8/31/2008

Tonight's Rattler Starting Pitcher (8/31)

RH KEITH RENAUD: Selected by Seattle in the 10th round of the 2007 draft out of Franklin Pierce College of New Hampshire.

FIRST PRO START: Renaud made his first professional start as a Timber Rattler on July 7, 2007 at Kane County. He allowed two runs on two hits, two hit batsmen, four walks, and two strikeouts over 2-1/3 innings and took the loss.

2007 AS A RATTLER: Renaud went 2-0 with a 3.50ERA in 18 games (2 starts) with Wisconsin in 2007. He walked 18 and struck out 30 in 36 innings.

START OF 2008: Renaud started the year with the High Desert Mavericks. He went 3-9 with a 7.68 ERA. Renaud joined the Timber Rattlers on June 27.

LAST START: Renaud took the loss against Cedar Rapids on August 26. He allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits over 6-2/3 innings. Renaud did not walk a batter and struck out five.

VS. QUAD CITIES: Renaud is making his second start against the River Bandits this season. He made a pair of relief appearances against Quad Cities in 2007. Renaud allowed one run on two hits with a walk and four strikeouts in those games. In the start against the Bandits on August 21 of this year, Renaud went 4-2/3 innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Renaud got a no decision in that game, a 5-3 Quad Cities win.

PROFESSIONAL BESTS:
INNINGS PITCHED: 7.0 (6/30 @Burlington)
STRIKEOUTS: 6 ({2x} Last: @ vs. Quad Cities 8/21)

August 31 Game Notes

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The River Bandits beat the Timber Rattlers 6-3. Jon Edwards and Blake Murphy both homered and knocked in two runs for the Bandits and the Timber Rattlers committed four errors in the game.

A TRIO OF RUNS: Quad Cities grabbed an early 3-0 lead. Jon Edwards hit a solo homer in the bottom of the first. In the second, Blake Murphy drew a bases loaded walk and an RBI grounder by D’Marcus Ingram put the River Bandits up three.

TRADING RUNS: Wisconsin got their first run on a sacrifice fly by Alex Liddi, but a solo homer by Murphy in the sixth got Quad Cities back up by three runs.

WITHIN ONE: The Rattlers scored twice in the seventh inning to get to within 4-3. Denny Almonte drove in a run with a triple and scored on an sacrifice fly by Blake Ochoa.

INSURANCE: The River Bandits went back up by three with two more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Edward drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly and Curt Smith doubled in the run to make the score 6-3.

A CHANCE: In the top of the ninth, Almonte reached on a one out single. He was running on a pitch to Juan Diaz, when Diaz hit a sharp grounder towards right. The ball hit Almonte for the second out. Ochoa drew a walk to bring the tying run to the plate. But, Dylan Gonzalez picked up the save by getting the third out to complete his second scoreless inning.

THAT HASN’T HAPPENED IN A LONG TIME: The Rattlers committed four errors in the game last night. Those errors led to three unearned runs for the River Bandits. The last time the Rattlers committed more than two errors in a game was June 12.

FOR COMPARISON: The Rattlers had been charged with just 24 errors in the first 27 games of August.

2 x 3: Almonte had two triples last night. He is the first Rattler to get a pair of three-base hits in a game this season. The last Rattler to have two triples in a game was Carlos Peguero. Coincidentally, Peguero also had his two triple game against the Swing of the Quad Cities in John O’Donnell Stadium – the former name of the River Bandits and of Modern Woodmen Park.

LONG RELIEF: Ryan Moorer worked 4-2/3 innings in relief last night. That was the longest relief stint of the season by a Rattler.

SCORELESS STREAK: Natividad Dilone pitched 1-2/3 innings last night. He has not allowed a run since August 10. Dilone has reached 13 innings in his scoreless streak over the last seven games.

A NOTE ON THE Ks: Wisconsin struck out 11 times last night. Rattler hitters have struck out 1140 times this season.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Quad Cities River Bandits are the Midwest League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. They missed out on the playoffs in both halves of the season. Quad Cities is 67-65 overall and 34-34 in the second half. The River Bandits are 36-29 at home this season. In their most recent series, the River Bandits split a four game series at Burlington.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .242 as a team and have scored 512 runs (3.8/game). Wisconsin has hit 60 home runs this season. The Timber Rattler pitching staff has a combined ERA of 3.84. Quad Cities is hitting .241 as a team. They have scored 559 runs (4.2/game). The Bandits have hit 99 home runs this season. The Quad Cities pitching staff has a combined ERA of 3.77.

2008 SEASON SERIES: The Rattlers lead the season series 7-5. Wisconsin and Quad Cities split a four game series at Modern Woodmen Park to open the 2008 season. The Rattlers won the first two games of a series on Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium that was scheduled for four games from June 5-8. The games on June 7 and 8 were rained out. The teams split the four game series in Grand Chute August 21-24.

QUAD CITIES STARTING PITCHER: LH Ryan Kulick was picked by the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth round of the 2008 draft out of Rowan (NJ) University. Kulik went 10-2 with an ERA of 1.72 and struck out 144 while walking just 24 over 94-1/3 innings for the Profs. Kulik started his professional season with the Batavia Muckdogs in the New York-Penn League with a pair of starts that lasted three innings each. He allowed one unearned run on three hits and struck out five before being promoted to the River Bandits. He is 5-5 in 11 starts with a 5.57ERA since joining Quad Cities. In his start prior to this evening, Kulik lost at Burlington on August 26. He allowed nine runs (four earned) on eight hits in just 1-2/3 innings. Tonight is Kulik’s second start against the Rattlers. On August 21 in Grand Chute, Kulik gave up 11 hits over seven innings, but only allowed three runs for the victory. Kulik struck out a nine batters to match the high for a single game in his professional career.

Walking around the stadium (Quad Cities)

Corn? In Iowa? Unheard of I say!





I mentioned this on the air the other night. When it is time to do the starting lineups right before the National Anthem the starters all walk down to the corn. Each player charges out of the field when his name is called.

What movie are they referencing here????



Yeah, That's the one.

Oh, and there is more...Here are some shots of the Tiki Village.




I would have gotten more, but I got this weird Scooby Doo vibe off the place. Why? From this episode of course.

A Tiki Scare is No Fair
Scooby brings up an ancient villiage, but their tour guide mentions that it is haunted. Drums starting pounding on their own and the sky turns black right as a ghostly tiki god appears and warns everyone to leave.
He would've gotten away with it if it hadn't been....you know the rest.

Look who'll be getting the call (Bumped)

Bumped to second from the top. Just wanted this one to be near the top for a while.

The Tacoma News-Tribune has this short story. Ex-Rattlers will be bolded.
The kids are coming, and when the major league rosters expand on Monday, Mariners minor leaguers will be coming two at a time.

Although a handful of Tacoma players are expected to join Seattle during the next seven to 10 days, only two will join the Mariners in Texas on Monday – left-handed pitcher Justin Thomas and infielder Luis Valbuena.

For Thomas, 24, and Valbuena, 22, this will be their first trip to the big leagues. Valbuena started this season at Double-A West Tennessee.

In the days that follow, the Mariners expect to call up catcher Rob Johnson and pitchers Brandon Morrow, Mark Lowe and Jared Wells.

Thomas and Valbuena were teammates on the 2006 Rattler team. Johnson ('05) was called up at the end of last year and went 1-for-3 with a stolen base in six games. Lowe ('05) is working his way back to the M's.

