Results tagged ‘ Postgame post ’

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.

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.

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.

Not with a bang – Postgame Post for August 30, 2013

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper. – TS Eliot

The final pitch of the 2013 home schedule.

The final pitch of the 2013 home schedule.

Quad Cities 6
Wisconsin 0
Boxscore | Game Story

The Timber Rattlers have been shutout seven times this season. Friday was the first time they have been shutout at home since May 10 when Clinton shut them out 7-0 in the second game of a doubleheader.

All Five runs scored against Rodolfo Fernandez were unearned. He tried to make a play when he didn’t need to in the second inning and it cost him. In the third, he got the pitch he needed, but an error kept the inning alive. Then, he issued a walk and hit a batter to get a run home. It was 2-0.

Then, Fernandez had Carlos Correa down 0-2, but gave up a two run single. Terrell Joyce was down 0-2, too and he singled to drive in a run to make it 5-0. That was pretty much the ballgame.


Wisconsin had five hits. All hits came with two outs in an inning. Of the runners the Rattlers got on base in the game on Friday, only two reached with less than two outs: Max Walla reached on a one-out error in the fourth and was erased on a 4-6-3 double play. Michael Reed drew a leadoff walk in the sixth and was left stranded there when the inning ended.

Parker Berberet hit the ball hard twice. One deflected off the River Bandits pitcher and was turned into a 1-4-3 putout. One was a line drive right to the left fielder.

Victor Roache hit a ball in the sixth inning that would have been out of the ballpark on any other night of this homestand. In the first six games of this homestand the wind was blowing out to left or center. Tonight, it was blowing in from center, which is weird because it usually only does that in April. Roache cracked a towering drive to left-center that sounded like it would clear the wall to tie the franchise home run record. The wind held it up and the ball didn’t even make the warning track.

Mike Strong tossed five innings and struck out nine while walking two. Strong, in what will be his final appearance of the season, ran his K:BB ratio for the season to 98:45 in 87 innings.

Clinton won tonight and that – coupled with Wisconsin’s loss – eliminates the Rattlers from the playoff race.  They made the LumberKings sweat down the stretch.  But, in the end, that 0-6 start to the second half was something from which the Rattlers could never recover.

The King is dead. Long live the King.

Three games in Burlington are ahead.  Then, this season will be no more.

August 30 2013 002Then, we’ll get ready for the 2014 season.

Friday’s Highlights:

It goes on – Postgame post for August 29, 2013

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

August 29 2013 011

Quad Cities 6
Wisconsin 3
Boxscore | Game Story

The way I figure it – after tonight – Clinton’s magic number is 2. If the Rattlers go 4-0 over the last four games, they will be 34-36. If Clinton goes 2-2 over their last four games, they will be 34-36. Tie-breaker goes to Clinton.

There were so many chances for both teams. The Rattlers couldn’t get the big hit. The Bandits kept hitting into double plays…six of them to be exact.

Both teams had ten hits. A big difference: Quad Cities was 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position. The Rattlers were 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Back to the double plays. They ranged from routine to spectacular to ridiculous. In order:

3-6-3 double play with Berberet making a strong throw and tap dance at first on the return throw
4-6-3 double play on a runner’s interference call
6-4-3 double play with Arcia going to his back hand and Rodriguez hanging in there to make the turn
Strike-him out/Throw-him out double play with another strong, on target throw by Houle to second base.
7-6-3 double play on a fine running catch by Roache in left and the runner forgetting how many outs there were
3-unassisted double play with Berberet snagging a liner and stepping on first.

Mike Garza with his second 4-hit game of the season.

Michael Reed with his second 3-walk game of the homestand.

Alfredo Rodriguez with two more hits in the leadoff spot.

And…it’s been a long day. One more home game in the season and then it’s off to Burlington. Let’s see what happens.

Thursday’s Highlights:


Missed again – Postgame post for August 28, 2013

Well it feels like something you want so bad
And then you think you’ve got it, but it’s somethin’ you already had
And you can feel it all around you, but it’s somethin’ you just can’t touch – Phil Collins, Missed Again

Ross is about to get out of the top of the fifth.

Ross is about to get out of the top of the fifth.

Quad Cities 4
Wisconsin 2
Boxscore | Game Story

The Timber Rattlers had their winning streak snapped at three games. Wisconsin has had four three-game winning streaks in the second half of the season. They have not won four consecutive games in the second half. Missed again.

The rehabilitation of Austin Ross continues apace. He has allowed four runs – three earned – over his last six innings. That’s 26 innings. On Thursday, he found his strikeout mojo with seven K’s and his velocity was up to 92 and 93. His next start is scheduled for Labor Day, the last day of the regular season, at Burlington.

Dustin Houle threw out three of four would-be Quad Cities base stealers on Wednesday. His throws were right on the bag, too. Really nice defensive work as he was catching his fourth straight game.

Tyrone Taylor’s double in the third inning gave him 33 on the season. He is in tenth place on the Timber Rattlers single season list for doubles. First place belongs to Bo Robinson (50 in 1999). But, with five games remaining, there is a possibility to move up the list. Scooter Gennett (39 in 2010) is #2 and John Castellano (34 in 2001) and Juan Silvestre (34 in 1999) are tied for 9th. Let’s see where Taylor winds up.

