Good afternoon and greetings from Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium, where today the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are hosting a doubleheader with the Midwest League Western Division-leading Kane County Cougars. Rehabbing right hander Andy Moye will start the first game for Wisconsin, and 2013 third round pick Barrett Astin will pitch the back end.
Second baseman Chris McFarland is in the lineup for the first game today, batting second, and he's been one of Wisconsin's best hitters at home this season. He's batting .299/.356/.558 in 22 games at Fox Cities Stadium, and .222/.296/.347 on the road. Despite the disparity in his numbers, he said it's the same game at home and away.
"I don't think there's much of a difference. It's just the way it works out," McFarland said. "I try to have the same approach and just hit the ball. It doesn't matter where I'm at."
McFarland was drafted out of high school in 2011, so he's still only 21 years old in his third professional season. This is his second season with Wisconsin, and he said he's more comfortable in his return to the Midwest League.
"I just feel more relaxed here. I knew what I was getting into this year. I knew what the atmosphere was going to be like," McFarland said.
A year ago at this time McFarland was struggling, hitting just .232/.269/.357. If he could send a message to himself a year ago, McFarland said it'd be to have fun and relax.
"Don't press too much, don't look at the numbers too much, just have fun and do what you do," McFarland said.
Wisconsin entered play on Tuesday at 20-22 on the season, tied for fourth place and four and a half games out of a Midwest League playoff spot with 27 games to play in the first half. McFarland listed postseason play as one of his goals for this season.
"Last year we didn't make a run and I haven't had a run in any of my seasons in pro ball," McFarland said. "So to make the playoffs would be fun."