This is the last song

So, everybody sing along.

I should have known that Chad over at Baseball in Fort Wayne would have something neat up on the last Wizard game at Memorial Stadium. Just got around to checking it today.

If I ever get the opportunity to do something like this, I'd go with This Song is Over by The Who.

This song is over
I'm left with only tears
I must remember
Even if it takes a million years

Season wrapup for the Chiefs

Kevin Capie of the Peoria Journal-Star has this about the '08 Peoria Chief season

Sunny days are ahead for Chiefs
It wasn't really until today that I sat back and realized everything that has happened," Chiefs president Rocky Vonachen said Thursday night as the Chiefs finished the home portion of their schedule. "Looking back on it, it went so quick."

The high point, of course, was the "Road To Wrigley" game the Chiefs played against the Kane County Cougars at Wrigley Field. Without that game, because of the rain outs, the Chiefs would not have set their single-season attendance record for the second consecutive season. The Chiefs finished with 275,673 fans walking through the turnstiles.

It also helped that Ryne Sandberg returned to Peoria to manage.

"We were definitely planning on the year without Ryno," Vonachen said. "But having him here helped get our name out there around not just the city but the region."
Also, here is a gift the manager of the Chiefs received.
As nice as having his number retired by the Chiefs, Sandberg found another gem on Thursday.

A fan sent him a DVD containing the whole broadcast of the game in which the then future-Hall-of-Famer picked up his first Major League hit.

"I have (the hit) on VHS, which I never watch," Sandberg said. "Now I've got the whole game."
You see, kids, VHS was something that we used when we wanted to tape sporting events or TV shows or movies. There was this device called a VCR -- video cassette recorder -- that used VHS tapes....but that is an entirely different topic for an different day.

The truth is out there, Jeff

Two of the last three posts on Jeff Johnson's Diamonds and Ice blog at the Cedar Rapids Gazette bring up conspiracies.

First there was the one from August 25

Doug Eddings = White Sox fan
Let me preface this by saying I am a Minnesota Twins fan. Believe it or not, there are folks around these parts who root for a baseball team other than the Chicago Cubs. It was great to see a plethora of Twins hats and shirts in the crowd at the Cedar Rapids Kernels-Beloit Snappers game last week. But I digress ….

Anyway, somehow a fielder’s interference was called on Tampa’s Willy Aybar in the bottom of the 10th inning of a tie game when he was alleged to have interfered with A.J. Pierzynski (the man you love to hate) during a rundown between second and third. Never mind that Aybar immediately turned out of the baseline after tossing the ball to a teammate at second base. Never mind that Pierzynski intentionally stuck his elbow out to try and touch Aybar … and missed!


Where I’m going with this, other than to vent about one HORRIBLE umpire’s call that directly decided the outcome of a big game, is that the umpire involved was Doug Eddings. You might remember him as the umpire who somehow allowed Pierzynski to reach first base after striking out in the 2005 ALCS. It was a call that turned the entire series around and led to the White Sox’ gift World Series championship.
So I ask you, conspiracy theorists out there, if there should be an investigation into Eddings and whether or not he’s on the take.
Whoa!

Then, there is this post from this morning:

Why isn’t this guy with the Kernels?
Lopez is a soon-to-be 23-year old who played college baseball with Kernels second baseman Hector Estrella at the University of Southern California. So why the heck isn’t he helping the Kernels in the upcoming Midwest League playoffs?

He’s too old for the level he is at, essentially a college player in a league full of high school guys. Yes, the Kernels already have a capable first baseman in Gabe Jacobo. But perhaps Lopez could do some DHing or something.

There’s long been this conspiracy theory in Cedar Rapids about how Orem is stacked every season to appease longtime scout and manager Tom Kotchman, at the expense of the Kernels. That a guy like Lopez is hitting almost .400 and is still playing in Utah supports that theory.

Whoa!

Hometown treatment for Feierabend

Anyone who was affiliated with the Timber Rattlers in 2004 knows that Ryan Feierabend is from Ohio. The Rattler pitcher talked about the trip to Dayton for three weeks leading up to it. I still remember his reaction when the team bus crossed the border from Indiana into his home state.

The Chronicle-Telegram: Lorain County's leading news source has this on the ex-Rattler.

Chris Assenheimer: Midview grad Feierabend getting a real chance to show Mariners he belongs
“There are opportunities for guys up here,” Feierabend said. “There are a lot of guys vying for spots next year. Hopefully they see something they like. Next year in spring training I’m going to give them everything I’ve got and try to prove that I belong on this team.

“I try not to put too much pressure on myself, because I’ve found things usually don’t go well when you do that. I can’t control the decisions they make in the front office. I respect all the decisions they make and I try to focus on what I can control.”
...
The milestones have already been many for Feierabend, who has made his big league debut, secured his first win in the majors and got to pitch against the team he grew up rooting on — the Indians — in a game last season at Seattle’s Safeco Field.

Feierabend didn’t fare well against the Tribe — six runs on eight hits in just 2 2/3 innings — but the experience of pitching against his hometown team is one he’ll cherish until he gets another chance.

“It wasn’t so much weird, because the (Indians) teams that I grew up watching had disassembled, (Manny) Ramirez and (Jim) Thome,” Feierabend said. “It was definitely cool, so to speak, to pitch against a team I grew up idolizing.”

Throughout a professional career that has taken him to Washington, Texas and Wisconsin, Feierabend has remained true to his Ohio roots.

He married his high school sweetheart from Midview, Sarah Maxwell, and, until recently purchasing a home in Peoria, Ariz., had returned to Lorain County each offseason, taking in a handful of Browns games. His parents recently moved from Grafton to Elyria, where Feierabend spent last winter.

A quick Mavs wrap-up

The Victor Valley Daily Press caught a few different thread in this article from Friday.

But here is the main one, for me at least. Ex-Rattlers have their name bolded.
While the Mavericks promoted several players to Double A this season, they were hampered by the injury bug. Overall, 15 different players spent time on the disabled list, and seven were lost for the season. A few others missed time on a game-to-game basis.

“I think the biggest thing I was disappointed about was the injury always seemed to come when a kid was starting to figure it out,” Mavericks manager Jim Horner said.

Standout players lost for the season included outfielder Carlos Peguero (.299 batting average, 12 HRs and 74 RBIs in 92 games), infielder Leury Bonilla and all-star pitcher Kyle Parker.

The Mavs limped to the finish line in August; they began the month in contention for a California League South Division playoff spot and won their first four games of the month (five straight overall). But they had dropped 19 of 22 entering Friday’s game.
Head over to the link for the other stuff.

What's all this then?

There was a story last night on Prospect Insider that I wanted to put up a link to this morning. But, this is what was there this morning.

Prospect Insider May or May Not Be Back…


Um, Jason? Still out there? Did I get a wrong URL? Did you get hacked?

Midwest League Action (8/30)

August 30 scoreboard.

@Quad Cities 6, Wisconsin 3: “All three of our pitchers, Fick, (Matt) Spade, Gonzalez, they did their part and that’s what it takes,’’ Dillard said. “There really aren’t any big revelations in this one. Guys did their jobs and we got the win. Right now, that feels pretty good.’’

Lansing 4, @South Bend 2: “Josh had a mental breakdown, he’s never had an inning like that before,’’ said South Bend manager Mark Haley. “He’s a competitive guy and he’ll make sure it never happens again.’’

