Blaski (3), Armold (1), Semmelhack (1), Wall (1), Lorenzo (1), Fernandez (1)

Pickoffs (18): Wagner (1), Suter (1), Magnifico (2), Mangum (1), Fernandez (2), Gibbard (2), Blaski (3), Strong (3), Wall (1), Gainey (2)

Rattlers Alumni in the 2013 MiLB Playoffs

The Playoffs begin in most of the Minor Leagues tonight.  This is a post to give you a little information on which teams you may want to root for this year….if you’re into that kind of thing.

The details for this list were taken from the final stats of each team in the playoffs that listed the current players.

There are three leagues – four if you count the Mexican League – in the National Association without any former Timber Rattlers participating in the its postseason.  Those leagues are: Pacific Coast League, California League, and South Atlantic League.

Here are the former Rattlers in the playoffs.

International League:
Pawtucket (Boston): Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03)
Rochester (Minnesota): Jeff Clement (’05)
Durham (Tampa Bay): Jake Odorizzi (’10), Juan Sandoval (’03). Also, former Timber Rattlers General Manager Mike Birling is the GM for Durham.

Photo Credit: Patrick S. Blood


Ryan Rowland-Smith from 2003.

Ryan Rowland-Smith from 2003.

Eastern League:
Erie (Detroit): Justin Souza (’07, ’08)

Southern League:
Mississippi (Atlanta): Thomas Keeling (’11)

Texas League:
San Antonio (San Diego): Johan Limonta (’06)

Carolina League:
Potomac (Washington): Cutter Dykstra (’09, ’10)

Florida State League:
Dunedin (Toronto): Austin Bibens-Dirkx (’06)

Midwest League:
Great Lakes (Los Angeles [NL]): Robbie Garvey (’11)

Good luck to all the ex-Rattlers in the 2013 MiLB postseason.


This song is over – Postgame post for September 2, 2013

This song is over
I’m left with only tears
I must remember
Even if it takes a million years – The Who, The Song is Over

The last out of the 2013 season.

The last out of the 2013 season.

Timber Rattlers 1
Burlington Bees 3
Boxscore | Game Story

Apologies for the lateness of this post. Internet was horrible on the bus tonight…for some reason.

The time gave me some things to think about the game and the season and the way things went.  I will probably put together a post for later in the week.

For now a few data points:

Austin Ross was very good again and he went seven innings with eight strikes on Sunday.  In his last five starts, Ross has allowed four runs – three earned – on 29 innings with seven walks and 30 strikeouts.   I think that he’s ready for the next stage in his recovery from ‘Tommy John’ Surgery.

Unfortunately, the offense scored just one run.  In his last three starts, Ross gave up one run and went 1-0.  In his last three starts, the Timber Rattlers offense scored three runs and the team went 1-2.  Ross led 1-0 in two of those games when he turned it over to the bullpen and was tied 1-1 on Monday.  That lack of offensive support is just a little ridiculous.

It seems odd that the season would end on an Orlando Arcia strikeout.  He was the third toughest player in the Midwest League to strikeout this season.   He only struck out once every 12.2 at bats.

Parker Berberet threw out two more would-be base stealers on Monday.  He ended the year at 30-for-70 (42.9%).  That’s pretty good.

Now is the part of the postgame post when I admit that I am not good at one of my jobs.

Parker Berberet had a 19-game hitting streak.  You know that, right?  But, did you know that he had a 42-game on-base streak that was the longest in the Midwest League this season? It went from July 7 through August 29 and I missed it.  Completely.

In fact, Alfredo Rodriguez had a 32-game on-base streak from July 17 through August 27.  I missed that one, too.

The Timber Rattlers had three of the top seven on base streaks in the Midwest League in 2013.  #1 Berberet (42), #2 Michael Reed (39), and #7 Alfredo Rodriguez (32).  That’s not bad.

The Burlington Bees had won a season series from one team in the Western Division this season.  You get three guesses and the first two don’t count.  Yep.  The Bees went 9-6 against Wisconsin this year.  The Rattlers were 2-7 at Burlington in 2013.  Damn

By losing the final six games of the season, Wisconsin finished the half 30-40.  Burlington actually moved past the Timber Rattlers in the second half standings.  Wisconsin dropped into a tie for 6th with Peoria. Damn.

