Results tagged ‘ Postgame post ’

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.

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.

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.

Focus in the brightest – Postgame post for August 20, 2013

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe. – Dalai Lama

So...that happened again.

So…that happened again.

Wisconsin 4
Beloit 6
Boxscore | Game Story

If I had time, I would go back and look at all of the times the Timber Rattlers have been down by a bunch and fought back to put the tying run at the plate.  I’m thinking that it’s a lot.  It seems like a lot.

Parker Berberet was up with two outs and runners at the corners in the top of the first inning.  Berberet lined a pitch right at base umpire Masa Ichiki.  In the two umpire rotation, he is set up to the right of the mound on the infield grass as you look at the field from behind home plate.  Ichiki ducked out of the way and the ball went right into the waiting glove of second baseman Christopher Bostick.  Put  pin in this.  We’ll see a similar play later.

In the top of the second, Orlando Arcia bunted.  He was out on a close play.  Manager Matt Erickson went to argue the call.  It wasn’t even a particularly heated discussion.  Unlike Monday night, the helmet stayed on his head.  Matt sent me a text to say that he didn’t drop one of the magic words, but he said something that Ichiki didn’t like and got run for the second game in a row.

The Snappers took advantage of an error, two walks, a wild pitch, and a double to score three runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Before the bottom of the third inning, The Rattlers were outhitting Beloit 5-2 and were losing 3-0.  After the bottom of the third, the hit column was even at five and the Snappers were up 6-0.  There were two straight singles and a home run by Matt Olson.

FUN WITH STATS!
Beloit won the season series from the Timber Rattlers 10-7.

Wisconsin outhit the Snappers .289-.258

Beloit outscored the Rattlers 79-72.

Beloit outhomered the Rattlers 16-6.

Tyrone Taylor had a pair of infield singles, a pair of line drive singles to left, and a line drive double inside the line in right.  That’s a five hit game, the first by a Timber Rattlers since July 5, 2011.  That was the day TJ Mittelstaedt had five hits in a game at Beloit.

Taylor scored two runs and moved his average from .278 to .286.  Also, his double was #31 on the season.  Taylor has matched five other Timber Rattlers for 11th place on the franchise list for doubles in a single season. 

Garrett Cooper with ANOTHER multi-hit game for the Timber Rattlers.  That’s ELEVEN in 25 games with Wisconsin.  Cooper also had a triple in the game to drive in Taylor.  His slashline is .337/.402/.522.

Rodolfo Fernandez.  FIVE scoreless innings out of the bullpen.  He allowed ONE hit, walked one, and struck out four.  His scoreless streak has reached 17….I’m sorry…SEVENTEEN consecutive innings.  His second half numbers: 10 games, 31.0IP, 19H, 4R, 7BB, 31K.  That makes a WHIP of 0.84, an ERA of 1.16, and opposing batters are hitting .173. 

The Rattlers were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday night.  I already mentioned one of those eleven at bats (The Berberet line out in the first inning.)  Here’s where we come back to that play to talk about another of those eleven at bats.  In the ninth, Taylor was at second base with one out.  Berberet was back at the plate as the tying run.  Berberet hits a hooking line drive towards left field.  Taylor was heading for third and was going to score….But, the shortstop made the catch and doubled Taylor off second base to end the game.

Dammit.

Victor Roache got the night off on Tuesday.  He didn’t take batting practice and didn’t play in the game.  It was his first time the Rattlers played a game in the second half and Roache did not play in it.  Let’s see if he bounces back in a big series at Clinton.

Speaking of Clinton.  They won at Kane County again on Tuesday.  Quad Cities beat Burlington.  Those top two teams have separated themselves from the four teams chasing them.  Clinton is three games up on Peoria and five games up on the Rattlers for the Wild Card.

Wisconsin has a three game series at Clinton.  If they want to keep their playoff chances alive, they need a sweep.  A sweep would bring them within two of Clinton with ten games left.  If they win two of three, they will be four games back.  If they drop two of three, they will be six games back.  If they get swept, they will be eight games back with ten to play.

Here we go.

Strange game – Postgame post for August 19, 2013

This is a strange game. – Carl Yastrzemski

Somewhere near the pole in left, a ball went out. Was it Fair? Was it Foul? Of which it was, well, there was some doubt.

Somewhere near the pole in left, a ball went out. Was it Fair? Was it Foul? Of which it was, well, there was some doubt.

