May 12, 2010: Game Notes

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Wisconsin split a doubleheader with the River Bandits. Quad Cities defeated the Rattlers 4-0 in game one. The Rattlers took the second game 6-2.

GAME ONE RECAP: River Bandits starting pitcher Eric Fornataro tossed six shutout innings for the win. He retired the first 11 batters he faced and struck out eight while allowing just two hits. Quad Cities scored the only runs they would need in the fourth inning on a three-run double by CJ Beatty.

GAME TWO RECAP: Wisconsin beat the Bandits 6-2. Scooter Gennett’s two out grand slam in the top of the second inning broke a 2-2 tie. Maverick Lasker got the win for Wisconsin. The win snapped the Rattlers’ six-game losing streak.

STARTING STRONG: D’Vontrey Richardson started the nightcap off with a home run. It was the second home run of the season for Richardson. His leadoff homer snapped a scoreless streak of 15-1/3 innings.

ALL YOU NEED IS THREE: The Rattlers had three hits in game two. Richardson and Gennett had their home runs. Pete Fatse added a leadoff double in the second inning.

NOTES ABOUT A SLAM: The last time a Timber Rattlers batter hit a grand slam was on August 12, 2008. Maximo Mendez lifted a bases loaded homer against Kane County at Time Warner Cable Field on that day. The last time a Rattlers second baseman hit a grand slam was on June 8, 2007. Trevor Lawhorn hit a grand slam at Kane County. This was only the second time since 1995 that a Wisconsin player has hit a slam against a Quad Cities franchise. Adam Jones hit one in Davenport on April 25, 2004.

PERMISSION TO BUZZ THE TOWER: Lasker pitched five innings, allowed two first inning runs, gave up two hits, walked four, and struck out six to pick up his first win of the season.

FLAWLESS: The Timber Rattlers defense did not commit an error in either game last night.

EXTENDED DRY SPELLS: There have been five games – including last night – this month in which more than 10 Wisconsin hitters have been consecutively retired. On May 1, Daniel Osterbrock retired the first 18 Rattlers he faced in a 7-inning no-hitter. On May 6, a pair of Quad Cities’ pitchers set down 14 in a row. On May 7, two Kernels’ pitchers retired 13 straight Wisconsin batters. On May 9, Cedar Rapids pitchers retired 12 straight Rattler hitters.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Quad Cities River Bandits are the Midwest League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. They are 20-13 and are in first place in the Western Division of the Midwest League. The Bandits are 5-5 in their last ten games. Last season, the River Bandits missed the playoffs. They were 30-40 in the first half and 31-38 in the second half to compile an overall record of 61-78. Johnny Rodriguez is in his first season as the manager of the River Bandits.

2010 SEASON SERIES: The Rattlers are 3-5 against the River Bandits this season. Wisconsin dropped two out of three at Quad Cities from April 17-19. The Rattlers also lost two out of three to Quad Cities at Time Warner Cable Field May 5-7. This is the final meeting of the first half between these teams. The next series starts on June 28 at Time Warner Cable Field.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .255 as a team. They have scored 156 runs (4.9/game) and hit 16 home runs. The River Bandits are hitting .242 as a team. They have scored 160 runs (4.8/game) and hit 24 home runs. Wisconsin pitchers have a team ERA of 5.06 while allowing a total of 178 runs (5.6/game) this season. Quad Cities’ pitchers have a team ERA of 4.05 while allowing 158 runs (4.8/game). The Rattlers defense has committed 55 errors. The Bandits defense has committed 47 errors. Wisconsin is 4-11 in road games this season. Quad Cities is 12-6 at home this season.

QUAD CITIES STARTING PITCHER: RHP Shelby Miller was selected by the Cardinals with the 19th overall selection in the 2009 draft. St. Louis picked him out of Brownwood (TX) High School and Baseball America has rated him as the #1 prospect in the Cardinals’ organization. He had committed to play college baseball at Texas A&M, but signed with St. Louis at August 17 deadline. He appeared in two games (both starts) for the River Bandits in 2009. Miller allowed three runs (two earned) over three innings with two walks and two strikeouts. In his start prior to today, Miller lost to Clinton on May 7. He allowed seven runs (five earned) on six hits over 4-1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out eight. In 2010, Miller is 0-2 with a 5.32ERA in six starts. Miller has struck out 41 batters in 23-1/3 innings this season and is tied for fourth in the Midwest League in that category. Today is his first appearance against the Timber Rattlers and his first appearance against an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.

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