Mother Nature causes weekend of postponements – and a series relocation

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers shared this photo of snowbound Fox Cities Stadium on social media Sunday evening.

It’s been a rough start to the Midwest League season, weather-wise, and this past weekend was a prime example of that. Inclement weather caused most scheduled games to be postponed, and a heavy snowstorm prompted relocation of an upcoming series.

All eight MWL games scheduled for Saturday were postponed, and only four teams were able to play Sunday. The Peoria Chiefs swept their doubleheader with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, and the Bowling Green Hot Rods won both games of their twinbill with the Fort Wayne TinCaps.

Meanwhile, a severe storm with blizzard conditions dumped over 20 inches of snow on the Appleton area, burying Fox Cities Stadium and making it unsafe for the Timber Rattlers to return home after they finished playing Sunday. This prompted the team to move their upcoming Tuesday-Thursday series with the Kane County Cougars to Peoria’s Dozer Park. The Timber Rattlers are scheduled to play another series in Peoria next weekend, so they will stay in the Illinois city through next Sunday.

“This is a tough situation for everyone in the area and it would have been impossible to play any games at Neuroscience Group Field this week,” Timber Rattlers president Rob Zerjav said in a press release. “You have to get creative when one of the worst snowstorms in the history of Wisconsin hammers you before the start of a homestand. This was the best option.

“We want to thank Peoria general manager Jason Mott and his staff for being open to hosting these games,” Zerjav added. “It is incredible to be part of a league where teams step up to help out in situations like this.”

Tuesday’s game begins at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday’s game at noon, and Thursday’s game at noon. Admission to all three games is free, though fans are encouraged to give donations of any amount to United Way.

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Posted in Bowling Green Hot Rods, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Kane County Cougars, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs, snowbound stadiums, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment

Links to all my Midwest League team previews

Wondering which prospects to keep an eye on during the early weeks of the Midwest League season? Here are links to my previews for all 16 MWL teams:

Beloit Snappers

Bowling Green Hot Rods

Burlington Bees

Cedar Rapids Kernels

Clinton LumberKings

Dayton Dragons

Fort Wayne TinCaps

Great Lakes Loons

Kane County Cougars

Lake County Captains

Lansing Lugnuts

Peoria Chiefs

Quad Cities River Bandits

South Bend Cubs

West Michigan Whitecaps

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

These previews appeared first on my Patreon site, where I am providing occasional first-look and exclusive content to those who support my Midwest League coverage by making a minimal monthly pledge of $1 here.

Posted in Beloit Snappers, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton LumberKings, Dayton Dragons, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Great Lakes Loons, Kane County Cougars, Lake County Captains, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs, Quad Cities River Bandits, South Bend Silver Hawks, West Michigan Whitecaps, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment

Lugnuts score 11 in 7th on way to 13-4 victory

The Lansing Lugnuts scored 11 runs in the 7th inning on their way to beating the Fort Wayne TinCaps 13-4 Thursday at Parkview Field.

The Lugnuts improved to 5-3 while the TinCaps dropped to 1-7 this season.

Lansing’s half of the 7th inning lasted 43 minutes and saw 16 batters come to the plate. Here is the log of the frame, from the online box score:

