May 12th, 2012
I didn’t get done writing the post for Friday’s game until 3:00 am, and I finally got to bed just before 3:40. My alarm was set for 9:20, and I was really tempted to just turn it off and go back to sleep. I resisted, and I left the house just before 10:00. I was meeting three friends at Crandall’s place in town, but when I got there one of the three wasn’t there. I texted him three times and called his cell phone seven times in a span of 15 minutes, I also tried his landline three times. At 10:30 we decided to leave without him. When we were five minutes away he texted saying his phone had died so he didn’t have an alarm. I wasn’t too upset but had been looking forward to going to the game with him. We didn’t have time to turn around or any of that nonsense, and any other delays would’ve made it extremely close.
We pulled into the back of the Money lot at 11:45 and made our way towards Miller Park. There was no time to get the game number picture taken in the upper deck before the game. I told Crandall and Brietzke (the other attendee), that we’d have to get it done after the game, which they were fine with. I was in my seat with six minutes to spare. That was cutting it a little too close for comfort. Crandall and Brietzke had seats in section 228, and it was just me in my usual 221. After I learned that Tyler (the guy who slept in), was not going to make it, I posted a tweet asking if any of my tweeps wanted to join me for the game, but I think it was a little late.
The game got underway and the Crew got down early. A double play groundout by the Cubs’ Castro gave them a 1-0 lead in the first. The Brewers came right back with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame. Nyjer Morgan doubled and Braun was hit by a pitch, and it turned into a first and third situation with two outs. Braun was on first and started running for second, the Cubs’ pitcher Volstad stepped off the mound after the old fake-to-third-go-to-first-move. Volstad ran at Braun and a pickle ensued, Nyjer Morgan started inching towards home, and then took off and scored the tying run without a throw. Braun was tagged out, but Morgan crossed the plate first, so the run counted.
At one point during the game the people behind me pointed out that this guy was in one of the booths:
Rollie Fingers! Still sporting the handlebar mustache. After doing a quick Wikipedia search, I learned that he had originally grew the mustache to get a $300 bonus from then Oakland Athletics owner Charles Finley. Fingers pitched for the Brewers from 1981 to 1985, and won the AL MVP and Cy Young Awards during the 1981 season. If he hadn’t torn a muscle in his arm and was available for the 1982 Fall Classic, the Brewers may very well be the owners of a World Series trophy.
The game stayed tied at one a piece until the bottom of the sixth. Lucroy doubled to open the frame, and Braun followed with a single. Ramirez forced Braun out at second, but Lucroy came home with the go-ahead run. Corey Hart doubled, and Ramirez moved to third, leaving first base open. The Cubs thought they would be better off facing the light hitting backup infielder Edwin Maysonet (hmmmmm) and walked Ishikawa to get to him. On the second pitch Maysonet hit a Grand Slam to left field, and the Brewers grabbed control of the game with a 6-1 lead. Here’s Maysonet as he prepares to get a congratulatory hand shake from Brewers third base coach Ed Sedar.
The Cubs put one on the board in the eighth, but the Brewers answered with two of their own in the bottom half, and that was all the scoring. Final Score: Brewers 8 – Cubs 2. More handshakes and high fives followed the victory. It was a great win for the Crew, a great outing from Marcum (7 ip, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K), and a “salami” from an unexpected source.
After waiting for the concourse to clear we went up to section 436 to get the game number picture. Just a few more games and I’ll be moving down to the loge (2nd) level and doing the same gradual progression around the stadium.
On our way back to the car we noticed something strange. From a distance we could see two people standing on the roof of a white van, but we couldn’t make out who. When we got closer we realized that they were young girls, I would say between 7 and 10 (I’m terrible with ages now). They were both standing up there, and when we were walking past, the adults were throwing things up there for them to catch (I think it was bottle caps). Now, I’m no parent, but I don’t think I’d want my kids on the roof of a van, when it would be pretty easy to slip or stumble off. Even though it may look like it, Crandall (pictured in white on the right) is not relieving himself next to the van.
Mother’s day is tomorrow and I’m taking my mom to the game. A good time should be had by all.
Friday was another long day. I am just starting to write this post at 1:52 am on Saturday morning. I’ll be back at Miller Park in nine hours. I’ll start from the beginning of Friday though. I had two doctor’s appointments scheduled for Friday, one at 9:20 and the other at 10:30. The first was with the orthopedic doctor regarding my knee. We looked at the MRI together and he pointed out the parts of my left leg bones that have dead tissue (bone infarction). They show up as a different shade of gray on the screen, and are “outlined” in black. He said the problem could fix itself, and that they have likely been there for quite a while. He doesn’t think that it’s related to the knee pain, and he prescribed some physical therapy. We’ll see if I can work that into my schedule, but hearing that I can’t really further the damage is a relief. It’s still strange to think that parts of my bones are dead, but can slowly come back to life, if you will.
The other appointment was for my elbow, and the doctor also prescribed physical therapy. There is a Dean clinic in Fort that I may be able to get both done at, so I’ll have to try and work that in. It’ll have to wait until the 21st at the earliest, because I’ll be in New York and Houston this coming week.
