Whatever Happened to...

Tanner Watson.

Tanner was a Rattler in 2002 and 2003. He made it to Inland Empire in 2004 and pitched three games for the 66ers in 2005, but was released by the Mariners.

Thanks to some Rattler fans who were at Pohlman Field this weekend, they pointed me to the Rockford RiverHawks of the independent fronteir League.

Watson pitched for them last season and was 4-4 in eight starts. He has been pitching well for the Hawks again this season. On Saturday, he worked seven scoreless innings for his sixth win of the season in an 11-0 Rockford victory.

The Pleasant Surprise

From the Seattle Times M's Notebook today.

The idea that Mark Lowe is a kid who came from nowhere is not quite right.

In fact, the 23-year-old rookie came from Class AA San Antonio, although he had been headed for AAA Tacoma when he got word en route to divert to Seattle to join the big-league club.

Read the entry and find out about the role Rafael Chaves (former Rattler and current Mariner pitching coach) had to bring Lowe to Seattle.

Game Notes for 7/31

ABOUT SUNDAY: The Rattlers fell 5-3 to the Snappers. Beloit jumped out to a 5-0 lead and couldn’t come all the way back.

KNOCK AROUND GUY: Marwin Vega allowed five runs in the loss as the starting pitcher for the Rattlers. It was the sixth time in fourteen starts this season in which Vega has allowed five or more runs.

SET ‘EM UP; SET ‘EM DOWN: Beloit starter Alexander Smit retired the first ten Rattlers he faced in Sunday’s game. Yesterday was the third game in a row in which a Snapper starting pitcher retired at least ten straight Rattler hitters. Yohan Pino set down eighteen in a row on Friday and Oswaldo Sosa retired thirteen straight.

LONG GONE: Robby Hudson’s three-run homer in the fifth inning accounted for the only Rattler runs of the game. The dinger was his fourth of the season.

CHANCES WERE: The Rattlers had the tying run at the plate or on base from the fifth inning through the ninth inning but could not get that run across the pay station.

STILL SCORELESS: Reliever Austin-Bibens-Dirkx did not allow a run in the bottom of the seventh to extend his scoreless streak to 12-1/3 innings. He also struck out a pair to give him nineteen strikeouts over fourteen innings this season.

STILL SCORELESS PT II: Reliever Brian Kappel worked a scoreless bottom of the eighth to extend his current scoreless streak to six innings.

SEASON LOW: The loss yesterday dropped the Rattlers to 39-68 on the season. This is a season low twenty-nine games under .500 for the season.

GOOD-BYE, JULY: Wisconsin is 10-18 with one game remaining in the month. They have been outscored 141-111 so far this month. The Rattlers are have hit .244 as a team in July. The pitching staff has an ERA of 4.40 this month.

OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Ryan Mullins was a 3rd round pick of the Twins in the 2005 draft out of Vanderbilt where he was a member of the first team All-SEC squad in his final season. Mullins was 3-0 with a 2.18ERA in eleven starts for Elizabethton in his first pro season. In his last start, Mullins took the loss at Burlington on July 26. He gave up two runs on five hits and three walks over five innings. This is his first appearance against the Rattlers and against an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

Sunday in the MWL

@Beloit 5, Wisconsin 3 -- Down 5-0, a three- run homer helps, but it ain't enough.

@South Bend 10, Cedar Rapids 7 -- Down 5-2, an 8-run fourth inning helps a lot.

@Fort Wayne 5, Southwest Michigan 4 -- A defensive catcher comes up with the big hit for the Wizards.

@Lansing 4, Burlington 3 -- Saturday, the Lugnuts scored two in the ninth for the win. Sunday, they scored three in the ninth for the win. What if they need four in the ninth tonight?

Dayton 8, @Peoria 6 -- Bobby Mosby's pinch-hit homer in the eighth is the difference.

Quad Cities 9, @Kane County 1 -- Big SWING for a win.

West Michigan 6, @Clinton 2 -- How about that Burke Badenhop? Eleven wins now for the Caps.

Complete Scoreboard HERE.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Cha Seung Baek, Tacoma.

Picked up his tenth win of the season for the former Rattler.

Mariner System Report (Games of 7/30)

Seattle (MAJ: 51-53; 4th AL West): The Mariners beat the Indians 7-3. Seattle took two out of three games in the series at Jacobs Field. Former Appleton Fox Raul Ibanez drove in a pair of runs during a four run ninth inning. JJ Putz (WI ’00) pitched a scoreless ninth for his twenty-second save.

Tacoma (AAA – 57-50; 2nd PCL Pacific Northern Division): Tacoma beat Oklahoma 8-7. Cha Seung Baek (WI ’00) struck out eight over six innings for his tenth win of the season. Bryan LaHair (WI ’04) drove in three runs and Chris Snelling (WI ’00) knocked in two for the Rainiers. Tacoma built an 8-1 lead and held on for the win.

San Antonio (AA – 49-56; 22-15 second half 1st Texas League South Division): San Antonio beat Midland 4-2. Sebastien Boucher (WI ’05) had three hits for the Missions. Eric O’Flaherty (WI ’05) got the final two outs of the game for his seventh save of the season.

Inland Empire (High-A – 56-49, 17-18 second half; T-3rd California League South Division): Inland Empire lost 3-1 to High Desert. Brent Johnson (WI ’05) drove in the only run for the 66ers.

Everett (Short Season-A – 19-22; 4th Northwest League West Division): Everett beat Spokane 6-2. Mike Schilling got the win and struck out five over five innings. Marcos Villezcas drove in three runs for the Sox second win in a row.

AZL M’s (Rookie – 15-17; 1-3 8th Arizona League): The Mariners lost 8-3 to the Giants.


Seattle (Gil Meche 9-5) at Cleveland (Adam Loewen 1-2) 6:05pm CDT
Oklahoma (John Danks 2-4) at Tacoma (Bobby Livingston 5-8) 9:05pm CDT
San Antonio (Robert Rohrbaugh 2-2) at Midland (Ray Aguilar 8-6) 7:00pm CDT
High Desert (Patrick Green 0-0) at Inland Empire (Cibney Bello 4-6) 9:11pm CDT
Spokane (Mike Wagner 2-3) at Everett (Steve Uhlmansiek 2-1) 9:05pm CDT
AZL Mariners – OFF DAY


If Sunday's Game Were a Movie...

it would be:

Disney science fiction. It isn't very good. But, it is somewhat descriptive of what has happened to the Rattlers in this series.

The Rattlers are getting into a black hole by falling behind in each of the first three games against the Snappers. And it is like they pass the event horizon. Once they pass it there is no return.

Get 'em tomorrow.

Complete Box Score HERE.

Game Notes for 7/30

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Rattlers lost 9-3 to the Snappers. Erik Lis hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Oswaldo Sosa pitched six strong innings for his ninth win of the season.

THIRTEEN O’CLOCK: Sosa retired the first thirteen Rattler batters of the game. The first hit he allowed was a one out single by Adam Moore in the top of the fifth.

EXTRA OUTS: The Rattlers had a pair of chances to turn an inning ending double play in the bottom of the first inning. An error on the first attempt kept the inning alive. Then, Edward Ovalle beat the throw to first on the second try. Lis followed with a long homer off Jose Escalona and the Snappers led 3-0.

BIG DEFICIT: The Snappers scored three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning for a 6-0 lead. The biggest deficit the Rattlers have comeback from this season is four runs.

TAKING THE FIFTH: Escalona was knocked out of the game after 4-2/3 innings. In 21 starts this season, Escalona has gone five or fewer innings in fourteen of those starts.

STOP, THIEF! Rattler catcher Adam Moore threw out two of three would be base stealers. He has a 30.4% (7-for-23) success rate in throwing them out this season.

ASSISTS, PLEASE: The Rattler defense recorded three outfield assists last night. Eddy Hernandez got one assist. Alex Gary threw out a pair of runners at third base.

