Results tagged ‘ Postgame post ’

Strike as hard as you can and keep moving on – Postgame post for August 2, 2013

Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on. – Ulysses S. Grant

Austin Ross on the mound.

Austin Ross on the mound.

Timber Rattlers 7
Kane County 4
Boxscore | Game Story


Sorry had to get that out of the system.

The Rattlers offense had timely hits, restarted rallies, extra base knocks, and their first home run since Tuesday and it was still almost down to the wire.  But, that happens in the place formerly known as Elfstrom Stadium.

The triple by Victor Roache was a flyball to right that kept going and hit about 2 feet from the top of the wall.  Opposite field power is there, too.

Parker Berberet with the oddest 4-hit game I’ve ever seen.  A double, an RBI single, and two singles where he was thrown out trying to stretch the single into a double.  But, he’s on a 17-game hitting streak.  Keep on going.

Lance Roenicke also with a 4-hit game.  Two singles, a bunt single on a sacrifice bunt attempt, and a home run.  Funny moment on the home run.  He stopped a little around second as if he thought the ball bounced on the track and over the wall for a ground rule double.  After a moments hesitation, he continued on around the bases.

Michael Reed was back in the lineup for the first time since July 25.  He had two hits, stole a base, and…fell on the track going after a deep fly ball to right-center.  He took a little time to get back to his feet, but stayed in the game.  That first game back can be a little odd.  We’ll see where this goes.

Austin Ross with three scoreless innings.  He was at 59 pitches (30 strikes) with three walks and three strikeouts, hit 92 on the stadium gun once or twice and had some nasty breaking stuff.  Progressing nicely.

When was the last time a reliever came into a game and struck out ten batters?  That’s what Mike Strong did in just four innings.  One mistake on an 0-2 pitch to Rock Shoulders with the bases loaded in the fifth inning let the Cougars tie the game, but the Rattlers offense covered that and got some more runs and Strong got the win.

If you remember last year, Strong had nine strikeouts in four innings twice.  Tonight’s Mike Strong pitched more like that Mike Strong.

Rodolfo Fernandez didn’t mess around with hitters.  With a one run lead in the bottom of the eighth and Bête Noir Oliver Zapata due up in the inning, Fernandez don’t care. Three-up, three-down.  Even with a little more margin for error after the insurance runs in the top of the ninth, there was no tentativeness in his approach.  Here it is. He ain’t hitting this.  If you do, so what. I’ll get the next guy.

In other games in the Western pennant chase: Peoria lost to Quad Cities; Burlington beat Cedar Rapids; & Clinton beat Beloit.  Quad Cities is pulling away in the division race with Clinton and Peoria tied for the Wild Card. 

Quad Cities is 5-1/2 games clear of Clinton and Peoria.   But, the LumberKings and Chiefs are just two games up on Burlington and three games up on the Rattlers.  No. Seriously.  The 16-24 Timber Rattlers are just three games out of a playoff spot with a month to go in the season.

The road is not easy.  Starting Saturday Wisconsin has eight games with Beloit (64-46; 21-19), six games with Peoria (57-50; 19-21); three games with Quad Cities (62-46; 24-15);  and three games with Clinton (52-57; 19-21) over the next 20 games.

Saturday’s Western Division Games:
Beloit at Wisconsin
Burlington at Peoria
Kane County at Clinton
Quad Cities at Cedar Rapids

Buckle up and get ready for tomorrow.

Lots of motion in this photo. It looks weird and bad and I don't know why I'm sharing it...but, I am.

Lots of motion in this photo. It looks weird and bad and I don’t know why I’m sharing it…but, I am.

You must undergo it – Postgame post for August 1, 2013

You cannot create experience. You must undergo it. – Albert Camus

Quick Change was at the game tonight.

Quick Change was at the game tonight. So…there’s that.

Wisconsin 2
Kane County 6
Boxscore | Game Story

I was talking to Dusty Rhodes at the cage during batting practice when he dropped that 22 straight hits by the Timber Rattlers without an extra base hit.   I guess I got caught up in other things and that one blew right by me.

