The best comeback by a Wisconsin Timber Rattlers team I have ever seen
was a game on July 11
The best comeback by a Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
team I have ever seen was a game on July 11, 2005. The team trailed the
Peoria Chiefs 11-2 after six innings before rallying
for a 12-11 win in ten at O'Brien Field. That is my benchmark for
comebacks. But, there was a game from before my tenure that was at home
and featured an even bigger Timber Rattlers rally. That game -- from May
24, 1996 -- is the subject of this week's Flashback Friday.
The words are from the article written for The
Post-Crescent by David Smith for the May 25, 1996 edition. The picture is
the baseball card of Luis Tinoco, who had a big hit...or two...or three in the
Rattler victory. The boxscore, for that game may be found over at Rattler
Radio. Make sure to click over there to gaze at it in all of its glory.
Rattlers refuse to go down
- Wisconsin charges back from a 10-0 deficit
after seven innings to drop Quad City.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers manager Mike Goff has a
message for fans attending games at Fox Cities Stadium.
Don't leave early.
The Rattlers, one night after scoring five runs
in the ninth inning, scored 11 runs over the final three innings Friday to edge
the Quad City River Bandits 11-10 in a 10-inning Midwest League baseball game.
"I kept trying to tell you people that these
guys hate to lose," Goff said, regarding the fanes. "A lot of them
disappeared and they gave up on us.
"I say it everyday -- just when they think
we're down and just when they think we're dead, somebody always steps up and
gets us back into the ballgame."
Tinoco was one of the players who stepped up Friday, as his one-out single
in the 10th drove home David
Arias from third as Wisconsin (31-13) concluded its series with the Western
Division leading River Bandits winning three of four games.
Quad City (25-18) rocked Rattlers starter Damaso
Marte, chasing him after four innings. Marte gave up 10 runs on eight
hits and walked five.
Wisconsin started its comeback in the eighth
inning as a two-run home run by Arias and a solo homer by catcher Karl
Thompson ignited a four-run inning.
The Rattlers benefitted from four walks and four
hits in the ninth with three singles coming after two were out, to sent the game
into the extra inning.
Vickers, who is batting just .203 for the month of May tied the game in the
ninth with a two-out single, capping a six-run rally. It was Vickers'
first at-bat of the game, as he replaced leadoff batter Chris
Dean, who was ejected for arguing a strikeout call to lead off the inning.
"Before I got up to bat, Goff came up to me
and told me, 'Look, we're going to win some and we're going to lose some --
you're going to succeed, you're going to fail. Don't think about
it,'" Vickers said. "He said, 'We don't need a home run, we just
need a base hit to tie this game.' I walked away knowing that I was going
to get that hit."
Arias, who was three-for-five, led off the 10th
with a ground-ball single, advanced to third on a single by Faruq Darcuiel and
scored on Tinoco's game-winner.
"(Goff) told me not to think about hitting a
jack (home run), but to think about a base hit -- that's what we needed,"
Scheffer (4-0) earned the win for Wisconsin, pitching the final
Smith took the loss for Quad City, but Brock
Steinke, who pitched in the eighth and ninth innings, allowed 10 of the
Rattlers' runs on six hits and five walks.
"It's a big win, but not because we came
back from a 10-0 deficit after eight innings," Vickers said. It's a
big win because the Quad City team is a really great team and if we split with
them at our field, we're not doing our job. We've got to take three of
four from them and we did."
NOTES AND REACTIONS
1.) As a reminder: Arias = Ortiz. Also, The
man who would be Big Papi had three hits, two RBI, one homer, and
a stolen base.
2.) Attendance on 5/24/96 = 2,926
Attendance through 22 home dates in 1996 = 53,765 (avg.
Attendance through 22 home dates in 1995 = 44,530 (avg.
3.) Those post-game quotes from Mike Goff early
in the article are straight-up, 100% pure, non-filtered Mike Goff quotes.
4.) However, during games, Goff apparently
becomes a Zen master. 'You're going to succeed, you're going to
fail. Don't think about it." That is Jack Handy deep.
5.) The River Bandits finished the 1996 season at
70-61 and won both halves in the Western Division. Wisconsin was 77-58 and
won the first half Central Division Title. The Rattlers went 4-3 against
the Bandits in the regular season. The two teams met again in the Midwest
League semifinals and Wisconsin won the best-of-three series 2-1.
6.) In 1996, the River Bandits were an affiliate
of the Houston Astros. Future major leaguers in their lineup against the
Rattlers that day included: Carlos
Truby, and Freddy
Garcia. Hernandez and Lugo hit 1-2 in the Quad City lineup, Truby had
a pair of hits and Garcia was the starter in that game. He left after
seven scoreless innings in which he allowed five hits with four walks and five
strikeouts. Steinke would go up to Kissimmee, Houston's Florida State
League team, later in the 1996 season, but he never played in organized ball
again after that year.
Previous Flashback Fridays
Organist at Goodland Field
The Next Unit
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.