6-7-12 (vs. Chicago Cubs)
It was a quick turnaround between Wednesday’s and Thursday’s games, and I met Pam in Johnson Creek at just before 11:00 am. Pam works at Tetra Tech in Madison. We were co-workers for the 14 months that I was employed before beginning my 162 game adventure. She reads the blog, so she probably won’t like hearing this, but she was sort of a motherly figure while at work. She’s really cool though and I promised that I would take her to a game at some point during the season. I might just have to take her to another game seeing because of how well the day went. If you read the blog on a regular basis you may remember me mentioning Pam before. She was the one who (famously) said “that’s f****** awesome!” when she saw me for the first time after hearing about what I was planning on doing.
We pulled into the Cooper 1 Lot at 11:49, and made our way inside. We went to section 227, and Pam took game photo number 57. I gave her instructions and she got the job done. Thanks Pam!
During Wednesday’s game Adam DeCock stopped by for an interview. We had walked back to the cross aisle in front of the press box and my back was facing the wall directly under the press box. Adam then stood in front of me and I realized his voice recorder was also a video recorder. I was surprised and stepped aside and at first was like “Whoa whoa whoa, what’s going on?” I told him that I was expecting just a audio interview, and that I don’t really miss pitches, so we’d have to figure something else out. I wasn’t mean or anything, and it wouldn’t have been a great interview anyways with all the background noise from the game and whatnot. We agreed to do the interview on Thursday, and we wound up going to the service level of the stadium and doing the interview in one of the media rooms where they film player interviews sometimes. Adam is a MLB correspondent for the Milwaukee Brewers and was doing the interview for Cut4, which is a fan website than MLB created where people like Adam upload videos and other noteworthy articles. I don’t know when it will go up, but it should be within the next week or so.
After the interview Pam and I went to hi to the Ice Man. With the way he was saying “she must be proud of you” I realized he thought she was my mom. I told him that Pam wasn’t my mom, but that she did look somewhat similar to my mom, so I gave him a pass. We then stopped at a concession stand for beers and bratwurst. Well, Pam got a Brat, I got a Polish. I’ve had four or five Polish sausages at Miller Park this year and I kept forgetting to ask for sautéed onions, which are free of charge. I didn’t forget on Thursday and it added to the Polish’s deliciousness. We said hi to Bill, and then ate our respective encased meats below the press box in the cross aisle (out of the sun). Since I knew we’d be in the sun for almost two hours before the roof provided some shade I figured we should minimize our time in the sun. We got to our seats with a few minutes to spare and got situated for the game.
The first nine Brewers that came to the plate went down in order, but through three innings the Cubs had no runs to show for their three hits, so it was knotted at zero. Norichika Aoki broke the tie with his first over the wall home run of the year. He had an inside the park home run on April 20th, in just his 12th major league at bat. His home run in the fourth barely cleared the right field fence, but I’ll take the cheapie. Here’s Aoki getting a high five from Braun after his homer.
Randy Wolf was the starter for the Brewers, and he definitely deserved the win. He pitched six and two thirds, giving up one run on four hits and two walks, while striking out six. Greinke and him must have a bet going as to who can throw the slowest pitch. I think Greinke had hit 55 mph earlier in the year, but Zack outdid himself on Wednesday with a 53 mph curveball (a “slowball” at that speed). Wolf tried to match it but he couldn’t, bottoming out at 56 mph on Thursday.
The Brewers scored a run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single from Kottaras and held the 2-0 lead going into the seventh. An RBI double by Koyie Hill got the Cubs on the board and cut the lead to 2-1. In the top of the eighth inning K-Rod retired the first two batters then gave up a single to Soriano. Bryan LaHair pinch hit for the Cubs, and I was telling Pam that he’s probably their best power threat, and what’ya know; he went deep to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead. In the bottom of the eighth the Brewers answered when Chart hit a two-out RBI double to tie the game at three.
Neither team scored in the ninth and the game went to extras, the sixth time that I’ve gotten to see free baseball this season. Well, this year a bunch of the games are free, so I should probably re-phrase that, but you know what I meant. Axford pitched both the ninth and tenth, and it was six up, six down for the Ax Man. Leading off the bottom of the tenth was Norichika Aoki, who had hit his first “real” home run of the year earlier in the game. This is what ensued after the 2-0 pitch to Aoki (clockwise from top left):
1) His Brewers teammates preparing to mob him at the plate. I cropped it a little but made sure to leave the Cubs catcher in the frame. It’s a walk off, so it wouldn’t be right to show it without somebody on the losing team walking off the field.
2) Aoki just after he ceremoniously flipped his batting helmet.
3) Aoki going airborne (while his helmet floats mysteriously above the dirt).
4) Party time! If you click the image you can get a better look, but Aoki’s right foot is just about to touch home plate. The home plate umpire is watching closely, to make sure Aoki touches home.
Final Score: Brewers 4 – Cubs 3. It was a great ending to a hard fought game. When K-Rod gave up the two runs in the eighth I told Pam that before Thursday’s game the Crew had never lost a game that they had led going into the eighth since K-Rod joined the team. I thought for sure it would’ve been the end of that streak, but Chart and Aoki came through and got the job done.
Before the eighth inning started I had a fan a few rows in front of us take a picture of me and Pam. You can just barely make out Pam’s eyes due to her hat, but I promise it’s her. I rarely wear hats, but since I knew we were going to be in the sun for two hours I brought my hat along. We were in the shade by 3:00, but once I wear a hat and get a little sweaty, I can’t go back to no hat. If I took it off it would’ve looked like a combination of two or three Alfafas from the Little Rascals, and a matted down lawn.
I almost forgot the funny fan moment of the game. In the top of the ninth when Campana came to the plate a Cubs fan (in his 60s) said: “Use your wheels, chop one to short[stop].” On the very next pitch Campana did just that, and was subsequently thrown out by Edwin Maysonet. I looked back at the guy and heard/saw him tell his friends: “Well…. he’s fast.” Good stuff.
Friday is the opener of the Padres series, and the first game of the last series of the home stand. This is the last nine game home stand, so the remainder of the season will consist of the three, six, or seven game variety.
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