Peoria 7, @Kane County 6: The Peoria Chiefs snapped a six-game losing streak and clinched the season series against their only in-state rivals with a 7-6 win Saturday night over the Kane County Cougars.

West Michigan 7, @Dayton 3: "We're trying to win these ball games, but we're also trying to win the playoffs," Dragons manager Donnie Scott said. "I didn't think (starting pitcher Juan Rafael) was into it. I know we clinched a playoff spot, and who cares about these (last regular-season) games? But I don't think you can turn the switch on and off.

@Great Lakes 3, Fort Wayne 1: {Artistic Sportswriter Alert!} As the sun begins to set on the Great Lakes Loons second season, Loons’ starter Garrett White was a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dismal season.

Burlington 7, @Beloit 2: The game remained 3-2 until the top of the eighth, when the Bees would storm ahead even further. Burlington scored four runs on four hits and one Snapper error to take a 7-2 lead. Nick Francis had the big hit, cracking a two-run homer to dead center field.

Clinton 7, @Cedar Rapids 5: "Obviously winning and losing maybe isn't as important as making sure everybody is healthy and everybody gets (their work in). It's just a matter of going out and staying professional. There's not a switch that you can turn on and off. We've got to go out and finish ballgames."

Mariner System Report (Games of 8/30)

SEATTLE (MAJ: 52-83 4th American League West): The Mariners beat Cleveland 4-3 in 10 innings. Shin-soo Choo (’02) homered in the bottom of the ninth inning off JJ Putz (’00) to tie the game 2-2. The M’s scored twice in the top of the tenth and held on for the win.

TACOMA (AAA: 78-64, 2nd Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division): The Rainiers beat Portland 6-4. Tacoma scored three times in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally from a 4-3 deficit. Matt Tuiasosopo drove in the tying run by getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Shawn Garrett drove in the next two runs with a single. Denny Stark (’97) got the win.

WEST TENNESSEE (AA: 70-67, 28-37 4th Southern League North Division): The Diamond Jaxx lost 6-5 at Mississippi. Marshall Hubbard (’05) hit a grand slam in the top of the first inning for an early West Tennessee lead. But, the Braves rallied to tie the game 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth. The teams traded runs in the seventh. Then, Kala Ka’aihue homered in the bottom of the ninth to win the game.

HIGH DESERT (High-A: 56-82, 24-44 second half 5th California League South Division): The Mavericks lost 9-2 at Lake Elsinore. Gavin Dickey (’08) and Carlos Triunfel (’07) had an RBI each for High Desert. The win was Lake Elsinore's ninth straight.

EVERETT (Short Season-A: 31-41, 3rd Northwest League Western Division): The AquaSox beat Salem-Keizer 5-4 in ten innings. Everett trailed the game 4-2, but scored single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game. Anthony Phillips drove in the winning run with a single.

MARINER SYSTEM SCHEDULE TODAY
Seattle (Ryan Rowland-Smith 3-2) at Cleveland (Zach Jackson 0-0) 12:05pm CDT
Portland (Justin Germano 2-8) at Tacoma (Brandon Morrow 0-2) 3:30pm CDT
West Tennessee (Luis Munoz 1-1) at Mississippi (Tommy Hanson 7-4) 7:05pm CDT
High Desert at Lake Elsinore 8:08pm CDT
Salem-Keizer at Everett 3:05pm CDT
Pulaski – SEASON OVER 40-27 Appalachian League Runners-up
AZL Mariners – SEASON OVER 21-35

8/30/2008

Something to look forward to

I'm going to take pictures of some of the interesting new features at Modern Woodmen Park and post them tomorrow.

I know that the Tiki Bar is getting a lot of the pub, but the rows of corn are something else.

Speaking of Tiki Bars, I finally got around to getting the new John Hiatt CD. Going to listen to it right now.

Oh, and the countdown clock to the 2009 opener is getting bumped to the top again.

Tonight's Rattler Starting Pitcher (8/30)

LH JOSE JIMENEZ was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Seattle Mariners in July, 2003 out of Venezuela.

DOWN IN VENEZUELA: Jimenez spent four seasons pitching for Seattle’s Venezuelan Summer League affiliate in Aguirre. He compiled a career record of 7-7 in 80 games (six starts) with 109 strikeouts and 71 walks over 125-1/3 innings pitched and an ERA of 2.80.

RECOGNITION: Last year, Jimenez was 1-1 with 15 saves and an ERA of 1.57 in 28 games with 23 strikeouts and 12 walks in 28 innings pitched. He was named Aguirre’s Most Valuable Pitcher by the Mariners.

INSTRUCTION: Jimenez took part in the 2007 Mariner Instructional League.

LIVING OUT OF THE SUITCASE: Jimenez began his 2008 season with the Pulaski Mariners on June 19 and made a pair of starts for Seattle’s Appalachian League affiliate. He was transferred to High Desert in early July and made five appearances (four starts) for the California League affiliate of the Mariners. He was sent back to Pulaski in late July and made a relief appearance for them on July 28. Jimenez was transferred to the Timber Rattlers after that appearance.

LAST WIN: Jimenez got the victory as a starter for the High Desert Mavericks on July 1 in a game against the Lancaster JetHawks. This was the California League debut for Jimenez. He allowed to runs on five hits over 5-1/3 innings with one walk and five strikeouts.

LAST START: Jimenez made his first start with the Timber Rattlers on August 25 against the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He allowed two runs on five hits over four innings. Jimenez walked one and struck out two in a no decision against the Kernels.

VS. QUAD CITIES: Tonight is the first time Jimenez is facing the River Bandits.

VS. CARDINALS: Jimenez faced the St. Louis affiliate in the Venezuelan Summer League three times last season. In those three relief appearances, Jimenez picked up a save in each one. He allowed no runs on one hit over three innings. Jimenez did not walk a batter, hit two, and struck out three.

PROFESSIONAL HIGHS
INNINGS PITCHED: 5.2 (vs. Rancho Cucamonga 7/8/08)
STRIKEOUTS: 8 (@Princeton 6/19/08)

August 30 game notes

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Timber Rattlers defeated the River Bandits 6-2. Wisconsin broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the top of the eighth inning. Alex Liddi drove in the go ahead run with a single. Joe Kantakevich pitched 1-1/3 innings of shutout relief to pick up the win.

EARLY BACK-AND-FORTH: The River Bandits broke a scoreless tie with a run in the bottom of the third inning on an error by Rattler shortstop Terry Serrano. Wisconsin tied the game with an RBI single by Israel Nunez in the fifth inning. Wisconsin took the lead in the sixth when Joe Dunigan scored from third on a passed ball. The Bandits evened the game on an RBI single by D’Marcus Ingram in the bottom of the sixth.

JUAN LAST START: Juan Ramirez made his final start of the 2008 season last night. The righty out of Nicaragua struck out seven without walking a batter and allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits over 6-2/3 innings. Ramirez will finish the ’08 season second on the Rattlers in innings pitched (124), strikeouts (113), and starts (22).

BREAKING THROUGH: Edilio Colina reached on a throwing error by River Bandit third baseman Domnit Bolivar to start the eighth inning. Joe Dunigan followed with a single off River Bandit reliever JD Stambaugh. Then, Liddi dropped in his single to drive in Colina. Joe White got hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Stambaugh got a strikeout to record the first out of the inning. That brought Matt Frevert out of the River Bandit bullpen.

ADDING ON: Alex Meneses gave Wisconsin a 4-2 lead by drawing a bases loaded walk against Frevert to force in a run. Nunez singled in a run and a sacrifice fly by Daniel Carroll plated the final run of the inning.