NOT IN PLAY: At the plate, Gary went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts last night. Gary has struck out 57 times in 115 at bats this season. That is a strikeout percentage of .496.

NOT IN PLAY II: Rattler reliever Harold Williams did not allow a hit over 2-1/3 scoreless innings. But, he did walk three batters to push his Midwest League leading walk total to 68.

HOT AND COLD: Robby Hudson is 0-for-6 in this series and has two hits in his last sixteen at bats. Hudson had gone 6-for-15 in a four game series at Burlington before this recent streak.

OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Alexander Smit signed with the Twins out of the Netherlands in 2002. Smit was 1-9 with Beloit last season, before going down to Elizabethton where he was 6-1 with three saves in 21 relief appearances. Smit got a no decision in his last start, a five inning outing at Community Field on July 25 against Burlington. Smit made two relief appearances against the Rattlers in April and totaled 3-1/3 innings allowing four hits and four runs (two earned).

Saturday in the MWL

@Beloit 9, Wisconsin 3 -- Big deficit too much for the Rattlers.

@South Bend 10, Cedar Rapids 5 -- Byrne, Hawks, Byrne.

@Kane County 15, Quad Cities 3 -- Jared Lansford didn't need a shutout tonight.

Southwest Michigan 3, @Fort Wayne 2 -- Wizards get five hits and a loss.

@Lansing 11, Burlington 6 -- This was a 6-6 game. Until the Lugs went Nuts.

Dayton 11, @Peoria 2 -- Adam Rosales had two homers in a Dragon drubbing of the Chiefs.

West Michigan 13, @Clinton 6 -- Mike Hernandez just missed his third cycle of the season.

Complete Scorboard HERE.

Rattler Alum of the Day

JB Tucker, Inland Empire.

Game-winning, pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the eleventh.

Mariner System Report (Games of 7/29)

Seattle (MAJ: 50-53; 4th AL West): The Mariners beat the Indians 3-1. Former Appleton Fox Raul Ibanez and Ben Broussard both homered for the Mariners. Jarrod Washburn got the win after some scoreless relief work by Mark Lowe (WI ’05) and JJ Putz (WI ’00).

Tacoma (AAA – 56-50; 2nd PCL Pacific Northern Division): Tacoma beat Oklahoma 9-2. Rob Johnson (WI ’05) was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a pair of RBI. Oswaldo Navarro (WI ’05) homered and also knocked in two runs.

San Antonio (AA – 48-56; 21-15 second half 1st Texas League South Division): San Antonio lost 8-7 at Midland. The Missions tied the game with four runs in the topm fo the ninth inning. The RockHounds won the game in the bottom of the ninth on a triple and a throwing error.

Inland Empire (High-A – 56-48, 17-17 second half; T-2nd California League South Division): Inland Empire beat High Desert 4-3 in eleven innings. Reed Eastley tied the game 3-3 with a two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh. JB Tucker (WI ’06) hit a homer in the bottom of the eleventh as a pinch hitter for the 66er win.

Everett (Short Season-A – 18-22; 4th Northwest League West Division): Everett beat Spokane 7-4. Bryan Sabatella (WI ’06) drove in a pair of runs and Gavin Dickey homered for the Sox.

AZL M’s (Rookie – 15-16; 1-2 T-6th Arizona League): The Mariners lost 5-4 to the Royals.


Seattle (Joel Pineiro 7-8) at Cleveland (Cliff Lee 9-8) 12:05pm CDT
Oklahoma (Derrek Lee 3-9) at Tacoma (Cha Seung Baek 9-4) 3:35pm CDT
San Antonio (Travis Chick 2-0) at Midland (David Bradley 5-9) 6:00pm CDT
High Desert at Inland Empire 8:11pm CDT
Spokane (Mike Ballard 1-4) at Everett (Mike Schilling 2-5) 4:05pm CDT
AZL Giants vs. AZL Mariners 9:00pm CDT


If Saturday's Game Were a Movie:

it would be:

The Snappers just kind of sucked the life right out of the Rattlers tonight. Get 'em tomorrow.

Complete Box Score HERE.

Random Picture from my Hotel Window (#10 in a series)

A courtyard awaits you outside your door in Beloit, Wisconsin...on this side of the hotel. If your room in on the other side, you can pull your car right up to your door.

Game Notes for 7/29

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Rattlers lost 2-0 to the Snappers. Yohan Pino and Eddie Morlan combined on a three-hit shutout of Wisconsin. Jose Leger and Eli Tintor drove in the runs for the Snappers. Wisconsin did not get a runner past first base in the game.

K to BB: Pino and Morlan struck out eleven Rattler hitters last night without walking a batter. Pino struck out four in six innings. Morlan had seven strikeouts over the final three innings.

HEY, NINETEEN: Chris Minaker singled to start the game last night. Pino retired the next eighteen batters in a row. Morlan got the first batter of the top of the seventh inning before Ron Garth singled. That was a streak of nineteen straight batters retired by the Snapper duo.

SHUTOUT: Last night was the eleventh time the Rattlers have been shutout this season. It was the fourth time in the month of July the Wisconsin has been held without a run.

TOUGH START TO THE NIGHT: David Asher was the starting pitcher for the Rattlers last night. He was sitting in the Wisconsin dugout after warming up in the bullpen. A line drive into the dugout hit Asher on his left forearm. The lefty pitched the first inning and gave up one hit without a run, but left when his forearm tightened on him during the top of the second inning. It is not believed that Asher will miss his next start.

PRESSED INTO SERVICE: Lance Beus relieved Asher in the top of the second inning. He pitched four innings to match the longest relief outing of the season for the Rattlers. Beus allowed one run on three hits and was tagged with a loss in his third straight appearance.

MULTI-BALL: Minaker singled twice last night; once in the first and once in the ninth.

END OF THE GOPHER STREAK: The Rattlers did not allow a home run last night. That snapped a streak of nine straight games an opponent had hit a homer against Wisconsin. There were thirteen homers hit during the streak.

OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Oswaldo Sosa was signed as a non-drafted free agent in July, 2002 by the Twins out of Venezuela. Sosa was 6-5 with an ERA of 4.95 for Elizabethton in the Appalachian League in 2005. Sosa beat the Burlington Bees at Community Field in his last start. On July 24, Sosa pitched six shutout innings, allowed two hits, walked one, and struck out eight for the victory. The Rattlers beat Sosa at Pohlman Field on April 10 in his Midwest League debut. Wisconsin scored four runs (two earned) on eight hits over five innings.

Friday in the MWL

@Beloit 2, Wisconsin 0 -- Baffle is a pretty good word for what Pino & Morlan did to the Rattlers last night.

Cedar Rapids 6, @South Bend 1 -- The Moose was too much for the Hawks.

Southwest Michigan 3, @Fort Wayne 1 (10 inn.) -- Extra inning loss spoils nice debut for Wade LeBlanc. LeBlanc -- go figure -- pitched four scoreless innings.

@Lansing 4, Burlington 3 -- A pinch-hit, two-out, game-winning, walk-off single for Jake Bell has enough dashes in it to break the hearts of the Bees.

Quad Cities 6, @Kane County 5 -- Cougars couldn't hold an early lead. SWING bullpen gets credit.

@Peoria 4, Dayton 3 -- Jeff Samardzija pitched well for a no decision in his final start for the Chiefs before heading back to Notre Dame. Peoria did beat the Dragons, eventually.

West Michigan 9, @Clinton 7 -- Team with the best record vs. the team with the worst record. L-Kings rallied to make it close. But, the Whitecaps held on.

Complete Scoreboard HERE.

Rattler Alum of the Day

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

Shin-soo Choo, Cleveland Indians.

First Major League home run in a 1-0 Indian win over the Mariners.

Mariner System Report (Games of 7/28)

Seattle (MAJ: 49-53; 4th AL West): The Mariners lost 1-0 at Cleveland. Shin-soo Choo (WI '02) hit his first major league home run in his debut for the Indians. Felix Hernandez walked six over six innings and allowed the homer for the loss.

Tacoma (AAA – 55-50; 2nd PCL Pacific Northern Division): Tacoma lost 6-2 to New Orleans. Jon Nelson (WI ’03) drove in one of the Rainier runs. Cesar Jimenez (WI ’03) took the loss. The Zephyrs scored three early runs and Tacoma couldn't recover.

San Antonio (AA – 48-55; 21-14 second half 1st Texas League South Division): San Antonio lost 7-2 at Midland in a rain shortened game. Jason Mackintosh (WI ’04) made an emergency start and gave up four runs on eight hits for the loss. The Mission offense had three hits.

Inland Empire (High-A – 55-48, 16-17 second half; T-3rd California League South Division): Inland Empire beat High Desert 4-2. Aaron Jensen (WI ’05) pitched six innings and allowed two runs for the win. Casey Craig (WI ’06) hit a pair of homers and knocked in all four runs for the 66ers.

Everett (Short Season-A – 17-22; 4th Northwest League West Division): Everett lost 4-3 to Spokane. Bryan Sabatella (WI ’06) homered to tie the game 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning. But, the Indians scored in the top of the ninth for the win. Ricky Orta struck out eight over five innings in the start for a no decision.

AZL M’s (Rookie – 15-15; 1-1 T-3rd Arizona League): The Mariners lost 4-3 to the Cubs.


Seattle (Jarrod Washburn 4-10) at Cleveland (Jake Westbrook 7-6) 3:05pm CDT
Oklahoma (R.A. Dickey 5-6) at Tacoma (Francisco Cruceta 8-7) 9:05pm CDT
San Antonio (Ryan Feierabend 8-7) at Midland (Kevin Olsen 2-1) 7:00pm CDT
High Desert (Danny Christensen 2-3) at Inland Empire (Justin Thomas 5-3) 9:11pm CDT
Spokane at Everett 9:05pm CDT
AZL Mariners at AZL Royals 9:00pm CDT


If Friday's Game Were a Movie

it would be:

Yohan Pino and Eddie Morlan just kept coming at the Rattlers tonight. They combined on a three-hit shutout for a 2-0 victory for the Snappers.

Complete Box Score HERE.

In Game Reading...

Some things must be read to be believed. Then, they must be read again because you can't really be sure if what you read was real. USA Today has a beauty today about three Devil Ray prospects who can't believe that they aren't in the majors yet in D-Rays' kids set for major promotions. The opening paragraphs:

DURHAM, N.C. — It's late morning at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, and already 92 degrees. There is no breeze. No clouds. Just stifling humidity.

"I don't know whose idea this was to play a day game," says Class AAA Bulls third baseman B.J. Upton, wiping the perspiration from his forehead. "It's the hottest time of the year here. It's going to be about 130 (degrees) on the field. And you wonder why we can't wait to get out of this place.

"I still can't believe I'm here. The three of us all thought we'd be all up in Tampa by now."

Yes, it's never hot in the Major Leagues.

One of the other three is Delmon Young.

I don't know what they're waiting for," Young says."They're what, 30 games (actually 20) out of first place? They think we're going to mess up their clubhouse chemistry. B.J. should be up there. What are they waiting for? They always have excuses."

Young stops himself. He has already said too much. Please, he asks, let it be known that he was just venting. Don't take him seriously.

"I just want to show up for work and go about my business," Young says. "That's all. We're just employees here. We do what we're told. "We've been in enough trouble as it is."

But, the passage that made me want to stop reading was this one from the third member of the group, Elijah Dukes:

Dukes, the oldest of the trio at 22, laughs and shakes his head. Trouble? He may be the king. He has been suspended four times the last two years, and was ejected five times last year and twice this year.

"The only thing holding me back is me," says Dukes, who is hitting .293 with 10 homers and 50 RBI this season. "I know I can play in the big leagues. On any team. But they want to see whether I can stay away from trouble.

"If I can just do that, if I can just keep my cool, I'll be fine. Because when there is trouble, whether it's my fault or not, I'm the one who's got to pay the consequences."
Dukes is staring disgustedly at his baseball jersey while talking. It has dark stains around the collar. His pants have tears by both knees. If this were the big leagues, the uniform would be in the garbage.

But this is Durham.

"In the big leagues, you throw your uniform on the ground, and it's washed and hung up nicely in your locker," Dukes says. "Here you do that, you come back the next dday and find it still on the floor. Those guys up there (in the big leagues) shower in Evian. Here, we use sewer water."

Of course, you do. Of course, you do.

It does get better. No, really. I guess from that point you really can't dig any deeper.

[Upton] talks constantly with Young and Dukes, pleading for them to keep their emotions in check, reminding them they are just a phone call away from the big leagues.

"When I do go to Tampa, I don't want to ever come back here. And I'd love to see Delmon and Elijah with me. We talk about it all of the time how special it would be for us to make it together.

Spoke too soon. Do you think the folks in Durham will invite any of these players back for an old-timers night in about fiteen years?

Staying on the off-beat side of things, but with a bit more cheer "Rubber Boy" throws 'em a curve at Whitecaps game:

It goes on for three virtual pages.

COMSTOCK PARK -- You really had to see it to believe it.

After witnessing the debut appearance of "Rubber Boy" at Wednesday night's minor-league baseball game at Fifth Third Ballpark, a perplexed Sally Groters of Comstock Park wasn't sure what to think about contortionist Daniel Browning Smith. "I'm speechless.

It makes me ache just thinking of him," she said. Browning's act nvolved passing his body through a toilet seat and a tennis racket and folding himself into a small suitcase and being carried off the field.

"I've never seen anything like that," Don Groters added.

The crowd of 6,683 at the West Michigan Whitecaps games reacted with shock and applause throughout Smith's routine, which was his first appearance at a local sporting event.

Go to his website, but be warned, and don't try it at home.

Word is that a Northwoods League team may be headed for Green Bay.

According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Green Bay Park Committee on Tuesday unanimously endorsed an agreement to negotiate with Northwoods League officials on terms of a lease for city-owned and 1,500-seat Joannes Stadium, beginning with the 2007 season.

It isn't known if the Green Bay franchise would be an expansion club or if an existing team would slide in.

Here are a few quotes from Rob Zerjav of the Rattlers, who is the greatest boss in the world and also from Dick Radatz, Jr. of the Northwoods League.

"I don't consider us being in the same market, truthfully," Northwoods League president Dick Radatz Jr. said. "Appleton and Green Bay, I'm betting, are two somewhat distinct markets. I know they're in the same region. I would hope they could feed off each other to some extent and grow a better awareness to baseball in the region."

"No matter what business you're in, there's going to be competition," Zerjav said prior to the Rattlers' 7-5 Midwest League loss to South Bend on Wednesday at Fox Cities Stadium. "All you can do is believe in the product and what you sell, and I do. That's not going to change. We believe in it, and obviously the general public does as well."

A new stadium in Fort Wayne? A new downtown stadium in Fort Wayne? Study supports downtown stadium. Well, if a study supports a downtown stadium they might as well just go ahead and do it. When was the last time a study was wrong?

Fort Wayne should pursue a downtown baseball stadium.

That was the sentiment of a report from a committee appointed in February by Mayor Graham Richard to investigate the viability of building a mixed-use baseball development downtown.

The report was released Friday morning. Mayor Graham Richard commended the group for its examination of comparable facilities, possible downtown locations and the potential re-use of Memorial Stadium.

“We want to make downtown a destination place for residents and visitors to enjoy,” he said in a statement.

I wonder if that was an editing mistake (Kiner knows, I make plenty) or if Mayor Graham Richard wants to be called Mayor Graham Richard or if he can be referred to as Mayor Richard. Mayor Graham Richard sounds kind of cool, though. Mayor Graham Richarg, your table is ready. Mayor Graham Richard, would you mind picking up some bread on the way home? Mayor Graham Richard, there is a call for you on line one.