A couple of prophetic threads from that conversation included me noting that when the Rattlers have had more than one hit in an inning, there is usually a double play in there and Dusty talking about how the other team will mix in a couple of extra base hits into their inning and they get a big inning. And finally me noting that a lot of the runs lately have scored without either a hit or an RBI.

In the top of the first, Alfredo Rodriguez and Lance Roenicke singled to start the game.  Then, a double play stopped the rally cold.

In the top of the third, Roenicke scored on a wild pitch.

In the bottom of the sixth, Kane County had three extra base hits in their sequence of seven straight hits.

The streak reached 24 hits without an extra base hit before  Parker Berberet doubled to start the second inning.  Then, he scored on a single by Max Walla.

That starts a streak of six straight hits with just singles.

Since Garrett Cooper tripled to drive in the winning runs on Sunday, July 28, the Timber Rattlers have scored eight runs on 33 hits.  Two of those hits are for extra bases and the team is 0-4.

The eight runs have scored  in this way:
Solo homer
RBI single
RBI grounder
Throwing error (No RBI)
RBI Grounder
Missed Catch Error (No RBI)
RBI single
Wild Pitch (No RBI)

Baseball has a really sick sense of humor.

Berberet has extended his hitting streak to 16 games.  He has tied Tyrone Taylor for the longest hitting streak on the team this season.

Mike Garza went 3-for-4.  He extended his current hitting streak to eleven games and has bumped his season average to .297.

There was a promotion that took a long time before the bottom of the third.  Both teams knew about it and it wasn’t like Jorge Lopez went out to warm up and had to wait for the promotion to end.  He waited until it was over to go out to the mound.  Then, he gave up a home run to Oliver Zapata – aka our Bête Noir – on the second pitch.

You have had time to wrap your mind around the dearth of extra base hits for the Rattlers.  Try these: Zapata is hitting .190 with ten RBI in twelve games against the Rattlers in 2013. 

Baseball has a really sick sense of humor.

That home run was the only hit for the Cougars…until the sixth.

Homer, single, Lopez error on pickoff throw to first, Lopez wild pitch, RBI single, pitching change. RBI double, single, two run double, infield single.

When the onslaught finally ended, it was 6-2.

There was no sudden velocity drop.  The ball did not suddenly get placed on a tee.  Lopez did not start to tell Kane County what was coming at them.  It just happens.

Baseball has a really sick sense of humor.

One other thing…The Timber Rattlers struck out ten times on Thursday night.  That would be the first time they have struck out ten or more times in a game since July 21.  Wisconsin went 3-6 in the nine games between that game in Dayton and this game in Kane County.  So…they are putting the ball in play…they are getting runners on base….they just are not doing both at the same time.

Baseball has …. oh, you know the rest.

Get ‘em tomorrow

Supreme Solace – Postgame post for July 31, 2013

Writing is the supreme solace. – W. Somerset Maugham



Wisconsin 3
Kane County 6
Boxscore | Game Story

Pretty sure that the post on last night’s game would be pretty similar to the post on today’s game.

Tyler Wagner with a baseball rarity in the third inning. He struck out the side on nine pitches. I looked back at my scorebook after he got ahead of Albert Almora 0-1 with two outs after he struck out Oliver Zapata and Gioskar Amaya to start the inning. Good thing I fired up the camera for after he got ahead 0-2.

Got. Him. Swinging!

Got. Him. Swinging!

Believe it or not, Wikipedia has a list of MLB pitchers who have struck out the side on nine pitches. Take a look.

Through five innings, Wagner was really good. He pitched at his pace and worked well through five innings. The only hit he allowed in those first five innings was a leadoff single in the first inning. He struck out seven over those five innings.

But, the sixth was a tough inning for him.  He gave up the first run on a double, error, and grounder.  So, the Rattlers were still up 2-1 with one out and none on base.  He was 1-0 on the next four hitters.  The next three hitters singled to tie the game.  In all, he had 94 pitches/55 strikes for the game.  He was in line for the win after the Rattlers took the lead in the top of the seventh, but win #9 is still out there somewhere.

The Rattlers continued to frustrate Dan Vogelbach in his first two at bats. Orlando Arcia was playing about where he is in the top picture both times.  The first time was in the first inning with runners at first and second with no outs.  He hit the ball right at Arcia for a 6-3  double play.  The second time was in the fourth inning and he hit the ball right at Arcia again for a ground out.

