Saturday, June 20, 2015

Midwest League Matchup at Miller Park

All photos of Snappers v. Timber Rattlers @ Miller Park available on Flickr.

Megan is having fun in New York City this weekend, so I of course am trying to cram as much ball into 48 hours as possible in her absence.  My weekend started off at Miller Park on Friday night.  This is a pretty standard place I spend my Fridays during the season, but on this occasion I would not be seeing the Brewers, but rather a matchup of the two Wisconsin A-ball teams - the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and the Beloit Snappers.  Over the years the Brewers have done an increasingly great job of getting non-Brewer events and games at the stadium when they are out of town - charity runs, movies, concerts, other ballgames, even soccer matches.  My favorite such event was a Brewers minor-league all-star game played the Saturday before the 2011 season.  Other than that year, typically the Timber Rattlers will play a game at Miller Park each season.  With the T-Rats being an affiliate of the big league squad the last 6+ seasons, it's a great way for fans to see what sort of talent the Brewers have on the horizon, especially in a season like this that has pretty much been a lost cause since the third week.

Even though the Timber Rattlers were technically the "away team" for this game, I was still very surprised and disappointed with the attendance.  It was posted at 4,507, but unless they were counting everybody in TGIFriday's it couldn't have been half of that.  Which is probably an average crowd in Appleton, but still 10x more than what they draw in Beloit, so it must have felt like the big leagues for the Snappers.  In another way it was kind of cool though to be in a major league stadium that empty, I felt like we kind of had the run of the place.  I went with my parents, brother and sister-in-law, and some friends, and we had 5th row seats just to the right of the 3rd base dugout.  Since we had such good seats for so cheap and there was literally only one concession stand open, we actually stayed and watched quite a bit of the game.  I once again got to see Milwaukee's 1st round 2014 draft pick Kodi Medeiros pitch for the Timber Rattlers.  He had an ERA of nearly 5 coming into the game, but he was dominant from what I could tell.  I've now seen him take a no-hitter into the 6th twice this season with an absolutely filthy slider, so I have no idea how his ERA and record are so poor.  He's averaging more than a strikeout per inning and seems to have pretty decent control for a 19-year old.  Local boy Josh Uhen got into the game also and pitched 1 1/3 scoreless, and David Burkhalter picked up the 2-inning save.  Both Timber Rattlers mascots and Snappy D. Turtle were all hanging out in Bernie's Chalet and we thought for sure they would be up there doing nothing the entire game, but shockingly a Rattlers player actually hit one out and forced Fang down the slide.  Wisconsin has sent their other high draft picks - Jacob Gatewood and Monte Harrison - back down to rookie ball since I last saw them play, so Tucker Neuhaus and Dustin DeMuth are probably the best remaining hitting prospects on the team.  DeMuth had 2 hits in the 5-1 win.

The team in Appleton has inconceivably an even worse record than their parent club, but from what I've seen from them this season, I think there are some potential impact players that could be with the big league squad in a few years, particularly Medeiros.  I am beyond excited to watch their AAA team play in Nashville in a couple weeks and see just how much hope there is in the Brewers' immediate future, sort of a sneak peak for when we trade all of our veterans away and need to call up half of the Sky Sox.

starters – Joey Wagman (BEL) v. Kodi Medeiros (WIS)
opponents – Beloit Snappers v. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
time of game – 2:40
attendance – 4507
score – 5-1 WIS

Brewers score that day – 9-5 W

Brewers 25-45, -21.0 (3 v. Mets, 3 v. Twins)
Reds 31-36, -13.5 (3 @ Pirates, 3 @ Mets
Twins 37-31, -3.5 (3 v. White Sox, 3 @ Brewers)

Erik - 13 (+13 worked)

Peter - 22

No comments: