ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Rattlers lost 8-3 to Clinton. The LumberKings hit three homers in the game.
PLAYING FROM BEHIND: The Rattlers went down in order in the top of the first inning. In the bottom of the second inning, Rattlers starter Damon Krestalude gave up a leadoff single to Luis Nunez. James Jones was the next batter and he hit a two run homer to put Wisconsin down 2-0. Clinton added another run in the second inning.
COMEBACK ATTEMPTS: The Rattlers got to within 3-2 on a two-out, two-run single by Cutter Dykstra in the fourth. But, Nunez singled in a run in the Clinton half of the fourth. The Rattlers cut the deficit to one run when Scooter Gennett doubled home a run in the top of the fifth. But, Vinnie Catricala hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth and Clinton was up 6-3.
THREE CHANCES: In the top of the sixth inning, the Rattlers had runners at first and second with no outs and the tying run coming to the plate against Clinton starting pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen. There was a strikeout, a force out, and a strikeout to end the hopes of the Rattlers.
ONE FINAL BLOW: Matt Cerione hit a two-out, two-run home in the bottom of the seventh inning to account for the final runs of the game.
POWER SURGE: Clinton has 106 home runs this season. The most home runs hit by a Seattle affiliate in the Midwest League happened in 1981 when the Wausau Timbers hit 145 homers with players like Harold Reynolds, Jim Presley, and Ivan Calderon. The most homers hit by the Timber Rattlers when the team was a Seattle affiliate was 101 in 2005. The Timbers won the 1981 Midwest League Championship. The Timber Rattlers made it to the Midwest League Championship Series in 2005.
SCOOTER: Gennett’s double pushed his Midwest League leading total to 36 for the season. Gennett had two hits last night to give him 130 hits this season. He leads the MWL in that category. Gennett also scored a run last night and he has 74 runs to place him third in the league in that category. His batting average was raised to .322 and Gennett is the leading active Midwest Leaguer for the batting title.
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 today:
SECOND HALF WEST DIVISION PLAYOFF RACES
CLUB..........W-L..DIV GB....WC GB
Kane County..24-17 ..-.........-
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 22-18 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 1-1/2 games over Beloit. The LumberKings have won six straight games. They came into this series after pulling off a four game sweep at Quad Cities.
2010 SEASON SERIES: The Rattlers and LumberKings have played ten games this season. Clinton leads 6-4. 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 .250 as a team. They have scored 494 runs (4.5/game) and hit 61 home runs. The LumberKings are hitting .253 as a team. They have scored 541 runs (5.0/game) and hit 106 homers. Wisconsin pitchers have a team ERA of 4.47 while allowing a total of 545 runs (5.0/game) this season. Clinton pitchers have a team ERA of 3.49 while allowing a total of 449 runs (4.1/game). The Timber Rattler defense has committed 149 errors. The LumberKings defense has committed 123 errors. Wisconsin is 19-33 in road games this season. Clinton is 32-23 at home in 2010.
CLINTON STARTING PITCHER: RHP Taylor Stanton was the 26th round pick of Seattle in the 2008 draft out of Diablo Valley College. Last season, Stanton pitched for the Everett Aquasox of the Northwest League. He went 5-3 with a 3.50 ERA in 15 games (all starts) for the Aquasox. Stanton struck out 81 and walked 25 in 87-1/3 innings in 2009. In his start prior to this evening, Stanton won at Quad Cities on August 3. He tossed five innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts. Stanton has faced the Timber Rattlers twice this season. On April 12 in his LumberKings debut, Stanton beat the Rattlers at Time Warner Cable Field. He gave up three runs on five hits over six innings. On June 15 at Alliant Energy Field, the Rattlers beat Stanton. He gave up four runs in 5-2/3 innings in an 8-1 Wisconsin’s victory. In his 11-2/3 innings against the Timber Rattlers this season, Stanton has struck out seven and walked two.