ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Rattlers defeated the Kernels 6-5. D’Vontrey Richardson doubled in a pair of runs with one out in the top of the ninth inning to erase a 5-4 deficit.
D’VO’s BIG WEEK CONTINUES: Richardson went 3-for-5 with three doubles, a runs scored, and two RBI last night. Richardson had been named the Midwest League’s Offensive Player of the Week earlier on Monday after going 10-for-20 in his previous six games. Richardson’s last six hits have gone for extra bases.
THIS CAN’T BE RIGHT: A quick look back at the record books shows that the last time the Timber Rattlers won a road game when trailing after eight innings was on August 18, 2006. The Rattlers trailed the Dayton Dragons 4-3 heading to the top of the ninth inning at Fifth Third Field. Wisconsin tied the game with a run in the ninth and eventually won the game 7-5 in 14 innings.
ARNETT: Rattlers pitcher Eric Arnett came off the disabled list on Monday and pitched two scoreless innings with a hit, a hit batsman, and a strikeout. Arnett picked up the win when the Rattlers rallied to win the game. The victory was the first in the Midwest League for the right-hander out of Indiana University.
BOUNCE BACK: Closer Jon Pokorny worked around a pair of walks in the top of the ninth inning and picked up the save. Pokorny, who had blown his last two save opportunities, has 16 saves this season. He is three shy of the Timber Rattlers franchise record of 19 set by John Thompson in 1995.
NIGHT OF THE HUNTER: Hunter Morris had a hand in the Rattlers comeback last night, too. The left-hand hitting first baseman had an RBI triple and a run scored in the sixth inning. He followed that with a solo home run to left in the eighth inning. Morris has eight homers and 38 RBI in 57 games with the Rattlers this season.
THREE ALL-STARS: The Midwest League announced that three Wisconsin Timber Rattlers were elected to the 2010 Postseason All-Star Squad. Scooter Gennett was named to the team as the second baseman. Khris Davis was selected as one of four outfielders. Pokorny made the team as the left handed reliever. The team was picked in a vote by the managers of the MWL. These three are the first Rattlers to make this team since 2005. Also, the previous high for the number of Rattlers on the Postseason All-Star Team was two.
ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Cedar Rapids Kernels are the Midwest League affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They finished the first half with a record of 43-25 and won the first half Western Division. The Kernels are currently 31-24 in the second half of the season to give them an overall record of 74-49. The Kernels dropped the final two games of their three game series with Kane County at home before starting this series with Wisconsin.
2010 SEASON SERIES: The Rattlers and Kernels have played 19 games this season. The Rattlers are 6-13 against Cedar Rapids. The Rattlers are 2-8 at Perfect Game Field against the Kernels. Wisconsin beat Cedar Rapids two out of three times in a series at Time Warner Cable Field April 20-22. The Kernels swept a three-game series May 7-9 from the Rattlers in Wisconsin. The May 7 game was played at Miller Park. The final two games of the series were at Time Warner Cable Field. The Kernels swept a four game series from the Rattlers at Perfect Game Field from May 28-31. Wisconsin went 1-2 in a three game set at Cedar Rapids July 4-6. In their most recent series, Wisconsin took two of three from the Kernels August 14-16.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .254 as a team. They have scored 591 runs (4.8/game) and hit 71 home runs. The Kernels are hitting .279 as a team. They have scored 681 runs (5.5/game) and hit 79 homers. Wisconsin pitchers have a team ERA of 4.79 while allowing a total of 660 runs (5.3/game) this season. Cedar Rapids pitchers have a team ERA of 3.81 while allowing a total of 523 runs (4.3/game). The Timber Rattler defense has committed 164 errors. The Kernels defense has committed 119 errors. Wisconsin is 24-37 on the road this season. Cedar Rapids is 42-21 at home in 2010.
CEDAR RAPIDS STARTING PITCHER: LHP Stephen Locke was a 22nd round pick of the Angels in the 2009 draft. He pitched college baseball at the University of Florida and was 5-2 with a 4.32ERA in 12 starts for the Gators in his senior season. He pitched in 15 games for Orem, the Pioneer League affiliate of the Angels, after signing as a professional. Locke was 6-4 with a 4.02ERA in 14 starts. Locke walked 11 and struck out 46 in 69-1/3 innings with the Owlz. In his start prior to this evening, Locke lost to Kane County at home on August 19. He allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings. Locke walked two and struck out ten in the game. Locke has faced the Timber Rattlers twice this season. The first was at Perfect Game Field on May 30 and had a no decision. In that game, Wisconsin got to him for four runs on 10 hits over six innings. Locke struck out four and walked none in what would be a 5-4 Cedar Rapids victory. On July 6 at Time Warner Cable Field, Locke pitched eight shutout innings, allowed six hits, walked two, and struck out three for the win in a 5-0 Kernels victory.