O, ISRAEL! Nunez was hitting .154 with three RBI in the first half of the season. Since the Midwest League All-Star break, Nunez is hitting .257 with 13 RBI to bump those totals to .229 and 16.

THE MONTH OF DUNIGAN: Dunigan scored two runs last night to give him 20 runs scored in the month of August. Dunigan leads the Rattlers in runs, home runs (5), RBI (14), home runs (5), and is tied for the team lead in stolen bases (7) and hits (29) during August.

CARROLL’S ARM: Daniel Carroll threw out Ross Oeder at the plate when Oeder tried to scored from second base on a hit by Jon Edwards in the bottom of the eighth inning. Carroll has five outfield assists in the last nine games.

TOSSING ZEROES: Rattler reliever Jose Escalona pitched a scoreless ninth inning in a non-save situation. He has not allowed a run since allowing a home run at Peoria on August 15. Escalona has a scoreless streak that has reached 10-1/3 innings.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Quad Cities River Bandits are the Midwest League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. They missed out on the playoffs in both halves of the season. Quad Cities is 66-65 overall and 33-34 in the second half. The River Bandits are 35-29 at home this season. In their most recent series, the River Bandits split a four game series at Burlington.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .242 as a team and have scored 509 runs (3.8/game). Wisconsin has hit 60 home runs this season. The Timber Rattler pitching staff has a combined ERA of 3.84. Quad Cities is hitting .241 as a team. They have scored 553 runs (4.2/game). The Bandits have hit 97 home runs this season. The Quad Cities pitching staff has a combined ERA of 3.79.

2008 SEASON SERIES: The Rattlers lead the season series 7-4. Wisconsin and Quad Cities split a four game series at Modern Woodmen Park to open the 2008 season. The Rattlers won the first two games of a series on Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium that was scheduled for four games from June 5-8. The games on June 7 and 8 were rained out. The teams split the four game series in Grand Chute August 21-24.

QUAD CITIES STARTING PITCHER: RH Chuckie Fick was the 15th round pick of the Cardinals in the 2007 out of Cal State Northridge. He went 2-0 on two stops in the St. Louis minor league system last season. Fick went 1-0 with two saves in eight relief appearances for Johnson City in the Appalachian League and 1-0 in nine relief appearances for Batavia in the New York-Penn League. In 2007, Fick struck out 25 and walked 11 over 39 innings between Johnson City and Batavia. Fick joined the River Bandits in early May and is 5-5 in 19 games (12 starts). Tonight is his first appearance against the Timber Rattlers and his first ever appearance against an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. In his last start prior to this evening, Fick won at Burlington on August 23. He allowed three runs on seven hits over seven innings against the Bees. Fick walked two and struck out four.

Churchill on Tuiasosopo

Jason Churchill's M's Farm Report at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is on a familiar topic.

Tuiasosopo starts to hit his stride
Two years ago the Mariners rushed Matt Tuiasosopo to Double-A and saw the Woodinville native scuffle through 62 games like a fish out of water.

Then just 20 years of age, Tuiasosopo batted .185 with five extra-base hits and 64 strikeouts after the aggressive promotion, drawing questions of potential player development mistakes from in and out of the Mariners organization.

But since then, the former third-round pick has steadily improved, including an acceptable 2007 campaign repeating Double-A. But Tuiasosopo didn't begin to make believers out of rival scouts until this summer.

"It's night and day," a National League West scout said about Tuiasosopo's confidence, skills and general improvement. "You can watch him these days and say, 'Now I see some big league ability in him.' "
There is more at the link.

A Player's Perspective

The Kernels got into the playoffs with a win over the Rattlers on Wednesday night. Catcher Chris Rosenbaum has been blogging all season long and he put up this post upon arriving back in Cedar Rapids.
While this was not the first two-city and weeklong road trip we made this season, it feels like it was the longest, and the team is finally happy to be returning home. More importantly, we were able to clinch the wild card playoff spot Wednesday night with a 3-2 win. Aside from player development, the goal every year for a team is to make the playoffs. Emphasis for the first half of the season is generally put on player development, but there is a transformation in the second half atmosphere that puts winning at a higher level.
...
In the end, this is the epitome of baseball. It is a team sport made up of individual efforts, and it requires that these individual efforts be selfless and have a team-first priority, not me-first. Once August rolls around, a player has an idea of where his statistics are going to finish for the season, and this is where “playing for each other” becomes most important. While performing one’s role is stressed throughout the season, its importance is highlighted in big games during a playoff run. Putting the team first and moving a runner over wins championships, while trying to drive a run in by yourself only precludes you from the opportunity.
...
As we finally pull into the stadium about four and a half hours after departing Appleton, I will conclude with a quote we heard earlier this season: “You are never as bad as you think you are, and you are never as good as you think you are.” Despite this modest approach, right now, we think we are damn good.
I think that last sentence kind of defeated the purpose of the quote, but the Kernels are playing some pretty good baseball.

The cost of a fine

Marc Katz of the Dayton Daily News revisits the brawl between Dayton and Peoria from a different perspective. How did the paying the fines impact the Dayton players?
Paying off fines of $150 to $200 — as several of the Dayton Dragons have been asked to do following their July 24 brawl with Peoria — seems like a small amount of money.

It isn't if you're playing low Class A baseball.

While the major league minimum salary is nudging close to $400,000 and the average salary has climbed north of $3 million, the parent Reds are paying first-year Dragons about $1,200 a month — before taxes.
...
Jeremy Horst — one of the Dragons suspended for three days and fined as well — conserves.

"I have a car, but I live downtown with a host family that won't take any money," Horst said. "I don't have to buy that much gas, although I do have car insurance and a cell phone."

He also has certain meals to buy (the Dragons provide a post-game home meal and road meal money is $20 a day). Horst has a fiancee at home in Green Bay, Wis., and since April, the couple's first child, a girl.

Midwest League Action (8/29)

August 29 scoreboard.

Wisconsin 6, @Quad Cities 2:
It wasn’t exactly the view Terry Pollreisz preferred, but the Wisconsin manager wasn’t complaining.

Pollreisz watched his Timber Rattlers put together a four-run eighth inning Friday night from a seat in the Modern Woodmen Park dugout, nursing a heel injury he suffered earlier in Wisconsin’s 6-2 Midwest League win over the Quad-Cities River Bandits.

“You know it’s been a tough night when the third-base coach limps off,’’ Pollreisz said. “I liked the outcome, though, but I also knew at that point that it felt a lot better sitting down than it did standing up.’’

Pollreisz left the field under his own power in the top of the sixth inning, suffering the injury in the third-base coaching box as he tried to position himself to wave Joe Dunigan on to third as the Rattlers successfully executed a hit and run.
@South Bend 5, Lansing 2: "I would have liked to have seen some better at-bats later in the game," South Bend manager Mark Haley said.

West Michigan 5, @Dayton 0: "It's just one day," said Dragons manager Donnie Scott. "They've been going full blast for awhile. I wanted to give them a rest. There was no better time to do it than all in one day."

Fort Wayne 5, @Great Lakes 2: "Miller pitched two good quality innings and then in the third, he threw a lot of balls," said Loons' manager Juan Bustabad. "Thompson gave us five quality innings, but threw one bad pitch, a home run by Felix Carrasco. He should have pitched around him."