In the sixth, Vogelbach hit the ball at the shortstop position where third baseman Mike Garza was stationed.  The ball barely cleared Garza’s glove for a single.  Later in the inning, he came around to score the tying run when Rock Shoulders singled to left.

The shift even came into play without Vogelbach putting a ball in play.  Gioskar Amaya tried to steal second with Arcia playing behind the bag.  All Arcia had to do was come in and take the throw from Parker Berberet to put the tag on Amaya for the final out of the seventh inning.

Unfortunately, the shift does not come into play when Vogelbach is walked as he was to leadoff the eighth inning just before the home run to right by Jeimer Candelario that put Kane County up 5-3.

The Timber Rattlers tried to put pressure on the Kane County defense a twice on Wednesday. Garrett Cooper tried to score from second on an infield single by Chris McFarland in the top of the fourth after a close play at first. It didn’t work. Orlando Arcia tried to go from first to third on an infield grounder when he saw that third base was uncovered. It worked as the throw to third was missed and Arcia scored the run to put the Rattlers up 3-2.

Back to Parker Berberet.  He singled in the sixth and now has a 15-game hitting streak.  That’s the longest active hitting streak in the Midwest League this season.

Mike Garza went 2-for-3 with a walk.  He has extended his hitting streak to a season high 10-games.

In the two games of this series, Wisconsin has 21 hits. They have scored five runs.

Most Timber Rattlers losses have followed one of two patterns of late:

  1. Take an early lead. Have plenty of opportunities to pad the lead, but don’t. Opponents get back to even.  Opponents take the lead.  Opponents hold on for the win.
  2. Fall behind early. Scratch and claw and tie the game. Opponents take the lead.  Opponents hold on for the win.

Get ‘em tomorrow.

Lightning does not strike twice – Postgame post for July 29, 2013

Lightning does not strike the same place twice – Proverb



Burlington 5
Wisconsin 1
Boxscore | Game Story

Sorry about Sunday. I went home and sat down before starting on the post. Next thing I knew it was 5am.

For some quotes on Sunday’s comeback, here’s the Post-Crescent article by Mike Woods.

On to Monday.

Anyone who thought the Timber Rattlers would rally from a 5-1 deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning for the second game in a row against the Burlington Bees was not watching Monday’s game.

Patrick Lowery had 80 pitches through eight innings. He had a three-ball count on one hitter before the ninth.

Orlando Arcia had a eleven-pitch at bat in the bottom of the ninth. He fouled off five different 2-strike pitches to run the count full before popping out to the catcher.

Lowery ended the night with 95 pitches (67 strikes), six strikeouts, no walks.

Funny thing from before the game. Garrett Cooper and Victor Roache were on separate teams for a competition of situational hitting drills during batting practice. Cooper hit a moon shot to left as the last hitter for his side to give his team the lead. Roache was the last hitter for his side and he hit one off the middle of the batting screen over the wall in center. Cooper was given one more swing for his team….and he crushed another home run past the scoreboard in left-center.

Then, Cooper homered in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game. No doubt.

Unfortunately, that was about the only offense the Timber Rattlers had in the game.

Parker Berberet singled after the home run by Cooper to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. On the defensive side, Berberet committed his first error of the season as a catcher. Heck, that’s his first error of the season. Monday was his 43rd game as a catcher. He has also played 15 games at first base. That streak is more impressive than the current hitting streak.

That was a weird series for the Rattlers. They committed six errors on Saturday and won 9-3. Have I mentioned that they scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 6-5 win on Sunday? They were in the game on Monday until they committed three errors in the sixth. The Rattlers committed eleven errors in a three-game series and took two of three.

The lineup was a last minute thing on Monday. Michael Reed was out for the fourth game in a row and Tyrone Taylor needed a break from the field. The decision was to put Adrian Williams in center for the first time since last season. No word on Reed, but the team just passed the 100 game mark. It’s like hitting the wall in a marathon….or so I’m told…for players who have never been through a full season.

For example: Monday was game #101 for the Timber Rattlers. Taylor has played in 98 of those games: 86 in center, seven as the DH, three in left, and two as a pinch runner.

