Nathan’s Notes for April 3
Great first game and win for the Chiefs, in the cold weather in Appleton. If you want the full game recap, including a quote from manager Joe Kruzel, it is on the Chiefs website. And here is the Box Score.
Post-game I’m going to give some notes and thoughts on the action, hoping to get to 9 notes per night.
- Great defense tonight. A unique 4-2-5-1-6-4-2 double play ended the first inning with the infield in. Mason Katz made a great throw home and everyone did their jobs in the rundown to get the runner at the plate and eventually the batter who put the ball in play at third base to end the inning. Wisconsin also had a great defensive play as CF Omar Garcia laid out to rob Juan Herrera of a likely triple in the 3rd inning.
- Fantastic at-bats. After the first two innings the Chiefs took pitches and took pitches. It started with Michael Schulze who walked (and scored) three times. Carson Kelly drew two walks and overall the Chiefs drew eight free passes.
- Clutch hits. The Chiefs were 5-for-13 with RISP and really tee’d off on the Rattlers bullpen.
- Jimmy Reed did his job. The Chiefs opening day starter allowed one run on four hits over five innings and kept the Chiefs in the game until the bats got hot in the 7th inning. He was economical with 63 pitches over five innings and 43 strikes.
- This is a loose bunch. They were having fun during BP/Workouts Tuesday and Wednesday. Same at the booster club dinner and on the bus. You could tell they were ready to go today and Joe Kruzel and his staff set that tone. I’m interested to see how it progresses all season as obviously this team had great chemistry in State College last year and they have great confidence
- Taylor Williams, the Wisconsin starting pitcher, was really good. He had command of three pitches Thursday night and kept the Chiefs hitters off-balance. You could easily see why he is a top 20 Brewers prospect and he got some love from Rattlers skipper Matt Erickson in the Wisconsin game recap.
- Tough competition for the Pekin Insurance Beyond the Expected Player of the Game with the aforementioned Reed, Katz and Schulze as candidates along with Ronald Castillo (2rbi). However tonight the PIPOG was C.J. McElroy Jr with two hits, two RBI and a run scored. His single with the bases loaded in the 7th put the Chiefs on top for good at 3-2 and started the avalanche of base-hits with RISP.
- Carson Kelly looked natural behind the plate. He blocked a few balls, called a great game and threw out the only runner he had a shot at in an attempted steal. The SB against him was a pitch that sailed to the backstop with the runner going. He then threw out a runner at second base on a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play.
- Cold. Wow was it cold out there. I had the window open for the radio booth but toward the end of the game it was rather miserable. I can’t blame the fans for leaving after the 6-run Chiefs 7th. Here is a snow pile from the mall across the street from our hotel this afternoon and sounds like we may add to the snow tally Friday.
Thanks for reading and for interacting on social media during the game. I’ll have game notes and a lineup (plus a weather report) Friday afternoon. For now Silfredo Garcia is scheduled to face Barrett Aston at 6:35 p.m.