Game Notes for 7/28

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Rattlers rallied to beat the South Bend Silver Hawks 3-2 at Fox Cities Stadium. Wisconsin trailed 2-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. Mike Saunders drove in the tying run with a two-out single. Saunders scored the go ahead run on a wild pitch.

BACK IN THE LINEUP WITH A BANG: Last night, Eddy Hernandez returned to the Rattler lineup for the first time since July 21. In the third inning, he drilled the first pitch he saw over the batter’s eye in centerfield for his second homer of the season to give Wisconsin a 1-0 lead.

ALLEN WRENCH: Rattler starting pitcher Nick Allen protected that 1-0 lead until the top of the seventh. He hit the leadoff batter on a 1-2 pitch, but struck out the next two batters. Then, Frank Curreri drilled a 2-0 pitch for a two-run homer and a 2-1 Silver Hawk lead.

RALLY TIME: Saunders tied the game by lining a 2-2 pitch back through the middle to drive in Hernandez. Then, Saunders stole second, went to third on a throwing error, and scored the go ahead run on a wild pitch.

IT TAKES A THIEF: Saunders stole two bases last night to run his season total to nineteen.

CLASSIC RELIEF: Austin Bibbens-Dirkx and Brian Kappel both worked an inning of perfect relief out of the bullpen to nail down the win. Bibbens-Dirkx worked the eighth inning and extended his scoreless streak to 10-2/3 innings. Kappel recorded his third save in three opportunities with a scoreless ninth.

DÉJÀ VU: The winning run in both Wisconsin wins over the Silver Hawks in the series at Fox Cities Stadium scored on wild pitches.

GOPHER BALLS: Allen gave up the home run to Curreri in the top of the seventh. Thursday was the ninth game in a row that the Rattler pitching staff has given up at least one homer. In the last nine games, opponents have hit thirteen homers off Rattler hurlers. Of those thirteen homers, ten have been solo shots. The other three were three-run blasts.

CLOSE CALLS: Four of the last five Timber Rattler wins have been by one run.

TAKING TWO: The Rattlers have won two games in each of their last five series.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Beloit Snappers are the Midwest League affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.
The Snappers did not qualify for the playoffs in the first half. They are currently 18-16 and have a 1-1/2 game lead over Cedar Rapids for the second half wild card spot in the Western Division. In their most recent series, the Snappers split four games with the Burlington Bees at Community Field. Beloit is 53-49 overall this season.

MILK PAIL SERIES ’06: The Rattlers and Snappers are playing for the Milk Pail Trophy once again this season. Wisconsin took two out of three from Beloit at Pohlman Field in a mid-April series. Wisconsin won game one 7-2. The Snappers won the second game 11-10 in twelve innings. Wisconsin got the victory in game three 7-1.

SLIGHT EDGE: Since the Snappers became an affiliate of the Twins before the 2005 season, the Rattlers have a slight 11-9 edged in the series. Wisconsin and Beloit split sixteen games in the regular season (The Rattlers were 4-4 at Pohlman Field and 4-4 at Fox Cities Stadium.) The teams met in the 2005 Western Division Championship Series and the Rattlers won that series 2-1.

PROSPECTING: BASEBALL AMERICA’s Top 30 list of Twin prospects has six members of the current Snapper roster on it. Shortstop Paul Kelly is the highest ranked Snapper at number 11. Pitcher Eddie Morlan checks in as the highest rated hurler at number 15. Others on the list are: infielder Juan Portes (#18), infielder Drew Thompson (#19), pitcher Adam Hawes (#28), and pitcher Alexander Smit (#30).

OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Yohan Pino was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2004 out of Venezuela by the Twins. He was 9-2 with a 3.72ERA in 12 starts for Elizabethton in the Appalachian League in 2005. His first 34 appearances for the Snappers in 2006 were out of the bullpen and he was 8-2 with three saves in a relief role. His last appearance was his first start of 2006. Pino picked up the win at Clinton on July 23. He walked none over five innings and gave up four runs (two earned) with five strikeouts. Pino beat the Rattlers with a pair of scoreless innings on April 11 at Pohlman Field. He allowed two hits and one run for the victory.

Welcome to Pohlman Field...

C: Tell me, Sonny. Is it better to be loved or feared?

Sonny: Feared.

Sonny: It lasts longer.

From A Bronx Tale.

Thursday in the MWL

@Wisconsin 3, South Bend 2 -- Another Rattler rally and another one-run win.

Beloit 4, @Burlington 2 -- The Bees can't keep their roll going. You know it's a tough night for the home team when the lede for the game story is the Burlington record for sacrifice bunts in a season was broken.

@Fort Wayne 3, Clinton 1 -- At least it was quick for the L-Kings.

@Cedar Rapids 6, Kane County 3 -- Kernels snap 7-game losing streak.

@Dayton 13, Lansing 1; Lansing 3, @Dayton 0 -- A split at Fifth Third Field. Big O for the Dragons in the suspended game from Wednesday. No O for them in game two.

@West Michigan 6, Peoria 5 -- The Whitecaps have had a very good July.

Southwest Michigan 4, @Quad Cities 2 -- The SWING tried some familiar faces in some different spaces. Five errors and a loss were the results.

Complete Scoreboard HERE.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Josh Womack, Inland Empire.

66ers win. Womack has 5 RBI and gets his average back to .299.

Mariner System Report (Games of 7/27)

Seattle (MAJ: 49-52; 4th AL West): The Mariners were off yesterday.

Tacoma (AAA – 55-49; 2nd PCL Pacific Northern Division): Tacoma lost 9-2 to New Orleans. Rich Dorman (WI ’03) gave up five runs on six hits over 4-2/3 innings and took the loss. Jon Nelson (WI ’03) had a pair of hits and two RBI for the Rainiers.

San Antonio (AA – 48-54; 21-13 second half 1st Texas League South Division): San Antonio lost 4-3 at Midland. The RockHounds scored a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie. Mike Wilson (WI ’05) had two hits and two RBI for the Missions.

Inland Empire (High-A – 54-48, 15-17 second half; 4th California League South Division): Inland Empire beat Lancaster 15-6. The win snapped a four game losing streak. Josh Womack (WI ’05) went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs and five RBI for the 66ers. Luis Valbuena (WI ’06) had three hits, including his first California League home run, and drove in two runs. Justin Jordan (WI ’05) allowed four runs on eight hits over five innings for the win.

Everett (Short Season-A – 17-21; 4th Northwest League West Division): Everett lost 13-2 at Eugene. The Sox fell behind 8-0 after the bottom of the fourth inning and couldn’t make up the difference.

AZL M’s (Rookie – 15-14; 1-0 T-1st Arizona League): The Mariners started the second half with a 9-0 win over the AZL Athletics. Clint Nageotte (WI ’01) pitched three scoreless innings and allowed three hits while striking out one on a rehab assignment.


Seattle (Felix Hernandez 9-8) at Cleveland (Jeremy Sowers 2-3) 6:05pm CDT
New Orleans (Steve Watkins 4-4) at Tacoma (Cesar Jimenez 5-8) 9:05pm CDT
San Antonio (Yorman Bazardo 5-3) at Midland (Brad Knox 9-3) 7:00pm CDT
High Desert at Inland Empire 9:11pm CDT
Spokane at Everett 9:05pm CDT
AZL Cubs at AZL Mariners 9:00pm CDT

Lee is a Ranger...

Nothing like a bus ride and having The Hills Have Eyes as the movie to keep you away from what is happening in the baseball world.

Lee traded to Texas:

Having come to the conclusion that they wouldn't be able to re-sign leftfielder Carlos Lee and with the playoffs a faint hope at present, the Milwaukee Brewers pulled the trigger Friday and sent Lee to the Texas Rangers in a six-player deal.

