Tonight's Game in a Word


As in O-fer-Burlington.

0-3 against the Bees here at Community Field and 1-6 on the road trip so far.

Get 'em tomorrow.

Complete Boxscore HERE.

Odds & Ends

The strike is over. The umpires are coming back. There will never be another blown call or argument between a player and one of the men in blue.

Unfortunately, there will also no more of the balloon chest protectors.

I might have more on this later. But, when the umpires are doing their job correctly, you really shouldn't mention them.

A quick mention of former Rattler trainer Chris Gorosics in the Missions Notebook today. Well, not really a mention, but it says that Chris says that Ryan Feierabend will make his next scheduled start.

Who benefits the most with the signing of Roger Clemens? Why the Lexington Legends of course. Why Lexington?

HOUSTON – The Houston Astros announced today that the club has signed pitcher Roger Clemens to a minor league contract. Clemens is scheduled to make three minor league starts prior to making his Astros debut. It is the club’s intent to make his first start for the Lexington Legends against the Lake County Captains on June 6.

“We are thrilled that our fans are going to get a chance to see one of
the greatest players in baseball history pitching right here in our ballpark,” said Alan Stein, President and CEO of the Lexington Legends. “With his son Koby in Lexington, we knew this was a possibility if Roger signed with Houston. We are thrilled to get to see ‘the Rocket’ in a Legends jersey.”

Koby Clemens, Roger's oldest son, began the season playing third base for the Legends until dislocating his left pinky in late April. He is
expected to be activated from the disabled list in time for Tuesday’s game.

The South Atlantic League affiliate of the Houston Astros are going to put children in harm's way to raise a little money, too.

The Lexington Legends are holding a silent auction to take batting practice with Roger Clemens. The silent auction will be held during Legends games on June 5 and June 6 with the practice to be held on June 8th beginning at 10am (time subject to change). The batting practice is for kids ages 9 to 18 years only.

A $1,000 minimum bid is required and the top 15 bids of $1,000 or more will be selected to participate in the Roger Clemens Batting Practice. The proceeds will benefit the Booster Club and the Lexington Legends Clubhouse Renovation Project.

Game Notes for 5/31

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Burlington beat the Timber Rattlers 5-1. Jose Duarte broke a scoreless tie with a three run double in the bottom of the second inning. Mario Lisson lead off the third inning with a homer and Burlington had the early 5-0 lead. Matt Kniginyzky allowed one run on three hits and struck out seven for his fourth straight win.

WILDNESS HURTS: Rattler starting pitcher Harold Williams walked six batters in 4-1/3 innings. He got into trouble by walking the first two batters of the bottom of the second. After getting the first out, Williams walked another batter to load the bases. Duarte followed with a bases-clearing double down the left field line for the 3-0 lead.

VARIATION ON THE THEME: The Rattler pitching staff leads the Midwest League in walks issued. Wisconsin had handed out 233 free passes this season. The only other staff in the league with over 200 walks is Southwest Michigan. The Devil Rays have walked 205 this season.

14th OUT OF 14: The Rattlers are last in the league in ERA. Wisconsin has seen their team earned run average balloon to 4.58. Clinton is the closest team to the Rattlers with a 4.38.

LISSON LAUNCHES: Lisson hit his second homer of the season against the Rattlers. He is 10-for-24 (.417) and has driven in ten runs against the Rattlers.

TRIPLE-DECKERS: Curtis Ledbetter tripled with two out in the top of the fourth inning for the first hit of the game against Kniginyzky. Wisconsin has had one triple in each of the first two games of this series.

FRIGID: The 6-9 hitters in the Timber Rattler lineup were a combined 0-for-15 last night.

ICE COLD: Rattler shortstop Jeffery Dominguez was 0-for-3 last night and is now hitless in his last twenty-one at bats.

SCORING CHANGE: In the ninth inning on Monday night, Casey Craig reached base on what was originally ruled a single. That play was changed to an E-3. That means that the run Wisconsin scored against Gilbert de la Vara is now unearned.

ON THE ROAD: The Rattlers are 1-5 on the first six games of this eight-game road trip.

SEASON LOW: Wisconsin is now a season low thirteen games under .500 (19-32).

OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Carlos Rosa was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Royals in 2001. He made eight starts for the Bees in 2004 and was 0-5 with a 4.67ERA. He missed all of 2005 with an injury. Rosa beat the Beloit Snappers at Pohlman Field in his last start. He allowed just one run on four hits over six innings for the victory. Rosa lost twice in two starts to the Rattlers in 2004. He got a no decision against the Rattlers at Fox Cities Stadium on May 21. He gave up seven hits, but two runs (one earned) over four innings in a game the Rattlers eventually won.

Tuesday Night in the MWL

@Burlington 5, Wisconsin 1 -- Game story at RattlersReport.com & a neat picture in The Hawk Eye.

Scott Morgan/The Hawk Eye

@West Michigan 9, Dayton 3 -- Whitecaps needed to rally for their fifth straight win.

Cedar Rapids 5, @ Clinton 4 (13 innings) -- The Kernels scored three times in the top of the thirteenth. Clinton got two in the bottom of the thirteenth on a homer by John Mayberry, but they couldn't send the game to the fourteenth.

@Peoria 4, Kane County 2 -- Hey, Cougar pitcher Jared Lansford gave up more than one run. Hey, Chief closer Ed Campusano has sixteen saves.

South Bend @ Fort Wayne -- PPD. The Wizards called up a rain spell to give them a bit of a break.

Lansing @ Southwest Michigan -- PPD. Water cools off the Lugnuts.

Quad Cities @ Beloit -- PPD. The rain turtle was out at Pohlman Field.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Bryan LaHair, San Antonio.

LaHair with two more RBI -- he has 28 now this season -- to help the Missions to a win over Tulsa.

Nice bounce back game for Stephen Kahn. After a rough Double-A debut with the Missions, he goes two scoreless last night.

Mariner System Report (Games of 5/30)

Seattle (MAJ: 22-32; 4th AL West): The Mariners lost 6-4 at Texas. Gil Meche (WI ’98) was staked to a 3-0 lead, but gave up six runs in the bottom of the third. Brad Wilkerson hit a grand slam for the Rangers in that big inning. Carl Everett had three hits and drove in a run for Seattle.

Tacoma (AAA – 25-25; 3rd PCL Pacific Northern Division): Tacoma lost 15-14 at Salt Lake. Renee Cortez (WI ’03) walked in the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Bobby Livingston (WI ’03) gave up eleven runs on ten hits over 2-1/3 innings, to put the Rainiers into an 11-3 hole. But, the Rainiers charged back to tie the game 14-14. Asdrubal Cabrera (WI ’05) went 3-for-5 with three runs, three RBI, and a home run for Tacoma. Adam Jones (WI ’04) hit his eighth homer of the season for the Rainiers.

San Antonio (AA – 19-30; 4th Texas League South Division): San Antonio beat Tulsa 4-1. Bryan LaHair (WI ’04) drove in a pair of runs for the Missions. Stephen Kahn (WI ’05) pitched two scoreless innings in relief of winning pitcher Adam Pettyjohn. Pettyjohn struck out six over six scoreless innings for the win.

Inland Empire (High-A – 31-20; 1st California League South Division): Inland Empire had their nine game winning streak end with a 2-1 loss to Visalia. Ivan Blanco (WI ’05) gave up a pair of unearned runs over seven innings and got the loss. Brent Johnson (WI ’05) had a pair of hits and scored the only run for the 66ers.


Seattle (Felix Hernandez 3-6) at Texas (John Koronka 4-2) 1:05pm CDT
Tacoma (Cesar Jimenez 1-4) at Salt Lake (Stephen Shell 1-2) 8:00pm CDT
Tulsa (Steven Register 1-2) at San Antonio (Travis Blackley 4-3) 7:05pm CDT
Visalia at Inland Empire 9:11pm CDT


Tuesday's Game in a Word


They tell me that Burlington's starting pitcher tonight pronounces his name: nuh-GIN-skee

I think it is actually pronounced: 7 Innings, 3 Hits, 1 Run, 7 strikeouts, 1 walk, and 4 wins in a row.

