ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Timber Rattlers were beaten 5-0 by the Clinton LumberKings. Wisconsin dropped two of the three games in the series against Clinton. Both losses to Clinton were shutouts. Wisconsin managed three hits off two Clinton pitchers.
WILHELMSEN: Tom Wilhelmsen made his first Midwest League start since 2003 when he took the mound for the LumberKings last night. He allowed two hits and struck out five over seven innings. Wilhelmsen was a former minor leaguer in the Milwaukee Brewers system.
THREE: Cutter Dykstra had a bunt single in the fifth, Kentrail Davis had a triple in the seventh, and Cameron Garfield had a single in the eighth to account for the three Wisconsin hits.
SEVEN: Dykstra’s hit extended his hitting streak to seven games. That matches a season-high hitting streak for Dykstra. His prior 7-game streak was from May 22-28.
JAKE: Rattlers starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits over seven innings. He walked two, struck out two, and was tagged with the loss. The decision ended a five-game winning streak for Odorizzi.
AGAINST THE WEST AT HOME: The loss last night dropped Wisconsin’s record against the Western Division to 20-21 in 41 games at Time Warner Cable Field. Including tonight, the Rattlers have 17 home games remaining – all with Western Division teams.
SNAPSHOT: The Rattlers are fighting it out for one of two Western Division Playoff spots in the second half of the season. Here is how the races look heading into play tonight:
SECOND HALF WEST DIVISION RACE
SECOND HALF WEST DIVISION WILD CARD RACE
Burlington 15-19 2.0
ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Peoria Chiefs are the Midwest League affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Peoria went 38-31 in the first half and missed the playoffs. They finished two games behind Quad Cities for the Western Division Wild Card. Peoria is 17-17 in the second half and are currently 55-48 overall this season. In their most recent series, the Chiefs took two out of three at Beloit. The Chiefs are managed by former UW-Oshkosh Titan player Casey Kopitzke.
2010 SEASON SERIES: The Rattlers and Peoria have played nine games this season and Wisconsin is 1-8 against the Chiefs. Peoria swept a three game series from the Rattlers at O’Brien Field from April 27-29 by scores of 5-4, 4-2, and 8-7. The Chiefs took two out of three from the Rattlers at Time Warner Cable Field May 18-20. The Chiefs won their two games in Grand Chute 11-7 and 9-6 in 15 innings. The Rattlers beat the Chiefs 14-1 on May 18. In the first three games in the second half, Peoria swept three games at O’Brien Field from July 28-30.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .252 as a team. They have scored 482 runs (4.6/game) and hit 60 home runs. The Chiefs are hitting .265 as a team. They have scored 491 runs (4.8/game) and hit 46 homers. Wisconsin pitchers have a team ERA of 4.45 while allowing a total of 522 runs (5.1/game) this season. Peoria pitchers have a team ERA of 4.04 while allowing a total of 488 runs (4.7/game). The Timber Rattler defense has committed 145 errors. The Chiefs defense has committed 131 errors. Wisconsin is 23-30 in home games this season. Peoria is 22-30 on the road in 2010.
PROSPECTING: Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook placed three members of the current Peoria roster on their list of Top 30 prospects in the Chicago Cubs organization. Infielders Hak-Ju Lee (#6) and Logan Watkins (#7) are both in the top ten. Pitcher Jeff Antigua is at #19 and is the only current Peoria pitcher on the list. Pitcher Brett Wallach, who just joined the Chiefs from Great Lakes after a trade between the Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers, was rated as the #20 prospect in the Dodgers system before the season.
PEORIA STARTING PITCHER: RHP Ryan Searle was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Australia in 2007. He is 4-5 with a 4.65ERA in 15 games (12 starts) for the Chiefs this season. He spent all of 2009 and the start of 2010 pitching for Daytona, the Florida State League affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Searle was 7-11 with Daytona in 2009 and started the year 1-1 in four games (two starts) before joining Peoria in early May. In his start prior to this evening, Searle beat the Timber Rattlers on July 28 at O’Brien Field. He allowed an unearned run on five hits over six innings. Searle did not walk a batter and struck out four in the victory. That was his first start against the Timber Rattlers in his career. Searle has made six appearances (three starts) against Brewers affiliates in his professional career. Searle pitched three scoreless innings with five strikeouts against the Arizona League Brewers in 2007. In the Florida State League during the 2009 season, Searle went 2-1 against the Brevard County Manatees, Milwaukee’s affiliate in the FSL. On April 11 of this season, Searle picked up the win in a relief outing against the Manatees.