The Rattlers lost ground on Quad Cities and Peoria. The QC holds the 2nd half division lead after a 4-1 win at Beloit on Monday. Peoria got out to the early lead at home against Kane County and beat the Cougars 14-1.

Rattlers (15-21) at Kane County (10-25)
Peoria (19-17) at Quad Cities (20-15)
Beloit (20-16) at Clinton (16-20)
Cedar Rapids (25-11) at Burlington (14-21)

Chance to pick up ground on someone in one of those playoff spots for the next four days because – and I’m pretty confident in saying this – either Quad Cities or Peoria will lose over the next four days. Time to go to work.

Monday’s Highlights:

No matter how improbable – Postgame Post for July 28, 2013

Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. – Sherlock Holmes

Line drive to right off the bat of Garrett Cooper in the bottom of the ninth....

Line drive to right off the bat of Garrett Cooper in the bottom of the ninth….

Burlington 5
Wisconsin 6
Boxscore | Game Story

Game winner!

Game winner!

I’ll update this post later tonight. Right now enjoy much better pictures and ignore the goofball calling the highlights who can’t keep his own players straight in his mind.


A better angle on the winning run (Photo by Ann Mollica).

A better angle on the winning run (Photo by Ann Mollica).

Jorge Lopez got there first.

Jorge Lopez got there first. (Photo by Ann Mollica)

Then, everyone else got there.

Then, everyone else got there.(Photo by Ann Mollica)

Sunday, July 28, 2013 Highlights:

The best defense – Postgame post for July 27, 2013

The best defense is a good offense – Sun Tzu….or someone like that.

I'm pretty sure this is the RBI single by Victor Roache in the 5th inning.

I’m pretty sure this is the RBI single by Victor Roache in the 5th inning.

Burlington 3
Wisconsin 9
Boxscore | Game Story

The Rattlers had six errors on Saturday night. It was not pretty. But, Jorge Lopez and Taylor Mangum dealt with it and picked up their teammates.

For example: It’s the top of the third inning. Pedro Toribio has just doubled with two outs to drive in the run that made the score 3-1. Wade Hinkle reaches on the first of two errors by Orlando Arcia. That puts the tying runs on base. Lopez froze the next batter for strike three to get out of the inning and the Rattlers lead was still 3-1.

In the past we’ve seen the opponents start to build on that error and it starts pouring like an avalanche; coming down the mountain.


Wisconsin had that lead thanks to Victor Roache. Take a look at the home run in the highlights. KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS! There was no doubt about it.

He also had two singles, a walk, two runs, and a total of three RBI. After he scuffled a bit in the Clinton series, this was a big performance by Roache. Home Run Tracker at 15. RBI Tracker at 57.

The walk, by the way, was a 4-pitch walk and the Burlington pitcher wanted nothing to do with Roache in that at bat. There were two outs and none on when Roache walked. Then, Mike Garza walked on four pitches. Then, Garrett Cooper tripled to right-center and the Rattlers were up 5-1.

Cooper had three of hard hit balls for a double, a triple, and three RBI. The other hard hit ball was a 5-3 double play with the bases loaded an no outs to get a run home from third. Great to see him back in the lineup.

Parker Berberet extended his hitting streak to 11-games with his two-run home run in the fifth. That’s the second longest hitting streak on the team this season.

Get ‘em again tomorrow.

July 27, 2013 Highlights:

We remember our sufferings – Postgame post for July 26, 2013

We forget our pleasures, we remember our sufferings. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

I thought this was a pretty cool picture.

I thought this was a pretty cool picture.

Clinton 3
Wisconsin 1
Boxscore | Game Story

Cicero also said something about Brevity being the best recommendation of speech….With that in mind.

Letting you know this up front, I made a mistake in the original game story. I originally wrote that three Clinton pitchers did not retired the side in order on the night. Tyler Pike did get a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fifth. I tried to edit the story to reflect that change.

Wisconsin (1-for-9) and Clinton (1-for-14) combined to go 2-for-23 with runners in scoring position in the game. That’s amazing.

Parker Berberet has quietly put together a 10-game hitting streak. He is 11-for-35 during this streak.