@Kane County 6, Peoria 3: The Peoria Chiefs lost their sixth straight contest with a 6-3 defeat at Kane County Friday night to begin the season’s final series.

@Beloit 6, Burlington 4: Marc Dolenc ripped a two-run triple in the seventh inning and the Beloit Snappers went on to post their third straight victory, 6-4 over the Burlington Bees Friday night at Pohlman Field.

Clinton 2, @Cedar Rapids 1: If familiarity breeds contempt, these clubs ought to absolutely hate each other by the time next weekend rolls around.

Mariner System Report (Games of 8/29)

SEATTLE (MAJ: 51-83 4th American League West): The Mariners beat Cleveland 3-2. Raul Ibanez (Foxes, ’94) hit a two-run home run and drove in three runs for Seattle. Felix Hernandez (’03) allowed six hits for the win.

TACOMA (AAA: 77-64, 2nd Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division): The Rainiers beat Portland 11-2. Matt Tuiasosopo (’05) went 3-for-5. Tacoma scored six times in the fourth inning.

WEST TENNESSEE (AA: 70-66, 28-36 4th Southern League North Division): The Diamond Jaxx beat Mississippi 4-0. Four West Tennessee pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout and Matt Mangini broke a scoreless tie with a three-run double.

HIGH DESERT (High-A: 56-81, 24-43 second half 5th California League South Division): The Mavericks beat Rancho Cucamonga 8-6. Justin Souza (’08) allowed four runs on eight hits over six innings for the win in the last High Desert home game of the season.

EVERETT (Short Season-A: 30-41, 3rd Northwest League Western Division): The AquaSox lost 8-1 to Salem-Keizer. Everett avoided the shutout with a run in the bottom of the ninth.

PULASKI (Rookie: 40-27, 1st Appalachian League East Division): The M’s lost 7-0 at Elizabethton. The Twins swept the best-of-three Appalachian League Championship Series.

PEORIA (Rookie: 21-35, 12-16 6th Arizona League): The season has ended for the AZL M’s.

MARINER SYSTEM SCHEDULE TODAY
Seattle (Jarrod Washburn 5-14) at Cleveland (Anthony Reyes 2-1) 2:55pm CDT
Portland (Josh Banks 1-1) at Tacoma (Andy Baldwin 10-5) 9:00pm CDT
West Tennessee (Gaby Hernandez 1-1) at Mississippi (Todd Redmond 13-5) 7:05pm CDT
High Desert (Travis Mortimore 1-4) at Lake Elsinore (Nathan Culp 13-8) 9:05pm CDT
Salem-Keizer at Everett 9:05pm CDT
Pulaski – SEASON OVER
AZL Mariners – SEASON OVER

Off the board

The first post of the day is usually the Mariner system report, but since I got this news in a text message at 2:33 this morning I feel the need to go off the board with the first post of the day.

A text message at 2:33 in the morning must be so important that it must lead the news of the day. It MUST!

Now, this may come as a surprise. No, you will be shocked. SHOCKED, I say.

There is no news story to which I can link, no team release to show you, no nothing save this text message from 2:33am this morning.

Are you ready? Make sure that you are sitting down...

Brad Holman, former Timber Rattler pitching coach and current Altoona Curve pitching coach, will be singing "The Loyal Fan" after the Altoona Curve game on Sunday.










Oh, that's all. Now to the day's post.

8/29/2008

Tonight's Rattler Starting Pitcher (8/29)

RH JUAN RAMIREZ: Signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Nicaragua by Seattle in July 2005.

NUMBER NINE: Ramirez struck out nine batters in three consecutive starts this season. The streak started against West Michigan on April 28; continued with a start at Great Lakes on May 4; and reached three against Cedar Rapids. He struck out nine batters in a game again on August 24 against Quad Cities.

LAST START: Ramirez beat the Quad Cities River Bandits in Grand Chute on August 24. He allowed two runs on five hits over seven innings and did not walk a batter as he struck out nine. The River Bandits broke a 1-1 tie with a run off Ramirez in the top of the seventh. But, the Rattler offense rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 5-2 lead. The Wisconsin bullpen held on for the victory.

ON THE ROAD: Ramirez is 2-6 with an ERA of 4.67 in 12 games (10 starts) on the road this season.

AT HOME: Ramirez is 4-3 with an ERA of 3.99 in 12 games (11 starts) at home this season.

VS. QUAD CITIES: Ramirez has made two starts against Quad Cities this season. Aside from the start on 8/24, he also made the start against the Bandits on June 5 on Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. In that game, Ramirez allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits over six innings, walked one, and struck out six. Ramirez picked up a no decision, but the Rattlers would win 4-3 in 10 innings.

PROFESSIONAL HIGHS
INNINGS PITCHED: 8.2: 6/22 vs. Burlington
STRIKEOUTS: 9 (4x) Last: 8/24 vs. Quad Cities

August 29 Game Notes

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Timber Rattlers beat the Cedar Rapids Kernels 3-1. Maximo Mendez had three hits, stole two bases, and scored two runs to pace the Rattler offense. Keith Meyer pitched six shutout innings and the Rattlers ended their home schedule with a victory.

JUST MAKING A NOTE OF IT: The Rattlers have won their last regular season home game of the season in four straight years. The last time the Rattlers did not win the last home game of a season was a 7-6 loss to Fort Wayne on September 6, 2004.

A PLACE CALLED HOME: The Rattlers wrapped up the 2008 home schedule with a record of 30-34. For comparison, Wisconsin was 26-42 in 2007 and 29-40 in 2006.

STEPPING UP: Mendez moved into the leadoff spot last night for the first time since August 22. He had hit eighth (once) or ninth (thrice) in the lineup the times he had been in the lineup since 8/22. Mendez went 3-for-4 and scored two runs. He also knocked in a run. The two steals gave Mendez 25 on the season.

OFFENSE: Catcher Blake Ochoa tripled to start the Rattler third inning. Mendez singled to drive him in with the first run of the game. Later in the inning, Joe Dunigan drove in Mendez with a single for a 2-0 lead. Edilio Colina drove in Mendez with a single in the bottom of the fifth for a little insurance.

TO 50 AND BEYOND: Colina became the second Rattler with 50 RBI this season when he drove in Mendez. Dunigan leads the Rattlers with 55 RBI.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF STREAK: Dunigan has driven in at least one run in the last five games in which the Rattlers have scored a run.

MEYER WAY: The Pittsburgh native made his third start of the season and pitched a career-high six innings while keeping the Kernels in check. Meyer walked two, hit one, and struck out three while allowing three hits. He is 2-1 in three starts for the Timber Rattlers this season.

WELCOME BACK: Brett Lorin, the 5th round pick of Seattle in the 2008 draft, pitched two innings of relief last night. The product of Long Beach State University was making his first appearance in a game since August 11. Lorin allowed an unearned run with a walk, no hits, and a pair of strikeouts.

WELCOME BACK, PT II: Rattler reliever Rob Harmon also returned to action after a lengthy layoff. Harmon, who had last pitched on August 6, allowed a hit and issued a walk in the top of the ninth inning, but got the final three outs to earn his sixth save of the season.