Tonight's boxscore is HERE.

Game Notes for 5/30

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Bees beat the Timber Rattlers 3-2 in ten innings. Two of the three runs scored by the Bees were unearned, including the game winning run in the tenth.

THANKS, WE NEEDED THAT: On Sunday night in Kane County, the Rattlers needed to use two position players as pitchers to finish the game. Last night, Paul Fagan had the longest outing of the season for a Timber Rattler starter. Fagan pitched 7-1/3 innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits with two walks.

THEY DID IT AGAIN: For the second time in just over a week, the Rattlers rallied to tie the game against Gilbert de la Vara. Last Sunday, Wisconsin scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the Bees and give de la Vara his first blown save of the season. Last night, Wisconsin trailed 2-1 going into the top of the ninth. Casey Craig singled to start the inning. Craig stole second with one out and took third after a wild pitch. An infield grounder by Luis Valbuena got Craig home with the tying run.

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: Mike Saunders started the Rattler tenth inning with a triple off de la Vara. Pinch hitter Curtis Ledbetter struck out. Next, Eddy Hernandez grounded out to second. Saunders broke for the plated and crashed into catcher JP Lowen just after the ball arrived. Lowen held on for the second out and de la Vara got the final out on a pop out.

WINNING ON THE THROW: Chris McConnell singled to start the bottom of the tenth against Ruben Flores. A sacrifice bunt moved McConnell to second. Miguel Vega stepped to the plate and sent a chopper down the third base line. Flores fielded the ball cleanly, but hurried his throw and sailed it well down the right field line. McConnell scored easily with the winning run.

EXTRA INNING BLUES: Flores has pitched twice in extra innings this season. He allowed two hits and two runs without retiring a batter at Beloit on April 11th. He faced three batters last night and allowed the unearned run on one hit.

UNEARNED: The Timber Rattlers have committed eight errors in this series with the Bees. Those eight errors have led to seven unearned runs. Burlington has seven errors in the series, but their pitchers have allowed just four unearned runs.

MY SACRIFICE: The Bees dropped two sacrifice bunts last night. In five games against the Rattlers, Burlington has six sacrifice bunts.

ENDING: Valbuena’s ten-game hitting streak ended last night. He was 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. Valbuena was 13-for-39 (.333) during the streak.

ICE COLD: Rattler shortstop Jeffery Dominguez is hitless in his last eighteen at bats.

LOOK OUT! Rattler reliever Edgar Guaramato hit two batters in 1-2/3 innings last night. In 4-1/3 innings, he has plunked five Bee batters.

NO K’s: The three Rattler pitchers did not record a strikeout last night.

OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Matt Kniginyzky was the 23rd round pick of the Royals out of High Point University. Kniginyzky was the closer for the Panthers and had seven saves in his final season. In his first pro season, Kniginyzky was 2-5 with five saves and a 4.66 ERA in 21 relief appearances for the Idaho Falls Chukars. Kniginyzky has won three straight games, including a win over Beloit in his last outing. He struck out nine over seven innings and gave up two runs on four hits. This is his first appearance against the Timber Rattlers and an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

Monday in the MWL

@Burlington 3, Wisconsin 2 (10 innings) -- Much better game than Sunday, but a tough loss for the Rattlers.

Cedar Rapids 2, @Clinton 1 -- Larry Infante had one of three hits for the Kernels. But, that hit was a two run homer. Enough for Cedar Rapids to beat the L-Kings.

@Beloit 8, Quad Cities 6 -- Beloit rallies late again. They scored four in the eighth -- two off former Rattler Brian Stitt -- for the win.

South Bend 5, @Fort Wayne 4 (11 innings) -- The Wizards lose their sixth straight. When you are in a rut, the calls don't go your way.

Kane County 8, @Peoria 2 -- Not even MARK PRIOR can cool off the Cougars. Jose Pineda homered off Prior and the Cougars have opened up a 2-1/2 game lead on the Chiefs. PRIOR may return to pitch for the Chiefs again on Saturday. Hopefully, he wont do this:

Chiefs third baseman Brandon Taylor and closer Ed Campusano felt sick after accidentally drinking ammonia water in the dugout before the game. Players often put ammonia water on their heads to keep cool on hot days. Taylor and Campusano believed they were drinking out of a regular water cooler.

@West Michigan 6, Dayton 5 -- Justice is visited upon the Dragons! Justin Justice triples in the tying run and scores the go ahead run in the bottom of the 7th.

Lansing 2, @Southwest Michigan 0 -- The D-Rays offense can't get going against the Lugnuts.

Complete scoreboard HERE.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Greg Dobbs drove in the only run of the game in the Rainiers 1-0 win over Colorado Springs.

Mariner System Report (Games of 5/29)

Seattle (MAJ: 22-31; T-3rd AL West): The Mariners lost 2-0 at Texas. Seattle managed just four hits. Jarrod Washburn gave up two runs on six hits over seven innings and took the loss.

Tacoma (AAA – 25-24; 3rd PCL Pacific Northern Division):
Tacoma beat Colorado Springs 1-0. Greg Dobbs (WI ’02) drove in Chris Snelling (WI ’00) with a double in the bottom of the fourth inning for the only run of the game. Francisco Cruceta pitched eight shutout innings allowing just two hits and struck out eleven for the win. Emiliano Fruto (WI ’02) pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save.

San Antonio (AA – 18-30; 4th Texas League South Division):
San Antonio lost 1-0 to Tulsa. The Mission offense had three hits. Ryan Feierabend (WI ’02) pitched two scoreless innings as the starting pitcher, but left after taking a grounder off his forearm. Reliever Chad Fillinger (WI ’05) gave up a run in the sixth inning to take the loss.

Inland Empire (High-A – 31-19; 1st California League South Division): Inland Empire was off on Monday.

Seattle (Gil Meche 4-3) at Texas (Kevin Millwood 5-3) 7:05pm CDT
Tacoma (Bobby Livingston 1-3) at Colorado Springs (Kasey Olenberger 3-1) 7:30pm CDT
Tulsa (Emmanuel Ulloa 3-1) at San Antonio (Adam Pettyjohn 0-2) 7:05pm CDT
Visalia at Inland Empire 9:11pm CDT

EDIT: Fixed font.


Monday's Game in a Word

I'm going to have to repeat this from earlier this year, but it is very appropriate after the way the tenth inning went tonight.

Boxscore HERE.

Game log HERE.

Game Notes for 5/29

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Kane County Cougars crushed the Timber Rattlers 19-5. Jeff Baisley had two hits, but drove in six runs. Jose Pineda had three hits, including a homer and drove in four. Cougar starter Jason Ray struggled to get through five innings, but left with a 14-5 lead.

EARLY LEAD: The Rattlers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. JB Tucker reached on an error with two outs and went to second on a wild pitch. Luis Valbuena knocked in Tucker with a single to left.

A DECADE: Valbuena extended his current hitting streak to ten games with that first inning single. He has matched Ron Garth for the longest hitting streak on the team. Valbuena is 13-for-39 (.333)

SHORT NIGHT (KIND OF): Rattler starter Justin Thomas went just 1-2/3 innings last night and gave up ten runs (six earned) on nine hits with two walks and no strikeouts. Thomas threw over sixty pitches in last night’s start.

LOST WEEKEND: In the four game series at Elfstrom Stadium, the Rattlers hit just .183 (23-for-125). In those same four games, Kane County hit .350 (50-for-143).

DELVING INTO HISTORY: The nineteen runs given up by the Rattlers last night were the most against them since September 2, 2004. The Rattlers got beat 20-7 at O’Brien Field by the Peoria Chiefs. In that game, Rattler starter Casey Abrams gave up eight runs on ten hits in 1-2/3 innings.