I got back to Fort around noon, and began packing stuff up for the game. Victoria had planned a tailgate-date, and were looking forward to the two person tailgate. We met in Johnson Creek, and we arrived at Miller Park just before 4 pm. We had to wait a few minutes for the lots to open, but once they did we got a spot right up towards the front. After a few minutes of heating up, the charcoal was ready.
We had Johnsonville Polish sausages and some Oscar Mayer turkey dogs. I wound up eating two polish and one turkey dog, as well as some cole slaw, fruit salad, some wheat thins, and a few beers. I was quite full when we went in for the game. If we could’ve gotten the front row parking spot this picture would have been much better, as is it contains a stranger just glaring at my camera. The bokeh makes her un-identifiable, but it still diminishes a pretty good photo opportunity. Incased meats and Miller Park, it’s hard to beat that combination.
We tailgated until 6:10 and then headed inside so we could get game photo number 32 without having too many people in the way. It worked out well as the row I was in had people on both aisles, but none where I was standing; nice! I forgot to mention in Wednesday’s post, but Kathy Schwab, the Brewers Senior Director of Marketing, who is my main point of contact, stopped by and gave me two new shirts. Thanks Kathy! I wore one for Friday’s game, thus the mention.
After getting the game number picture out of the way, we met up with Alex and Jess. I stayed with them at their apartment in Chicago from April 9th to April 13th, when the Brewers had a four game series with the Cubs. Alex was born and raised in a Chicago suburb, so he’s a Cubs fan. Jess was born and raised in Wisconsin, so she is a Brewers fan. They both aren’t too serious of fans, so it works for them, I don’t know I could do the same. Jess and her family were at the game, and she has told me recently that her dad is a huge fan of the blog, and actually has it as his homepage. So I have to give a shout out to Dave, a Wisconsinite through and through, thanks for the support and the loyalty. We had a picture taken while we were in the upper deck of the six of us. The back row is myself, Victoria, Alex, Jess, and Matt (Jess’ brother). In front is Jess’ dad, Dave, he’s holding up eight fingers for Ryan Braun’s number (at least that’s what he told us). I hope this also doesn’t double as a gang sign, because then Dave, and myself (by association), might be in trouble.
We got down to our seats in section 221 just in time. I ran to the bathroom quick before the game started as Victoria went to the seats. When I came back down the staircase I saw Victoria sitting in seat 13, as usual, and sat next to her. In the first inning someone came down and said: “we have the five on the aisle”. I came back with “wrong row, this is row six”. The guy said it wasn’t, and I even pointed to the side of the chair and said “it says row six right here” (without actually looking at it myself). It was then that we realized Victoria had sat down in row eight, and we actually were in their seats. I felt like a complete moron for trying to tell the guy off. I blame myself for not double checking when I came down the aisle, but a little blame has to go to Victoria for sitting in the wrong seats in the first place. I’ll cut her some slack though because I’m usually leading the way to our seats.
The game was a marathon. Sixteen pitchers between the two teams were used, and four hundred sixty six pitches were thrown, yes I said 466! The game started at 7:10 and lasted until 12:14 am. The Brewers got on the board early with a run in the first, but they should have gotten more. Aramis Ramirez grounded into a double play with the bases loaded, and the run that scored on the play was the lone run until the seventh inning. The Brewers’ Jose Veras loaded the bases with only one out, and Kameron Loe was brought in to try and induce an inning ending double play. Instead, on the first pitch he threw, David DeJesus took him deep for a grand slam, and the Cubs had a 4-1 lead, just like that.
The Brewers got two quick outs in the bottom of the seventh but Bruan walked and Aramis Ramirez doubled him home. An infield single and a walk followed, which gave the pinch-hitting Lucroy a chance with the bases loaded. Almost everyone was on their feet, including Mr. Baseball himself, Bob Uecker.
Lucroy hit a scorching double to the right field corner, and the Brewers took a 5-4 lead heading into the eighth inning. K-Rod got the job done in the eighth, but Axford blew the save, and ended his streak of 49 consecutive “saves”. I put it in quotes because like I said before, I’m not a big fan of the created statistic. The Brewers still had a chance in the ninth, even though a lot of Brewers fans didn’t think so, and many headed for the exits after the Cubs took the 7-5 lead. Braun flied out, Ramirez walked, which brought Chart (yes, I mean Chart: C+Hart=Chart) to the plate as the tying run. That is all you can really hope for in those situations; bring up the tying run and hope for the best. Chart had a great at bat, and on the 10th pitch he sent one deep to left that tied it up at seven.
Both bullpens did a great job of keeping it tied, but in the 13th, the Brewers prevailed. After loading the bases with nobody out, Chart came to the plate again, and this time sent a bouncer up the middle that reached the outfield, and Rickie came home as the winning run. Final Score: Brewers 8 – Cubs 7. All the players mobbed Chart after he got to first. It’s hard to beat a walk-off, especially when it’s at 12:14 am.
I’m leaving Fort at 10 am for the game, and since it’s 3 am now, I should probably get some sleep.