Tyler Wagner threw 80 pitches. It was 40 strikes and 40 balls. He walked five and battled through 5-1/3 innings. He Tyler Wagner threw 80 pitches. It was 40 strikes and 40 balls. He walked five and battled through 5-1/3 innings. Wagner left with the bases loaded with one out in the sixth and the team down 1-0. Then, ….

Harvey Martin did a really nice job getting out of the sixth inning. Bases loaded with one out and he got back-to-back popouts to end the frame to keep the game a 1-0.

Chris McFarland nearly put the Rattlers back to even in the seventh inning. His line drive was slicing away from the right fielder, who made a sliding catch to keep Adrian Williams at second and Alfredo Rodriguez at first. It was nice to see him deliver the single to drive in Tyler Roberts in the bottom of the ninth to avoid the shutout.

Speaking of Adrian Williams.  Check out the highlights for some stellar plays by Williams as the shortstop tonight.  Tip of the cap to AW.

The Rattlers begin a three game series with the Burlington Bees on Saturday night. Both teams are 13-20 in the second half. Both teams trail Quad Cities for the top second half playoff spot by 5-1/2 games. Both teams trail Peoria for the second half wild card spot by four games. Clinton stands between the Rattlers and the two playoff teams.

Saturday’s Western Division Schedule:
Burlington (13-20) at Wisconsin (13-20)
Clinton (16-17) at Cedar Rapids (22-11)
Kane County (9-23) at Peoria (17-16)
Quad Cities (18-14) at Beloit (19-14)

That sets the stage for the weekend pretty well.

Friday’s highlights with some good defense:

Hope and invention – Postgame post for July 25, 2013

Man is a creature of hope and invention, both of which belie the idea that things cannot be changed. – Tom Clancy

This turned into a force out at second.

This turned into a force out at second.

Clinton 5
Wisconsin 1
Boxscore | Game Story

Tough night started with a 102-minute rain delay.  The rain – and pretty severe rain at that – was out there and the front office didn’t want to take the chance of starting the game and having to stop the game.  That would have burned the starting pitchers and it wouldn’t have been right.  An impossible decision.  Call it the “Kobayashi Maru”.

Eric Semmelhack had a tough night, too.  He gave up eleven hits in five innings and a pair of long home runs.  He’s given up 15 home runs in 94-1/3 innings pitched this season.  And yet…he had opportunities to limit damage.  Eight of the eleven hits he gave up came with two outs.  Three of the five runs allowed came with two outs.

The offense was quiet most of the night.  They did not have two runners on base in the same inning until the ninth.

Weird – and almost identical – plays involving Parker Berberet and Max Walla in the second and seventh innings.  In both innings, Max struck out on a pitch in the dirt.   Berberet took off for second and was out at second.  It was not a caught stealing, but it was a strike-em out, throw-em out double play.

Rodolfo Fernandez had a good outing with three scoreless innings.  He pitched around a one out error in the eighth to keep the score at 5-1.

Taylor Wall with another scoreless inning.

In the pennant race, Quad Cities (Lost); Peoria (Won); Burlington (Won).  Rattlers tied with Burlington again at 4-1/2 games behind Quad Cities and 4 games behind Peoria.

Get them tomorrow.

Thursday’s Highlights:

We have met the enemy – Postgame post for July 24, 2013

We have met the enemy and they are ours. – Oliver Hazard Perry

Last out.

Last out.

Clinton 1
Wisconsin 9
Boxscore | Timber Rattlers Game Story | story

Preston Gainey gave up a first inning single, walked three, and struck out one in seven innings. Pitch to contact indeed!

Clinton did help him out a few times. He was 3-0 about five times…maybe six. Twice a LumberKing took a swing on the 3-0 pitch. A couple of times he cam back to get the batter on a 3-2 pitch.

His defense helped him out a few times. Alfredo Rodriguez made a great play on the first batter of the game. Gainey snared a liner up the middle for an out in the third. Rodriguez grabbed a liner and turned it into a double play in the sixth. Orlando Arcia made a nice grab of a line drive in the second.

Side note: Those first three defensive plays mentioned in the last paragraph were made against Jamodrick McGruder, the leadoff batter for the LumberKings. McGruder is now 0-for-22 in nine games for Clinton. Dude.