Beloit 8
Wisconsin 6
Boxscore | Game Story

Somewhere, Eddie Menchaca and the Clinton LumberKings are thinking that the scales have been balanced.  More on that in a bit.

Great start for the offense.  Garrett Cooper with a two-out, two-run home run on a fly ball that I thought was “Too High. Too High” to get out of the ballpark.  But, it got out by plenty.  Cooper with his second Midwest League home run since joining the Timber Rattlers.

Alfredo Rodriguez had a nice game in the leadoff spot.  He was on base four more times (Two singles & Twice being hit by a pitch)  His first hit was a two-out RBI single in the top of the second inning for a 3-1 lead.

Max Walla drove in a pair of runs with a two-out double in the top of the fifth.  A drive over the head of the right fielder.  Walla is now on an eight game hitting streak (15-for-35) and has bumped his average to .272 from .242 before the streak started.

But, those five runs were not enough.

Ryan Gibbard allowed eight runs on ten hits – including two home runs – in five innings.  Granted…neither home run is out of any other ballpark in the Midwest League.  Centerfield is 380′ with a 16′ high wall.  The second inning homer by Olson barely got over the wall.  Bostick’s first inning homer was hit to a bit to the right of the hitting background where it’s maybe…365′….370′?

However, both homers are probably doubles in other parks.  Who knows where  the innings go from there?

The bottom of the third inning snowballed with two outs.  There were a series of plays that led to that five-run frame for the Snappers to turn a 3-2 Wisconsin lead into a 7-3 Beloit lead.

There was a runner at third with one out.  Bostick singles to right to drive in the tying run.  Bostick takes second because the ball was booted for an error.  A ground out moves the runner to third but there are two outs.  Wooten walks on a 3-1 pitch.  Olson doubles on a 3-2 pitch to drive in one run and put runners on second and third.  Vertigan singles to center on an 0-2 pitch.  The throw home missed the cutoff man – and the catcher for that matter.  Vertigan takes second.  Next batter is Rickles and he singles to drive in Vertigan. 

There are a couple of places in that sequence where damage could have been limited.  But, the Snappers just kept hitting and kept running.

In the top of the sixth, the Rattlers got a single by Orlando Arcia and a single by Rodriguez to put two on with not out.  The next pitch was a 6-4-3 double play and two pitches later there was a fly out to center to end the threat.

Now…to The Play!

Two outs. Top of the 7th, None on. Parker Berberet hooks a line drive down the left field line.  Plate umpire Masa Ichiki calls it fair and a home run.

Unlike the situation in Clinton where Tyrone Taylor’s ball was fair and I saw it leave the yard fair only to have the plate umpire call it foul before reversing it, I did not see where the ball left the park in Beloit.  Look at the picture up top.  I do not have a great angle.  So, I immediately looked to the umpire for the call and a very definitive call of fair was made.

Berberet was around third and heading for home when Ryan Christenson came out to discuss the call.  Ichiki went to talk it over with San Allen and the call was reversed.  Now, truth be told, back in June, Taylor’s home run should not have been overturned.  The base umpire is not supposed to be looking at the ball.  It’s the plate umpires call.  There is no replay review.  There’s one call and that’s it.  But, for the second time this season, we have seen the call reversed.

Yaz is right.

And you knew this was going to happen:

The helmet came off as the argument continued...

The helmet came off as the argument continued…

Impressive follow through by Ichiki.

Impressive follow through by Ichiki.

I wish I could have got the helmet toss by Matty in a shot.  He got both height and distance on it.  Impressive.

There are a few other things you need to realize about Beloit’s Pohlman Field.  The players and coaches need to walk through the concourse to get from the dugout to the clubhouse.  MWL President George Spelius is based in Beloit and sits in the seats behind home plate for most Beloit home games.  There is a walkway in front the the seats that the league president uses.

Scene set?

Matt Erickson could have walked off the field and walked behind the bleachers, through the concourse, and to the clubhouse.  He could have walked across the field to a gate near the Beloit dugout and through a walkway between sections of the bleachers.  But, no.

He walked off the field, through the gate by the Rattlers dugout, down a walkway between the Rattlers dugout at the seats, into the section in which the league president sits, right past the league president, and back into the clubhouse.

I asked Matt what he said as he walked by the league president.  “Sorry, George. But, that had to happen.”

