Haha, yes, good olde times. Well, regarding that, I actually replied at good ol' Reddit: "Rattata - small and agile rat - no problem with catching that, never misses. Articuno - large target, less nimble due to paralysis - "hurr durr I missed." Um..."
I suppose it's just a faulty translation (like "Hop" was translated to "Splash"), in the original japanese version it was probably something like "the Pokemon dodged the ball".