A LOT OF RUNS: In the last six games, Wisconsin is 1-5. They have been outscored 63-26 in those five games. The Rattlers have not held an opponent under five runs in any of their last six games.

NOW PITCHING: Chao Kuan Wu and Robby Hudson finished up last night’s game on the mound for Wisconsin. Wu, a catcher, gave up a run on two hits with a walk in the seventh. Hudson, an infielder, got the only 1-2-3 inning of the night by a Rattler pitcher in the eighth. Wu and Hudson became the first Wisconsin position players to appear on the mound in a game since Corey Freeman pitched 1-2/3 innings against the Peoria Chiefs on July 7, 2002. In that game, Freeman struck out a pair and retired all five batters he faced.

FOUR STRAIGHT: Wisconsin has homered in four consecutive games. Michael Saunders homered on Thursday; Curt Ledbetter hit one on Friday; and Prosise went deep on Saturday; Casey Craig launched one last night.

THE CRUELEST MONTH: The Rattlers are 8-18 in May.

ON THE ROAD: The Rattlers have dropped below the .500 mark in road games this season. They are now 11-12.

MISSING ON TWO: The Rattlers haven’t won two straight games since beating Cedar Rapids at Veterans Memorial Stadium on May 5 & 6.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Burlington Bees are the Midwest League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. They are 23-24 and in 4th place in the Midwest League Western Division. In their most recent series, the Bees split a four game series with the Beloit Snappers at Pohlman Field.

VS. BURLINGTON IN ’06: The Rattlers went 1-3 against the Bees at Fox Cities Stadium last week. The Rattlers were 5-3 at Community Field in 2005.

OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Michael Penn was an 11th round pick of the Royals out of the University of Michigan in the 2005 draft. He was 7-2 with a 2.79ERA in fourteen starts for the Wolverines. Penn went 0-1 with a 5.09ERA in five starts for Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League last season. He beat the Rattlers on May 22nd at Fox Cities Stadium. The Rattlers got to him for five runs (four earned) on eleven hits over six innings. But, Penn struck out five without issuing a walk for his third win of the year.

Sunday in the MWL

@Kane County 19, Wisconsin 5 -- Yuck. Double Yuck. I haven't run a picture in this regular feature, but what the heck. This is from the Kane County Chronicle.

This is Jose Pineda after his homer put the Cougars up 18-5.

@South Bend 4, Dayton 3 -- Pedro Ciriaco was the hero for the Hawks. Drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth. Made a defensive play to save the game in the ninth.

Lansing 2, @Fort Wayne 0 -- The Wizards are going to be casting a "Do not return" spell on the Lugnuts. They got swept at home and have lost five straight games -- all to Lansing.

@Beloit 7, Burlington 2 -- This was a close game. Until the Snappers scored five runs in the eighth.

West Michigan 12, @Southwest Michigan 6 -- The folks in Battle Creek think that this game was a rout. Hah!

Cedar Rapids 4, @Quad Cities 3 -- The SWING missed on a chance for two straight wins. Kernel starter Tommy Mendoza had a lot to do with it.

Peoria 7, @Clinton 1 -- Todd Blackford pitches a great game for the Chiefs yesterday. The lede to the game story at the Peoria Journal-Star is Mark Prior starting for the Chiefs today.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Another day, another player off the 66ers roster. Chris Colton was 3-for-4 with a homer, two RBI, and three runs scored.

Good job by Eric O'Flaherty in his appearance with San Antonio yesterday with a 1-1/3 scoreless innings and three strikeouts.

Mariner System Report (Games of 5/28)

Seattle (MAJ: 22-30; T-3rd AL West): The Mariners lost 4-3 in ten innings at Minnesota. Lew Ford homered off Eddie Guardado to lead off the bottom of the tenth for the win. Joel Pineiro (WI ’98) gave up three runs on nine hits over 6-2/3 innings for a no decision. Rafael Soriano (WI ’00) pitched 1-2/3 innings allowing no runs and striking out three.

Tacoma (AAA – 24-24; 3rd PCL Pacific Northern Division): Tacoma lost 6-4 to Colorado Springs. Clint Nageotte (WI ’01) gave up six hits, struck out six, and gave up four runs for the loss. Michael Garciaparra (WI ’03) drove in a pair of runs for the Rainiers. The Rainiers trailed 6-0 in the fifth inning.

San Antonio (AA – 18-29; 4th Texas League South Division): The Missions lost 5-3 to Wichita. It was the second day in a row San Antonio lost by a 5-3 score to the Wranglers. Jason Mackintosh (WI ’04) got a no decision for the Missions. He allowed three runs on five hits over 6-2/3 innings. San Antonio tied the game 3-3 with single runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Stephen Kahn (WI ’05) made his Double-A debut and gave up a two-run triple in the top of the ninth inning to take the loss.

Inland Empire (High-A – 31-19; 1st California League South Division): Inland Empire won their ninth straight game with a 12-2 victory at High Desert. The 66ers hit four home runs and Robert Rohrbaugh (WI ’05) gave up one run over seven innings with no walks and five strikeouts. Mike Wilson (WI ’05), Omar Falcon (WI ’05), Chris Colton (WI ’05), and Reed Eastley hit the homers. Colton was 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBI for Inland Empire.


Seattle (Jarrod Washburn 3-5) at Texas (John Rheinecker 0-0) 7:05pm CDT
Colorado Springs (Mike Esposito 2-4) at Tacoma (Francisco Cruceta 2-3) 3:35pm CDT
Tulsa (Ubaldo Jimenez 4-2) at San Antonio (Ryan Feierabend 1-4) 7:05pm CDT

Inland Empire – OFF DAY

Take a few moments

Before starting with regular programming, take a break in your day and remember what Memorial Day is about.

From arlingtoncemetery.org

From John Lyon VFW Post #3150

Thank you for all your sacrifice.


Sunday's Game in a word


As in Good Ole Fashioned Whuppin'.

I can't think of anything else to call a 19-5 loss to the Evil Empire.

Box score HERE.

There is a bus I have to catch. Talk to you from Burlington, Iowa.

Game Notes for 5/28

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Rattlers scored three times in the top of the ninth inning and held on for an 8-6 win over the Cougars. Nick Prosise homered and drove in four runs for the Rattlers. Nick Allen pitched 2-1/3 innings of scoreless relief for his second win. Joe Woerman worked a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.

SNAPPING STREAKS: Wisconsin’s victory ended a pair of streaks. The Rattlers snapped a four game losing streak. The Cougars had a nine game winning streak ended.

JUST LIKE YOU DRAW IT UP: The Rattlers trailed 6-5 heading into the top of the ninth inning. Eddy Hernandez started the inning with a single. Ron Garth tried to bunt him over, but popped the ball up. The ball dropped in a caromed back toward the plate after a collision between first baseman Steve Kleen and pitcher Steven Sharpe. Casey Craig drew a 4-pitch walk to load the bases. Curt Ledbetter drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly. Luis Valbuena drew another walk to reload the bases.

WINNING PLAY: Prosise sent a slow grounder to third. Jeff Baisley threw to second for a force out of Valbuena, but a hard slide by Valbuena took out second baseman Frank Martinez and force a wild throw to first. Prosise reached safely; Garth scored; and Craig beat the throw to the plate for an 8-6 lead.

MAKING IT INTERESTING: Woerman retired the first two Cougars he faced in the bottom of the ninth, but gave up a bloop single and two walks to load the bases. Woerman got the final out when Mike Massaro grounded into a force play.

IT DIDN’T GO TO ELEVEN: Sharpe blew a save for the first time this season by giving up three in the ninth inning last night. He had been ten for ten in save opportunities before last night.

FIRST AS A PRO: Prosise hit his first professional home run last night. His two-run shot in the top of the sixth inning tied the game 5-5.

HOW LONG? Last night’s game of 3 hours and 49 minutes was the longest nine inning game of the season for the Rattlers. A 1 hour and 20 minute rain delay before the first pitch meant that the game didn’t get started until 7:20pm.