Mike Garza’s triple in the seventh inning was his ninth of the season. He’s tied with Chadwin Stang and Josh Womack for sixth on the single season list. It was also triple #51 of the season for the Timber Rattlers team. The team record for triples is 58 and was set by the 2010 Timber Rattlers.

Alan Williams, a lefty, got into trouble in the sixth and the eighth with a leadoff walk against a left-handed batter. Both times that leadoff walk scored.

Taylor Wall did what he has done so often this season. He came into the game in a tough spot and got the pitch he needed to get out of the inning. But, this time, the ball was misplayed into an error that let an inherited runner score. Still, out of 28 inherited runners, Wall has allowed only eight to score.

In the eighth and ninth innings, the Timber Rattlers hit three balls that sounded good off the bat. Alfredo Rodriguez and Orlando Arcia hit back-to-back flyouts to the track in left. Victor Roache with a line drive to the gap in right-center that was caught at the track. For some reason, the ball just didn’t carry on Wednesday.

The Peoria Chiefs gave up four home runs, had two runners thrown out at the plate, trailed 4-0 and 6-3, and had lost six games in a row. They managed to beat the Clinton LumberKings 7-6 in twelve innings…and outhit Clinton 23-13. That is amazing.

So, with five games remaining, the Timber Rattlers remain one game behind Clinton (31-34), a team that has lost seven straight games. Wisconsin (30-35) is only one game in front of Peoria (29-36).

The Best the Rattlers can do now is 35-35. Clinton only needs to finish at 35-35. The math is still hard. But, they get to start climbing up that hill again on Thursday night.

Wednesday’s Highlights:

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:

To accomplish great things – Postgame Post for August 26, 2013

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. – Anatole France

August 26 2013 011

Kane County 2
Wisconsin 4
Boxscore | Game Story

Tyler Wagner gave up two runs in the second inning and nothing else. This got me thinking. Here is his ERA breakdown by inning:
1st: 4.88
2nd: 3.75
3rd: 3.38
4th: 4.50
5th: 1.71
6th: 2.08
7th: 0.00

He has pitched into the 7th inning seven times – five times as a starter.

Wagner was right around 91-92 on the gun, but he snapped off some great breaking stuff. The called third strike on Rock Shoulders in the fifth inning comes to mind. He’s had a great season. But, he’s not done yet. Next scheduled start for him is Saturday at Burlington.

Victor Roache smacked two singles through the infield in the game. The hardest hit ball he had in the game was his lineout in the eighth. It probably should have been a hit. But, the Cougars infield had a shift on against Roache and the second baseman was about two steps to the right of second base and playing on the outfield grass.

Roache’s legs came into play on the first Wisconsin run in the bottom of the second. He was running on a 3-2 pitch to Parker Berberet and scored when Berberet lined a double to the wall in left-center. Roache was caught stealing in the sixth inning, but he is 5-for-7 on stolen base attempts this season. The power is the main tool, but the base running helps.

Orlando Arcia saved a run and created a run. He made another spectacular diving stop of a hard grounder up the middle for the final out of an inning. It happened in the second inning on Sunday. It happened in the first inning to rob Shoulders of a two-out RBI on Monday. It was perfect.

Arcia singled in the fifth. Went to second on a wild pitch. Took third on slow grounder to short that the third baseman cut off to play to first. Then, with Adrian Williams at the plate, Kane County was playing for a squeeze. But, the starting pitcher apparently forgot that because when the catcher jumped out for a pitchout the pitcher stopped in the middle of his delivery for a balk. That scored the go-ahead run for the Rattlers.

Harvey Martin had struggled in his prior two appearances. He did not struggle on Monday. Two innings, one hit, two strikeouts, save number three.

Clinton and Beloit each lost their fifth straight game on Monday. Clinton’s loss was…well, here’s the play-by-play of Beloit’s sixth inning. The Snappers entered the inning trailing Clinton 5-3:

  • Ryan Mathews strikes out swinging.
  • Daniel Robertson strikes out swinging.
  • Chris Bostick singles on a ground ball to center fielder Janelfry Zorrilla.
  • Matt Olson singles on a ground ball to right fielder Alfredo Morales. Chris Bostick to 3rd.
  • John Wooten reaches on a fielding error by center fielder Janelfry Zorrilla. Chris Bostick scores. Matt Olson scores. John Wooten to 3rd.
  • Renato Nunez singles on a line drive to right fielder Alfredo Morales. John Wooten scores.
  • Brett Vertigan grounds into a force out, second baseman Brock Hebert to shortstop Martin Peguero. Renato Nunez out at 2nd.

That. Just. Happened.

So, the Rattlers are a game in front of Peoria and two games behind Clinton for the Wild Card with seven games remaining.

Ya Gotta Believe!

Handshakes! Handshakes for everyone!
August 26 2013 013

There was a problem with YouTube and uploading the highlights. If they are ready, I’ll put Monday’s highlights in Tuesday’s pregame post.

Sleep fast, Rattlers fans.

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.


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!”


High Five Line!

Sunday’s Highlights:

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.


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*:


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