LIVE BY THE STOLEN BASE; DIE BY THE CAUGHT STEALING: The Kernels lead the Midwest League in stolen bases with 238. Last night, Ochoa threw out two of the three Kernel players who attempted stolen bases.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Quad Cities River Bandits are the Midwest League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. They missed out on the playoffs in both halves of the season. Quad Cities is 66-64 overall and 33-33 in the second half. The River Bandits are 35-28 at home this season. In their most recent series, the River Bandits split a four game series at Burlington.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .242 as a team and have scored 503 runs (3.8/game). Wisconsin has hit 60 home runs this season. The Timber Rattler pitching staff has a combined ERA of 3.87. Quad Cities is hitting .241 as a team. They have scored 551 runs (4.2/game). The Bandits have hit 97 home runs this season. The Quad Cities pitching staff has a combined ERA of 3.79.

2008 SEASON SERIES: The Rattlers lead the season series 6-4. Wisconsin and Quad Cities split a four game series at Modern Woodmen Park to open the 2008 season. The Rattlers won the first two games of a series on Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium that was scheduled for four games from June 5-8. The games on June 7 and 8 were rained out. The teams split the four game series in Grand Chute August 21-24.

PROSPECTING: Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook listed no current River Bandits on their list of the top 30 prospects in the St. Louis organization. Reliever Kenny Maiques was rated at #15 before the 2008 season, but he is currently on the DL.

OUT OF THE DRAFT 2007: The Cardinals have put eight members of their 2007 draft class on the active Quad Cities roster. Pitchers Chuckie Fick (15th), Dylan Gonzalez (31st), Deryk Hooker (7th), Jameson Maj (45th), and JD Stambaugh (25th) are joined by infielder Ross Oeder (28th) and outfielders Adron Chambers (38th) and Nick Peoples (19th).

OUT OF THE DRAFT 2008: St. Louis has seven members of their 2008 draft class on the current River Bandit roster. Pitchers Jared Bradford (18th), Matt Frevert (28th), Ryan Kulik (8th), and Scott Mcgregor (15th); catcher Blake Murphy (42nd); and infielders Curt Smith (39th) and Niko Vasquez (3rd) are all on the Quad Cities roster.

QUAD CITIES STARTING PITCHER: RH Deryk Hooker was the 7th round pick of the Cardinals in the 2007 draft out of Mira Mesa High School in San Diego, California. Hooker went 1-1 with a 2.32 ERA in 10 games (three starts) for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals in 2007. He walked 11 and struck out 47 in 31 innings pitched in the GCL last season. Hooker began the 2008 season with Johnson City in the Appalachian League and was 1-1 with a save, an ERA of 3.38, 14 walks, and 55 strikeouts over 42-2/3 innings. He joined the River Bandits in early August and has made three appearances (all starts) compiling an 0-1 record with a 1.62 ERA. In his start prior to this evening, Hooker got a no decision against the Rattlers in Grand Chute on August 24. He allowed one run on five hits over six innings. He struck out six and walked two, but the Rattlers rallied for a 5-3 win. This is Hooker’s second start against the Rattlers, and third against a Mariner affiliate. He also faced the Pulaski Mariners on July 9. In a no decision, Hooker allowed one run on five hits over five innings with no walks and four strikeouts.

A win for Dinger

This was the picture from Midwest League action that grabbed my attention last night.

You know how the Mascots always lose to the kid...Dinger the Dragon has continued that streak of Washington General proportions. But, with last night being the last night at Memorial Stadium in Fort Wayne and with the club retiring the Wizards nickname. Dinger finally won one and he did it against a blast from the past.


Arm in arm, Dinger the Dragon and Wayne the Wizard touch home plate in the mascot race Thursday. It was Dinger's first and last career win.

Technically wouldn't that make it a tie? Nevertheless, a nice moment which proves that Wizards and Dragons can get along.

PHOTO CREDIT: Samuel Hoffman - The Journal Gazette

Midwest League Action (8/28)

August 28 scoreboard.

@Wisconsin 3, Cedar Rapids 1: Closing out the home schedule with a win.

South Bend 17, @Fort Wayne 6: “I would have lost the house, the boat and all the cars if you would have told me the game would have been like this,” Wizards manager Doug Dascenzo said.

Great Lakes 12, @West Michigan 1: "Too bad it came in the last game of the regular season, especially in front of the home fans," West Michigan manager Joe DePastino said.

Dayton 2, @Lansing 0: Enerio Del Rosario needed just 96 pitches Thursday night to finish a complete-game shutout

Clinton 5, @Peoria 4: The Chiefs permanently retired Sandberg’s No. 23, with a flag on the center field flagpole, before a 5-4 loss to the Clinton LumberKings. The Peoria franchise also christened a team award in Sandberg’s honor. There was a game, too.

@Beloit 3, Kane County 2: "We fought until the end and to think of all the injuries we had - we have a good group of guys in here now, but we could be a lot better,” said starter Mike McCardell. “To be three or four games out of it at the end of the year is a pretty good year."

Quad Cities 1, @Burlington 0: "The fans had been real good coming down the stretch -- loud, into the games," said Bees manager Brian Rupp. "Tonight, shoot, just tip our hat to their starter. He did an outstanding job shutting us down."

Award goes to Rattler Alum

It is the award season and here is another one for an Alumni of Appleton baseball.
The Southern League of Professional Baseball Clubs is pleased to announce that Jeremy Clipperton of the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx has been named its 2008 Athletic Trainer of the Year, as selected by his peers and honored by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS). It is the second honor in three years for Clipperton, who was named the Midwest League’s Trainer of the Year in 2006.

Mariner System Report (Games of 8/28)

SEATTLE (MAJ: 50-83 4th American League West): The Mariners were off on Thursday.

TACOMA (AAA: 76-64, 2nd Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division): The Rainiers lost 8-6 to Sacramento. Matt Tuiasosopo (’05) homered and drove in three runs for Tacoma, but the Rainiers fell into a 7-0 hole and could not dig out of it.

WEST TENNESSEE (AA: 69-66, 27-36 T-4th Southern League North Division): The Diamond Jaxx lost 6-0 at Mississippi. Adam Moore (’06) and Marshall Hubbard (’05) each had two hits as West Tennessee banged out nine hits, but the Braves used three pitchers to combine on the shutout.

HIGH DESERT (High-A: 55-81, 23-43 second half 5th California League South Division): The Mavericks lost 7-3 to Rancho Cucamonga. Jake Wild allowed four runs on seven hits over 4-1/3 innings to take the loss.

EVERETT (Short Season-A: 30-40, 3rd Northwest League Western Division): The AquaSox beat Vancouver 2-1 in ten innings. Everett tied the game 1-1 with a run in the bottom of the seventh.

PULASKI (Rookie: 40-27, 1st Appalachian League East Division): The M’s lost 7-4 to Elizabethton in Game One of the best-of-three Appalachian League Championship Series.

PEORIA (Rookie: 21-33, 12-15 6th Arizona League): The AZL M’s lost 4-3 to the Giants.

MARINER SYSTEM SCHEDULE TODAY
Seattle (Felix Hernandez 8-8) at Cleveland (Jeremy Sowers 2-6) 6:05pm CDT
Portland (TBA) at Tacoma (Travis Chick 2-0) 9:00pm CDT
West Tennessee (Tracy Thorpe 1-1) at Mississippi (Jeff Lyman 0-0) 7:05pm CDT
Rancho Cucamonga (Jordon Towns 1-4) at High Desert (Justin Souza 1-1) 9:05pm CDT
Salem-Keizer at Everett 9:05pm CDT
Pulaski at Elizabethton 6:00pm CDT (Game Two: APY LEAGUE FINALS)
AZL Royals at AZL Mariners 9:00pm CDT

Wow! Where did the day go?

I really planned on having some stuff posted before now....Now, it's two hours to air time and....well, enough messing around. To the Posts!

