Postgame Post – April 22, 2014

Timber Rattlers 1
Burlington 2
Boxscore | Game Story

So close

So close

A few quick things:

That picture is Francisco Castillo’s line drive to right in the top of the eighth.  Steve Halcomb is at second base with the tying run and there are two outs.  I thought the ball might get over the head of the right fielder, but Mendoza made a heck of a play for the final out.

The key inning for the Rattlers offense tonight was the sixth.  They had four hits and a stolen base (should be two).  Burlington’s pitcher Ryan Etsell had a balk and a wild pitch.  Yet, the Rattlers managed just one run.

Let’s look at the key plays within that sixth inning.  Johnny Davis is at second base with no outs.  I was a bit shocked when he tagged on the fly ball to shallow right off the bat of Francisco Castillo.  I was even more shocked when he beat the throw with a head first dive into third base.

HOWEVER, his momentum carried him past the bag and he would have been easily tagged out had he just tried to get back to the bag.  So, he got up and took off for the plate.  The Bees made three throws in the rundown, which is probably three more than they wanted to make, before getting Davis for the second out.

OF COURSE, McFarland singled on the very next pitch.  It’s frustrating and it seems to happen a lot, but My theory is that you just can’t say that a batter would have done that exact same thing had the runner not been thrown out.

The pitcher is going to make different pitches with a runner at third and one out than he would with nobody on and two outs.  I’m probably using this wrong, but if the transitive property is horrible in predicting scores of games (Team A beat Team B by ten points.  Team B beat Team C by 20 points.  Therefore, Team A would beat Team C by 30 points), then the transitive property would be especially horrible in predicting how a particular play would have happened.

McFarland steals second and is there with two outs as Clint Coulter hits a grounder to left.  McFarland is running hard on contact, but the shortstop Erick Salcedo makes a great stop to keep the ball from getting to the outfield.  McFarland realized he was too far around third but it was too late and HE got caught in a rundown.  Frustrating, I know.  But, McFarland was hustling and you hav to tip the cap to Salcedo for a fine defensive play.

Barrett Astin with a real tough loss.  The three straight singles to load the bases to start the bottom of the third inning were a line drive just over the glove of Stephen Halcomb at second, a shallow flair to right that dropped, and a bunt up the third base line that was a sacrifice attempt that turned into a hit because of what appeared to be miscommunication.  Astin fielded the ball and turned to throw to third for a force out.  But, no one was covering the base.

Astin got the first out on a foul pop.  And the Rattlers just missed turning an inning ending double play.

I’m not sure why Jose Pena threw into second as hard as he did on the single by Aguilera in the bottom of the fourth.  The ball was hit out to Pena on a line and he made a nice play to get it on one hop with his backhand.  Aguliera wasn’t even thinking about second base.  But, Pena fired it in over the cutoff man and over Halcomb and Aguilera wound up at third base by the time the Rattlers got the ball.  Bemboom drove in the unearned run with a single and that turned out to be the run that was the difference in the game.

Rattlers made a switch to their rotation before Tuesday’s game.  Tristan Archer has been moved out of the tandem with Astin and will make the start in the series finale against the Bees on Thursday.  Preston Gainey was the scheduled starter for Thursday, but is going to miss his start this time through the rotation.

Anthony Banda is still scheduled to start tomorrow night against the Bees.

I really like coming to Community Field….BUT, the Rattlers are 2-9 in their last eleven games here.

No highlights tonight.  But, I want to try something different tonight.  If it works, I will post it in the morning.  If it doesn’t….let us never speak of this again.

Get ’em tomorrow.

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