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Link Report for Fri. 9/7 -- Goforth Stellar in Shutout; On to Round Two!


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Friday's Daily Menu: TGIF!

 

Times listed are Central

 

Nashville: Season complete; final stats here.

 

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Huntsville: Season complete; final stats here.

 

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Brevard County: Season complete; final stats here

 

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Wisconsin: RHP David Goforth at home vs. Burlington (Athletics), 6:15 PM pre-game, 6:35 gametime; deciding game of the first round best-of-three

 

Free Live Audio Link - 1280 AM WNAM

 

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Helena: Season complete; final stats here

 

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Arizona Rookie (Maryvale): Season complete; final stats here

 

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DSL Brewers: Season complete; final stats and analysis here

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STANDINGS:

 

AAA - Pacific Coast League American Northern Division (FINAL)

 

AA - Southern League North Division (FINAL)

 

High-A - Florida State League North Division (FINAL)

 

A - Midwest League Western Division (FINAL)

 

Rookie Advanced - Pioneer League North Division (FINAL)

 

Rookie - Arizona Summer League (FINAL)

 

DSL - Dominican Summer League San Pedro de Macoris Division (FINAL)

 

***

 

NOTE: AAA Nashville, Rookie Maryvale and the DSL do not play a split schedule. When you click on a standings link for Huntsville, Brevard County, Wisconsin, and/or Helena, you'll then be able to choose 1st half and/or overall standings in addition to the 2nd half standings.

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Final: Burlington 0, Wisconsin 3

 

Rattlers advance on Goforth's complete game shutout

McMahan & Ramirez go deep in Game Three win

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

 

GRAND CHUTE, WI - David Goforth pitched a complete-game, four-hit shutout to lead the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers past the Burlington Bees 3-0 on Friday night at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Wisconsin got solo homers from Ben McMahan and Nick Ramirez to win the decisive Game Three of the first round playoff matchup to advance to the Western Division Finals.

 

Burlington threatened early. Aaron Shipman started the game with a double. A walk to Royce Consigli put runners on first and second with no outs. Then, Addison Russell sent a hard grounder to short. The ball took an odd bounce and hit off the shoulder of Yadiel Rivera. Fortunately for the Rattlers, the ball caromed to second baseman Carlos George, who was covering the bag. George grabbed the ball with his bare hand as he stepped on second for the force. A quick throw to first got the double play. Goforth retired the next batter to end the inning.

 

The Bees also put runners on in the second through fifth innings, but Goforth did not buckle and kept the Bees off the scoreboard.

 

Wisconsin was held hitless by Bees starter Drew Granier through the first 3-1/3 innings. Then, McMahan and Ramirez went to work. McMahan, who hit fifteen home runs in the regular season, lined a 3-1 pitch from Granier over the wall in left for his first homer in the playoffs and a 1-0 lead. Ramirez, who hit sixteen homers in the regular season, cracked a 1-2 pitch from Granier to the beach beyond the wall in right-center for his first homer in the playoffs and a 2-0 lead.

 

Wisconsin tacked on an unearned run in the fifth. Max Walla was at third base and scored on an error for a 3-0 lead.

 

From there, it was The David Goforth Show. The hard-throwing right-hander out of the University of Mississippi retired the final thirteen Bees batters he faced. Six of his nine strikeouts came in the final three innings. Friday marked the first complete game of Goforth's professional career. He also set a professional high for strikeouts in a game with his nine punchouts.

 

Friday night marked the second straight complete game shutout by a Timber Rattlers pitcher. Chad Pierce tossed a three-hit shutout in Game Two on Thursday night to force Game Three. Wisconsin pitching held Burlington off the scoreboard for the final 21 innings of the series.

 

The Rattlers won the series 2-1 despite hitting just .165 (14-for-85) against the Bees. Consecutive complete game shutouts help quite a bit.

 

Wisconsin will face the Clinton LumberKings in the Western Division Finals. Clinton defeated the Beloit Snappers 4-1 in ten innings on Friday at Beloit to advance to the next round.

 

Game One of the Western Division Finals will be at Clinton's Ashford University Field. Chad Thompson (5-2, 4.31) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. The LumberKings have Rusty Shellhorn (3-1, 3.60) as their scheduled starting pitcher. Game time is 6:30pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:10pm.

 

Game Two of the series is scheduled for Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium on Sunday, September 9. Game time is 7:05pm. Tickets for Game Two go on sale Saturday morning at 10:00am at the Timber Rattlers ticket office at the stadium. Tickets may also be ordered by calling (800) WI-TIMBER or (920) 733-4152.