RARITIES: Last night was just the second time the Rattlers have won a game they trailed heading into the ninth inning. The only other time that has occurred this season for Wisconsin was April 19 against Southwest Michigan, when the Rattlers scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 4-3 win. Last night was also just the fourth time the Rattlers have won a game when they have allowed five or more runs.

THREE STRAIGHT: Wisconsin has homered in three consecutive games. Michael Saunders homered on Thursday; Curt Ledbetter hit one on Friday; and Prosise went deep last night.

GOING FOR TWO: The Rattlers haven’t won two straight games since beating Cedar Rapids at Veterans Memorial Stadium on May 5 & 6.

OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Jason Ray was an 8th round pick out of Asuza Pacific University in the 2005 draft. Ray was 5-2 with an ERA of 3.58 in his final season with the APU Cougars. Last season as a member of the Vancouver Canadians, Ray went 0-1 with a 2.12 ERA in twenty relief appearances. In his last start, Ray won his fourth straight decision with a victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels. On May 22, he gave up one run on two hits over five innings at Memorial Stadium. Ray beat the Rattlers on May 17 at Elfstrom Stadium in a rain-shortened game. He pitched six shutout innings and gave up three hits and struck out three for a complete game shutout.

Sunday Reading

Since there is a night game on a Sunday, I figured it would be okay to have a lot of articles to check out in this week's Sunday Reading post.

So, you want to be an official scorer. You want the glamorous life of watching a lot of baseball. How hard can it be? Brett at RattlersReport.com has a chat with Jay Grusznski, the Rattlers official scorer today. Good to see Brett spelled Jay's name right.

Striking umpire Cory Hinga misses baseball. Jeff Karzen of the Battle Creek Enquirer has a story on the Kalamazoo native that also covers player expectations of umpires (with a surprising dissent), the financial issues at stake for the strikers, and manages to get one of the replacement umps and Midwest League President George Spelius on the record. Good stuff.

John O'Donnell Stadium turns 75 years old this weekend. Steve Batterson at the Quad-City Times dives into the newspaper morgue and microfilm projectors and comes up with gold like this:

Four future members of the Baseball Hall of Fame — Satchel
Paige, Cool Papa Bell, Rogers Hornsby and Johnny Mize — participated in an exhibition between major-league players and the Negro National League All Stars at Municipal Stadium on Oct. 1, 1936.

If you are a baseball history buff, there is more from Batterson and the QC Times to read. This is an article on the pro teams that played there before 1931. Teams like the 1879 Davenport Brown Stockings of the Northwestern League.

Like Milwaukee County Stadium, John O'Donnell Stadium hosted other events to help pay the bills. Like The Rumble on the River.

Tom Hardricourt's Sunday column at jsonline.com covers a bunch of stuff. The upcoming draft and whom to take if you are the Brewers; Junior dropping expletive deleteds; and former UW-Whitewater Warhawk Bob Wickman getting his first win since August 10, 2002 among other things.

Larry Stone at The Seattle Times is looking at the draft, too. Pitchers. College pitchers. Lots of 'em. Some of the names in that story may be headed to Fox Cities Stadium at some point in their career.

Note that both Stone and Hardricourt make it a point to get the fact that Long Beach State third baseman Evan Longoria is not related to Eva Longoria into their columns.

Not much to this story in the San Antonio News-Express, but there is a lot to interest Rattler fans. Former Rattler Brandon Moorhead (WI '04) was released by the Mariners. Justin Jordan (WI '05) got sent back down to Inland Empire. Getting promoted to the Missions were Eric O'Flaherty (WI '05) and Stephen Kahn (WI '05).

Basically the same story at sbsun.com, but from a 66er perspective. Also a note about the 20 run, 27-hit performance the other night.

Are you a Cub fan? Do you think you need therapy? Why not try and do what Transmission over a The Cub Reporter did in his post The Makings of a Disaster: A Chronology? It is a minute-by-minute recap of the loss to the Braves on Friday. A taste:

Ninth Inning
4:04 – Aunt hangs up, I turn to TV and see that Dempster’s given up consecutive singles to start the ninth, putting the tying runs on first and second. What’s happening to Dempster???

4:05 – One of those wild pitches where the pitch was wild, but Barrett doesn’t shift over to try to block it, just goes for the backhand. Misses, and the tying runs advance to second and third. A walk to Giles loads the bases, no outs.

4:10 – I really have to pee, but can’t stand the thought of missing the latest Cubs implosion. 3-2 count on Renteria, bases loaded no outs.

4:11 – Renteria walks, to score another run. 5-4. Hear the sound of a slow, steady drip of water? That’s not Water Torture, it’s the drizzle before the flood. Chipper’s up.

4:13 – Dempster K’s Chipper on a 3-2 slider, with a weak swing by Chipper. Dodged Bullet No. 1, with Bullet No. 2, Andruw, coming to bat.

4:14 – Andruw Jones has very stylish sunglasses.

You know the rest, but the whole thing is very cathartic.

Is this good news or bad news for Cub fans? Mark Prior will pitch for Peoria against Kane County on Monday. Bad news, I think, because it actually gives us hope. But, he'll go about 45 pitches against the Cougars to get ready to head back to Wrigley.

The Milwaukee Admirals spent years in the International Hockey League and never won the Turner Cup. The have a chance to win the Calder Cup in the American Hockey League for the second time in three years, because they swept the Grand Rapids Griffins in the Western Conference Finals. Awaiting them are either the Portland Pirates or the Hershey Bears.

Let's see, former Gambler Tim Stapleton is on the Pirates roster along with a smattering of former USHLers when I did the play-by-play for the Gamblers.

Former Badger goalie Kirk Daubensbach and former US Junior National Team member Dave Steckel are with the Bears, but none of the other names stand out.

I think that I would like to see Portland win to face the Admirals if only because of this from their front page. I realize that it has already happened, but it still is neat-o.

All Pirates fans have been invited to pass along their good luck wishes and support for the team on Sunday before the team leaves for Game 7 in Hershey. The Pirates bus will depart from the Cumberland County Civic Center on Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. The bus will leave on the Spring Street side of the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Saturday in the MWL

Wisconsin 8, @Kane County 6 -- I think this story gets better when you read it he next day, even if it is kind of short.

@South Bend 4, Dayton 2 -- Hawks score three in the eighth and 7'-1" Ryan Doherty is 4-0 for South Bend. Oddly, a guy named Trey delivers a three-run double for the three run eighth.

Lansing 10, @Fort Wayne 4 -- The Lugnuts continue to beat up on the Wizards. Who knew that small pieces of metal could not be affected by powerful mages? Steve Warden, the Wizard beat writer, is having some weird thoughts about what should be done to the Lansing bats.

West Michigan 7, @Southwest Michigan 1 -- Whitecaps roll over the Devil Rays.

Peoria 6, @Clinton 4 -- Chiefs actually hold a lead against the L-Kings. Ed Campusano gets save number fifteen on the season.

@Beloit 4, Burlington 3 -- Edward Ovalle is the hero. Game-winning, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth. Snappers scored three in the ninth. Second time the Bees have lost like this in a week.

@Quad Cities 4, Cedar Rapids 0 -- The SWING got some pitching. Kyle Sadlowski gave up two hits over eight innings to beat the Kernels.

Complete Scoreboard HERE.

Mariner Alum of the Day

Brian Schweiger has reason to smile. He homered knocked in four runs and helped the 66ers to their eighth win in a row.

Mariner System Report (Games of 5/27)

Seattle (MAJ: 22-29; 3rd AL West): The Mariners lost 9-5 at Minnesota. Seattle scored four times in the top of the second inning for a 4-1 lead. But Jamie Moyer gave up eight runs on eleven hits over six innings for a loss. Former Appleton Fox Raul Ibanez homered and knocked in three runs for the Mariners. The Twins turned a triple play in the eighth inning to stop a Mariner rally cold.

