Championship Series Game Two or Wild, Wild West

Game one of the Midwest League championship series was a tough one. Fort Wayne lost, 3-2, and two of the Wisconsin runs scored on wild pitches. As Jose Valentin has said throughout the playoffs–it’s about execution. Last night the TinCaps did not execute. There were two occasions where they could not lay down a sacrifice bunt (one which almost turned into a triple play), and they went 1-7 with runners in scoring position.

The first run of the game scored on a wild pitch in the first inning. Wisconsin’s Brandon Macias was at second base, and Joe Ross spiked a pitch that bounced over catcher Austin Hedges and went to the backstop, allowing Macias to score from second base. The final run scored in the bottom of the 10th when the Rattlers had the bases loaded. Luis De La Cruz shot a fastball past Hedges, which set up Rafael Neda’s game-winning run.

The task of winning a championship gets no easier now, as they’re still on the road and it’s a quick turnaround for a 12:05 (local time) game this afternoon. The starting pitcher today for the Rattlers, Chad Pierce, takes the hill after firing a complete-game shutout in the first round of the playoffs. The Timber Rattlers starting pitchers now have an ERA of 0.69 in their six playoff games. The team ERA in the playoffs is just 1.00.

Colin Rea makes his first postseason start today. He took the hill on the last day of the regular season, was not on the active roster against Lansing, and pitched three scoreless innings against Lake County in the series-clinching win on Monday.

Two bats that could really help the TinCaps are Jace Peterson and Yeison Asencio. Those two, hitting second and third, respectively, last night, went a combined 0-9. The top three in the lineup, counting Travis Jankowski, were 1-14. That’s where a lot of this team’s runs came from during the regular season.

I’ll have the call on 1380 ESPN and ESPNFortWayne.com. You’re also welcome to stop by Parkview Field and catch the game on the video board for free.

Here are some shots from Fox Cities Stadium that I took yesterday during batting practice.

Fox Cities Stadium

Kyle Gaedele, Travis Jankowski and Mike Gallic watch batting practice at Fox Cities Stadium.

From the outfield boardwalk, you can look over the TinCaps bullpen, which has a view into the outfield.

There’s a beach area beyond the left field wall.

In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, have a listen to my pregame conversation with Pitching Coach Willie Blair. We talked before

MUSICAL GUEST

Before we get to the song…I’m walking down the concourse to get to the TinCaps clubhouse to get my pregame interview (Jose Valentin, if you’re wondering) and what song is playing on the little radio in the concession stand to my right?

That’s right…Two Tickets to Appleton (or Paradise, if you prefer to get it right). That was yesterday’s musical guest. It’s fate, folks.

Nirvana…take it away!

If you’d like to get in touch, you can reach me at Couzens@TinCaps.com or on Twitter @MikeCouzens.

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