July 1st, 2012

7-1-12 (vs. Arizona)

My friend Luke joined me for Sunday’s game. His government name is Luke but he’s been called Ozzy since he was 15. He doesn’t mumble as much as he did in his younger days, but that was the reason for the nickname. Sunday was Italian Heritage Day at Miller Park, and it was also Italian sausage bobble head day. His shirt says Birrai, which is Italian for Brewers.

Ozzy met me at my parent’s house, and we left at 11:00 am for the 1:10 pm game. We got to the Braves 2 parking lot at 12:10, and were inside by 12:20. We headed right for section 217, and Ozzy took game photo number 78 for me. It took a little coaching, but the last one he took was perfect. Thanks Oz!

Since my seats in section 221 are in the sun for almost the entire game, we decided to watch from the concourse for a few innings. After getting Polish sausages from the concession stand (sorry Italian) we headed down to section 111, and watched the game from there. This is the view from the concourse. It’s not a bad spot, besides not being able to see much the scoreboard, but hey; less distractions.

The first six batters of the game were retired, and the Brewers came out for the top of the second. They stopped warming up and I noticed that there was a medical cart by the Brewers’ bullpen. From where we were standing we couldn’t see much but I found out via Twitter that it was a non-uniformed employee they were tending to. Apparently they were performing CPR well before the cart arrived. As you can see, all the Brewers walked out to the outfield, but they probably couldn’t see anything either. I was a little shocked and even more so when the music being played was really upbeat. They were showing the Madagascar clip where the animated characters are dancing to the “I like to move it, move it” song. I know they also have to look out for kids getting bored and stuff, but I thought they shouldn’t have played anything. The Brewers website doesn’t give any details on the condition of the employee but my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

After the delay the game started up again. Gallardo got the first two batters out in the top of the second but then Aaron Hill singled on a ground ball up the middle. Rickie Weeks made a great play to even make it close, and I got a picture of him just after he let go of the ball. Hill was safe at first by about a half a step.

Gallardo then walked Lyle Overbay (former Brewer) to put two on with two out. Gallardo bared down and struck out Gerardo Parra looking on a 95 MPH fastball. Here’s Gallardo about to release the 2-2 pitch that struck him out. I didn’t mention it before, but the Brewers were wearing green “Birrai” jerseys for Italian Heritage Day as well.

In the bottom of the fourth inning Norichika Aoki doubled to lead off, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. On the 1-1 pitch Nyjer Morgan grounded out to first, and Aoki raced home to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead. Here’s Aoki as he touches home plate:

In the top of the fifth the Diamondbacks got a one-out single from Parra, but Gallardo worked around it. Maldonado threw to first to get the D-Backs pitcher when he (Collmenter) bunted Parra to second. Gallardo then got Bloomquist to ground out to third, and the side was retired. I took a picture just after Aramis Ramirez let go. Good stuff.

Between the fifth and sixth innings we headed back upstairs to sit in our seats, and caught the tail end of the sausage race. Since it’s a relay race on Sundays and the kids get the second leg of the race, it was unlikely to be fixed for the Italian sausage. I chose Polish because the kid looked fast. He did me proud and pulled away down the home stretch to get the W. Before the seventh inning I had a nearby fan take a picture of me and Ozzy. I’m on the left, he’s on the right. I have to give a shout out to the Brewers, specifically to Nathan, who works in the merchandising department. He notified me on Friday that I had a Birrai shirt waiting for me in the team store (I picked it up on Saturday). I’ll mention Kathy Schwab as well, who helped get the Brewers on board to support my mission, and it led to me getting free tickets and merchandise.