Preston Gainey tossed three scoreless innings and was helped out by a couple of nice double plays by the infielders.

Quad Cities and Clinton won.  Peoria lost.  The Rattlers are now 7-1/2 games behind Quad Cities and four games behind Clinton.  There are 14 games left in the season.

Get them on Tuesday.

Truth isn’t – Postgame post for August 18, 2013

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t. – Mark Twain

Something wonderful is about to happen.

Something wonderful is about to happen.

Wisconsin 4
Beloit 3
Boxscore | Game Story

Like Ben Crenshaw in the Saturday press conference at the 1999 Ryder Cup, I had a good feeling.  Unlike Ben Crenshaw, I did not express it as such. Enough people think that I am A.) Crazy, B.) A Homer, and/or C.) A Crazy Homer.

No, Seriously. If I said something like, “I know the Timber Rattlers have had one runner past first base in the game through the first innings and they haven’t had two base runners on at the same time tonight and they are down 3-0, but I’ve got a good feeling going into the the top of the ninth inning.”…well, you can imagine what your reaction would have been.

And yet….and yet…I did lay the groundwork for the comeback. Mentioning that Tyler Vail had allowed three of the runs in that five run bottom of the ninth on August 5.

Enough about what I thought. Now to what actually happened.

Opposing batters were hitting almost .400 against Beloit starting pitcher Deyvi Jimenez in his first eight Midwest League appearances. So, of course he allowed three hits over six scoreless innings. He used a lot of breaking balls and off-speed and stuff and the Rattlers were off balance. He only worked one perfect inning, but the Rattlers never got going offensively against him.

Austin Ross ran into some bad luck on the first two runs scored against him in the game.  A throwing error by Parker Berberet on a stolen base let a runner take third base.  Then, a grounder got the run home in the second.  In the fifth, the bases were loaded and Ross jammed Aaron Shipman, but the grounder was too slow for the Rattlers to turn two.

Plus, the Snappers helped out a bit in the sixth inning to prevent a big inning.  Daniel Robertson doubled to start the inning.   Christopher Bostick was next.  Heading into the game, Bostick was hitting .287 with 13 homers and 83RBI.  Three of his homers and 13 of his RBI came against the Timber Rattlers and he was hitting well over .300 against Wisconsin.  The Snappers had him bunt Robertson over to third.  John Wooten, the next batter, doubled to drive in the third run for a 3-0 lead.  Makes you wonder where that game would have been had Bostick, who had doubled in his previous at bat vs. Ross, swung away in the sixth.

In the end, Ross wound up with his second straight quality start, walked one, struck out six, and (unofficially) had 79 pitches/52 strikes in six innings.

Also, Berberet threw out two of Beloit’s three would-be base stealers on Sunday.  He 27-for-67 (.403) at throwing out opposing base runners.

Let’s look at the first four batters in the top of the ninth:

Victor Roache retired on a line drive that was backhanded by the shortstop.
Garrett Cooper lines a single off Tyler Vail’s body so hard the ball deflected into foul territory about halfway between third and home.
Parker Berberet lines a singled over the head of Vail into center.
Max Walla lines a single to right so hard Cooper was unable to score from second.

Orlando Arcia stepped in after the second out and he swung at the first pitch.  Another line drive to right. Shipman tried to make the diving catch, but there was no chance. Then, the ball skipped to the wall.  Three runs scored.  Tie game.

In case you were wondering…..and I know I was…. Orlando Arcia is 7-for-16 (.438) with the bases loaded this season.  Three of his hits with the bases loaded are for extra bases.  Plus, he has driven in 15 runs with the bases full.

Ryan Fasano made his Timber Rattlers debut with two scoreless innings (7th & 8th).  He was hit by a line drive for a single in the eighth.  The ball went off a leg.   He stayed in the game and got the final out of the inning.   Fasano went back out for the bottom of the ninth and threw a couple of warmup tosses.  Then,  Matt Erickson, Jeff Paxson, and David Chavarria came out of the dugout to check on Fasano.  The decided to take him out and bring in Taylor Wall.  That top of the ninth did go a long time.  I have a text in to the manager to see if that was precautionary or a Tony LaRussa Gambit to buy Wall some extra time warmup for the bottom of the inning.