 

HOME RUNS:

WIS:

Ben McMahan (1st, 0 on in 4th inning off Drew Granier, 1 out)

Nick Ramirez (1st, 0 on in 4th inning off Drew Granier, 1 out)

 

WP: David Goforth (1-0)

LP: Drew Granier (0-1)

 

TIME: 2:25 (1:03 delay)

ATTN: 744

 

Wisconsin Box Score

 

Another brilliant pitching performance tonight. This time from David Goforth. As hard as it is to believe, he may have been better tonight than Chad Pierce was last night. Nine innings. Nine strikeouts. Only six base runners allowed all game. Burlington did not get a hit off of Goforth after the 4th inning. The Rattlers didn't have a ton of offense, but they got the big back-to-back bombs from Ben McMahan and Nick Ramirez in the fourth. Both pitches were crushed. Ramirez also walked once. Brandon Macias and Chadwin Stang doubled for the only other TRats hits. Max Walla and Rafael Neda each drew a walk. The Rattlers also stole four more bases against Burlington pitching. Two by Stang and one each by Macias and Ramirez. Cameron Garfield left the game after getting hit in the hand in the 6th inning. Somehow the umpire ruled that the ball didn't hit him. That was kind of baffling. It'll be a quick turnaround for the Rattlers as they have to make the drive to Clinton, Iowa tomorrow and then head right back home for game two on Sunday night. Goforth and Pierce set the bar pretty high for Chad Thompson, but then again, he and Mark Williams did combine on a no-hitter in Clinton earlier this season.

 

Wisconsin Play By Play

 

Wisconsin Bottom of the 4th

Chadwin Stang flies out to center fielder Aaron Shipman.

Ben McMahan homers (1) on a line drive to left field.

Nick Ramirez homers (1) on a fly ball to right center field.

Cameron Garfield pops out to second baseman Sam Roberts.

Yadiel Rivera strikes out swinging.

 

Brew Crew Ball's Timber Rattlers Notebook

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Goforth didn't look great through the first five innings or so, in terms of command. But then something clicked, and he was putting almost every pitch right where he wanted it. Honestly, innings 7-9 were easily his best frames. Really impressive.

 

Fwiw, he was operating most of the game with some form of a FB that was clocking in at 84-86 on the stadium gun. I couldn't tell if it was a cutter (?), but he did run a more classic FB out there (sparingly) in the 90-94 range and it looked to have solid lateral movement from my vantage point behind home plate. I was expecting to see his FB in that 90-94 range, so I guess I didn't remember his repertoire correctly... but a 2-seamer isn't typically an 8-10mph dropoff from the 4-seamer, which is why I thought he was maybe throwing cutters. If anyone can weigh in on this, I'd appreciate it.

 

By the time Goforth was in top form (latter half of the game), he just had everything working. He started off a lot of Burlington hitters with a CB for strike one; I really should've counted how often he dropped that on guys with the first pitch. His CH was also working very well, and he was pitching backwards effectively enough that he broke out the low-90s FB more than the 85-ish version in the later innings. The Bees hitters were completely lost against him in the later frames.

 

McMahan's HR was an absolute rocket blast -- made me think of a Rickie Weeks trademark HR shot. Off the bat, I wasn't sure it was elevated enough to clear the double-tall LF wall, but obviously that wasn't an issue. Man, did he scorch that ball.

 

Ramirez's HR wasn't squared up as purely as McMahan's, but it obviously wasn't a cheapie. Those back-to-back shots were fun.

 

Oh, also noticed Mike Vassallo (Brewers' dir. of media relations), Bruce Seid, & some other Brewers brass in one of the suites.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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Cameron Garfield left the game after getting hit in the hand in the 6th inning. Somehow the umpire ruled that the ball didn't hit him. That was kind of baffling.

That was one of the oddest things I've ever seen at a baseball game. The HP ump awarded him first base, but then the Burlington manager came out to home plate to discuss the call (he wasn't angry or arguing strenuously)... the HP ump conferred with his base-ump partner, so I just assumed the argument was that Garfield had actually taken a swing... but the base ump never gave a hand signal for a swinging strike or checked swing... and then the HP ump just called Garfield back from first & indicated he'd have to return to the batter's box.

 

Erickson argued with the ump for a while, included grabbing Garfield by the wrist at one point & showing the ump the mark that I assume was still easily recognizable on his hand. I mean, I had a perfect view of this HBP & I have no doubt it hit Garfield on his left hand. What made this so strange is that it really looked like the HP ump let the Burlington manager talk him out of his initial call, which appeared to have been correct. I'm wondering if there was some rules nuance here that I missed.