Also, the Rattlers ended the regular season 59-76.  That’s 17 games under .500, a mark the Timber Rattlers hadn’t reached this season…until the final game of the season.

I’ll have more as the week goes on and something a little more formal later.  For now, I just want to say, “Thank you.”  I hope you found the ramblings here informative and occasionally entertaining.

The blog will continue during the offseason with various features and updates.  The hope is to update almost every day with a few breaks for my sanity…and probably yours.

Enjoy the offseason, everyone.  Opening Day, 2014 is coming on April 3.  I can’t wait.

Lineup and Game Notes for September 2, 2013

Thou wilt find rest from vain fancies if thou doest every act in life as though it were thy last. – Aristotle

Another great day for baseball!

The only thing wrong with today is that it’s the last day of the Timber Rattlers season.

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

First pitch is scheduled for 2:00pm

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

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Austin Ross
Burlington Bees Starting Pitcher: Chris O’Grady

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesSeptember22013

More than one night – Postgame post for September 1, 2013

Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong’.
Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night. – Charlie Brown

This was the Angel Rosa infield single on an 0-2 pitch from Taylor Wall to keep the bottom of the ninth alive. He hit the crap out of it.

This was the Angel Rosa infield single on an 0-2 pitch from Taylor Wall to keep the bottom of the ninth alive. He hit the crap out of it.

Wisconsin 5
Burlington 9
FINAL – 14 Innings
Boxscore | Game Story

Writing and posting from the smart phone due to internet issues.


Michael Reed was 3-for-3 with two triples and a double in his first three at bats on Sunday.  He was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in his last three at bats.  Weird day.

Joe Krehbiel is the devil.  At least against Wisconsin.  He has pitched 9-1/3 innings against the Rattlers this year.  He has allowed one hit and no runs. That’s ridiculous.

Jorge Lopez with a nice final outing of the season. The only run he allowed came after he had two outs and none on in the second. Two walks and a single loaded the bases. I don’t have the stats in front of me, but Lopez seems to get in that situation – giving up a run or two after two outs and none on – a lot.

Hobbs Johnson was touched for an unearned run, but struck out two more without a walk over two innings.

I was as surprised as you were when Taylor Wall gave up the lead.  Dude did NOT give up a run in the month of August. The two-out, two-strike hit by Angel Rosa was terrible. Bad swing, weak chopper, and it was it to the exact spot he needed it to go to extend the game.

Get this. Sandy Martinez is a catcher for the Bees.  He was called into the lineup as a second baseman after Wendell Soto botched a double play by not stepping on the bag after taking a throw from third. That miscue led to a Rattlers run in the sixth to make it 5-2.   Martinez would single to drive in a run in the ninth.  He also scored the tying run.  Soto was 0-for-3 in the game. Martinez went 2-for-4.

A question about how Wisconsin is doing at getting the runner in from third with less than two out was asked of me after the game. My flippant response was: Not good. They got the runner home from third one time out of four chances on Sunday. It was 1 out of 3 on Saturday. 2 out of seven just doesn’t sound good…That guy has to get home from third in that situation more often than that, right?

Rosa’s line drive hit the base of the wall.  Reed ran back to try to make the catch.  He turned to field it off the wall, but he was too close.  The ball caromed off the wall past Reed and Taylor had to come over and make the play.  By that time, it was a forgone conclusion that Rosa would be at third.

Matt Erickson tried everything he could.  Two intentional walks, switching Adrian Williams in for Tyrone Taylor, and using Williams as a fifth infielder.  Zach Wright spoiled the strategy with a walkoff grand slam.

Five turning points:
Parker Berberet doubles in Reed in the first, but is thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a triple.  Victor Roache follwed with a single. The play at third looked like the throw beat Berberet at third, but the tag missed.  Not the call.

Reed’s second triple drove in two runs with one out in the fifth.  He was stranded at third when the inning ended.