In all, Gainey made 82 pitches (44 strikes) to set his professional high for innings pitches in a game. I’ll let him tell you about it in the story linked up top.

“I’ve been focusing a lot on my mental approach to pitching, just kind of relaxing,” he said. “A lot of times, I catch myself trying to do too much. I overpitch, almost, and try to be too perfect. Tonight, I was relaxed and throwing the ball over the plate.”

Pitch to contact.

The team is hitting .304 and has scored thirty – 30 – runs in the last give games.   The team batting average is up another point to .257.    Keep climbing up that hill.

The best thing about Monday’s game was that Wisconsin scored early and kept adding on to that lead.  There was no sitting on the lead like those games in Dayton.

Tyrone Taylor was hit by pitches twice in this game.  That makes a total of 12 times this season. 

Pssssst….Max Walla walked twice on Wednesday.  He doubled once and scored three runs.

Let’s just focus in on the Wild Card part of the pennant chase for the Timber Rattlers tonight.  Peoria beat Cedar Rapids 8-7 in ten innings; Burlington lost to Quad Cities; and Kane County lost to Beloit. 

  1. Peoria: 16-15 (–)
  2. Clinton: 14-17 (-2.0)
  3. Wisconsin: 13-18 (-3.0)
  4. Burlington: 12-19 (-4.0)
  5. Kane County: 7-23 (-8.5)

Still some work to do.  It starts on Thursday.

But first….Highlights!

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations – Postgame Post for July 22, 2013

It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

I need to start bringing a photographer on these road trips.  This could have been an awesome shot of HR #1 for Roache.

I need to start bringing a photographer on these road trips. This could have been an awesome shot of HR #1 for Roache.

Rattlers 9
Dayton 10
Boxscore | Game Story

Victor Roache Highlight #1: Three-run home run in the first. (HR #13)

Victor Roache Highlight #2: Grand slam (HR #14 – Michael and Toby from the office? Really, Dayton?)

From the story:

Since the All-Star break, he’s felt like a different hitter and the results have reflected that. Thirty games into the second half, Roache has slugged eight homers with a .298 average and .908 OPS. Seven of those homers have come in July, when he’s hitting .321 with a 1.037 OPS in 20 games.

The difference for Roache has been pitch recognition, and those improvements have been driven by two factors.

“I think part of it is repetition,” he said. “I’m finally getting at-bats, and I’m feeling more confident in the box. I have an understanding of how the pitchers are pitching to me.

“I’ve also been tweaking my swing, keeping my front shoulder in and trying to land my front foot flat and square so I’m not spinning out with my front side. That’s allowed me to see the ball better and make more consistent swings.”

Go read it all.

To document the rest of his at plate appearances:

  • Walked in the fourth with one out.
  • Hit line drive about ankle high that the shortstop picked off the dirt in the seventh
  • Was walked intentionally with one out in the ninth as the tying run

On the six games of the road trip Roache was 12-for-25 (.480) with four home runs, a double, and eleven RBI.  He struck out seven times, but four of them came in that one game at Bowling Green.

Fans, you’re going to want to get out to the stadium and see if this hot streak continues on Wednesday.

Wisconsin goes 1-5 on the road trip.  They could have easily gone 5-1.  They were tied 2-2 in the to the bottom of the seventh at Bowling Green on July 17, led Bowling Green 5-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth on July 18, led Dayton 4-0 after the top of the first inning on July 21, and led Dayton 8-1 after the top of the second on July 22.

There were so many chances to end innings or limit the damage or just do something, anything to keep the Dragons from coming back on Monday night.  But, it just didn’t happen.  Three errors, a bases loaded walk, a bases loaded hit batsman, and a wild pitch to score the go ahead run.  Also, the Rattlers didn’t have a hit from the second inning to the eighth inning.  That’s just letting a team hang around to come back and get you in the end.

Kudos to Tyrone Taylor on a great throw to the plate to keep the Dragons from getting a fifth run in the eighth inning.  He pegged out Winker at the plate to end the inning and kept the score at 10-9.

In the ninth they tying run was at third with two outs and Parker Berberet was at the plate…and…and…And this is how the game ended.

*sigh*….Are we home yet?


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