Stang had a good season with the 2012 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. He
had a 19-game hitting streak, broke that plexiglass window behind home plate
with a foul ball, and reached double digits in home runs.
He steps into The Interrogation Room to discuss making it through an entire season, the best defensive plays he remembers, and the Championship run.
Q: After injury problems early in your pro career, how did it feel to get through a full season?
Chadwin Stang: My 2012 season was not injury free. Had to deal with a wrist injury that came back during spring training. Later in the season I ran into an ankle injury. But we did everything we could so I could play everyday. When it was all over, I was so thankful that I was able to finish and play the whole season. It showed the Brewers what I am capable of when I'm "healthy" and playing everyday.
Q: At one point during the 2012 season you had a 19 game hitting streak. I know you didn't realize you had a hit streak going until it reached ten, but what was that whole streak like as you went through it?
CS: Actually it was game 9 when I realized it. You were actually the one that told me. We were in Clinton at the time. I had not had a hit in Clinton all year up to this point. I guess you could say I was a little nervous about the whole thing. But that series ended up being one of my best of the year! After that I just battled every game looking to just get one hit. Hitting lead off always gave me that extra at bat to try and get the one hit I needed. When it all ended at home vs. the Kernel's, I was a little down. I really wanted that record.
Here are two things that I didn't realize until I just looked it up on your
stats. 1.) You had a hit in 17 straight road games. 2.) You hit .289 on
the road and .252 at home during the 2012 season. Can you explain that or
is it just one of those things?
CS: It for sure is one of those things. But I really enjoyed hitting on the road because I got to set the tone of the game being the first batter up. It's something I loved doing! Nothing like starting off a game with a line drive up the middle! But on the other hand I think there is always the little pressure you put on yourself at home to hit well. Wanted to please the crowd, maybe even the next star of the Timber Rattlers!
Q: You were keeping track of your bunt singles. How many did you have to finish the 2012 season? Do you have a goal for a certain number of bunt hits during the season?
CS: To be totally honest I have no clue. All I remember is at one point of the season you told me that Greg Hopkins had more base hit bunts then I did! I was like there is no way I'm going to let him beat me (haha). After that, I started bunting more and I never looked back. The more I bunted, the better I got. The better I got, the more confidence I had. Then, it became a regular theme for me. By the playoffs I was hitting 2nd in the order behind Brandon [Macias]. He would get on, I would bunt him over without Matty [Erickson] even telling me. I think I did that about 6 times during the playoffs and Brandon scored 5 out of those 6. It's now just become a huge part of my game and will only benefit me in my career.
Q: You hit two home runs in the final game of the regular season to reach ten home runs for the year. That was eight more than you hit in 2011. Is your power still developing as you get more experience?
CS: Yes for sure. As I have grown as a player and a man so has that aspect of my game. I have learned that a good compact swing can still send the ball out of the park. Now I don't plan on being remembered for my home runs but I will hit a few in my career.
Q: The outfielders for the Timber Rattlers covered a lot of ground and combined for 36 assists. Who had the best defensive play by an outfielder in 2012?
CS: I have two that stick in my mind. First one was Lance Roenicke's catch in center field. It was his first game there of the season, giving me a day off, he went deep to center for a ball and robbed a close home run. The other was Max Walla's diving catch in right center to keep the game tied in extra inning that we did end up winning!
Q: You were on deck when Brandon Macias hit his three-run home run in Game Three of the Championship Series at Fort Wayne. That homer put the Rattlers in front for the first time in that game. What do you remember about that play?
CS: I'm pretty sure it was like the first pitch of the at bat. After he hit it I was standing on deck just staring at the ball and trying to blow it out. Once it was gone I was so pumped! But at the same moment I was up next so I had to stay calm.
You had a pair of RBI in Game Three and added one more in Game Four. The
RBI in Game Four happened in the first inning and came on a single to drive in
Macias. How important was it to get off to a good start in Game Four?
CS: It was just what we needed to get the early momentum. We were up in the series and we were one win away from winning the whole thing. So getting the run put a huge gust of wind in our sails for the start of game 4.
Q: What were you thinking as Brent Suter was mowing down Fort Wayne batters in the final three innings?
CS: At first I was just focused on playing my best defence of the season for Suter. Once he finished the 8th inning, I came into the dugout and walked up to Chavie [Pitching Coach David Chavarria] and told him Suter was going to take us to the promised land. Suter did that very same thing by running right over the top hitters. Was the most amazing thing to watch. (I got chills after I read this question!)
Q: What would you do with the Midwest League Championship Trophy IF it was like the Stanley Cup and was given to one player for a day during the offseason?
CS: Haha Well I'd have a party with family and friends. Take picture with it, drink out of it. Then take it out with me that night!
Q: What have you been doing since the end of the 2012 Timber Rattlers season?
When I got home, I took 3 weeks off
and did completely nothing! Let the body rest and recover. [Now I have] a job
at the local sports store and am refereeing hockey too. It's a busy
schedule with added workouts as well but I already miss playing and I am ready
to go back! I'm very excited for the upcoming season and what it will hold. Thanks
Chris for this, and thanks fan and staff for a season we will never forget!
And thanks to Chadwin Stang for stepping into The Interrogation Room this week. If anyone gets video of him as a hockey ref, please share it with us!
Blast from the Past returns next Wednesday. The next edition of The Interrogation Room runs on December 19!
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