April 29th, 2012
The first thing I did when I woke up was look at the weather. The hourly forecast listed a 60% chance of rain for most of the morning and afternoon. I took a screen shot of the radar, because I thought it was “funny” that there was a general lack of rain clouds in the U.S., except for right where we were.
Victoria and I brought our ponchos, and we left my Aunt and Uncle’s house at 11:15. We were parked by 11:50 and made our way into the stadium. Today’s giveaway was a replica World Series Trophy, which Victoria and I did not want, at all. We were able to sell each trophy for $20 a piece, I found out later I could’ve gotten way more, but I’m fine with a free $20. I also was able to sell one of the hats we got on Saturday for $15.
Twenty dollars of the proceeds went toward lunch. There’s a Food Network hot dog stand where they have different ingredients you can add to a quarter pound hot dog. I added baked beans, corn chips (fritos), and shredded cheddar. I had also asked for the pickled jalapeño relish, but they were all out. The hot dog included chips and cost $11. They could’ve kept the chips and I would’ve paid $9 for the hot dog itself, and it was mighty tasty.
As you can see from the above photo, I had good seats for this game. With taxes and fees they set me back $138.50 a seat. If it wasn’t for the extended protective screen, I would’ve said they were worth it. I hate having to look through a screen, and it prevented me from getting some action shots of the batters. My camera isn’t that great and it has trouble deciding if it should focus on the subject I want it to, or the screen. I can use manual focus, but that is tricky at times as well. I was able to get some decent pictures of things not occurring at the plate. Such as…
Braun getting ready to bat in the first, this was taken when he was in the hole, thus him not being near the on deck circle.
Weeks sliding safely into second base in the first inning on his steal attempt:
Greinke pitching, not sure what inning this was in, because I took pictures of him in multiple innings.
Part of Braun’s bat after a single in the fourth inning. This half helicoptered after he made contact, and embedded itself in the infield grass.
The game was very close, and the Cardinals held a 1-0 lead heading into the top of the sixth. Gomez singled to lead off the frame, then Braun grounded out, with Go Go advancing to second. Ramirez singled to right and Gomez came racing home to tie the game.
Corey Hart singled, Alex Gonzalez grounded out, but with two outs Lucroy came through with a clutch two run double to put the Brewers ahead 3-1. Veras and Loe kept the Cardinals off the board in the seventh, but K-Rod gave up a run in the eighth. I was looking forward to a shut ’em down type of 9th inning from Axford, but with the way the series had gone, I was a little nervous.
Axford walked the leadoff hitter, definitely a no-no for a closer (and for all pitchers, really), and then gave up a single to Beltran. Just like that the Cards had the tying run at third, the go-ahead run at first, and nobody out. I looked at a run expectancy matrix, and at fan graphs after the game, and in retrospect, the situation was looking bleak. With runners on first and third and nobody out the team will score at least one run 86.8% of the time. That is using MLB statistics from 1993 – 2010. From Fan Graphs; in that situation the team batting has a 65.5% chance of winning. I was thinking best case scenario the Crew gives up the tying run but sends the game to extras. I’ll let this picture explain what happened.
Gotch’ya! Axford struck out Freese with a 98 mile per hour fastball, then struck Yadier Molina on a 98 mile per hour fastball. For some reason Beltran had taken off from first, Lucroy threw down to Alex Gonzalez, who started running him back to first. In the meantime Tyler Greene took off for home. Gonzalez ran at Greene, then threw to Lucroy who made the tag to end the game. WHEW!!! That’s what Axford is doing above. Getting out of that jam was awesome, and it helps to have a 98 mph heater in your back pocket if you need it. Final Score: Brewers 3 – Cardinals 2.
Lucroy was the offensive star of the game, and Axford and him were interviewed on the field after the game.
Victoria and I held off on getting the game number picture, because we were going to wait until after the game, when everyone left. I should’ve known, but the Cardinals also do the kids run the bases thing on Sundays, so there were people all over the place. Oh well, I’ll have plenty more chances to get a better, less populated picture.
We had our minds made up that we were going to eat at Pappy’s smokehouse, and we drove the three miles to the restaurant. When we started getting close we could smell the delicious smells that come from a smoker. We got there at about five o’clock, to learn that they close at four on Sundays. Four in the afternoon on a Sunday? Say WHAAAAAAT!?!? It was very disappointing, and I had Victoria drive away as quick as possible, to prevent drool from pooling on the floor of her car.
Victoria had eaten at a nearby pizza place in 2010, and we agreed that it was a (somewhat) suitable alternative. The place is called Pi (as in 3.14), and the pizza was scrumtrulescent. The best part was that it cost us $5. We placed our order, and after 20 minutes our waitress came over and asked what we had ordered, and confirmed that she put in the wrong order. We told her we would still like what we had originally asked for, and it wound up being free. We still gave her a $5 tip, which seemed weird, since she was the one who messed up, but it would’ve felt strange to not pay anything. Our “East Loop” pizza had mozzarella, pesto, hormone free roasted chicken, mushrooms and onions. Perhaps a little too much olive oil, but overall it was amazing.
Our flight is scheduled to take off at 6am, and after a layover in Las Vegas we’re scheduled to land in San Diego at 10:35am. I’m hoping both flights are on time, California here we come!