The Brewers dealt Lee and minor league outfielder Nelson Cruz to the Rangers in exchange for outfielders Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix, reliever Francisco Cordero and minor-league pitcher Julian Cordero.

On the e-mail sent out by the Brewers, look how they described Cordero:

The Milwaukee Brewers made a bold move on Friday, trading free-agent-to-be Carlos Lee and minor-league outfielder Nelson Cruz to the Texas Rangers in exchange for outfielderKevin Mench, closer Francisco Cordero,center fielder Laynce Nix and Minor League left-hander Julian Cordero.

That is a role he has filled, but not recently. Akinori Otsuka has 21 saves for the Rangers this season. Cordero has 6. Where do you think that F. Cordero will fit into the Brewer bullpen?

Morning Post

The bus leaves for Beloit in about 30 minutes. Not enough time to get everything done and posted now. There will be updates this afternoon.

I did want to get a link to the Seattle Times lead stroy about Jamie Moyer's upcoming 10th annivesary in Seattle on here before I left.

Still the same Jamie

And the Carlos Watch is on over at The Wisconsin Sports Bar.

Lee is Gone

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Late night at Miller Park

Not to sound like too much of a front runner, but Corey Pavin has always been one of my favorite golfers. Great to see him shoot a 61 at the US Bank Open:

Pavin scorches course

Gotta run. More this afternoon.


If Thursday's Game Were a Movie...

it would be:

An okay heist movie with a great cast. Incredibly complex plan executed to near perfection with a little help from the authorities.

Two outs in the eighth, tie game, runner at first. Mike Saunders, you steal second against a catcher who has thrown out 46.2% of would-be base stealers this season. By the way that catcher has committed one error in 28 games.

Hey, Mike. Welcome to third after stealing second and making it to third on a throwing error. Be alert for a wild pitch on ball four.

Works. Every. Time.

Complete Box Score HERE.

Choo Trade Links

Busy day. Not much time to go as in-depth as I would like to on this topic. Maybe after the game or tomorrow from my suite at the hotel in Beloit.

Here are some links to the three of the usual suspects of the blogosphere. USS Mariner seem to be down & J didn't have anything yet at Mariner Minors.

Lookout Landing: 49-52/Transaction Review

So I guess the M's made two sacrifices today - (1) Chris Snelling playing every day, and (2) Shin-soo Choo. As far as #1 is concerned, while it's going to kill him to sit on the bench (you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who enjoys playing more than he does), it'll keep him healthier, and it's not like he's never going to play. He'll get his share of big at bats over the next 2+ months, and who knows, maybe if Hargrove grows tired of Adam Jones we'll see a platoon in center. A more imaginative manager might even call on Snelling to pinch-hit for Ibanez against tough lefties, but that's probably going too far. The point is, having Snelling available on the bench is going to help more than it hurts, as his mere presence protects the team against injuries to any one of Ibanez, Jones, Ichiro, Sexson, Broussard, and Perez while also offering one heck of a bat. I'm fine with it.

#2 is more a point of contention, but here's one way to look at it - do you think Choo is ever going to post a two-and-a-half-year stretch like the one Broussard's going to have for the M's? I don't think he is, and for that reason I like the deal. He's going to have his uses, as he's mastered the ability to hit right-handed PCL pitching, but someone who can't play center field, hit many home runs, or touch lefties is going to have a difficult time establishing himself as a quality regular. Cleveland's got the right idea bringing him directly to the big club to platoon against righties, but there's a pretty good chance that that's all he'll ever be able to do, so why not trade one platoon hitter with a little potential for another platoon hitter with a successful track record?

Shin-soo Choo, like Asdrubal Cabrera, has been obvious trade bait since before the year began. There just wasn't room for him in Seattle, so Bavasi gave him a chance somewhere else in exchange for a player we can actually use. It's a good trade for both sides. Forced to choose, I'd much rather make this deal over again than the Perez/Cabrera one, because Perez only plays a third of the time, and I have reasonably high hopes of Cabrera becoming a quality middle infielder. Broussard plays more, and I like Choo less than Cabrera, so I don't have a problem with this one. I'm actually pretty stoked.

My emphasis. If the guys are Lookout Landing are pretty stoked, that's a good thing. I sometimes need to read a chapter from Chicken Soup for the Baseball Fan's Soul to cheer myself up after reading some of their dark, depressing posts. But, it's still a great writing guys.

Prospect Insider: The M's Got Better today...A Lot Better

Shin-soo Choo plus C+/B- minor leaguer to be named later for Ben Broussard? Another good trade, and the best move Bill Bavasi has made at the helm in Seattle.

That's the question. Who is the player to be named later? And when will it happen? Sorry. Those are the questions.

Best title goes to Marinerds: With or Without Choo

I'm going to miss seeing Choo's son running around the stands in Tacoma -- he really is one of the cutest little kids in existence -- but damn, Ben Broussard! Now there's some lefty sock! I think it's really ironic that the Mariners ended up acquiring both sides of the amazing Cleveland first-base two-headed monster platoon. Now the question is, does this mean Big Richie's also in for a Big Switchie?
I hope it's the Mariners show some Pride Where the Streets Have No Name and that the last game of the series is not a Sunday, Bloody Sunday. Maybe Choo may treat his start in Cleveland like New Year's Day and won't Get Stuck in a Moment That He Can't Get Out Of. I Will Follow with more later. It's almost game time.

Game Notes 7/27

ABOUT WEDNESDAY: The Rattlers lost 7-5 to the Silver Hawks. Bryan Byrne’s two-run single in the top of the eighth inning broke a 4-4 tie and set the Hawks on their way to the win. South Bend hammered three solo homers and banged out twelve hits in the win.

QUICK START: The Rattlers jumped to an early lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first innings. Mike Saunders hit his fourth homer of the year with one out. Then, Ron Garth tripled and scored on an RBI grounder by Johan Limonta.

ALMOST A MONTH: Saunders hit his last home run on June 27. The Rattler outfielder homered against the Peoria Chiefs at Fox Cities Stadium on that day.

WELCOME BACK PARTY CONTINUES: Garth was 2-for-5 and scored a pair of runs for the Rattlers yesterday. In his two games back from the DL, he is 6-for-9 with four runs.

SOLOISTS: Greg Thomson, Steve Mena, and Will Crouch had the homers for the Silver Hawks. Mena’s homer in the sixth tied the game 3-3. Crouch tied the game 4-4 with his long ball in the seventh.

FLAIG DAY: Rattler third baseman Jeff Flaig had a pair of hits and drove in a pair of runs for the Rattlers yesterday.

GOPHER BALLS: Paul Fagan, yesterday’s starting pitcher for the Rattlers gave up all three Silver Hawk homers. Wednesday was the eighth game in a row that the Rattler pitching staff has given up at least one homer. In the last eight games, opponents have hit twelve homers off Rattler hurlers. Of those eight homers nine have been solo shots. The other three were three-run blasts.

WORKHORSE: Fagan pitched seven innings and got a no decision yesterday. Fagan is fifth in the Midwest League in innings pitched with 126. Wednesday was the eighth time in twenty-one starts that Fagan has pitched at least seven innings in a game.

SMALL HICCUP: After allowing no runs in his first eight outings in June (9-2/3 innings pitched), Rattler reliever Lance Beus has given up three runs (two earned) in his last two outings. Beus has also been the losing pitcher in his last two appearances.

OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Vince Bongiovanni was a 24th round pick of the Diamondbacks out of the University of Miami in the 2005 draft. Bongiovanni was 0-2 with a save and a 5.29 ERA in 23 relief appearances for Missoula in the Pioneer League in 2005. In 2006, he made his first 21 appearances for the Hawks out of the bullpen. He made his first professional start on July 9 at Clinton. In his last start, Bongiovanni got a no decision against Kane County. He worked 4-1/3 innings and allowed three runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Bongiovanni has one appearance against the Rattlers this season. On April 24, he allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts over three innings. Bongiovanni was named the Most Outstanding Pitcher at the 2006 Midwest League All-Star Game for a perfect fifth inning with two K’s.