Tacoma (AAA – 24-23; 3rd PCL Pacific Northern Division): Tacoma beat Colorado Springs 10-6. Shin-soo Choo (WI ’02) went 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. Todd Sears had a pair of hits and three RBI. Cha Seung Baek (WI ’00) gave up five runs over 5-2/3 innings, but got the win. Renee Cortez (WI ’03) pitched the final 1-2/3 innings for his second save.

San Antonio (AA – 18-28; 4th Texas League South Division): The Missions lost 5-3 to Wichita. The score was tied 3-3, but the Wranglers scored a run in the eight and a run in the ninth for the win. Sebastien Boucher (WI ’05) and Wladimir Balentien (WI ’04) each had a hit and scored a run for the Missions.

Inland Empire (High-A – 30-19; 1st California League South Division): Inland Empire beat High Desert 6-4 for their eighth straight win. Brian Schweiger (WI ’06) homered and drove in four runs for the 66ers. Mumba Rivera (WI ’05) pitched four scoreless innings in relief for his fourth win of the season. Mark Lowe (WI ’05) got the save by pitching the final two innings.


Seattle (Joel Pineiro 4-5) at Minnesota (Johan Santana 4-4) 1:10pm CDT
Colorado Springs (Justin Hampson 2-1) at Tacoma (Clint Nageotte 5-2) 3:35pm CDT
Wichita (Kyle Middleton 3-3) at San Antonio (Jason Mackintosh 3-0) 4:05pm CDT
Inland Empire (Robert Rohrbaugh 3-0) at High Desert (Billy Buckner 6-0) 5:05pm CDT


Saturday's Game in a Word


Complete boxscore of the comeback win over the Cougars is HERE.

Edit: Added link to boxscore.

I need to be more optimistic

The game is under way.

Tune in at the link on the left.

Rain Delay Theater

Tonight's game isn't going to start on time. The optimistic look is a start time between 7:00pm and 7:30pm CDT. I'm not that optimistic about the start time, but i am positive there will be a game tonight.

At least they are going to run Baseball Bugs on the video board here.

If you are interested, someone at U.S.S. Mariner did a deconstruction of Baseball Bugs that has to be read to be believed. (Hat tip: Deadspin.com)

A taste:
In a tense confrontation at home, we see the Gorillas replace the umpire by force with one of their own so that they can call Bunny out at home in the next play. Bunny, to his credit, then manages to argue the fake umpire into reversing his own call. It is a rare application of mental acuity and misdirection in debate that persuaded the umpire to change the call – against the interests of his own team – and allow Bunny to score again.

For those that say that arguing with umpires is guaranteed not to help and is frequently harmful, this will stand as a powerful counter-example. If a player impersonating an ump can be turned to reverse a call in those circumstances, what chance does a neutral
arbitrator have against a similarly golden-tongued player?

We can only hope that a real umpire, faced with the same kind of oratory jujitsu, would have the presence of mind to focus on the events and continue to make the right call.

Man, I love that cartoon.

Remember when the Cubs games on WGN-TV were in a rain delay and they ran old World Series or All-Star Game Highlight Films?

This one still makes me cringe. The 1970 All-Star Game that ended when Pete Rose ran over Ray Fosse. The highlight is at the link. The AP picture -- from mlb.com -- is below.

In a game with players like Henry Aaron, Frank Howard, Boog Powell, Frank Robinson, Tony Perez, and Carl Yastrezmski, who hit the only homer of that game?

Dick Dietz

This Sounds Painful

Have to credit TK in the Rattler front office for pointing this Brad Zimanek column in the Post-Crescent out to me.

Anything that is headlined, Foster steps up to the plate, then swings and misses should probably be read.

In truth, I saw the selection of former Reds slugger George Foster as the guest speaker at the NCAA Division III World Series Welcome Banquet and was a bit puzzled by the choice. I remeber Foster as a player who hit 52 homers in a season and was a big part of The Big Red Machine. I don't remeber him as being very friendly with the media or a go to guy for publice speaking.

Full disclosure: I bought a book called The George Foster Story from Dick's Market across the street from my house when I was a kid. It was an interesting story of growing up poor, struggling to become an everyday player in the majors, and becoming one of the most feared hitters of the 1970's. That book may still be in my parent's basement (They don't throw anything away.)

If Foster had read the entire book to those in attendance it might have gone better. But, he didn't. So, Brad got to write stuff like this:

An omen occurred prior to the dinner. Foster, never known
for his congeniality with reporters during his big league career, appeared in a hospitality room where The Post-Crescent approached him for an interview. He was, at best, disagreeable...

It didn't get any better at the podium, as Foster came unprepared.

Baseball is supposed to be a national language, but Foster didn't even understand the audience to which he was speaking.

Foster made comments that some of the players in Division III were playing there because they didn't qualify academically to play Division I. Actually, in many instances, Division III players have to meet much more rigorous standards just to get into the eight schools that were represented in this year's championship, much less graduate.

and this:

He also spoke of playing in the major leagues as being a realistic goal for the Division III players. In reality, playing in the major leagues is possible for only a small minority of Division III players, while being here this weekend — and possibly winning a national championship on Tuesday — could very well be the highlight of their athletic careers.
and this:

He gave away autographed photos of himself to all eight coaches of teams in the tournament. When he got up to speak, Foster said he was charging the coaches for them, and you couldn't tell if he was joking or not.
Read the whole thing as the man says.

Pitching Matchups for Burlington Series

These are the probable pitching matchups for the series between the Rattlers and the Bees at Community Field from May 29-June 1:

Mon, 5/29 -- LHP Paul Fagan (1-5, 5.48) vs. RHP Michael Penn (3-1, 4.15)
Tue, 5/30 -- LHP Harold Williams (0-1, 2.45) vs. RHP Matt Kniginyzky (5-2, 2.98)
Wed, 5/31 -- LHP Jose Escalona (4-4, 3.65) vs. RHP Carlos Rosa (4-3, 2.28)
Thu, 6/1 -- RHP Jason Snyder vs. RHP Michael Henninger (both pitch tonight)

All four games begin at 7:00pm CDT.

The Rattlers return to Fox Cities Stadium to face the Clinton LumberKings on June 2nd.

Game Notes for 5/27

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Kane County won their ninth game in a row by beating the Rattlers 5-2. A two-out, three-run rally in the bottom of the fifth broke a 2-2 tie. The Rattlers have lost four straight games overall and five straight to the Cougars at Elfstrom Stadium.

ONE SHY (x2): The Rattlers are one loss short of tying their longest losing streak of the season. The Rattlers lost five straight games from April 13-18. The Cougars are one win short of tying their franchise record winning streak. The Cougars won ten straight games in 1991, their first season in the Midwest League. This winning streak for the Cougars is the longest current win streak in minor league baseball.

FIRST TIME: Curtis Ledbetter blasted a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning to give the Rattlers a 2-1 lead. It was Ledbetter’s first home run as a Timber Rattler.

VANISHING LEAD: The Cougars tied the game on a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fourth by Jose Pineda.

BREAKING THE TIE: Rattler starting pitcher Jose Escalona retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the fifth. But, Nick Blasi singled to reach; took second on a wild pitch; and scored on a single by Frank Martinez. Jeff Baisley and Steve Kleen followed with consecutive RBI singles to put the Cougars up 5-2.

QUIET TIME: The Rattlers didn’t have another hit after the homer by Ledbetter. Wisconsin only had one base runner after the top of the fourth. Eddy Hernandez drew a lead off walk in the fifth. Three Cougar pitchers retired the final fifteen Rattler hitters in the game.

THE KANE COUNTY TRIO: Last night was the second game in row that saw the Rattlers get just three hits. In their last five losses at Kane County, Wisconsin has picked up 23 hits and nine of those hits came in the 8-7 loss on May 19.

BACK IN THE GROOVE? Rattler reliever Edgar Guaramato pitched 2-1/3 scoreless innings last night. That snapped a string of five straight appearances in which the Rattler right hander had allowed at least one run.

