July 18, 2009: Game Notes

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Rattlers lost 7-5 at Great Lakes. Brock Kjeldgaard gave the Rattlers a 3-1 lead with a two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning. But, the Loons sent 12 men to the plate and scored six times in the bottom of the sixth inning to grab a 7-3 lead. Wisconsin rallied for two runs in the eighth and loaded the bases in the ninth, but Cole St. Clair got the final two outs for the save.

SWEPT AWAY: The Loons swept the three game series from the Rattlers and outscored Wisconsin 27-11 in the set at Dow Diamond. This marks the third time the Rattlers have been swept in a road series this season. Wisconsin lost all three games at Clinton from April 16-19 and all four games at Quad Cities from April 25-28. Wisconsin has been swept five times total this season. Fort Wayne and Lansing both took all three games in a series at Time Warner Cable Field in the first half.

FIFTEEN AND CLIMBING: Kjeldgaard’s homer was his fifteenth of the season. Kjeldgaard is tied with three Rattlers for eighth place on the single season home run list. Harvey Hargrove and Juan Silvestre both had 15 homers in the 1998 season and Wladimir Balentien had 15 homers in 2004. Silvestre and Matt Hagen are tied for the franchise single season record for homers. Silvestre hit 21 in 1999 and Hagen matched him in 2003.

DURAN, DURAN: Rattlers designated hitter Jose Duran doubled twice and knocked in two runs while collecting three hits last night. Duran went 5-for-8 with three RBI in the two games he played against the Loons.

WALKS, WALKS, WALKS: Wisconsin pitchers issued eight free passes last night. Great Lakes gave up five walks.

SWINGING AND MISSING: Rattlers hitters struck out 13 times last night. In the three game series with the Loons, Wisconsin batters struck out 37 times.

END GAME: In the all three games at Great Lakes, the Loons pitchers struck out the side in the top of the ninth.

NINE AGAIN: Juan Sanchez had an RBI single in the top of the second inning to put the Rattlers up 1-0. Sanchez is currently on an nine-game hitting streak and is 10-for-32 (.313) during the streak. This is the second time Sanchez has had a nine-game hit streak this season. He is tied with Erik Miller and Peter Fatse for the longest hit streak on the Rattlers this season.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Lansing Lugnuts are the Midwest League affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. They missed the playoffs in the first half of the season with a 26-43 record. So far in the second half, the Lugnuts are 6-14. Lansing is 3.5 games behind the Great Lakes Loons and the South Bend Silver Hawks for the two second half playoff spots in the Eastern Division. Their overall record of 32-57 is the worst in the Midwest League.

SEASON SERIES: The Lugnuts lead the season series 3-0. They swept a three-game series at Time Warner Cable Field in the first half. Lansing beat the Rattlers 11-3, 8-6, and 6-4 from May 2 through May 4 in Grand Chute. Johermyn Chavez was 5-for-13 in the series with a pair of walks, a double, a triple, a homer, four RBI, and five runs scored. The Lugnuts stole nine bases in 11 attempts in the series. Wisconsin did outhit the Lugnuts .314 to .272. The Rattlers also held leads after five innings in game one and game three, but they could not hold them.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .242 as a team. They have scored 373 runs (4.1/game) and hit 44 home runs. The Lugnuts are hitting .243 as a team. They have scored 359 runs (4.0/game) and hit 60 homers. Wisconsin pitchers have a team ERA of 3.97 while allowing a total of 420 runs (4.6/game). Lansing pitchers have a team ERA of 4.79 while allowing 459 runs (5.2/game). The Timber Rattler defense has committed 108 errors. The Lugnuts defense has committed 113 errors. Wisconsin is 15-25 on the road this season. Lansing is 15-31 at Oldsmobile Park this season.

PROSPECTING: Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook listed four members of the current Lansing roster on their list of the top 30 prospects in the Blue Jay system before the start of the season. Infielder Mark Sobolewski is the highest rated Lugnut on the list at #19, but he is not on the active roster and has been placed on the Lansing disabled list. Outfielder Kenny Wilson (#21), infielders Tyler Pastornicky (23) and Balbino Fuenmayor (#28) and pitcher Henderson Alvarez (#29) are the active Lugnuts on the list.

OUT OF THE DRAFT 2008: The Blue Jays have placed 11 players from their 2008 draft class on the current Lansing roster. Wilson (2nd round) is the highest pick on the team. Pastornicky (5th) and catcher AJ Jimenez (9th) are picks from the first 10 rounds. Pitchers John Anderson (28th), Dustin Antolin (11th), Matt Daly (13th), Chris Holguin (14th), Ryan Koch (36th), and Hunter Moody (35th) were also ’08 draft picks of the Jays. Justin McClanahan (33rd) and Brian Van Kirk (21st) were picked in ’08, too.

LANSING STARTING PITCHER: RHP Joel Carreño was signed as a non-drafted free agent in October 2004 out of the Dominican Republic. He pitched for Auburn in the New York-Penn League last season and was 5-5 with a 3.42ERA and 85 strikeouts over 76-1/3 innings over 15 games (13 starts). Carreño made a pair of starts for Auburn this year before joining the Lugnuts in early July. He is 0-1 with a 4.41 ERA for Lansing in three starts. In his start prior to this evening, Carreño allowed three runs on five hits over five innings at Community Field against the Burlington Bees on July12. He walked four and struck out two and got a no decision in the game. Tonight is the first time Carreño will face the Timber Rattlers and it is also the first time he will face an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.

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