  • Matt Morgan singles on a sharp ground ball to shortstop Gabriel Arias.
  • Cullen Large walks. Matt Morgan to 2nd.
  • With Chavez Young batting, Matt Morgan advances to 3rd on a balk. Cullen Large advances to 2nd on a balk.
  • Chavez Young doubles (3) on a fly ball to right fielder Jack Suwinski. Matt Morgan scores. Cullen Large to 3rd.
  • Kevin Vicuna triples (1) on a line drive to right fielder Jack Suwinski. Cullen Large scores. Chavez Young scores.
  • Kacy Clemens walks.
  • With Ryan Noda batting, Kevin Vicuna scores on a balk. Kacy Clemens advances to 2nd on a balk.
  • Ryan Noda walks.
  • Pitching Change: Spencer Kulman replaces Henry Henry.
  • Kevin Smith walks. Kacy Clemens to 3rd. Ryan Noda to 2nd.
  • Christian Williams reaches on a force attempt, throwing error by second baseman Reinaldo Ilarraza. Kacy Clemens scores. Ryan Noda scores. Kevin Smith scores. Christian Williams to 3rd.
  • Brock Lundquist walks.
  • With Matt Morgan batting, wild pitch by Spencer Kulman, Brock Lundquist to 2nd.
  • Matt Morgan walks.
  • Cullen Large singles on a line drive to center fielder Tre Carter. Christian Williams scores. Brock Lundquist to 3rd. Matt Morgan to 2nd.
  • Chavez Young triples (2) on a line drive to right fielder Jack Suwinski. Brock Lundquist scores. Matt Morgan scores. Cullen Large scores.
  • Kevin Vicuna lines out to second baseman Reinaldo Ilarraza.
  • Kacy Clemens strikes out swinging.
  • Ryan Noda walks.
  • Pitching Change: Jalen Washington replaces Spencer Kulman.
  • Kevin Smith pops out to catcher Juan Fernandez in foul territory.

The 11-run inning tied the Lugnuts team record, achieved twice previously. Lansing drew 13 walks during the game, including three each by Clemens and Noda. Leadoff hitter Chavez Young drove in four runs.

The Lugnuts lead the Midwest League with 59 runs scored, 46 RBI and 46 walks. They rank second in total bases (111) and on-base percentage (.375), and fourth in hits (69) and slugging percentage (.414).

Posted in Fort Wayne TinCaps, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League | Leave a comment

Kernels improve to 6-0 with 9-5 win over Chiefs

The Cedar Rapids Kernels rallied for nine runs over three innings (6-8) to beat the Peoria Chiefs 9-5 and improve to 6-0 this season. Top Minnesota Twins prospect Royce Lewis hit his first home run of the year for the Kernels.

The Kernels are the only undefeated team left in the Midwest League. The West Michigan Whitecaps — the only other MWL team with less than two losses — is 6-1 after winning their last five games. The Dayton Dragons (5-3) also have won their last five games, and the South Bend Cubs (5-2) have been victorious in their last four contests.

Teams streaking in the other direction: Both the Chiefs (1-5) and the Bowling Green Hot Rods (3-5) have lost their last five games, while the Lake County Captains (4-4) and the Great Lakes Loons (2-6) each have lost their last four games. The Fort Wayne TinCaps have a 1-7 record, the worst in the Midwest League.

The other MWL teams (and their records) are the Lansing Lugnuts (5-3), the Beloit Snappers (4-3), the Clinton LumberKings (4-3), the Burlington Bees (3-3), the Kane County Cougars (3-4), the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (3-4), and the Quad Cities River Bandits (2-4).

Posted in Beloit Snappers, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton LumberKings, Dayton Dragons, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Great Lakes Loons, Kane County Cougars, Lake County Captains, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs, Quad Cities River Bandits, South Bend Silver Hawks, West Michigan Whitecaps, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment

Ex-Midwest Leaguer Joe Mauer gets 2,000th MLB hit

Former Midwest Leaguer Joe Mauer had a pair of RBI singles for the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, bringing him to a total of 2,000 hits in the major leagues.

He is the 287th player to reach the 2,000-hit plateau, and besides him, only Rod Carew and Kirby Puckett collected that many hits in a Twins uniform.

This is Mauer’s 15th season as a major-leaguer. He won batting titles in 2006, 2008 and 2009. He was the American League MVP in 2009, when he batted .365 with 28 HR and 96 RBI in 138 games.

Mauer played 110 games with the 2002 Quad City River Bandits, batting .302 with four homers, 23 doubles and 62 runs batted in. He collected 124 hits for the team, and later got six more in the Midwest League during a four-game rehab stint with the 2014 Cedar Rapids Kernels.

Mauer’s brother Jake also played for the 2002 River Bandits and managed the Kernels for four seasons (2013-16).

Posted in Cedar Rapids Kernels, Midwest League, Quad Cities River Bandits | Leave a comment