5-26-12 (@ Arizona)
I spent Saturday morning writing the blog post for Friday, and didn’t even stop for breakfast. A friend of Victoria’s lives near our hotel, and she had asked if we wanted to get together for lunch while I was here. Saturday was the only day that worked, and we decided on a small taco place nearby. The place is called America’s Taco Shop, and it’s not what you think. You’d think America’s Taco Shop would be some generic place and have crappy food. It’s actually named after one of the owners (America), and the food is amazing. The four parter below, going clockwise from top left:
1) The exterior of the shop, it was really small inside and could probably only seat 20 people. We utilized the outdoor seating, which had misting tubes circling the area.
2) The sign out front, including “Home of the valley’s best Carne Asada.”
3) The “Al Pastor” taco, consisting of a corn tortilla, pork, guacamole, pineapple, tomato salsa, cilantro and cabbage. It had a little kick and it was spectacular.
4) The Carne Asado taco, which was a corn tortilla with steak, guacamole, lettuce, and caramelized onions. America’s Taco Shop is the only place I’ve been to in the valley, but they have my vote for the valley’s best Carne Asada. The taco was wonderlicious.
After returning to the hotel, Dustin and I spent most of our time before the game here:
It was a perfect day and we relaxed by the hotel pool. 80 degrees with a slight breeze, it’s hard to beat that. Four o’clock came rather quickly, and we started getting ready for the game. We took the Metro light rail to the ballpark again, and were in front of Chase Field by 5:15. I was using the Brewers provided ticket for Saturday’s game, and we had to wait 20 minutes before they had the tickets at the will call window. They guarantee that they’ll have them an hour before first pitch, so it’s a bonus when I can get them before that. We made it inside shortly after 5:30, and got our J.J. Putz bobble head. He’s the Diamondback’s closer and I’m thinking that I’ll sell it tomorrow at the game.
After watching some of the Brewers batting practice from the left field bleachers, Dustin and I went to the upper deck to get game photo number 46 taken care of. For some reason the roof was only half open, the sun was low, and over the third base side, so it had nothing to do with the sun. They did open it 20 minutes after getting the picture, but it took at least ten minutes to do so when it normally takes five, so I’m guessing something was wrong with it.
We walked around to the right field corner after getting the picture, and then I returned to my ticketed seat in the upper deck, and Dustin to his. The four parter below shows some things of interest at Chase Field. Again going clockwise from top left.
1) The pool that they have beyond the right-centerfield wall. Dustin’s seat for the game is actually pictured here, it’s the vacant aisle seat in front of the two guys with hats in the lower right.
2) The “windows” that can open along the back wall of the stadium.
3) The old school out of town scoreboards that they have. Ok, not *that* old school, because real old school involves manual labor, like Wrigley or Fenway.
4) Chase Field’s Friday’s Front Row Sports Grill, situated above the left field bleachers. Miller Park also has a Friday’s in left field. It takes some muscle to get a home run up there, but I’ve seen highlights of games at Chase Field, and it has been done.
The game got off to a good start for the Crew, and they took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI single by Lucroy. He is on fire right now (batting .388 in May), and I’m hoping he can keep it up. The D-Backs answered with four consecutive singles to start the bottom of the first, and they took a 2-1 lead. After a scoreless second inning for both teams, the third inning saw plenty of runs (unfortunately it was for both teams). The Brewers put four on the board in the third, with 3 hits, 1 walk, and an error contributing to the runs. Seven of the first eight Arizona batters reached base to lead off the bottom of the third, and the Diamondbacks wound up with five runs. Four hits, three walks, and a hit by pitch were the culprits for the outburst, and Greinke was pulled after retiring just 7 of the 19 batters he faced. The D-Backs added a run in the seventh, and that was it. Final Score: Diamondbacks 8 – Brewers 5.
I missed one pitch on Saturday, but there’s a decent excuse. There was a lemonade vendor that would appear from the tunnel, face the crowd, and yell “LEMONADE! LEMONADE! JUST LIKE GRANDMA MADE!!!” The guys next to me loved it, and would laugh and clap a little when he returned. On the third visit the guy seated next to me took out his iPhone and went to the voice recorder app, because he wanted to get the vendor saying it again. I was distracted not by the vendor but by what the guy was going to do with his phone, and missed the 1-2 pitch to McDonald in the bottom of the seventh. Shame on me.
That’s all for today, it’s a 1:10 game tomorrow, and I’m hoping we can be on the road to Los Angeles by five. It’s 380 miles, and it should take us about six hours. I’ll likely post about Sunday on Monday morning from Simon’s place (a friend from middle school).