Tonight – In only a few hours to be exact – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the Class-A Affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, will be taking on the Clinton LumberKings for the Midwest League Western Division Final.
Wisconsin leads the series 1-0 on the heels of a 9-1 victory in Iowa last night.
We’re actually in the press box for tonight’s game for full pre-game and post-coverage of the Timber Rattlers playoff march. Here’s a run-down of what to expect for tonight’s game.
Mark Williams is a righty who has had a lot of both success and failures with Wisconsin this year. He has served as both a reliever and a starter – 14 starts in 27 appearances. As a starter he is 3-6, with a 5.20 ERA but also boasting a complete game shutout. He tends to be a slow starter, but the farther he heads into games the better he tends to be against opposing hitters. Mark Williams has faced the LumberKings twice – once recording a save and once recording a loss as a reliever, giving up one run on one hit and a walk with a strikeout in one inning of work. He has very limited experience against Clinton, but in a right-handed heavy lineup he should do well – righties hit only .208 against him.
Kim was brought to the LumberKings when Seattle, the LumberKings parent organization, bought his contract in late June. Kim has started every game he made an appearance in, and tends to work better on the road. He has faced the Timber Rattlers lineup only once before this year, a loss in which he gave up three runs, three walks, and five strikeouts in five innings.
Players to Watch
Dan Paolini – DH
Paolini, normally the team’s second baseman, is hitting .500 over his last ten games with five home runs and 14 runs batted in.
Dillon Hazlett – 2B
Hazlett is playing second in Paolini’s place, and he has been on a tear lately himself, which adds to an impressive plate performance from Clinton’s lineup. Hazlett is .345 from the dish in his last five games and knocked two home runs in and eight RBIs.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Yadiel Rivera will need to be a spark for the Timber Rattlers offense again tonight after performing so well all season (photo from brewersrumors.com)
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Rivera has been on a tear all season long, but he has come alive in a big way over the end of the season. In his last ten games, Rivera has been .412 and has been as close to an impossible out as you can get. He has hit three RBIs in his last five games.
Cameron Garfield – DH
Sometimes catcher and designated hitter Cameron Garfield has been very impressive over the last few games. In his last five outings, he has hit .316 with five RBIs, including one home run.
Today’s game was scheduled for 7:05pm instead of the normal 5:05pm to accommodate Packers fans for the game. Now that’s catering to your audience.
The Timber Rattlers have their ever-popular “Bang For Your Buck Night” running through every playoff home game. It is unquestionably the best deal we’ve ever seen – $1 each for hot dogs, beer, and soda. It’s worth the trip to Appleton.
If the Timber Rattlers win tonight, it would write their ticket to the MWL championship series – their last trip to the MWL finals also came against Clinton in 2005.
There is no television broadcast of tonight’s game – you can listen in the Fox Valley area on 1280AM or watch on MiLB.tv.
Follow us on Twitter, @ReviewngTheBrew, for real-time updates throughout the night.