Wade Hinkle singled to the backhand of Tyrone Taylor in left-center in the eighth. Taylor bobbled the ball and Hinkle took second on the error.  He scored on a sac bunt and a sac fly.  That run shouldn’t have scored.

Chris McFarland was at third with one out in the 9th after he stole second and made third on a throwing error.  He was left stranded. Insurance run would have been great.

Chevy Clarke lined a pitch towards right-center with the winning run at secon and one out in the tenth.  McFarland made a great leaping catch to keep the Bees from winning in the tenth.

I just got internet on my laptop. I will be editing this post in a few moments.

One more day.  I don’t think anyone wants to end the season on a six-game losing streak.

Lineup and Game Notes for September 1, 2013

For the days dwindle down
To a precious few;
And these few precious days
I’ll spend with you. – September Song

Community Field

Community Field

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

First pitch is scheduled for 2:00pm

Today’s Lineup:
Tyrone Taylor – CF
Michael Reed – RF
Parker Berberet – DH
Victor Roache – LF
Garrett Cooper – 1B
Mike Garza – 3B
Alfredo Rodriguez – SS
Dustin Houle – C
Chris McFarland – 2B

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Jorge Lopez
Burlington Bees Starting Pitcher: Ryan Crowley

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesSeptember12013

All places are alike – Postgame post for August 31, 2013

All places are alike, and every earth is fit for burial. – Christopher Marlowe

That blur is Victor Roache heading to first base as the ball soars out of the stadium.

That blur is Victor Roache heading to first base as the ball soars out of the stadium.

Timber Rattlers 3
Burlington Bees 4
Boxscore | Game Story

They did it again. The Rattlers got the tying run on base or to the plate in the ninth inning of a game. I don’t have time to count this up tonight for the whole season. But, that’s five times in the last seven losses, the Rattlers have had that situation when trailing in the ninth.   That seems like a lot. Right? 

And it’s not just happening in games where they are down by a single run like they were on Saturday.  It’s happening with them down two or three runs.  They don’t give up.  Even when it’s over, they don’t give up.

The Bees put Max Walla aboard and Wisconsin’s tying run in scoring position with an error to start the ninth. It was set up perfectly. A Tyrone Taylor bunt moved Walla over to third. Mike Reed chopped a base hit over the third baseman’s head for a double. Alfredo Rodriguez draws a walk and Victor Roache hits a three-run home run to break the franchise record AND puts the Rattlers in front….Sorry. That’s what happened in the brightest timeline. This is the darkest timeline.

Reed’s chopper was caught on a leaping grab by the third baseman. Walla had to hold. The game ended on a grounder to short.

The Bees used THREE pitchers in the eighth inning. THREE. The Bees were 53-78 and the Rattlers were 59-73 coming into this game. That is amazing.

The Rattlers missed a lot of opportunities and went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The Bees missed even MORE opportunities and went 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position. That’s just a little ridiculous.

Tyler Wagner wrapped up his season with an ERA of 3.21, a K:BB ratio of 116:56 in 148-2/3 innings pitched. He deserved a better fate in a lot of his starts. His velocity stayed consistent all season long and it’s going to be fun to watch him climb the ladder in the Brewers system.

Speaking of fun… Victor Roache:


It looked like he was really pressing at the plate in his first three of at bats of the game on Saturday. Roache was 0-for-3 with 3Ks in the game. He hadn’t homered since August 22 at Clinton. Then, on one marvelous swing of the bat with a count of 1-2 he lashed one over the wall in left center. It was his 22nd home run of the season and Roache has tied Khris Davis for the franchise record with two games left in the year.

The three runs against Harvey Martin were unearned. In the last two games, Wisconsin has allowed ten runs – eight unearned.

I don’t know what it is about Community Field, but this place just makes throws to first base by the pitcher from the third base side of the field go wild. It happens a lot. I believe in the Walkoff Wednesday series of posts from last offseason, I granted the Bees the trademark on that play. It’s just ridiculous.

I can’t believe that there are only two games left in the season. Sleep fast. Day game on Sunday.

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