Wednesday in the MWL

South Bend 7, @Wisconsin 5 -- Homers hurt. Two-run single in the eighth kills.

@Burlington 6, Beloit 3 -- Mike Sweeney homers for the Bees and leaves for Wichita on a win.

@Fort Wayne 5, Clinton 1 -- Nate Culp wins his MWL debut for the Wizards.

Kane County 8, @Cedar Rapids 1; Kane County 5, @Cedar Rapids 4 -- Cougar Sweep. Kernels have lost seven straight to drop below .500.

Peoria 11, @West Michigan 4 -- The Chiefs welcome Joel Santo to the family with eleven runs in his first start in the Cubs system. Yes, Cameron Maybin got a hit. Four of them as a matter of fact. Is he headed to the Nationals for Alphonso Soriano?

@Quad Cities 10, Southwest Michigan 2 -- SWING WIN. They have a 2-1/2 game lead on the Snappers for the top second half playoff spot in the Western Division.

Lansing @ Dayton Suspended -- Dayton was up 3-0 after 2-1/2 innings. Then, the rain happened. They waited around 2-1/2 hours before suspending the game. Let's see. Game started at 7:00pm EDT. 2-1/2 innings is roughly 45 minutes...Plus, 2-1/2 hours means that the game was suspended around, Um, My guess is 10:15pm? Nope, 10:37pm. That must have been fun.

Complete Scoreboard HERE.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Greg Dobbs, Mariners.

2-for-2 with an RBi for the M's in their win over the Blue Jays.

Mariner System Report (Games of 7/26)

Seattle (MAJ: 49-52; 4th AL West): The Mariners beat Toronto 7-4. Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre both homered to help the M’s take two out of three from the Jays. Greg Dobbs (WI ’02) chipped in a 2-for-2 night with an RBI. Rene Rivera added an RBI as well. Jamie Moyer got the win and JJ Putz (WI ’00) pitched a scoreless ninth for his twentieth save.

Tacoma (AAA – 55-47; 2nd PCL Pacific Northern Division): Tacoma lost 4-3 to New Orleans. Shin-soo Choo (WI ’02) walked and scored a first inning run before being traded to Cleveland. Bobby Livingston (WI ’03) gave up four runs on ten hits over seven innings and got the loss. Hunter Brown (WI ’02) and Bryan LaHair (WI ’04) each drove in a run for the Rainiers. Kevin Gryboski (WI ‘98) got the save for the Zephyrs.

San Antonio (AA – 48-53; 21-12 second half 1st Texas League South Division): San Antonio beat Corpus Christi 7-1. The Missions pulled away with five runs in the bottom of the eighth. Marshall Hubbard (WI ’05) and Mike Wilson (WI ’05) each had an RBI double in the big inning. Chad Fillinger (WI ’05) worked two scoreless innings for his fifth win of the season.

Inland Empire (High-A – 53-48, 14-17 second half; 5th California League South Division): Inland Empire lost 4-1 at Lancaster. Cibney Bello (WI ’05) allowed four runs over seven innings and took the loss. The 66er offense had six hits last night.

Everett (Short Season-A – 17-20; 4th Northwest League West Division): Everett beat Eugene 6-2. A five run outburst in the fifth inning put the Sox in charge. Leury Bonilla was 3-for-4 with a pair of runs and a homer for the Sox.

AZL M’s (Rookie – 14-14; 0-0 Arizona League): The Mariners were off yesterday for the break between the first and second half.


Seattle – OFF DAY
New Orleans (Andrew Good 4-7) at Tacoma (Rich Dorman 4-4) 9:05pm CDT
San Antonio (Travis Blackley 8-7) at Midland (Michael Rogers 0-0) 7:00pm CDT
Inland Empire (Justin Jordan 3-4) at Lancaster (Matt Green 3-9) 9:00pm CDT
Everett at Eugene 9:05pm CDT
AZL Athletics at AZL Mariners 9:00pm CDT

Quick Morning Post...

So, I decide to take one night away from the computer and this happens:

M's Get Hot-Hitting Broussard for Choo.

Shin-soo Choo (WI '02) is headed for the Indians organization.

I'll have reaction and links later, but right now, I have to finish a few things before I can post more.

And to reader Elgin Ray, I'm not sure why there would be problems with the comments. Blogger has been acting out the last few days. I'm told that happens a lot.


If Wednesday's Game Were a Movie...

it wouldn't be a movie. It would have been an episode of:

The thing to remember about Fawlty Towers was that no matter how good things looked like they were going for Basil, they would always fall apart in the end.

Complete box score of Wednesday's game is HERE.

Odds & Ends 7/26

The Number One overall pick in the 2005 draft is in town. So, it must be time for the hometown paper to get a story about Justin Upton:

Expectation and reality are as different as a pit bull and a poodle when it comes to South Bend center fielder Justin Upton, whom the Arizona Diamondbacks selected with the first overall pick of the 2005 June draft.

I'm not sure where Brett came up with this, but I'm not even going to think about stealing it.

Please keep sharp objects away from the guys over at The Wisconsin Sportsbar:

Nice to see the Brewers were back in full Ben Sheets Start form. You know what I am talking about score no runs for Ben if they can help it. Prince goofed and hit a homerun but not to worry Dave Bush took care of the rest.

No picture of the Chorizo, but there is apparently room for one more on the warning track at Miller Park:
On Thursday, the Milwaukee Brewers and Klement's Sausage Co. are expected to introduce the Chorizo as the newest member of the Famous Racing Sausages, according to a source with knowledge of the promotion.

(Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)

Game Notes for 7/26

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Rattlers beat the Silver Hawks 7-6 in ten innings. Wisconsin second baseman Ron Garth was 4-for-4 with a homer and three RBI in his first game back off the disabled list. South Bend catcher Frank Curreri had a homer and five RBI in a losing cause.

FOUR! Last night was the third 4-hit night of the season for Garth. He has also had four hit games on April 11 at Beloit and April 28 at Fort Wayne.

BIG FLY: Garth’s homer to start the bottom of the eighth inning tied the game 6-6. It was also Garth’s fifth homer of the season. He is tied with Alex Gary and Casey Craig for the team lead in home runs this season. Garth’s last home run was a pinch hit homer in the bottom of the eleventh to beat the Burlington Bees at Fox Cities Stadium on May 21.

WINNING RUN: The Rattlers scored the winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning without a hit. Johan Limonta drew a walk and Juan Guzman entered the game as a pinch runner. A wild pickoff throw by Kyler Newby sent Guzman around to third base with no outs. An intentional walk, a strikeout, and another intentional walk loaded the bases for Wisconsin. Newby’s first pitch to Alex Gary in the bottom was a wild pitch and allowed Guzman to score the winning run.

THREE ZEROES: Rattler reliever Harold Williams pitched three scoreless innings with a walk and two strikeouts. Williams has struck out seven over his last five innings without allowing a run.

STILL SCORELESS: Rattler reliever Austin-Bibens-Dirkx tossed two scoreless innings last night and got the win. His scoreless streak has reached 10-1/3 innings.

GOPHER BALLS: Wisconsin’s starting pitcher Marwin Vega gave up a homer to Curreri in the third inning. Last night was the seventh game in a row that the Rattler pitching staff has given up at least one homer. In the last seven games, opponents have hit nine homers off Rattler hurlers. Of those eight homers six have been solo shots. The other three were three-run blasts.

WORKING OVERTIME: The Rattlers have played three extra inning games in their last eight games. Wisconsin has won two of those extra inning games.

OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Kyle Wright was a 19th round pick out of Lewis & Clark State (ID) by the Diamondbacks in the 2005 draft. He was 1-4 with a 4.22 ERA for Yakima in the Northwest League last season. In 2006, Wright started in the Hawk bullpen, but has worked his way into the starting rotation. Wright has made ten starts and fourteen relief appearances. He faced the Rattlers in relief on April 22 at The Cove and allowed four runs on four hits over 2/3 of an inning. In his last start, Wright got a no decision against Kane County on July 21. He worked 6-1/3 innings and allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

Tuesday in the MWL

@Wisconsin 7, South Bend 6 (10 inn) -- Rattlers win in extra innings over the Hawks.

@Burlington 3, Beloit 2 -- Mike Sweeney cheered from the on-deck circle after Mario Lisson's game winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth beat the Snappers.

@Fort Wayne 5, Clinton 2 -- Wizards are short-handed, but manage to beat the L-Kings.

@Dayton 2, Lansing 1 (14 inn) -- Habelito Hernandez, you just had the game winning hit for the Dragons in the bottom of the fourteenth. What do you want to do? "I want to go home."

@West Michigan 10, Peoria 0 -- Another Whitecap win. Another Michael Hernandez cycle.

Southwest Michigan 7, @Quad Cities 3 -- Jake McGee struck out eleven, but got a no decison for the D-Rays. But, it all worked out in the end with a Southwest Michigan win.

Kane County @ Cedar Rapids (PPD) -- Doubleheader tonight.

Complete Scoreboard HERE.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Chris Snelling, Tacoma.

I know. Eric O'Flaherty had a big save for the Missions. Oswaldo Navarro drove in the winning run for the Rainiers. But...

I just wanted to use that picture of Snelling.

Mariner System Report (Games of 7/25)

Seattle (MAJ: 48-52; 4th AL West): The Mariners lost 12-3 to Toronto. Gil Meche (WI ’98) gave up seven runs on ten hits and took the loss.

Tacoma (AAA – 55-47; 2nd PCL Pacific Northern Division): Tacoma beat New Orleans 4-3. Chris Snelling (WI ’00) drove in the tying run in the bottom of the ninth. Oswaldo Navarro (WI ’05) knocked in the winning run with a single. Jon Nelson (WI ’03) homered early in the game for the Rainiers. Cha Seung Baek (WI ’00) allowed two runs on seven hits over 6-2/3 innings with a pair of walks and six strikeouts.

San Antonio (AA – 47-53; 20-12 second half 1st Texas League South Division): San Antonio beat Corpus Christi 2-1. Travis Chick allowed one run over six innings for the win. Jason Mackintosh (WI ’04), Stephen Kahn (WI ’05), and Eric O’Flaherty (WI ’05) each worked a scoreless inning with O’Flaherty picking up his sixth save.

Inland Empire (High-A – 53-47, 14-16 second half; T-4th California League South Division): Inland Empire lost 10-7 to Lancaster. Brent Johnson (WI ’05) had four hits for the 66ers offense. But, Shawn Nottingham (WI ’05) gave up nine runs on eleven hits over 4-2/3 innings to get the loss.

Everett (Short Season-A – 16-20; 4th Northwest League West Division): Everett lost 11-3 at Eugene. Curt Ledbetter (WI ’06) homered and drove in a pair of runs for the Sox.

AZL M’s (Rookie – 14-14; 5th Arizona League): The Mariners lost to the Padres 9-4.


Toronto (AJ Burnett 2-3) at Seattle (Jamie Moyer 5-9) 9:05pm CDT
New Orleans (Jason Bergman 6-1) at Tacoma (Bobby Livingston 5-7) 2:05pm CDT
Corpus Christi (Chad Reinecke 0-0) at San Antonio (Robert Rohrbaugh 2-2) 7:05pm
Inland Empire (Cibney Bello 4-5) at Lancaster (Cody Evans 0-1) 9:00pm CDT
Everett at Eugene 9:05pm CDT

AZL Mariners – OFF DAY


If Tuesday's Game Were a Movie...

it would be:

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are:

Early Steven Seagal. A fun action flick where Seagal is left for dead, suddenly snaps out of a coma, and visits vengance...sorry...cold, tasty, deserving VENGANCE on the his would be killers.
Rattlers rally from 6-3 down and Ron Garth came back from the dead, er, DL to lead the way for a 7-6 ten-inning win over South Bend. Garth was 4-for-4 with three RBI including the game tying home run in the bottom of the eighth.

And you can take THAT to the bank.

Complete box score HERE.

Off the DL

Ron Garth came off the DL today. He is in the starting lineup for tonight's game with South Bend.

Game Notes for 7/25 (Corrected)

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: South Bend starting pitcher Adam Howard pitched a career high 8-1/3 innings and struck out a career high twelve batters in a 9-4 Hawks win over the Rattlers. South Bend tagged a pair of homers on their way to building a 9-0 lead.

IT WAS SCORELESS: Until the Hawks loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third inning. Leyson Septimo drove in the first two runs of the night with a two-run single. One out later, Will Crouch crushed a 1-2 pitch over the left field wall for a home run and a 5-0 lead.

LOTS O’ K’s: Howard’s previous high for strikeouts in a game was eight. He was the first Silver Hawk pitcher this season to reach the 10K mark. The most times an opposing pitcher struck out Rattler hitters before last night was eleven. Joe Piekarz of Kane County struck out eleven Rattlers in eight innings on June 23. Last night, Kuo Hui Lo was the only Rattler hitter who did not strikeout.

WORKLOAD: Rattler starting pitcher Jose Escalona threw nearly ninety pitches in 3-2/3 innings and took the loss. He allowed six runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts to become the second Rattler pitcher to reach double digits in losses this season.

GOPHER BALLS: Last night was the sixth game in a row that the Rattler pitching staff has given up at least one homer. In the last six games, opponents have hit eight homers off Rattler hurlers. Of those eight homers six have been solo shots. The other two were three-run blasts.

BRIGHT SPOT: Rattler reliever Roman Martinez pitched two scoreless innings last night to extend his scoreless streak to 8-2/3 innings. The last time he allowed a run was July 10 in a game against Lansing at Fox Cities Stadium. He hasn’t given up a run in five straight outings.

MINAKER MAKES IT HAPPEN: Rattler shortstop Chris Minaker had a pair of hits, scored one run and drove in another last night,

NEW GUY AT THE TOP: Lo was Wisconsin’s leadoff hitter last night. He became the eighth different leadoff batter of the season for the Rattlers. Other Wisconsin leadoff hitters in 2006 have been: Ron Garth (20), Robby Hudson (6), Casey Craig (10), Luis Valbuena (15), Jeff Dominguez (47), Kevin Reynolds (5), and Chris Minaker (1)

TOUGH NIGHT WITH THE LEATHER: The Rattlers committed four errors last night to run their season total to 136.

Originally had Kyle Wright in as today's opposing starter. He is tomorrow's starter. Anthony Cupps is the starter for tonight and his informatin follows.

OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Anthony Cupps was a 7th round pick out of Mississippi by the Diamondbacks in the 2005 draft. He was 4-6 with a 5.05 ERA in fifteen games (twelve starts) for Missoula in the Pioneer League last season. In 2006, Cupps is 6-4 in nineteen starts for the Hawks. The Rattlers got to him for four runs on eight hits over six innings on April 23 at Coveleski Regional Stadium. Cupps walked two and struck out three for a no decision. In his last start, Cupps gave up two runs on six hits over 5-2/3 innings with three walks and four strikeouts for a no decision against Kane County on July 20.

Odds & Ends (7/24)

Rattlers Adam Moore is profiled by Scott Hanson in the Seattle Times M's Farm Report today.

Moore joined Everett after the draft and was hitting .500 (12 of 24) through his first six games. Less than two weeks later, he was promoted to Wisconsin while hitting .317.

"It was a great feeling, going into [Everett coach] Dave Meyer's office and being told I was being sent to Wisconsin," Moore said. "I wasn't expecting to get moved up so soon."