8/28/2008

Do you have any idea how tough this is....

Greetings, Timber Rattler fans. I don't know quite how to say this, but....There are very few songs written about Thursday. Look, it's a Bonus Bang For Your Buck...Kids Run the Bases...hold on some thing is coming through now.... Jim Croce? Really? Jim Croce?

Here you go.

Well it started out just like a dream
And like a dream I knew that what we had,
Would have to end
Cuz I was lookin' for a,
Lifetime lover and,
You were lookin' for a friend
Someone to be there
After all your night time lovers had gone,
The way they came
Someone who knew the way
And helped to play your daytime game
It's not the same

Well I started out pretending that I'd,
Come to mean enough to you to make,
You want to change
Then I came to realize that
There was just too much of you you'd have,
To rearrange
And I couldn't bear to wait around
For all your night time lovers to go,
The way they came
And it came to hurt too much for me
To have to play your daytime games
No one's to blame

Well it started out just like a dream
And like a dream I knew that what we had,
Would have to end
Cuz I was lookin' for a,
Lifetime lover and,
You were lookin' for a friend
I was lookin' for a,
Lifetime lover and,
You were lookin' for a friend

Not exactly Operator or Leroy Brown, but it'll do, I guess.

It's the last home game of the season, too. Come on out and I'll keep the rain away. Brick said something that I couldn't quite make out....It sounded like Go Away. But, that may have been him just lashing out because he only has one emotion.

Pitching Matchups (Quad Cities 8/29-9/1)

Here are the pitching matchups for the Quad Cities series.

FRI: RHP Juan Ramirez (6-9, 4.30) vs. RHP Deryk Hooker (0-1, 1.62)
SAT: LHP Jose Jimenez (0-0, 9.49) vs. RHP Chuckie Fick (5-5, 3.18)
SUN: RHP Keith Renaud (1-5, 5.02) vs. LHP Ryan Kulik (5-5. 5.57)
MON: RHP Michael Pineda (7-6, 2.09) vs. Jameson Maj (0-2, 5.40)

Tonight's Rattler Starting Pitcher (8/28)

RH KEITH MEYER was selected by the Mariners in the 15th round of the 2007 draft out of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

THE 412: Before heading to college, Meyer attended and played for Schenley High School in Pittsburgh.

DAYS AT DUSQUENE: Meyer went 1-8 with four saves in 46 appearances (eight starts) in three seasons with the Dukes. He was just the seventh baseball player to be drafted from Dusquene.

YEAR ONE: Meyer went 1-0 with a save and a 2.62 ERA in 18 games (one start) for the Everett AquaSox in his first professional season.

BIG RELIEF: Meyer tossed 4-1/3 innings of scoreless relief against West Michigan on April 30. He allowed two hits and struck out four in the longest outing (since tied) by a Rattler reliever this season.

OPPORTUNITIES: Meyer is 4-for-8 in save opportunities this season. His first Timber Rattler save was in his second appearance with the team. He pitched a scoreless seventh inning in the first game of a doubleheader against Dayton on April 13.

LAST START: Meyer made his second start of the season on August 23 against the Quad Cities River Bandits on Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. He allowed four runs on three hits with a career high six strikeouts over five innings, but took the loss.

SPLIT: Meyer is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA as a starter. In those two starts, Meyer has allowed five runs on eight hits over ten innings with two walks and 11 strikeouts. As a reliever, Meyer is 1-4 with four saves. He has allowed 33 runs (30 earned) over 56-1/3 innings with 25 walks and 55 strikeouts.

VS. CEDAR RAPIDS: Meyer has faced the Kernels three times this season as a reliever. He has no record and no saves in those three games. Meyer has allowed one run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts over 2-2/3 innings vs. Cedar Rapids this season.

PROFESSIONAL HIGHS
INNINGS PITCHED: 5.0 ({3x} Last: vs. Quad Cities 8/23)
STRIKEOUTS: 6 ({3x} Last: vs. Quad Cities 8/23)

August 28 game notes

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Cedar Rapids Kernels beat the Timber Rattlers 3-2. Jeremy Moore and Julio Perez both homered for the Kernels and Robert Fish allowed one run and struck out eight over six innings for his tenth win of the season.

THE CLINCHER: Last night’s victory clinched a Midwest League Playoff spot for the Kernels. They trail Burlington by 3-1/2 games for the Second Half Western Division title with five games remaining in the regular season. The Kernels are most likely to face Clinton in the first round of the playoffs which begin on September 3.

HOW THEY SCORED: Moore led off the game with a homer off Rattler starting pitcher Michael Pineda. Tyler Johnson would score a run in the fifth inning on a throwing error by rightfielder Maximo Mendez. Perez put the Kernels up 3-0 with a two out homer in the top of the sixth.

HOW THE RATTLERS SCORED: Joe Dunigan blasted his team-leading fourteenth home run of the season over the wall in center to lead off the Rattler sixth inning. Denny Almonte’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning drove in the run to make the score 3-2.

DUNIGAN’S STREAK: Dunigan’s homer snapped Wisconsin’s scoreless streak at 19-1/3 innings, but it extended another streak. To that point, Dunigan had driven in each of the last five Timber Rattler runs. He had a two-run single in the seventh inning on Sunday for the last two Rattler runs in that game and a two-run homer for the only Rattler runs on Monday.

ADDING ON TO THAT POINT: Almonte’s RBI in the eighth inning meant that the last eight Rattler runs had been knocked in by either Dunigan or Almonte.

LOADED QUESTION: Wisconsin loaded the bases three times last night. They filled the sacks with two out in the first; with one out in the one out in the fifth; and with no outs in the seventh. The Rattlers went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded last night. For the season, Wisconsin is 16-for-95 (.168) in that situation.

SURPRISED OR NOT: Rattler second baseman Edilio Colina grounded into an inning ending double play in the fifth. That was the 13th time he has grounded into a double play this season, the most on the team this season.

THE CLOSER: When the Rattlers loaded the bases in the eighth inning, Cedar Rapids called in closer Eddie McKiernan. McKiernan gave up the sacrifice fly to Almonte, but got out of the eighth and pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his 21st save of the season. McKiernan is second in the Midwest League in saves.

PINEDA’S NIGHT: The Rattler starting pitcher allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits over 6-2/3 innings. His ERA went from 2.05 to 2.09. He is third in the league in that category. Last night was the first time this season Pineda has allowed two homers in a game.

CEDAR RAPIDS STARTING PITCHER: RH Michael Davitt was a 29th round pick of the Angels in the 2006 draft out of Oskaloosa Walton (FL) Community College. He signed with the Angles in May of 2007, before the draft. He pitched for Orem in the Pioneer League in his first pro stop and was 0-3 in 13 games (eight starts) for the Owlz. He walked 16 and struck out 30 in 33-1/3 innings pitched while racking up an ERA of 5.67. Davitt is 6-8 with a 4.69ERA in 26 games (18 starts) for the Kernels this season. He has pitched against the Rattlers three times in 2008 and is 1-1. Davitt has allowed 10 runs (6 earned) on 10 hits with nine walks and nine strikeouts vs. Rattler hitters. In his start prior to this evening, Davitt lost to Peoria as the Chiefs got to him for five runs on nine hits over seven innings at O’Brien Field on August 23.