Taylor Wall with two more scoreless innings.  I don’t mean to make it seem like an afterthought as in: Oh, by the way, Taylor Wall tossed two more scoreless innings.  He has a scoreless streak of 9-2/3 innings over his last five outings.  In his last ten games, Wall has given up three runs on 14 hits over 17 innings with five walks and 15 strikeouts.  Outstanding work by Wall.

Adrian Williams came into the game for Mike Garza for the bottom of the eighth. Garza fouled a few balls off his foot in the game Friday at home and sat out Saturday’s game at Beloit.  He got back in there on Sunday and went 1-for-4, but was out of the game after he grounded out to third to end the top of the eighth.

Williams started the 10th inning rally with a one out single against Chris Lamb.  Victor Roache followed Williams and ended an 0-for-12 streak with a single.  Then, Williams got a great jump on a 1-2 breaking ball with Cooper at the plate and stole third base.  Roache picked up his fourth stolen base as the trail runnner.

That double steal led to the change in the defensive alignment with the Snappers bringing the infield in to get Williams at the plate.  Cooper lined a single through that drawn in infield to get Williams home and the Rattlers were a scoreless tenth from Taylor Wall away from their second straight win.

Western Division Playoff Chase:
Clinton 4 @Kane County 2
Cedar Rapids 3 @Peoria 1
@Quad Cities 3, Burlington 2

The River Bandits had a 2-1 lead, but Burlington tied the game in the top of the ninth.  Then, Rio Ruiz hit a leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth.

Peoria committed four errors and Cedar Rapids won its sixth straight game.

Victor Sanchez pitched seven scoreless innings for Clinton.

Up To Date Standings:
TEAM             W-L                Div. GB          WC GB
QC                  31-23                  –                    –
CLN                28-27                 3.5                   –
PEO                27-28                 4.5                 1.0
WIS                 25-30                 6.5                 3.0
BUR                23-32                 8.5                 5.0
KC                   20-34               11.0                 7.5

There are 15 games remaining and the Rattlers have three left at Clinton.

Never give up! Never surrender! – Postgame Post for August 17, 2013

“Never give up! Never surrender!” – Galaxy Quest

And with that they were three back with 16 to play.

And with that they were three back with 16 to play.

Wisconsin 6
Beloit 4
Boxscore | Game Story

Orlando Arcia with his second three-hit game in the last three games. He is on a five game hitting streak (9-for-22, .409) with two homers, three RBI, and seven runs scored. Plus, there was a play…there’s always a defensive play. He made a sliding stop on a grounder deep in the hole, spun, and fired a strike to first to get the runner. Granted it was the catcher, but it was an important out to start the top of the fifth right after the Timber Rattlers took a 6-2 lead in the top of the inning.

Alfredo Rodriguez, by the way, was back in the leadoff spot on Saturday night. He was 0-for-2, but drew three walks, scored two runs, and stole a base. His numbers in 44 games as a leadoff hitter this season: .272/.382/.325 with 30 walks.

Jorge Lopez pitched around a couple of miscues and limited damage. Plus, he had some bad luck in the fourth inning as he broke a couple of bats that wound up as hits. He wasn’t efficient (93 pitches/51 strikes) in five innings, but he was effective…if that makes any sense. Despite four walks, he only allowed three hits. Plus, the only runs that scored against him were on a double play ball and a fielder’s choice.

The Rattlers had a pair of hit-and-run plays work out just like you draw them up…one even better…and both came in the fifth inning.

The first was Alfredo Rodriguez running with Arcia at the plate. Arcia lined a ball right through the space vacated by the second baseman. That put runners at the corners and led to the first run of the four run inning.

The second was with Victor Roache at first and Max Walla at the plate. Roache took off and Walla lined a ball right through the space vacated by the shortstop. The ball skipped to the wall for a double and Roache scored the final run of the inning for a 6-2 lead.

In the words of Hannibal Smith: I love it when a plan comes together.

Hobbs Johnson struck out three in the sixth. He walked three in the seventh. Then, he got a huge double play with to end the seventh inning to keep the Rattlers up 6-2.

Jono Armold bounced back in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning after giving up a pair of runs in the eighth. It was good.

Playoff chase….Quad Cities, Clinton, and Peoria all lost. The Rattlers are three games behind Clinton and Peoria for the Wild Card and 6-1/2 behind Quad Cities for the division. There are 16 games remaining in the regular season.

Get ‘em again tomorrow.