The game remained 1-0 until the top of the eighth. Francisco Rodriquez came on to try and preserve the lead but the first pitch of the inning was deposited into the Brewers’ bullpen by Jason Kubel. The Brewers failed to score in the eighth and Axford pitched the ninth and it remained a 1-1 game. In the bottom of the ninth Aramis Ramirez led off, and Corbin walked him on five pitches. Carlos Gomez came pinch ran for Ramirez, putting the fastest Brewer on first base with nobody out. Gomez taking his lead:

Corey Hart was up next and during his at bat Corbin threw over to first base EIGHT TIMES to try and keep Gomez close. Hart wound up flying out to center and Gomez couldn’t advance. Weeks came to the plate and Corbin threw over to first base again before delivering the first pitch of the at bat. Gomez took off on said first pitch which was a little low and outside. That made the D-Backs catcher have to throw from his knees. Gomez as he slides headfirst into second:

The ball had bounced right before it got to Aaron Hill and it skipped past him into the outfield. Gomez got up and bolted for third:

Gerardo Parra (playing centerfield) scooped up the ball and tried to throw out Gomez at third. This is Gomez utilizing another headfirst slide. You can see the ball in the upper left, and it’s obvious that Parra should’ve just held the ball because there was no chance he was going to get the speedy Gomez.

The ball wound up ricocheting off Gomez (maybe his helmet?) and it bounced up and over the Diamondbacks dugout. If a ball is thrown out of play, every base runner get to advance one base, meaning that Gomez could walk home. As he neared home plate his teammates were waiting for him. I like that the umpire is pointing at home plate like Gomez doesn’t know where it is.

This is Gomez just after he ceremoniously threw his helmet into the air. I like Nyjer screaming there on the right.

Gomez gave an emphatic foot stomp for the deciding run in the walk-off win.

After touching home you could tell that some shenanigans were about to ensue. I like that Rickie finally let go of his bat, and the picture was taken as it was just inches above the dirt, like it’s just floating there.

Go-Go then got mobbed by his teammates:

They finally decided that he had gotten enough body shots and noogies, and they called it quits. Two things I like about this one. The first is Gomez’s facial expression. He’s looking at Ransom whose hand was on Gomez’s head in the previous picture (above). I also like Randy Wolf just chilling on the right there. I don’t think he wanted any part of the fiasco, and he just waited on the periphery for it to die down a bit before getting a high five from Gomez.

It was a great ending and it shows why Corbin was trying to prevent Gomez from stealing second base. It did take two errors for him to score, but it was his speed that influenced the quick throws and bad decisions. Final Score: Brewers 2 – Diamondbacks 1. I know I usually just do four part pictures for things like walk-offs, but I thought I’d give you a more detailed account of what went down. If for some reason you don’t like pictures; I apologize, you can leave me a nasty comment if you want. I’m just glad they turned out. I was frantically snapping pictures as the above events occurred, and I’m pretty happy with the results.

I’ve got about 18 hours before I have to leave for the game. I’m looking forward to the 3/4 of a day break but I’m also looking forward to heading back to Milwaukee to see game one of the Brewers-Marlins series.

Personal Stats:

Daily:

Time inside Miller Park: 4 hours 8 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 4 hours 26 minutes
Miles driven: 123.2
Sausages: 1 (Polish)
Pitches Missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (298/298)
Current streak of pitches seen: 468

Season:

Brewers current record: 36-42 (.462 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 331 hours 40 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 386 hours 49 minutes
Miles driven: 8,395.7
Miles riding in car but not driving: 1,791.5
Public Transit miles: 294.9
Flight Miles: 11,263
Total distance traveled: 21,745.1 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 87.33% (21,745.1/24,901)
Sausages: 63 (26 Hot Dogs, 18 Polish, 8 Bratwurst, 5 Corndogs, 2 Italian, Cheddarwurst, Bison Dog, Chicken Apple Sausage, Blueberry & Merlot Venison Sausage)
Pitches missed: 61
Longest streak of pitches seen: 1,566 (6/20 – 6/26)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.74% (23,592/23,653)

If you want to learn more about Be The Match and how you can help, CLICK HERE

6-30-12 (vs. Arizona)

I went to Saturday’s game with Crandall, who joined me at the games on April 24th and May 8th. We got to Miller Park at 3:45, and waited for some people who we were going to meet up with. A friend who I went to preschool with is getting married in August, and he and his fiancé were having a wedding-party tailgate at the game. Crandall had tickets of his own, and we sold those to donate to Be The Match. We found out that Tim (our friend who’s getting married) had two extra tickets for the suite they were in, so I wound up selling my two tickets as well. All in all a good day for Be The Match (an $80 donation from selling tickets). We tailgated with Tim for an hour or so, and before heading in we had a passerby take a picture for us. I won’t give everyone’s name, because that would be tedious. Tim and Rachel are the ones getting married, and they’re directly behind the “Tying The Knot” sign.

