August 10, 2009: Game notes

ABOUT SUNDAY: The Chiefs beat the Timber Rattlers 8-3. Jovan Rosa doubled twice and drove in three runs. Ryan Flaherty homered and had three hits. Wisconsin grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Chiefs answered with three in the first and tacked on one in the third and three in the fourth.

FIRST PRINCIPLES: The run scored by Wisconsin in the first inning yesterday was the second in six games at O’Brien Field this season. The Chiefs have scored a first inning run in each of the last five games between the teams in Peoria. The Chiefs have outscored the Timber Rattlers 10-2 in the six first innings at O’Brien Field this season.

THAT’S A LOT: In the last six meetings between the Rattlers and the Chiefs, Peoria has hit ten home runs.

EIGHT IS ENOUGH: Sunday’s loss was the eighth straight for the Timber Rattlers. That is a season high for the team.

THIS STREAK REACHED NINE: Pete Fatse reached on an infield single in the top of the first inning before being retired on a ground out in the third. Fatse reached base nine consecutive times – a hit batsman, six walks, a double, and a single – before making an out.

PRINCE IN THE CITY: Josh Prince had a hand in all three Wisconsin runs yesterday. The third round pick of the Brewers in the 2009 draft walked twice, singled once, scored twice, and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

ENCAPSULATED: The Rattlers loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the eighth inning on consecutive singles by Prince, Fatse, and Brett Lawrie off reliever Manolin De Leon. At the time, they trailed 8-2. De Leon got a strikeout for the first out, but threw a wild pitch to allow Prince to score. De Leon got a strikeout for the second out, but walked Jose Duran to reload the bases. Chris Huseby relieved De Leon and got a strikeout to end the threat.

A DIFFERENCE: On Sunday, Wisconsin was 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position and only one of those three hits scored a run. Peoria was 6-for-15 with runners in scoring position. In this series, Wisconsin is 8-for-30 with runners in scoring position and the Chiefs are 17-for-42 with runners in scoring position in the first three games of this series.

LOW TIDE: Wisconsin’s overall record sits at 48-64 for the 2009 season. The 16 games under .500 mark is the farthest Wisconsin has been below .500 this season. Since beating South Bend on July 13 to get to 45-42 and match the most games over .500 they have been this season, the Rattlers have gone 3-22.

ROAD WOES: Wisconsin has lost ten straight road games and they are 3-15 on the road in the second half of the season.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Peoria Chiefs are the Midwest League affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. They missed the playoffs in the first half of the season with a 38-31 record. So far in the second half, the Chiefs are 25-17. They hold the top playoff spot in the Western Division for the second half by four games over Clinton. The Chiefs are 15-2 in their last 17 games.

SEASON SERIES: The season series is tied at seven wins a piece. At one time, the Rattlers were 7-0 against the Chiefs. The Rattlers went 7-1 at Time Warner Cable Field in the first eight meetings of the season. The Chiefs have won all six games at O’Brien Field. The Rattlers swept a four game series in the first half of the season with three wins at Time Warner Cable Field and one win at Miller Park. The Rattlers took three out of four from the Chiefs at Time Warner Cable Field to open the second half of the season. But, Peoria swept a three-game set at O’Brien Field from July 25-27.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .238 as a team. They have scored 442 runs (3.9/game) and hit 53 home runs. The Chiefs are hitting .275 as a team. They have scored 537 runs (4.8/game) and hit 89 homers. Wisconsin pitchers have a team ERA of 4.37 while allowing a total of 563 runs (5.0/game). Peoria pitchers have a team ERA of 3.79 while allowing 474 runs (4.3/game). The Timber Rattler defense has committed 128 errors. The Chiefs defense has committed 129 errors. Wisconsin is 16-36 on the road this season. Peoria is 38-16 at O’Brien Field this season.

PEORIA STARTING PITCHER: RHP Aaron Shafer was the 3rd round pick of the Cubs in the 2008 draft. Shafer pitched collegiately at Wichita State University. In his final season with the Shockers, Shafer went 11-4 with a 3.26ERA and he led the Missouri Valley Conference in strikeouts with 110 while walking just 28. Shafer spent last his first professional season with stops in the Arizona League and the Northwest League. He made one appearance for the Mesa Cubs in the AZL before moving to the Boise Hawks of the NWL. In eight games (seven starts) Shafer was 2-2 with a 3.09ERA with 24 strikeouts and five walks. In his start prior to this evening, Shafer was beaten at Beloit on August 5. He allowed seven runs on six hits over three innings. Shafer has made three starts against the Timber Rattlers this season. He was the losing pitcher in the Miller Park Game on April 24. Shafer got a no decision at Time Warner Cable Field on June 28. He was the winning pitcher at O’Brien Field on July 26. In 15 innings against Wisconsin, Shafer has allowed 20 hits and 11 runs with three walks and nine strikeouts.

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