STILL SWINGING: Luis Valbuena extended his hitting streak to a season high eight games last night with a fourth inning single. Valbuena is 10-for-31 during the streak.

A PERFECT TEN: Cougar closer Steven Sharpe retired the side in order in the ninth inning. He is ten for ten in save opportunities this season.

RATTLERS ELEVEN: The Rattlers have fallen to a season low eleven games under .500 (18-29).

OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Jeff Gray was a 32nd round pick of the Athletics in 2004 out of Southwest Missouri State University. Last season Gray was 4-2 with a 2.51ERA for the Vancouver Canadians in the Northwest League. Gray faced Everett, the Mariners Northwest League affiliate, twice in ’05 and was 0-1 with an ERA of 7.59. In those two appearances, both starts, Gray pitched a total of 5-2/3 innings allowing five runs on seven hits. This is his second start against the Rattlers. Wisconsin beat him on May 16 at Elfstrom Stadium by getting four runs on six hits over six innings off the righty. In his last start, Gray got a no decision at Cedar Rapids. On May 21, he struck out six Kernels over six innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits in a game the Kernels eventually won.

Sorry for the double post

The Mariner System Report for Friday published twice. I know that I couldn't have possibly done anything wrong, so I am blaming Blogger.

The second post has been deleted. Sorry about that, Chief.

Friday night in the MWL

@Kane County 5, Wisconsin 2 -- Depends on how you look at it. Nine straight wins for the Cougars. Four straight losses for the Rattlers.

Burlington 6, @Beloit 1 -- The Snappers feel the Sting of the Bees. Again.

Lansing 5, @Fort Wayne 3 -- Four run top of the first was enough for the Lugnuts. Especially the way things are going for the Wizards offense.

@South Bend 2, Dayton 1 -- South Bend breaks a 1-1 and wins on a one-out RBI single...in the bottom of the second?

@Clinton 5, Peoria 4 (10 innings) -- The L-Kings rally to beat the Chiefs for the second night in a row. Donny Veal had a no-hitter into the sixth and a 3-0 lead, but Clinton won against the Chief bullpen.

West Michigan 4, @Southwest Michigan 3 -- The Devil Rays are served Justice! Justice crashes into a wall! Justice drives in winning run! Justice! Coming this fall to ABC!

Cedar Rapids 3, @Quad Cities 2 -- Kernels edge Swing to snap a five game losing streak.

Complete Scoreboard HERE.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Marshall Hubbard, Inland Empire.

Hard to argue with 5-for-6 with a homer and 5RBI. Hubbard had two games almost exactly like this last season for the Rattlers.

Special Notice for Cesar Jimenez, who got his first Triple-A win with a nice outing for Tacoma last night. Jimenez gave up two runs in the first inning, but bounced back to keep Colorado Springs off the scoreboard for the rest of his outing.

Mariner System Report (Games of 5/26)

Seattle (MAJ: 22-28; 3rd AL West): The Mariners lost 3-1 at Minnesota. Felix Hernandez (WI ’03) gave up three runs on five hits over seven innings and struck out eight, but got the loss. The offense scored one run in the seventh inning, but it wasn’t enough.

Tacoma (AAA – 23-23; 3rd PCL Pacific Northern Division): Tacoma beat Colorado Springs 5-2. Cesar Jimenez (WI ’03) got his first win in Triple-A by going six innings and allowing two runs. Adam Jones (WI ’04) had a bases loaded triple in the bottom of the fifth inning to put the Rainiers in front to stay. Emiliano Fruto (WI ’02) pitched the final three innings without allowing a run for the save.

San Antonio (AA – 18-27; 4th Texas League South Division): San Antonio lost to Wichita 7-6. Wladimir Balentien (WI ’04) went 4-for-5 with two RBI for the Missions. The Wranglers scored five times in the sixth inning to go in front 6-2.

Inland Empire (High-A – 29-19; 1st California League South Division): Inland Empire beat up High Desert 20-7. Mike Wilson, Omar Falcon, Marshall Hubbard, and Josh Womack all homered for the 66ers. Hubbard (WI ’05) was 5-for-6 with five RBI; Wilson (WI ’06) was 4-for-6 with three RBI and four runs scored. Jon Lockwood (WI ’05) got the win in relief by pitching 3-1/3 innings of scoreless ball. The 66ers won their seventh straight game by breaking a 7-7 tie with two runs in the top of the fifth and never looking back.


Seattle (Jamie Moyer 2-4) at Minnesota (Boof Bonser 0-0) 7:10pm CDT
Colorado Springs (Jose Acevedo 0-2) at Tacoma (Cha Seung Baek 3-3) 8:05pm CDT
Wichita (Junior Herndon 3-2) at San Antonio (Nate Mateo 2-4) 7:05pm CDT

Inland Empire (Aaron Jensen 0-0) at High Desert (John Gragg 0-1) 9:05pm CDT


Friday's Game in a Word

Actually its with seven r's as in ARRRRRRRGH!!!!!

Fourth loss in a row. Second game in a row with just three hits. No hits after Ledbetter's homer.

Complete Boxscore HERE.

Game Notes for 5/26

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Jeff Baisley hit three home runs and drove in five as the Cougars mauled the Timber Rattlers 11-3 at Elfstrom Stadium. Jared Lansford gave up two hits over seven shutout innings for his fourth win of the season.

LANSFORD DEALS: Lansford won his second straight start against the Rattlers. He has gone thirteen innings without allowing a run to Wisconsin’s offense. Lansford has given up just three hits over those thirteen innings. He has struck out five and walked eight in those two games.

THERE WERE BASERUNNERS: Last night, the Rattler hitters drew eight walks and got hit three times in addition to the five total hits.

THERE WERE TWIN KILLINGS: Kane County turned four double plays last night, including three behind Lansford.

BREAKING UP THE SHUTOUT: Michael Saunders three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning gave the Rattlers their runs and helped the team to avoid being shutout for the sixth time this season. Last night was the third time this month that the Rattlers have avoided a shutout by scoring at least one run in the eighth or ninth inning.

BAISLEY BLASTS: Baisley hit his three homers off three different Rattler pitchers. His first was a solo homer off Rattler starter Harold Williams in the second. His second was a two-run shot off Ruben Flores in the sixth. The final blast was a two-run homer off Rollie Gibson in the eighth. For his performance last night, Baisley was named Star of the Day on milb.com.

BAD TRIFECTA: Not only did last night mark the third straight loss for the Rattlers; it also was the third straight game the opponents have scored ten or more runs in a game. The Rattlers have been outscored 33-11 and outhit 43-18.

SLOW STARTS: In the month of May, the opponents have scored first in seventeen out of twenty-three games. In those seventeen games in which the opponents have scored first this month, Wisconsin is 4-13.

BIG SCORES: Opponents have scored five or more runs 23 times this season. The Rattlers are 3-20 when opponents score more than five runs in a game.

TOUGH STREAK: Rattler reliever Rollie Gibson walked the first batter he faced last night. The first batter to face Gibson in a game has reached base in ten consecutive games. Gibson has issued eight walks and given up a pair of singles to the first batter he has faced during the streak.

SEASON RECORD: The Rattlers have slipped to a season low ten games under .500 (18-28).

ON THE ROAD: The Timber Rattlers are 10-10 away from home this season, but have lost four straight road games -- all to Kane County.

OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Victor Mazzaro was a third round pick of the Athletics out of Rutherford (NJ) High School in the 2005 draft. He did not sign with Oakland until September and did not play professionally last season. In his last start, Mazzaro pitched seven shutout innings at Cedar Rapids against the Kernels. He gave up six hits, walked one and struck out four. This is Mazzaro’s first appearance against the Timber Rattlers and against an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

Thursday Night in the MWL

@Kane County 11, Wisconsin 3 -- No matter which paper you read, it wasn't pretty for the Rattlers last night.

