ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Quad Cities River Bandits defeated the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 4-0 in the home finale for the Timber Rattlers. Michael Blazek allowed three hits over eight scoreless innings for the win. Michael Swinson drove in three runs, including a two run homer in the top of the ninth inning.
UNFRIENDLY CONFINES: The Rattlers went 30-39 at home in 2010.
DAMON’S DAY: Timber Rattlers starting pitcher Damon Krestalude pitched six solid innings and allowed two runs on four hits. He struck out seven to match his previous professional high for a single game. But, Krestalude took the loss, his tenth of the season.
ARNETT UPDATE: Eric Arnett pitched the final three innings in relief last night for Wisconsin. He gave up two runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout. Swinson homered with two outs in the top of the ninth inning off Arnett. It was the 14th home run given up by Arnett this season. It was also a homer with a runner in scoring position and two outs. Opponents were 18-for-56 (.321) with four homers off Arnett with runners in scoring position and two out this season.
THREE: The Wisconsin hits belonged to Cutter Dykstra (1st inning single); Michael Marseco (3rd inning triple); and Chris Dennis (4th inning single). Dykstra and Dennis extended their current hitting streaks to four games and Marseco sent his hitting streak to six games.
ON THE CUSP: Khris Davis has 21 home runs this season. He is tied for the Timber Rattlers franchise record with Juan Silvestre (1999) and Matt Hagen (2003). Davis has two homers in 12 games against the Cougars this season. He has hit homers off Chris Mederos and Aaron Larsen. Both home runs Davis has against Kane County this season were at Time Warner Cable Field.
NOTES ABOUT ATTENDANCE: In the 2010 home finale, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers drew 4,476 fans to Time Warner Cable Field. The total attendance for 2010 was 244,331, the second largest in team history. The average attendance for 2010 was 3,759, which is the largest in team history. In 2009, Wisconsin drew 253,240 fans while averaging 3,724 fans per game. The difference was in rainouts. There were just two rainouts in 2009. There were five home rainouts in 2010.
ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Kane County Cougars are the Midwest League affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. They missed the playoffs in the first half, but currently hold the top spot in the second half Western Division Playoff Standings by a half game over Clinton. The Cougars are 37-29 in the second half and are coming into this series after sweeping a three-game set from Peoria at home.
2010 SEASON SERIES: The Rattlers and Cougars have met 12 times this season. Wisconsin is 8-4 against Kane County in 2010. That includes a 4-1 record at Elfstrom Stadium. Wisconsin took two of three from Kane County in Geneva May 25-27. The Rattlers also swept an abbreviated two game series June 19-20. In the most recent series, Wisconsin and Kane County split four games at Time Warner Cable Field August 28-31.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .255 as a team. They have scored 650 runs (4.8/game) and hit 77 home runs. The Cougars are hitting .254 as a team. They have scored 654 runs (4.8/game) and hit 65 homers. Wisconsin pitchers have a team ERA of 4.78 while allowing a total of 721 runs (5.3/game) this season. Kane County pitchers have a team ERA of 3.89 while allowing a total of 605 runs (4.5/game). The Timber Rattler defense has committed 180 errors. The Cougars defense has committed 162 errors. Wisconsin is 27-39 on the road this season. Kane County is 31-38 at home in 2010.
PROSPECTING: Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook five members of the current Kane County roster on their top 30 list of Athletics prospects. Catcher Max Stassi (#4) is the highest rated Cougar. Pitchers Connor Hoehn (#22), Jonathan Joseph (#23) and Justin Marks (#27) are joined by outfielder Tyreace House (#28) on the list.
KANE COUNTY STARTING PITCHER: RHP Dan Straily was Oakland’s 24th round pick in the 2009 draft. He was selected out of Marshall. In his final season with the Thundering Herd, Straily went 4-3 with a 4.27ERA in 13 games. He spent his first pro season with Vancouver, Oakland’s Northwest League affiliate. He was 5-3 with a 4.19ERA in 16 games (11 starts) with the Canadians. Straily struck out 66 and walked 18 in 59 innings with Vancouver. In his start prior to this afternoon, Straily beat the Rattlers on August 30 at Time Warner Cable Field. He tossed seven innings and allowed a run on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Straily made five starts in August with a 5.51 ERA, but had not been involved in a decision until the win over the Rattlers. He has started three other times against the Timber Rattlers in 2010. Straily beat the Rattlers at Time Warner Cable Field on April 10, picked up a no decision at Elfstrom Stadium on May 27, and lost to Wisconsin at Kane County on June 19. In his four starts against the Rattlers, Straily has allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 17 hits and eight walks over 24 innings. Straily has struck out 26 Timber Rattlers this season, including 10 in seven innings on May 27. He is currently second in the Midwest League in strikeouts with 142, one behind the 143 for Josh Wall of Great Lakes.