Afraid of being happy – Postgame post for August 16, 2013

I think I’m afraid of being happy because whenever I get too happy something bad always happens. – Charlie Brown

sighPeoria 7
Wisconsin 2
Boxscore | Game Story

Tyler Roberts went to right field with his double and hit it over the head of the right fielder for a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

Mike Garza had two more hits, including an RBI double in the third inning, in the game. He has 33 multi-hit games this season.

In case you missed the tweet from earlier tonight:

That’s all I have on that right now.

The Chiefs had a runner at first with no outs in the top of the fifth inning against Tyler Wagner. Jonathan Keener sent a grounder to short and it looked like a certain 6-4-3 double play. Then, the ball took a bad hop…like a wicked and completely unfair hop…over the glove of Orlando Arcia. And his glove wasn’t at his knees. The ball bounced up about brim of the hat height on Arcia and made it through for a single and runners at first and third.

Charlie Tilson followed with a grounder to the left of the mound. The runner at third was caught in a rundown and stayed in the rundown long enough to let Keener get to third and Tilson to get to second.

I swear that Wagner broke the bats of the next two batters and the ball didn’t get off the infield grass. But, both balls made it past the mound and the Chiefs scored two runs to tie the game.

Very rough seventh inning for Harvey Martin. He made a great pitch to get a 3-6-1 double play for two outs and none on. Then, five straight hits with four extra base hits and the Chiefs were up 6-2.

Reed wasn’t the only Rattler to be hit by a pitch. Lance Roenicke got hit on the right hand. Max Walla got hit in the leg. Ouch.

Nathan Baliva, who isn’t a bad guy no matter what you may hear, popped into the radio booth after the game and mentioned that he had only seen one Victor Roache home run in 13 games against the Chiefs this season. This got me thinking:

Overall Roache: 103 games; 94-for-393 (.239), 20HR, 66RBI, 120K
Roache v. PEO: 13 games; 10-for-54 (.185), HR, 5RBI, 20K
Roache v. rest of MWL: 90 games; 84-for-339 (.247), 19HR, 61RBI, 100K

I hate the Cardinals.

In the playoff race…The loss dropped the Timber Rattlers four games behind the Chiefs AND the Clinton LumberKings. A few weeks ago, I thought that Wisconsin would need to get to 36-34 to make the playoffs. They would need to go 13-4 over the last seventeen games. For the Chiefs AND Clinton to finish 35-35, both would need to go 8-9 over the last seventeen.

The math is getting difficult. Not impossible, but difficult.

Western Division Schedule (SAT-MON):
Wisconsin at Beloit
Cedar Rapids at Peoria
Clinton at Kane County
Burlington at Quad Cities

The rest of the season starts on Saturday. Gotta get ‘em.

Friday’s Highlights:

All Night Long – Postgame Post for August 15, 2013

Well, my friends, the time has come
(To) raise the roof and have some fun
Throw away the work to be done
Let the music play on….(Play on, play on, play on..)
– Lionel Richie, All Night Long

This is the uncropped photo from the game story. Reed to first as Rodriguez scores the winning run!

This is the uncropped photo from the game story. Reed to first as Rodriguez scores the winning run!

Peoria 4
Wisconsin 5
Boxscore | Game Story
FINAL – 11 Innings

Orlando Arcia with a great night.  He went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs and was intentionally walked twice.  But, I want to talk about a stolen base.  He was on second and Tyrone Taylor was on first with no outs and Michael Reed at the plate.  Steve Sabatino has just throw a pitch for a ball to Reed and took the throw back from his catcher.  He walked back to the rubber with his head down and Arcia noticed that the third baseman was not covering the bag.  Arcia broke for third and made it easily.  Taylor took second without a play, too.  It was some more aggressive base running by Arcia.

Plus, he made some outstanding defensive plays.  But, you’re getting used to those.

Let’s mention the relief work from Mike Strong and Jono Armold. Strong should have been out of the eighth scoreless, but the popup dropped in for a two out, RBI single. But, he only allowed one run on five hits in three innings. Armold worked two scoreless innings with a walk and a strikeout to keep the game even.

Rodolfo Fernandez is, just…wow.  Four more scoreless innings and he struck out three.  Scoreless streak is at 12 innings.  His second half numbers: 2-1, 2 saves, 1.38 ERA, 9 games, 26.0IP, 18H, 4R, 4ER, HR, 6BB, 27K…oh, and hitters are batting .191 against him.