Dayton 3, @South Bend 2 -- Johnny Cueto stays on a roll for Dayton by allowing two hits over seven scoreless innings. South Bend made it close with a late homer, but not close enough.

@Southwest Michigan 5, West Michigan 4 -- Devil Ray pitcher Mike Wlodarczyk's scoreless streak ended at 49 innings. The Devil Rays squeaked out a run in the eighth for the win.

@Clinton 4, Peoria 3 -- Clinton scored four in the eighth and the Chiefs are 1-1/2 games behind the Cougars.

Lansing 5, @Fort Wayne 3 -- Fort Wayne scored three in the ninth. It was not enough.

Burlington 4, @Beloit 2 -- Can anyone stop the Bees? Not the Snappers.

@Quad Cities 1, Cedar Rapids 0 -- The SWING get one run and make it stand up. Kernel pitcher Nick Adenhart (7-1) tastes bitter defeat for the first time this season.

Complete Scoreboard HERE.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Brandon Moorhead, San Antonio.

Six shutout innings, five hits allowed, and he made the one Mission run (and hit) stand up for the victory.

Mariner System Report (Games of 5/25)

Seattle (MAJ: 22-27; 3rd AL West): The Mariners lost 2-0 to Baltimore. Gil Meche (WI ’98) gave up two runs on four hits and struck out ten, but took the loss. The Mariner offense managed just two hits in the game.

Tacoma (AAA – 22-23; 3rd PCL Pacific Northern Division): Tacoma lost 4-1 at Memphis. Bobby Livingston (WI ’03) gave up three solo home runs and got the loss. Hunter Brown (WI ’02) drove in the only run for the Rainiers.

San Antonio (AA – 18-26; 4th Texas League South Division):
The Missions beat Wichita 1-0. Luis Oliveros (WI ’02) had an RBI double in the second inning for the Missions. That double was the only hit of the game for San Antonio. Brandon Moorhead (WI ’04) pitched six shutout innings for the win.

Inland Empire (High-A – 28-19; 1st California League South Division): Inland Empire beat Lake Elsinore 5-3. Shawn Nottingham (WI ’05) got the win. Eric O’Flaherty (WI ’05) pitched the final two innings for his first save of the season. Brent Johnson (WI ’05) had a pair of hits and scored a run. Matt Tuiasosopo (WI ’05) drove in a run for the 66ers in their sixth straight win.


Seattle (Felix Hernandez 3-5) at Minnesota (Francisco Liriano 2-0) 7:10pm CDT
Colorado Springs (John Asahina 1-2) at Tacoma (Cesar Jimenez 0-4) 8:05pm CDT
Wichita (Juan Cedeno 0-5) at San Antonio (Travis Blackley 4-2) 7:05pm CDT
Inland Empire at High Desert 9:05pm CDT


Thursday's Game in a Word


That was the number of the truck that hit the Rattlers Tonight.

Jeff Baisley (#9) had three homers. Jared Lansford kept the Rattlers off the scoreboard, if not the basepaths, and Kane County beat Wisconsin 11-3.

Lansford hit two, walked five, and allowed two hits, but the Rattlers couldn't get anything going.

Try again tomorrow.

Game Notes for 5/25

ABOUT TUESDAY: The Burlington Bees defeated the Rattlers 10-3 at Fox Cities Stadium. Burlington banged out thirteen hits and scored in double digits for the second game in a row.

DEEP SIX: The Bees led 2-1 heading into the top of the sixth inning. Rattler starting pitcher Paul Fagan gave up a double, a walk, and a single to the first three hitters of the inning to load the bases. Fagan walked the next batter, gave up an RBI single and a sacrifice fly to be forced from the game with the Rattlers down 5-1. Two runs scored on errors after reliever Nick Allen entered the game and two more scored on a long homer by Mario Lisson for a 7-run sixth to put the game out of reach.

STREAKS CONTINUE: Rattler third baseman Ron Garth singled in the fourth inning and drove in a run in the eighth. Garth is on an 8-game hitting streak and has driven in a run in five of his last six games.

ANOTHER STREAK: Rattler reliever Edgar Guaramato got into the game on Tuesday and gave up one run in two innings. Guaramato has allowed at least one run in each of his last five outings.

SLOW STARTS: In the month of May, the opponents have scored first in seventeen out of twenty-two games. The Rattlers record for May is 7-15.

BIG SCORES: Opponents have scored five or more runs 22 times this season. The Rattlers are 3-19 when opponents score more than five runs in a game.

SEASON RECORD: The Rattlers have slipped to a season low nine game under .500 (18-27).

HOME AIN’T SWEET: The Rattlers are 8-18 at Fox Cities Stadium this season. The Rattlers have not won a home series this season. They split 4-game series with Peoria and Southwest Michigan; were swept in a three game series with Cedar Rapids; dropped two of three games with Quad Cities; and dropped three of four to West Michigan, Dayton, and Burlington,

ON THE ROAD: The Timber Rattlers are 10-9 away from home this season, but have lost three straight road games.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Kane County Cougars are the Midwest League affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. They are 29-18 and in first place in the Western Division. In their most recent series, the Cougars swept a four game series with the Cedar Rapids Kernels at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The Cougars are on a seven game winning streak.

VS. KANE COUNTY IN ’06: The Timber Rattlers went 1-3 against the Cougars at Elfstrom Stadium last week. Wisconsin won the first game of the series, but the Cougars took the final three of the series.

PROSPECTING: BASEBALL AMERICA’S Top 30 List of Oakland prospects includes five members of the current Cougar roster. Pitchers Vince Mazzaro (#10), Jared Lansford (#12), and Jason Ray (#22) are joined on the list by infielders Justin Sellers (#17) and Jeff Baisley (#30). Craig Italiano, number eight on Oakland’s Top 30 list, is currently on the disabled list. The Cougars have fourteen members of the Oakland 2005 draft class on their current roster, not including Italiano. Lansford (2nd) and Mazzaro (3rd) are the highest of the ’05 draftees. Also from last year’s class are: Sellers (6th), Ray (8th), Trey Shields (9th), John Herrera (10th), Steve Kleen (11th), Baisley (12th), Mike Massaro (13th), Jeff Bieker (15th), Isaac Omura (17th), Anthony Recker (18th), Ron Madej (26th), and TJ Franco (30th).

OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Jared Lansford was a second round pick of the Athletics in 2005 draft out of Santa Clara High School. He was 0-1 with a 1.27ERA for the AZL Athletics in 2005. In 21-1/3 innings he struck out 20 and walked just five. In his last start, Lansford beat the Rattlers on May 19. In that game – his first against an affiliate of the Mariners – he gave up just one hit and no runs over six innings with three walks and four strikeouts. Earlier this season, he tossed a seven inning no-hitter against the Beloit Snappers on May 14 in the first game of a doubleheader at Pohlman Field. Lansford is the son of former major leaguer Carney Lansford.

Rattler Alum of the Day

TJ Bohn, Tacoma Rainiers.

1-for-4 at the plate, but a big defensive play to end the game to help the Rainiers beat Memphis.

Mariner System Report (Games of 5/24)

Seattle (MAJ: 22-26; 3rd AL West): The Mariners beat Baltimore 7-4. Seattle scored six times in the second inning to go up 7-0. Richie Sexson drove in three runs. Jarrod Washburn went 5-2/3 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits for the win.

Tacoma (AAA – 22-22; 3rd PCL Pacific Northern Division): Tacoma held off Memphis 6-5. The Redbirds scored three times in the bottom of the ninth inning. TJ Bohn (WI ’03) threw out the potential tying run at the plate for the final out of the game. Greg Dobbs (WI ’02) hit his seventh home run of the season for Tacoma.

San Antonio (AA – 17-26; 4th Texas League South Division): San Antonio lost 17-2 at Tulsa. The Drillers hammered six home runs in the game. Ryan Feierabend (WI ’04) gave up nine runs on nine hits (four home runs) over 2-2/3 innings for the loss. Justin Jordan (WI ’05) gave up five runs on ten hits (two homers) over 4-1/3 innings in his Double-A debut. Justin Ruchti (WI ’04) drove in one of the two runs for the Missions.