I made it inside at 6:03 for the 6:15 first pitch, and was up in suite 69 with a few minutes to spare. This was the view from the outdoor seating area.

Mike Fiers was on the hill for the Brewers, and he’s been great since he got called up from the minors. Here is Fiers pitching in the top of the third inning.

The Brewers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, and in the third Braun doubled the lead with a home run to centerfield. Going clockwise from top left:

1) Braun about to make contact with the 1-2 pitch from Wade Miley.

2) Braun as he is about to touch second base.

3) Ed Sedar giving Braun a low target for a congratulatory high five.

4) Braun as he touches home plate, giving the Brewers a 2-0 lead.

In the fourth inning the Brewers erupted for six runs. Ransom drove in three (including himself) with a home run to left field. Going clockwise from top left:

1) Ransom following through on his home run swing.

2) A zoomed out look at the field of play, with Hart passing Ed Sedar, Rickie heading towards third base, and Ransom approaching second.

3) Ransom getting a more traditional handshake from Ed Sedar.

4) Ransom getting some love from Weeks and Hart after touching home plate to give the Crew a 5-0 lead.

Maldonado followed Ransom with a single to right field. Fiers sacrificed him to second and Aoki flew out to centerfield. The first pitch Gomez saw was lined to right field, and he wound up at third base with a triple. He had an awesome dive/slide into third base, and I just missed him when he was airborne. The best I could do was capturing him just before he reached third base.

Braun followed Gomez’s triple with another home run, his 22nd of the year, which puts him in first place in the National League. Clockwise from top left.

1) Braun crushing the 1-2 pitch from Miley to left field.

2) Braun making his way towards second base.

3) Rounding third…

4) Braun getting a low five from Aramis Ramirez after he gave the Brewers an 8-0 lead.

In the fifth inning Ransom singled home Weeks, and in the sixth Gomez hit a 442 foot home run to increase the Brewers’ lead to 10-0. In the eighth inning the Diamondbacks spoiled the shutout with an RBI fielder’s choice. In the ninth Miguel Montero cut the deficit to eight runs with a solo home run, but that’s all they got. Final score: Brewers 10 – Diamondbacks 2.

After the game Crandall and I went down to section 218 to get game photo number 77. Since we didn’t get inside early enough to do it before the game we figured after the game was just as good.

I missed two pitches at the game, and they were both due to me looking at my camera and getting distracted. I was hoping to get on a roll, and I still have 8 games left to do so before the All-Star break. In other news; I’m leaving in less than 10 hours for the rubber match of the series, so I need to get some sleep. Go Brewers!

Personal Stats:

Daily:

Time inside Miller Park: 3 hours 46 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 6 hours 20 minutes
Miles driven: 127.7
Sausages: 1 (Hot dog)
Pitches Missed: 2 (not cool)
Consecutive pitch streak ended at: 693
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.36% (312/314)
Current streak of pitches seen: 170

Season:

Brewers current record: 35-42 (.455 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 327 hours 32 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 382 hours 23 minutes
Miles driven: 8,272.5
Miles riding in car but not driving: 1,791.5
Public Transit miles: 294.9
Flight Miles: 11,263
Total distance traveled: 21,621.9 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 86.83% (21,621.9/24,901)
Sausages: 62 (26 Hot Dogs, 17 Polish, 8 Bratwurst, 5 Corndogs, 2 Italian, Cheddarwurst, Bison Dog, Chicken Apple Sausage, Blueberry & Merlot Venison Sausage)
Pitches missed: 61
Longest streak of pitches seen: 1,566 (6/20 – 6/26)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.74% (23,294/23,355)

If you want to learn more about Be The Match and how you can help, CLICK HERE