I was up until 2:00 am writing the post for Tuesday, and I didn’t get to bed until 2:45. I got up at 8:20 and was on the road by 9:28. I’m usually a last minute packer, but I got most of it done when I got home from Tuesday’s game. I really need to start making a checklist so I don’t forget anything, because I always seem to do just that. I was in the parking lot by 10:35, and started going around and telling some people about my mission. A few people vaguely remember hearing something about a guy going to all 162, but the lack of knowledge regarding what I’m doing just confirms (for me anyways) that I should be going tailgate to tailgate before games to spread the word.
I was inside Miller Park by 11:05, and I headed straight for section 234, where I got my game number photo taken. It took a little bit to find a setting where we could override the automatic flash. The field was bright but I wasn’t in the sun, so for the first few pictures I was basically just a shadow.
I had lots of time to kill before the game, and spent a lot of it searching for a condiment stand that didn’t have one problem or another. I got two more $1 hot dogs, bringing my total to 8 for the three games of Spring Madness. The first stand I was able to get everything but mustard, because the dispenser was not working. The next closest stand also had a broken mustard dispenser. At another stand I was waiting for the guy before me to finish up putting onions on his hot dog, but he then proceeded to drop the tongs on the ground. He picked them up, wiped them off with a napkin, and then put them back in the onions. I know this stuff probably happens all the time, but when I see it happen I’m not going to eat anything that touches those tongs.
I spent the last few minutes before the game standing (just in the shade), in front of the press box. I knew that I would be in the sun for at least on hour and a half, so I wanted at least a little bit of time in the shade. As I was getting to my seat Charles Woodson was being introduced to throw out a first pitch. I didn’t have my zoom lens on my camera yet, so this will have to do.
The game got underway and the Brewers had a great first inning. Marco Estrada retired the first three Giants in order, and only needed 10 pitches to do so. The Brewers then got on the board quickly with six runs in the bottom of the inning. Two Giants errors helped the Crew out, and only two of the runs in the first were earned. Estrada hit a double to plate the final two runs of the inning but pulled up with a hip flexor strain. He actually injured himself as he was getting to first, but still made his way to second base. The Brewers were forced to go to the bullpen for eight innings, and luckily the off day on Thursday will give the pen some rest. In the second inning the Brewers added two runs on a Jonathan Lucroy home run to left. Here’s Lucroy coming out of the roof’s shadow and into the light. He is raking right now and I hope it continues. I recommend voting for him for the All-Star Game, he is very deserving (as is Braun).
With the injury to Estrada and all the runs that were scored in the first two innings, the game was dragging along, which made me nervous. It was a 12:10 start time, and my flight to Denver was scheduled to depart at 6:20. It doesn’t sound like a problem but if the game went to extras or if it just took forever I could have been cutting it close. The Giants made it interesting after scoring three in the third and two in the fourth, and the lead was just three. The game quickened as it got later (which is usually the opposite of how it goes). Jose Veras retired all six batters he faced, and only needed 22 pitches to get through the sixth and seventh. When a starter doesn’t qualify for a win (by not pitching at least five innings) the official scorekeeper can basically decide who deserved the win, and he awarded it to Veras. Axford came on in the ninth, and retired the side with just 11 pitches, including two via the strikeout. My last picture of the day is of Axford delivering a pitch in the ninth with his hair flailing behind him.
I left Miller Park at 3:40, and returned to an unlocked car. Earlier in the game I started to wonder if I had left my car unlocked, and my inkling was confirmed. I got really lucky that no one was going around checking for stuff. Nothing was visible in the cabin, but I did have my laptop and iPad in the trunk (in my suitcase). A let out a huge sigh of relief when I opened my suitcase to find my stuff. I would not have forgiven myself for that one. Normally I hit the lock button on the driver side door as I’m getting out, but today I went to the porta potty before walking the parking lot. I went to the bathroom and then came back for my camera and drawstring bag, so I just went to the passenger side. This is what happens when you break traditions.
I made it to the airport in plenty of time, and everything went as planned. As I write this I’m sitting on my good friend Dustin’s couch in downtown Denver. We’re taking a Coors Field tour tomorrow, then lunch, and then a Coors Brewery tour. We’ll be driving through the night tomorrow, and should be to our hotel in Phoenix by noon on Friday.