Also in the Times, former Rattler Gil Meche is the subject of a Larry Stone column Gil Meche: New and Improved?

Gil Meche feels your skepticism.

He knows that many Mariners fans view this splendid season of his as just another tease in a career filled with them. Every start could be the one where the old Meche reappears, the one whose starts are filled with rallies and blowups and ultimate frustration.

He's here to tell you that this is different. That's he's different.

Missed this yesterday until an observant reader pointed out that yesterday was the Anniversary of the "Pine Tar Game". From Baseball Library:

1983» In the memorable "Pine Tar Game" at Yankee Stadium, George Brett hits an apparent 2-run home run off Rich Gossage to give the Royals a 5–4 lead with two outs in the 9th inning, only to have it taken away when Yankees manager Billy Martin, at the urging of coach Don Zimmer, points out that the pine tar on Brett's bat handle exceeds the 17 inches allowed in the rules. As a result, Brett is called out for illegally batting the ball, giving New York a 4–3 victory. Brett goes ballistic a the Royals immediately protest, and American League President Lee MacPhail overrules his umpires for the first time saying that, while the rules should certainly be rewritten and clarified, the home run will stand and the game will be resumed from that point on August 18th.

Baseball Almanac has an enhanced box score of that game. Including a few memorable images that Blogger won't let me upload right now.

You don't expect to read about minor league pitching coaches being fired. That is why it is such a surprise when it happens:

Last Wednesday night, on an off day, Dayton Dragons pitching coach Larry Pierson was fired, called on the telephone by Johnny Almaraz, the Cincinnati Reds director of player personnel...

Almaraz, the farm director, watched the Dragons on Monday and would offer nothing new on the firing except to say he wanted the pitching staff in Dayton run differently than it was run...

Pierson oversaw four starters — Johnny Cueto (since promoted to Sarasota), Zachary Ward, Travis Wood and Fisher, who were a combined 30-8 entering Monday's game, which the 7-2 Wood started. Yet the Dragons were 48-51 overall, meaning the rest of the staff was 18-43. Pierson, obviously, was blamed for some of that.

Speaking of surpise firings:

ESPN yesterday fired analyst Harold Reynolds from Baseball Tonight, sources told The Post. The reason was not immediately known.

"We are not going to comment," ESPN VP Josh Krulewitz said.

Tip of the cap to the guys at Deadspin.com. They have some thoughts:

...we remain a little shocked. It's not that Reynolds was one of the highlights of the network -- he was all a little too "Big Papi, yeah!!!!" rah-rah-ish for us, though we generally found him pleasant -- but Reynolds never struck us as much of a troublemaker. We're most curious what would cause the network to suddenly drop a guy, overnight, after 11 years. Maybe he refused to do an ESPN Mobile commercial.

Not so quick story. It was the summer of 2000. The Rattlers had Ryan Christianson as their catcher. Ryan was Seattle's #1 pick in the 1999 draft and his agent was the brother of Harold Reynolds. The team was in Clinton there was a doubleheader. Ryan's agent was there and he asked his brother Harold to stop by on his way to somewhere else, beacause before the game there was Harold Reynolds standing on the concourse of Riverview Stadium (as it was then known) talking with Ryan.

After they were done talking I introduced myself to him and asked if he would be willing to come on the air between games. He politely turned me down because he had to leave after the first game to catch his flight. Not wanting to push it, I thanked him for his time and made a little small talk before heading up to the booth.

In about the second or third inning of the second game, the door to the booth opens and in walks Harold Reynolds. He sits down next to me and says something like, "I've got some time. Do you want to do this now?" Of course!

We talked about the game, those really cool Baseball Tonight commercials that were based on baseball movies, and the fact that he played in the Midwest League in 1981. He mentioned that he played in the MWL All-Star Game at County Stadium that year. It was a great talk and I should really go back and see if I can find that tape in my basement.

Monday in the MWL

South Bend 9, @Wisconsin 4 -- It wasn't that close.

@Fort Wayne 8, Clinton 3 -- Reinforcements arrive to help Wizards.

@Dayton 9, Lansing 2 -- It all came together for the Dragons last night.

Beloit 11, @Burlington 0 -- Geez, what got into Beloit last night? Oh, Christmas in July.

@Quad Cities 13, Southwest Michigan 1 -- An eleven run third inning was plenty for the SWING.

Kane County 8, @Cedar Rapids 4 -- Guess which team had fourteen hits and which team had nine hits.

@West Michigan 5, Peoria 3 -- This was the closest game in the MWL on Monday.

Complete Scoreboard HERE.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Ryan Feierabend, San Antonio.

7IP, 4R, 2ER was a nice outing for Feierabend. What gets him the nod today is that the win yesterday put him at 8-7. Considering the fact that he was 1-5 to start the season, him being above .500 is worth the Alum of the Day today.

Mariner System Report (Games of 7/24) {UPDATED}

(Staff meeting in a few minutes. Links will be added later)

(Update: Links added. Double post deleted)

Seattle (MAJ: 48-51; 4th AL West): The Mariners beat the Blue Jays 7-3. Kenji Johjima had a homer and four RBI for the M’s. Joel Pineiro (WI ’98) allowed three runs on ten hits for the win. Adam Jones (WI ’04) had a hit and drove in a run for Seattle.

Tacoma (AAA – 54-47; 2nd PCL Pacific Northern Division): Tacoma lost 5-3 at Fresno. Oswaldo Navarro (WI ’05) homered and drove in a pair of runs to put Tacoma up 2-1, but the Rainiers could not hold the lead on another hot day in Fresno. Michael Garciaparra (WI ’03) added three hits for the Rainiers.

San Antonio (AA – 46-53; 19-12 second half 1st Texas League South Division): San Antonio beat Corpus Christi 6-4. The Missions scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally from a 4-2 deficit. Ryan Feierabend (WI ’04) picked up his eighth win of the season for San Antonio. Wladimir Balentien (WI ’04) homered in the big inning and Eric O’Flaherty (WI ’05) held the Hooks off the board for the final 1-1/3 innings for his fifth save.

Inland Empire (High-A – 53-46, 14-15 second half; 3rd California League South Division): Inland Empire lost 3-1 at Lancaster. Josh Womack (WI ’05) drove in the only 66er run of the game. Justin Thomas (WI ’06) struck out eight and allowed two runs on six hits, but took the loss.

Everett (Short Season-A – 16-19; 4th Northwest League West Division): Everett beat Salem-Keizer 11-3. Manelik Pimentel homered and drove in four runs for the Sox. Oak Creek, Wisconsin native Anthony Butler pitched four innings and allowed one run on four hits with four strikeouts for the Sox

AZL M’s (Rookie – 14-13; 4th Arizona League): The Mariners lost 6-3 to the Rangers.


Toronto (Roy Halladay 12-2) at Seattle (Gil Meche 9-4) 9:05pm CDT
New Orleans (Billy Traber 7-6) at Tacoma (Cha Seung Baek 9-4) 9:05pm CDT
Corpus Christi (Troy Patton 0-0) at San Antonio (Travis Chick 1-0) 7:05pm
Inland Empire (Shawn Nottingham 4-7) at Lancaster (Cody Evans 0-1) 9:00pm CDT
Everett at Eugene 9:05pm CDT
AZL Mariners at AZL Padres 12:30pm CDT


If Monday's Game Were a Movie...

it would be:

For years, people have been telling me to watch Swingers.

For years, I have avoided it.

But, there was no getting away from it during the last few road trips because it has been on TBS for approximately three consecutive weeks.

I watched some of it and it annoyed me. Sorry. It just did. Maybe in another ten years I'll give it another chance.

Nothing in the movie reminded me of tonight's game except for the title.

Twelve strikeouts for Adam Howard and South Bend beats the Rattlers 9-4.

Complete boxscore HERE.

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