Good bye to all that

Tonight is (probably) the final Wizard game in the history of Memorial Stadium in Fort Wayne. It seems kind of interesting as to whom one of the starting pitchers will be.
Growing up in Fort Wayne, Jarrod Parker went to his “fair share” of Wizards games at Memorial Stadium. Now Parker gets to pitch in the stadium’s professional swan song.

Parker, a South Bend Silver Hawks right-handed pitcher, will start at 7 tonight against the Wizards...

Parker got to this point by transferring from Wayne High School to Norwell as a junior, pitching the Knights to the Class 3A state baseball championship, being named Mr. Baseball and getting drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks as the No. 9 overall selection last summer. He joined the Silver Hawks this season, and the team has made two previous trips to the city without Parker taking the mound.

Now in an interesting twist, a city native will pitch for the first and last time in what likely is the final game for Fort Wayne’s professional baseball franchise at the stadium.

“It is pretty cool that everyone will get to see me at this stadium the last time, and I finally get to throw here this season,” he said.
Should be a fun night in Fort Wayne.

Midwest League Action (8/27)

August 27 scoreboard.

Cedar Rapids 3, @Wisconsin 2: Kernels are in the playoffs.

@Fort Wayne 7, South Bend 2: “We actually scored some guys in from third base tonight,” Chalk said with a smile.

@West Michigan 5, Great Lakes 2: "I don't even think about it," he said. "If I can help us win, I will. If they go with someone who can do just as well, OK."

Dayton 5, @Lansing 4: The Lugnuts fell behind early as Dayton scored three runs in the first, highlighted by back-to-back home runs by Neftali Soto and Brandon Waring.

Clinton 2, @Peoria 1: "We pitched well against a good offensive team. That gave us a chance," Chiefs manager Ryne Sandberg said. "We had a chance to win we couldn't come up with a big hit."

@Beloit 10, Kane County 1: “No matter where you are in the lineup, guys are on base and you still have to knock them in,” de San Miguel said. “Everyone is equal. You just try to get on base and score.”

@Burlington 4, Quad Cities 3: "It was just a good game," said Bees manager Brian Rupp.

Mariner System Report (Games of 8/27)

SEATTLE (MAJ: 50-83 4th American League West): The Mariners lost 6-5 to Minnesota. Ryan Feierabend (’04) allowed three runs on eight hits over seven innings and was in line for the win. But, the Twins scored three runs in the top of the eighth.

TACOMA (AAA: 76-63, 2nd Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division): The Rainiers beat Sacramento 15-6. Oswaldo Navarro (’05) drove in three runs as Tacoma won, but was eliminated from playoff contention.

WEST TENNESSEE (AA: 69-65, 27-35 4th Southern League North Division): The Diamond Jaxx beat Montgomery 8-1. Edward Paredes (’08) pitched six shutout innings, struck out six, and allowed three hits for the win. Adam Moore (’06) homered and drove in three runs.

HIGH DESERT (High-A: 55-80, 23-42 second half 5th California League South Division): The Mavericks beat Rancho Cucamonga 6-5. Kuo Hui Lo (’07) drove in a pair of runs for High Desert as the Mavs won for the third time in their last 21 games.

EVERETT (Short Season-A: 29-40, T-3rd Northwest League Western Division): The AquaSox lost 5-1 to Vancouver. Walter Suriel (’08) allowed four runs on seven hits over five innings to take the loss.

PULASKI (Rookie: 40-27, 1st Appalachian League East Division): The M’s playoff opener with Elizabethton was rained out. They will try again tonight.

PEORIA (Rookie: 21-32, 12-14 6th Arizona League): The AZL M’s beat the Athletics 7-6 in 11 innings.

MARINER SYSTEM SCHEDULE TODAY
Seattle – OFF DAY
Sacramento (Josh Outman 0-0) at Tacoma (Rich Dorman 2-3) 9:00pm CDT
West Tennessee (Joe Woerman 1-2) at Mississippi (Johnny Venters 0-0) 7:05pm CDT
Rancho Cucamonga (Jordan Walden 4-2) at High Desert (Jake Wild 1-4) 9:05pm CDT
Vancouver at Everett 9:00pm CDT
Elizabethton at Pulaski 6:00pm CDT (Game One: APY LEAGUE FINALS)
AZL Mariners at AZL Giants 9:00pm CDT

8/27/2008

We weren't lying

When we say that Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium has the best playing surface in the Midwest League, some people agreed with us:
The Midwest League announced today that Timber Rattlers head groundskeeper Eddie Warczak and his staff, comprised of Director of Stadium Operations Justin Johnson and seasonal employees Matt Andrews, Adam Brown & Derek Loda, have been recognized as the top Grounds Crew in the Midwest League for the 2008 season.

This prestigious award, presented by Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball, is based on quality of playing surface, playability & texture of the infield skin, preparation of field, condition of infield & outfield turf, quality of pitching mounds, and overall professionalism of staff. The commitment and dedication to providing a first-rate playing surface makes them a respected leader in the Sports Turf industry.
Trust me. This is a pretty big deal. I'll toss a link up later.

Actual News

A part of the Arizona Fall League Rosters have been announced. That link will take you to a PDF.

The Mariners send their prospects to the Peoria Javelinas. Manager Daren Brown ('03) -- who may want to have a chat with the people who spelled his name "Darren" Brown on the roster -- has the helm of the Javelinas. Scroll a bit when you get to that link for the rosters.

Here are the other Rattler Alumni he will be working with this season:

Pitchers:
Justin Thomas ('06)
Joe Woerman ('06)

The newly acquired Gabriel Hernandez and one other as yet unnamed Mariner minor league pitcher will also be on the mound for the Javelinas.

Catcher Adam Moore ('06), outfielder Greg Halman ('07), and an as yet unnamed Mariner minor league infielder will be playing for the Javelinas this fall.

Just for tomorrow

Final home game of the season tomorrow and the Rattlers are welcoming in the ZOOperstars!

They are on this show with Michael Knight as a judge....oh, just get on with it...





You can be a winner

Come on out to the Timber Rattler game tonight.

It's a bonus Bang For Your Buck with hot dogs, soda, and beer for $1!

Plus, Kids Run the Bases after the game!

Most importantly, Everyone Wins Wednesday! Be in attendance and go home with a prize.

You won't have to go home with these songs playing in your head:





I'll stay away from the obvious Beck song.

Game time 7:05pm.

Tonight's Rattler Starting Pitcher (8/27)

RHP MICHAEL PINEDA was signed as a non-drafted free by the Mariners out of the Dominican Republic on December 12, 2005.

LAST START: Pineda allowed two runs (one earned) over 5-2/3 innings against Quad Cities on August 22. He struck out six and walked one, but got a no decision.

VS. CEDAR RAPIDS: This is Pineda’s third start against the Kernels – but his first against Cedar Rapids in Grand Chute – this season. On May 19, Pineda allowed one run on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts, but took the loss. On June 26 in Cedar Rapids, Pineda tossed a career high eight innings in a victory over the Kernels. He allowed two runs on four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.

THE START OF 2008: Pineda won his first two appearances for the Rattlers. He picked up a win in relief in the first game of a doubleheader at Quad Cities on April 5 and another win with two innings of scoreless relief against Fort Wayne on April 16.

THE STREAK: Pineda tossed 21-1/3 consecutive scoreless innings before giving up a third inning run in the start against Burlington on May 14.

PROFESSIONAL BESTS:
INNINGS PITCHED: 8.0 (@ Cedar Rapids 6/26)
STRIKEOUTS: 11 (vs. Great Lakes 8/3)
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