On the Road Again, 2012 Title Rematch, A Note on Game Notes

Editor’s Note: Despite rumors suggesting otherwise, Mike Couzens isn’t lactose intolerant and he isn’t milking his vacation days. He just couldn’t make the trip to Wisconsin. So once again, it’s the Lenny Harris of It’s All Relative, John Nolan.  

After a successful 3-2 homestand at Parkview Field, the TinCaps are on the road again. This time, it’s a six-game swing to America’s Dairyland. Again that’s Dairyland, which if read too quickly, could be confused for Disneyland. Though a nice state, champions don’t flock to Wisconsin.

The TinCaps had Tuesday off. But if you go back to Monday night, Fort Wayne again swung some warm lumber (“hot bats” is played out, no?). The TinCaps overcame deficits of two and three runs, respectively, to take the rubber game of their series with Great Lakes, 6-5. Max Tissenbaum had the biggest of Fort Wayne’s 13 hits in the seventh. With the bases loaded and two outs, Tissenbaum came through with a two-run single to put the TinCaps on top.  (Mike’s postgame interview with Maxx is below.)

Recall, it was only a week ago that the TinCaps were mired in a five-game losing streak in which they had been shut out three times and one-hit twice. Monday’s game was Fort wayne’s fourth straight with at least 13 hits. The Summit City club is batting .381 during the stretch with 18 extra base hits (compared to one lonely double during the losing streak), and has averaged more than eight runs per game. Related: The TinCaps won three of their last four.

APPLE LOGO-ED TEAM IN APPLETON

So tonight the TinCaps start a three-game set with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, who are nine-games below .500 on the season. It’s the second leg of the Midwest League’s inter-division play. Fort Wayne went 6-5 against the West in the first half.

The last time time Fort Wayne came here to Appleton, it was for the 2012 Midwest League Championship Series. Spoiler Alert: The TinCaps lost the best-of-five, 3-1. Due to the apple turnover of minor league baseball, each side has only three current players who participated.

2013 TinCaps from 2012 MWL Championship Series

* Joe Ross – The then-teenager started Game 1, going five innings, allowing only two runs on two hits. (Not scheduled to start this series.)

* Colin Rea – Started and won Game 2 with seven innings of two-hit, one-run ball.  (Now in bullpen.)

* Tyler Stubblefield – Went 4-for-11 with three doubles, a run, and an RBI as he started every game at second base. (Now starting shortstop.)

2013 Timber Rattlers from 2012 MWL Championship Series

* Max Walla – Played in all four games with three starts in right field. Only went 1-for-9, but that one hit was a solo home run in Game 4. Also walked three times and scored three runs.

* Adrian Williams – Had three starts at second base, going 2-for-10 at the plate. Scored three times in Game 3 and four times overall, while also driving in one run and striking out four times.

* Mike Strong – Came out of the bullpen for 1.0 IP in Game 3. Didn’t allow a run and got credit for the hold.

* Eric Semmelhack – With team, but DNP.

#RAISETHEBAR

Credit: The incomparable Tony DesPlaines.

Credit: The incomparable Tony DesPlaines.

Have you heard that former Fort Wayne Wizard Steve Delabar is up for the American League’s final All-Star roster spot? And you can help him get it by voting HERE.

Delabar pitched for the Wizards for parts of 2006, 2007, and 2008. During his Summit City days, the Fort Knox, KY, native won 12 games while working as both a starter and a reliever. In the Midwest League, Delabar struck out 178 batters in 226.2 innings.

If you’re not familiar with Delabar’s story, I’d encourage you to read this story on MLB.com. In short, as TinCaps President Mike Nutter put it, Delabar is like Jim Morris from Disney’s The RookieWhile he’s remembered around Fort Wayne as being a first-class guy, no one really thought they were looking at a future MLB All-Star. Delabar wasn’t much of a prospect and seemed to have his baseball career come to an end when he fractured his elbow in 2009, pitching for the independent Brocton Rox of the Can-Am League. He was working as a substitute teacher and went back to school to finish his degree in education. Yada, yada, yada… He’s having an All-Star caliber season as reliever for the Blue Jays. Sorry for yada-yada-ing over the best part. Basically, Delabar started working out again and realized that his new shoulder strength training had him able to throw hard than he ever had before. The Mariners took notice and signed him in 2011.  He still wasn’t an over-night success but has persevered to a breakout season in Toronto.  Delabar has a 5-1 record and a 1.58 ERA through 40.0 innings in 35 appearances. His 57 strikeouts are tied for the AL lead among relievers. So go vote for him, already!

A NOTE ON GAME NOTES

If you’re a fan of some of the tidbits we post here about the team and want more tidbits, well, you’re in luck now, as we’re offering you a whole bite! Of Game Notes that is. From now on, we’re posting our Game Notes online. Find today’s Game Notes here.

In case you’re not familiar with the term, that’s where you can find information on each game that’s distributed to the media. Game Notes include storylines, basic info, stats, and more stats. Hope you enjoy.

MUSICAL GUEST

Willie Nelson, take it away…

Thanks as always for reading. Feel free to be in touch on Twitter @John_G_Nolan or by email: nolan@tincaps.com.

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