 

I guess the T-Rats were going to leave Garfield in to run the bases, but Garfield must've said something once he was called back to hit, because the trainer looked over his hand and I guess didn't want him to grip a bat. Just an odd situation, & I hope Garfield is ok.

 

 

EDIT: Here's Chris Mehring's response to me asking about this sequence:

 

It was ruled a HBP. Then, the plate ump ruled it a foul ball. Ask @CAMgGARFIELD about it. He was right in the middle of it.
Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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Wisconsin advances to next round after beating Burlington

by Tim Froberg, Post-Crescent staff writer

 

GRAND CHUTE — A gorgeous rainbow hung high above the first-base line at Fox Cities Stadium prior to the start of Friday’s Midwest League playoff series finale.

 

And while rainbows are rare, back-to-back, complete-game shutouts in minor league baseball are even less common.

 

Yet, that’s what the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers pitching staff pulled off, allowing the Rattlers to win their first-round Midwest League playoff series with Burlington.

 

David Goforth fired a four-hit shutout with nine strikeouts to lift Wisconsin to a rousing 3-0 victory in a decisive Game 3.

 

The Rattlers advance to the Western Division finals tonight at Clinton, starting at 6:30 p.m The LumberKings won their first-round series over Beloit on Friday night with a 10-inning, 4-1 victory.

 

Wisconsin will host Game 2 of the Western Division finals Sunday night at 7:05 p.m. and Game 3 on Monday, if necessary.

 

If the Rattlers continue to pitch like they did against the Bees, they will be in excellent shape. A night after Chad Pierce tossed a three-hit, complete-game shutout in Game 2, Goforth practically duplicated the feat with a route-going mound gem of his own.

 

“Chad did a heck of a job the other night and it was funny, I was saying after the game, ‘How am I going to back that performance?’ ” said Goforth, “I just came into this game trying to get quick outs and go as deep into the game as I possibly could, and give our team a chance to win.”

 

Wisconsin went the entire regular season without having a nine-inning, complete-game shutout by a pitcher, but Pierce and Goforth delivered a pair in an amazing 24-hour postseason period.

 

“He (Goforth) was outstanding,” said Wisconsin first baseman Nick Ramirez. “I didn’t think you could top Pierce’s performance, but Goforth went out and did the same thing.”

 

Goforth walked only two and gained strength as the game progressed. After striking out three in the first six innings, he fanned six hitters in the final three innings and hit 98 mph on the radar gun in the ninth inning.

 

“I did feel stronger toward the end,” said Goforth. “The first five innings, all I had was a two-seam fastball and they kept beating it into the ground. Toward the end, I was able to get my curve over for strikes and late in the count, I was able to throw my slider and they were missing it.”

 

The Rattlers had just three hits, but two were long back-to-back solo home runs delivered in the bottom of the fourth by Ben McMahan and Ramirez. The Rattlers smashed a franchise-record 107 home runs this season.

 

McMahan walloped a towering shot over the left-field wall off Bees starter Drew Granier that traveled about 382 feet. Ramirez followed with an even longer blast, landing in the “Welcome to the Beach” area in right center and carrying an estimated 417 feet.

 

“That ball that Ben (McMahan) hit was just crushed,” said Ramirez. “I was looking for a good pitch to hit, but I’m not going to tell you that it (homering) wasn’t in the back of my mind. He left a change-up up and I made good contact..”

 

The Rattlers pushed across their final run in the fifth, scoring on a two-out error by shortstop Addison Russell.

 

“To come back and win this series after losing the first game, it shows you the character of this team,” said Goforth. “We figure that we’ve come this far, we might as well try and win this thing.”

 

VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH GOFORTH AT THE LEAD LINK IN THIS POST.

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Goforth goes the distance in clincher

Rattlers' right-hander pitches first complete game, fans nine

By Zack Cox / Special to MLB.com

 

Although David Goforth's pitch count was climbing into the mid-80s and Wisconsin led by a somewhat uneasy three-run margin, he returned to the mound for the seventh inning. And the eighth. And again for the ninth.

 

Was there any concern in the Timber Rattlers' dugout about a converted reliever throwing more than 100 pitches in the most crucial game of the season?

 

"Absolutely none," Goforth said.

 

The Brewers' No. 17 prospect went the distance Friday night, tossing a four-hitter as Wisconsin blanked Burlington, 3-0, to advance to the Midwest League semifinals.