Inland Empire (High-A – 27-19; 1st California League South Division): The 66ers beat Lake Elsinore 12-6. Mike Wilson (WI ’05) was 3-for-3 with four runs scored. Josh Womack (WI ’05) homered for Inland Empire. Ivan Blanco (WI ’05) allowed four runs over five innings for the win. The game recap at sbsun.com is at the bottom of this story about Brian Schweiger (WI '05) going home, Jack Arroyo getting promoted, and the 66ers getting healthy.


Baltimore (Rodrigo Lopez 1-7) at Seattle (Gil Meche 4-2) 3:35pm CDT
Tacoma (Bobby Livingston 1-2) at Memphis (Anthony Reyes 1-1) 7:10pm CDT
Wichita (Brian Bass 1-0) at San Antonio (Brandon Moorhead 1-3) 7:05pm CDT

Lake Elsinore (Evan Meek 1-2) at Inland Empire (Shawn Nottingham 1-3) 9:11pm CDT


A Few Days Late.

But, please go check it out anyway.

Here is a story from Monday's Post-Crescent about the Pink Jerseys worn by the Rattlers and what wearing them meant to several members of the team.

Pitching Matchups for Kane County Series

Here are the starting pitchers for the series at Elfstrom Stadium. A place so great, the team gets to go back for the second time in a week.

THU Harold Williams (0-0, 2.12) @ Jared Lansford (3-1, 1.17)
FRI Jose Escalona (4-3, 2.95) @ Victor Mazzaro (4-4, 5.62)
SAT Jason Snyder (2-4, 4.79) @ Jeff Gray (2-4, 6.50)
SUN Justin Thomas (4-4, 2.53) @ Jason Ray (3-1, 3.46)

Tuesday in the MWL

Burlington 10, @Wisconsin 3 -- Bees smacked the Rattlers around and take 3-out-of-4 at Fox Cities Stadium.

@West Michigan 3, South Bend 0 -- Ramon Garcia tosses just 78 pitches, gives up one hit, and retires the final 23 batters he faced as the Whitecaps win.

@Lansing 4, Fort Wayne 3 -- Lugnuts get past the Wizards.

Kane County 6, @Cedar Rapids 5 -- In case you are kepping track, that is seven straight wins for the Cougars.

@Southwest Michigan 5, Dayton 4 -- I don't think that I have ever read the phrase "five unlikely runs" in a recap of a game in the hometown newspaper of the winning team. Plus, read about the gamesmanship by Devil Rays manager Skeeter Barnes.

@Peoria 1, Beloit 0 -- The Chiefs won 2-1 with two eighth inning runs on Monday. They win with one eighth inning run last night.

Clinton 4, @Quad Cities 2 -- Clinton gets outhit 7-4, but draws six walks for a win over the SWING.

Complete Scoreboard HERE.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Jason Mackintosh, San Antonio.

Mack is 3-0 after scattering eight hits over 7-1/3 innings to help the Missions get the win.
Edit: Added picture.

Mariner System Report (Games of 5/23)

Seattle (MAJ: 21-26; 3rd AL West): The Mariners lost 14-4 to the Orioles. Joel Pineiro (WI ’98) gave up five runs on ten hits over five innings for the loss. The Orioles scored nine times in the top of the ninth – four off JJ Putz (WI ’00).

Tacoma (AAA – 21-22; 3rd PCL Pacific Northern Division): Tacoma beat Memphis 5-2. Michael Garciaparra (WI ’03) had a two-run single in the top of the ninth inning to help the Rainiers rally. Tacoma scored three runs in the top of the ninth to snap a 2-2 tie. Renee Cortez (WI ’03) pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the win. Emiliano Fruto (WI ’02) gave pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.

San Antonio (AA – 17-25; 4th Texas League South Division): The Missions won 7-3 at Tulsa. Jason Mackintosh (WI ’04) pitched 7-1/3 innings and allowed two runs on eight hits for the win. Bryan LaHair (WI ’04) had four hits and three RBi for San Antonio.

Inland Empire (High-A – 26-19; 1st California League South Division): Inland Empire beat Lake Elsinore 2-1. Robert Rohrbaugh (WI ‘05) pitched five scoreless innings for the win. The offense was led by Reed Eastly’s home run and Brian Schweiger’s RBI single.


Baltimore (Kris Benson 6-3) at Seattle (Jarrod Washburn 2-5) 9:05pm CDT
Tacoma (Francisco Cruceta 1-3) at Memphis (Randy Leek 2-2) 12:10pm CDT
San Antonio (Ryan Feierabend 1-3) at Tulsa (Ubaldo Jimenez 3-2) 12:35pm CDT
Lake Elsinore (Michael Eckstrom 4-2) at Inland Empire (Ivan Blanco 4-2) 9:11pm CDT

EDIT: Corrected Tacoma's record to 21-22.


Tuesday's Game in a Word

Seven. And, just like in the movie, the bad guy won.

The Bees scored seven runs in the sixth inning to pull away for a 10-3 win.

The Rattlers are a season low nine games under .500. They are an amazing 8-18 at Fox Cities Stadium.

Tuesday's Box Score is HERE.

Game Notes for 5/23

ABOUT MONDAY: Burlington beat the Rattlers 12-5. The score was 6-5 Burlington heading into the seventh inning. The Bees put the game away with three runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth.

DOUBLE DIGITS: Burlington got to ten runs or more for the first time this month yesterday. It was only the third time they have reached double digits in the run column this season. Burlington also had eighteen hits yesterday, which is a new season high. That hit total raised their team batting average from .216 to .223. Burlington passed the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays in the team batting average rankings and is now in 13th place in the league.

FAMILIAR PROBLEM: The Rattlers loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the second inning after tying the game 4-4. However, the Rattlers could not push any more runs across the plate in the inning. The Rattlers are hitting just .167 (7-for-42) with the sacks full in 2006.

RATTLER BATTERS: Ron Garth had a base hit and an RBI yesterday. He is on a 7-game hitting streak and has knocked in at least one run in four of his last five games. Jeffery Dominguez was 1-for-5 yesterday and is 9-for-17 in his last four games.

TEN OFF THOMAS: Rattler starting pitcher Justin Thomas gave up ten hits over five innings yesterday. It was the first time as a pro he has given up ten hits in a game. Thomas took the loss yesterday because he gave up a solo homer to Miguel Vega in the top of the fifth inning that put the Bees in front 5-4.

BULLPEN STRUGGLES: Rattler reliever Jeff Gilmore gave up a homer to Antonio Sabatini in the sixth inning and four runs total over two innings. Gilmore has allowed three homers in his last 3-1/3 innings. Rollie Gibson gave up three runs in the eighth after walking the lead off batter. In fifteen relief appearances this season, Gibson has retired the first batter he faced just five times. The last times Gibson has entered a game the first batter he faced reached base. He has walked that first batter seven times and given up a pair of singles during the current streak.

WELCOME BACK: Catcher Nick Prosise was activated from the disabled list after yesterday’s game. The Rattlers are back to a full complement of players with the activation. Prosise was hitting .235 in six games before getting hurt with a high ankle sprain at Fort Wayne on April 26.

ROUGH STRETCH: The Rattlers are 2-8 in their last ten games. That is the lowest winning percentage for the team over any ten game period this season.

OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Chris Nicoll was the 3rd round pick of the Royals out of California-Irvine in the 2005 draft. He was 0-3 with a 3.62ERA in seven starts for Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League in 2005. In his last start, Nicoll got a no decision against the Lansing Lugnuts at Community Field on May 18. He allowed one run on three hits and struck out seven as the Bees picked up the win. In his six starts this season, Nicoll has only allowed more than one run once. That was when he gave up a pair of runs in a loss to Dayton on May 1. This is Nicoll’s first appearance against the Rattlers and also his first against an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.
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