August 7, 2010: Game Notes

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Peoria Chiefs beat the Timber Rattlers 3-1. Jae-Hoon Ha hit a three-run homer in the top of the sixth inning to erase a 1-0 Wisconsin lead. The Rattlers ended a seven game homestand with a 3-4 record.

DOUBLED UP: The Timber Rattlers hit into four double plays last night. Peoria turned twin killings in the second, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. The double plays in the second and fifth came with the bases loaded.

TOUGH BREAK: Michael Marseco stepped up with runners on first and second with one out in the fifth inning. He lined the ball down the left field line and looked like it would score two runs. However, the ball rolled under the gate in the left field corner for a ground rule double. Only the runner from second scored.

ONE SWING: Rattlers starter Del Howell was backed up by a pair of double plays turned by the Wisconsin defense in the first and second innings. At one point in the game, Howell retired nine Peoria hitters in row. But, in the sixth with two on and one out, Ha hit a line drive that carried to the Peoria bullpen for a three-run homer.

GETTING THE THUMB: Rattlers manager Jeff Isom was ejected in the bottom of the sixth inning. He argued that Chris Dennis had been interfered with by Peoria third baseman George Matheus on an attempt to score from second after a throwing error by Matheus. Dennis was called out at the plate and Isom was run by home plate umpire Nick Mahrley after the argument.

5,000: Last night was the eighth time the Timber Rattlers drew a crowd of 5,000 or more at Time Warner Cable Field in 2010. Wisconsin is 2-7 in nine games (there was a doubleheader on June 12) when the attendance is over 5,000 at home.

MOVES: Tony Butler was released by the Milwaukee Brewers after Friday’s game. Andy Sauter has been reinstated from the Wisconsin disabled list.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Clinton LumberKings are the Midwest League affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. They finished the first half with a record of 38-32 and missed out on one of the two first half playoff spots in the Western Division. Clinton is currently 21-18 in the second half of the season. They trail Kane County by 1-1/2 games for the top playoff spot in the second half. They hold the second half wild card spot by a ½ game over Beloit. The LumberKings have won five straight games. They are coming off a four game sweep at Quad Cities.

FAMILIAR FACES: There are four former Timber Rattlers players and one former Timber Rattlers manager on the current Clinton roster. Pitcher Jose Jimenez, catcher Blake Ochoa, infielder Luis Nunez, and outfielder Daniel Carroll are the players. Terry Pollreisz, who managed the Rattlers in 2008, is the hitting coach for Clinton

2010 SEASON SERIES: The Rattlers and LumberKings have played nine games this season. Clinton leads 5-4. Clinton went 2-1 at Time Warner Cable Field in a set from April 11-13. The Timber Rattlers went 2-1 at Alliant Energy Field in a series from June 15-17. The LumberKings took two of three from the Rattlers July 31-August 2 in Grand Chute.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .252 as a team. They have scored 491 runs (4.6/game) and hit 61 home runs. The LumberKings are hitting .253 as a team. They have scored 533 runs (4.9/game) and hit 103 homers. Wisconsin pitchers have a team ERA of 4.45 while allowing a total of 537 runs (5.0/game) this season. Clinton pitchers have a team ERA of 3.51 while allowing a total of 446 runs (4.1/game). The Timber Rattler defense has committed 148 errors. The LumberKings defense has committed 122 errors. Wisconsin is 19-32 in road games this season. Clinton is 31-23 at home in 2010.

PROSPECTING: Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook placed four members of the current Clinton roster on their list of Top 30 prospects in the Seattle organization before the 2010 season. Infielders Nick Franklin (#9) and Mario Martinez (#12) are the highest rated players. Outfielder James Jones (#20) and infielder Gabriel Noriega (#24) are also on the list.

CLINTON STARTING PITCHER: RHP Tom Wilhelmsen was signed by the Seattle Mariners as a minor league free agent before the 2010 season. Wilhelmsen was originally a draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers (7th round of 2002 out of Tucson Magnet High School). He went 5-5 with a 2.76 ERA in 15 starts for the Beloit Snappers in 2003, including a start against the Timber Rattlers on April 15 in the first game of a doubleheader at Time Warner Cable Field. He went 6-2/3 innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Wilhelmsen was suspended twice by the Brewers for failing drug tests and retired from baseball before the 2005 season. Wilhelmsen pitched for the Tucson Toros of the Golden Baseball League in 2009 and signed with Seattle during Spring Training, 2010. He has pitched eight times (five starts) for the AZL Mariners and the Everett Aquasox before joining the LumberKings for this series. He struck out 22 and walked two in 15 innings in the Arizona League and went 1-0 with 17 strikeouts and two walks in 14-2/3 innings for Everett. In his first MWL appearance since June 27, 2002, Wilhelmsen beat the Rattlers at Time Warner Cable Field on August 2. He pitched seven shutout innings, allowed two hits, struck out five, and got the win.

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