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Mehring's Rattler Playoff Memories : Tough Losses10/02/2007 12:50 PM ET
By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
League Baseball playoffs officially start today.
To tie in with that month of excitement, there will be a look back at
Timber Rattler playoff games since 2000. Why
2000? That's when I started with
the team. There are a few inquiries
out there to track down information about the playoff games from 1996 through
1999. I was at the game in which
Juan Silvestre hit the game winning grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning
2000, the Timber Rattlers have played 22 playoff games and their record is
11-11. This week is a brief look
back at the five hardest losses by the Rattlers in those 22 games.
Starting Thursday, there is a countdown of the top nine post-season
victories that I have had the privilege to broadcast.
But, let's get the negativity out of the way first.
9/5/2000 Game One First Round @
remained 1-0 until the top of the eighth inning.
Rattler designated hitter's sacrifice fly to center was deep enough to score
Alvarado with the tying run. A
single by Orlando Hernandez reloaded the bases, but
reliever Erik Grunwald, who had worked a scoreless bottom of the ninth, gave up
a leadoff double to Matt Frick in the tenth.
After an intentional walk, Francisco Ferrand doubled in Frick with the
game winner for a 2-1 final. That
was a long ride home to
9/4/2003 Game Two First Round vs.
Fielder, and Weeks
four, and five in order
Bibbs walks to start the game. Sacrifice bunt by Callix Crabbe.
Gwynn singles and an error by left fielder Carlos Arroyo allows Bibbs to
score while Gwynn goes to second. Prince
Fielder launches an 0-1 pitch for a two-run homer and a 3-0
Rattlers were down 4-0 before most of the fans had even had a chance to settle
into their seats.
that trio of future Brewers do in the game?
Gwynn: 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBI; Fielder: 2-for-5 with a run
and three RBI; Weeks: 1-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.
this on the list? It wasn't a
close loss. There were no late-game
heroics. There are a couple of
factors. First, the crowd was over
2,000. That is rare for a playoff
game. But, they did not have much to
cheer. Second, if the Rattlers had
won this game to force game three the starting pitcher for
9/7/2001 Game One Western Division Championship @Kane County:
Cougars loaded the bases with one out against Van Dusen in the first inning, but
he got Cabrera to ground into a double play.
In the top of the second, Van Dusen retired the first two batters, but
allowed two straight two-out singles. That
a slight rain falling during the game and it got heavier as the game continued.
In the worsening weather conditions,
delay lasted three hours and twenty-seven minutes.
When play resumed at 11:21pm the Cougars could do nothing against four
Timber Rattler relievers. But, the
Rattlers did not have a real threat until the bottom of the eighth.
Freeman and Sheldon Fulse started the frame with back-to-back walks.
Eudy Lajara, the third Cougar pitcher, struck out the next two batters
and gave way to Mike Flannery. John
Castellano welcomed Flannery to the game with an RBI single.
But, Flannery got the final out of the eighth and worked a 1-2-3 ninth to
finish off the Rattlers at 1:01am on September 8 in a 2-1
Game Two 2000 Western Division Championship vs.
singled and de la Cruz doubled to put runners on second and third.
Ramos got the first out on a grounder that kept the base runners where
they were. Scarbourough made up for
his error in the fifth with a sacrifice fly to make the score 4-2.
So, with two outs what could possibly go wrong with a two run lead with
four outs to go in the game?
Kade Johnson to put runners at first and second.
Wiles, who had helped Seattle's Arizona League affiliate win a championship
days earlier, relieved Ramos and got Eliezer
Alfonzo to pop up to second baseman Oscar Ramirez.
But, Ramirez misjudged the ball and it dropped off his glove.
Instead of the end of the inning, de la Cruz scored from second and Bill
Hall stepped to the plate with Johnson as the tying run in scoring position.
Hall delivered a single and the game was tied.
Cristian Guererro was next and he singled to load the bases.
Hector Garcia followed with a two run single and the Snappers had a 6-4
lead. Wiles did not retire a batter
in this outing. Erik Grunwald had to
come in to get Frank for the final out of the inning.
Rattlers put two runners on with two out in the eighth, but Gene Altman got the
of the ninth inning was down to the wire. Estralla
walked with one out. Ruben Castillo
pinch ran and stole second. Here is
where my scorebook is a little tough to understand.
Ryan Christianson singled and that should have put runners at first and
third. Altman got the second out on
a flyball to center that wasn't deep enough to score Castillo from third.
Then, pinch-hitter Ariel
end, it's bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Orlando Hernandez had a chance to tie the game with a single or win it
and send the Snappers home for the year with an extra base hit.
He fouled out to first to end the game.
9/17/2005 Game Five Midwest League Championship vs. South Bend: The Rattlers
lost the first two games at South Bend, but rallied to win the next two games at
home to force this Saturday afternoon game to decide the 2005 Midwest League
Bello got the start for the Timber Rattlers against Steven Jackson for the
Silver Hawks and they kept tossing zeroes as the game was scoreless through six
Gonzales started the top of the seventh inning with a bunt single that caught
everyone by surprise. Gonzales, the
number three hitter in the
enough with the losses. Starting
Thursday, nothing but post season Rattler wins to remember.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.