We have gone through a cold snap here in the Fox Cities over the last few days. We want to start thinking warm thoughts and get ready for the 2014 baseball season on the final Top Five Tuesday of the year by looking at the warmest home games of 2013.
For the purposes of this column, we are using the temperature that was reported on the boxscore for the start of the game.
5.) August 26 vs. Kane County (85˚) - This probably would have been the #1 game on the list had it been a day game. Instead this game started at 7:05 in the evening to allow the temperature to cool down all the way to 85. The heat didn't bother the Timber Rattlers as they beat the Cougars 4-2.
4.) August 27 vs. Kane County (86˚) - This game was a day game and it has hot at the start? How hot? The game was scheduled to start at 12:05 and I noted in my book that the first pitch by Tyler Wagner was thrown at 12:02. The teams didn't want to wait. This was the game that almost went to extra innings. Kane County tied the game in the top of the ninth with a leadoff home run. But, Mike Garza drove in Tyrone Taylor with a two-out double in the bottom of the ninth to give the Rattlers an 8-7 walkoff win.
3.) July 14 vs. Lake County (88˚) - A warm Sunday afternoon at the ballpark kept the crowd down, but those who were there saw Victor Roache and Parker Berberet homer in the fifth inning for a 3-0 lead. Jorge Lopez allowed one run over seven innings and was in line for the win. But, the Captains scored three times in the top of the ninth inning to beat the Rattlers 4-3.
2.) August 25 vs. Kane County (88˚) - The tiebreaker here is heat index. In my scorebook, the notes that it felt like 92˚. Isn't it more fun to think about Heat Index over Wind Chill? It's appropriate that Cuban native Rodolfo Fernandez got his first Timber Rattlers start on this day. He pitched six innings, allowed one run on four hits, and got the victory as the Rattlers won 3-1.
1.) July 15 vs. Lake County (89˚) - The warmest home game of the 2013 season was a Monday afternoon against the Captains. The Timber Rattlers won this game by a score of 6-2 thanks to a four run fourth inning and a six inning performance by Johnny Hellweg. By my count, that makes the Timber Rattlers 4-1 in home games where the temperature was 85 or higher in 2013. Past performance does not indicate future results, but let's see if we can get things a lot warmer in 2014.