Alfredo Rodriguez went 0-for-5 and saw his hitting streak come to an end at 12 games…but, so what. He drew a walk in the 13th. Then, with one out in the 15th, he drew a 4-pitch walk. He didn’t chase anything out of the zone to try and extend the hitting streak. The Rattlers needed a base runner and he got on base with a walk. It’s one of those unselfish things that will get a player noticed. Then, he stole second with a great jump. Scoring the winning run on the Michael Reed single was just the proverbial icing on the cake.

A word about the defense. To pick a totally arbitrary point in time*: In their last eleven games, Wisconsin’s defense has committed four errors. Two of those errors are on wild pick off throws by pitchers.

*-This arbitrary point in time happens to be the day after the Timber Rattlers committed three errors in a game against Beloit on August 3…Told you it was arbitrary.

That shout you heard as Reed singled in the winning run was the cheer from the fans in Clinton. The LumberKings beat Quad Cities for the second night in a row and they have tied the Chiefs for the second half wild card. Plus, the LumberKings – and the Rattlers – picked up ground on the River Bandits, too.

QC: 30-21
CLN: 26-26
PEO: 26-26
WIS: 23-29
BUR: 21-31
KC: 19-32

River Bandits are up 4.5 games on the LumberKings and Chiefs, 7.5 on the Rattlers, 11.5 on Burlington, and 12 on Kane County.

Wild Card has the LumberKings and Chiefs tied, the Rattlers three games back, Burlington five back, and Kane County 5.5 back.

18 games left in the regular season.

Big game tomo…..I mean, later tonight.  Go get ‘em.

PHOTOS from Ann Mollica!

Reed is in there somewhere!

Reed is in there somewhere!

Fernandez thanks Reed for ending the game.

Fernandez thanks Reed for ending the game.

This might be my favorite Non-Ann Mollica photo of the night.  I took this from the press box during the second segment of the postgame show about ten minutes after the game had ended.  That’s Reed, Garza, and Roberts signing for some of the kids who stuck around after the game:

Autographs!

Autographs!

Thursday’s Highlights:

Thursday’s Rally Song:

Present Grief – Postgame post for August 14, 2013

There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief. – Aeschylus

August 14 2013 002

Peoria 3
Wisconsin 1
Boxscore | Game Story

Preston Gainey with a very good start. He pitched around a few jams and allowed one run over six innings. He made 77 pitches and threw 54 strikes. That’s one of his best ratios of the season and he struck out seven to set a single game high as a professional for strikeouts in a game.

Orlando Arcia’s home run was a line drive to left-center. It was well struck and it was his first homer at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium.

There were two plays involving Max Walla that I want to talk about in this post.

#1. Max was up with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. There were runners at second and third. He hit a line drive to center field that I thought was going to drop for a two-run single. But, the ball carried to McElroy in center for the final out.

#2. I wrote about this play in the game story, but we’ll add this to the Damndest Thing I Ever Saw list. Infield single up the middle with one out in the sixth. It probably should have gone through, but Herrera, the shortstop, made a great stop…followed by an ill-advised throw. The throw was wild and Walla broke for second. BUT, the ball hit off something that wasn’t padded. It rebounded right to where Perry, the Peoria pitcher, was standing. Perry turned to throw to second and THREE Peoria infielders were there to take the throw. It was the THIRD BASEMAN who took the throw on the bag and tagged out Walla for the out. DTIES.

Right before Walla’s adventure in the sixth, Victor Roache hit a screaming, one-hop shot that was ticketed for the corner in left. But, Ildemaro Vargas – the aforementioned third baseman – made a diving stop and denied Roache to get the out.

The Timber Rattlers and Peoria Chiefs have played five extra inning games this season. Wisconsin is 1-4 in those games with Peoria that go past regulation. The Rattlers are 5-10 against the Chiefs this season. The Chiefs have outscored the Rattlers 74-48, BUT

Peoria’s Margin of Victory in their ten wins:
4 or more: 5
3: 0
2: 2
1: 3

Wisconsin’s Margin of Victory in their five wins:
4 or more: 0
3: 1
2: 2
1: 2

So….yeah…10 of the 15 games in this series have been decided by three or fewer runs.

Get ‘em tomorrow.

Highlights:

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