 

The 23-year-old right-hander struck out nine and threw 113 pitches -- both career highs -- in his first Minor League complete game.

 

"I was just looking to get quick outs and go as deep into the ballgame as I could, and it just so happened that it turned into a complete-game shutout," Goforth said. "It's definitely a good feeling."

 

The University of Mississippi product is wrapping up his first season as a starter, having worked out of the bullpen for Rookie-level Helena last year -- his first in the Minors. He'd pitched into the seventh or eighth inning four times for Wisconsin but had never gone a full nine.

 

While he was in uncharted territory in the later innings, the pressure of the moment and the desire to close out the series actually improved his stuff as the game went along, Goforth said.

 

"By the eighth and ninth inning, adrenaline kind of took over," he added. "I felt great, honestly maybe even better than I felt earlier in the game. When I got to the seventh or eighth inning, I started to realize, this might happen. So you're just sitting in the dugout, anxious to get back out there and keep pitching."

 

That desire to finish what he started was shared by the Timber Rattlers coaching staff.

 

"There was no talk whatsoever [of me coming out]," Goforth said. "When I got to the eighth, our pitching coach [David Chavarria] just told me to keep going."

 

The outing was hardly flawless, with the Bees putting runners on base in each of the first five innings. It wasn't until the sixth, when his breaking ball began to materialize, that Goforth went into full shutdown mode.

 

He retired the final 13 batters, with six of his nine strikeouts coming in the sixth or later.

 

"I actually started striking more guys out toward the end of the ballgame," he noted. "That was due to [me] getting my curveball over for strikes. The first part of the game, my curveball wasn't there at all. I was basically just going off my two-seam fastball for the first five innings and luckily, they were beating balls into the ground and getting ground-ball outs."

 

After Wisconsin dropped a 4-0 decision in the series opener, Chad Pierce baffled the Bees in Game 2, pitching a three-hit shutout in a 4-0 victory.

 

"We lost the first game of the series, then Chad Pierce came out last night and did a heck of a job," Goforth said. "We won Game 2 and I came out [tonight], just trying to give our team a chance to win."

 

Wisconsin did not need much run support in the clincher, with back-to-back solo homers by Ben McMahan and Nick Ramirez in the fourth proving to be the difference.

 

David Goforth did not allow a baserunner after the fifth inning. (Rinaldi Photos)

 

http://www.milb.com/images/2012/09/08/nUwLHIXu.jpg

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I didn't see mention of this play, but it was a game changer.

 

Top of the first inning, Goforth was in a bit of a jam, man on 1st and 3rd, 1 out. He was not looking sharp at all.

 

Routine grounder hit to Rivera at SS, he absolutely booted it, ball deflected to George by dumb luck, who was covering 2nd for the obvious double play ball, George fields the deflection cleanly, and turns the double play.

 

The ball was booted, one run was going to score, and there would have been a man on 1st and 2nd with one out, still.

 

Instead, it was an inning ending double play.

 

Pure luck!

"I'm sick of runnin' from these wimps!" Ajax - The WARRIORS
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I didn't see mention of this play, but it was a game changer.

 

Top of the first inning, Goforth was in a bit of a jam, man on 1st and 3rd, 1 out. He was not looking sharp at all.

 

Routine grounder hit to Rivera at SS, he absolutely booted it, ball deflected to George by dumb luck, who was covering 2nd for the obvious double play ball, George fields the deflection cleanly, and turns the double play.

 

The ball was booted, one run was going to score, and there would have been a man on 1st and 2nd with one out, still.

 

Instead, it was an inning ending double play.

 

Pure luck!

 

Video of the play at the Rattler Radio link a few posts above....

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And from the BrewCrewBall link posted above:

 

Goforth got a big boost from his defense in the first inning on a play Wisconsin manager Matt Erickson said was "probably the play of the year." With two men on and none out Goforth got a groundout to short that Yadiel Rivera bobbled, but Carlos George was able to pick up the carom and turn a double play.

 

"We've had a bunch of unique plays but maybe everything was just going right for us there and that was the start of it because Yadi's pretty sure-handed but the ball kicks off him but fortunately he stays in front of it, kicks it right to George and George makes an unbelievably athletic play, the reaction to catch it barehanded and turn the double play," Erickson said. "It was fun to watch, no doubt about it."

 

Thanks for the reminder though!

 

(In those instances we don't copy the text -- normally we don't copy from others' blogs, only from traditional news media -- but in those instances, everyone, click away (that's why it's called the "Link" Report all these years :))

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