July 8th, 2012
Sunday was a 1:05 start and I was up by 9:00. I ate breakfast and was hoping to watch some of the Men’s Wimbledon Final that featured Federer and Murray. For some reason my hotel room’s TV wasn’t getting ESPN. I had told them about it on Friday and Saturday but they never fixed it. I left at 11:45 and made the short walk to Minute Maid Park in the rain. I had my umbrella out but it’s a small collapsable one and the lower half of my shorts were soaked by the time I got to the Park.
After getting inside I went down to the Brewers dugout and had a nearby fan take game photo number 85.
I talked with the group of people that took the picture for a bit and then went to find my seat. Because Greinke was ejected after throwing only four pitches on Saturday he was able to start on Sunday as well. Here he is throwing the first pitch of the game.
It didn’t go much better for him early on, as the Astros scored a run on two hits before he got the first out. There was a close play at the plate and Roenicke came out to voice his opinion. Roenicke had gotten ejected on Saturday for arguing with the first base ump after he had ejected Greinke. Sam Holbrook is the ump who ejected both of them on Saturday, and he just to happened to be the home plate umpire on Sunday.
Greinke gave up two more runs, one of them on a bases loaded walk. Rickie Weeks got one of the runs back in the top of the second when he homered to right field. Here he his rounding third base.
Greinke only pitched three innings, but the three runs in the first were all he allowed. He actually struck out the side in the third inning and I thought he would’ve gotten a chance to pitch a few more innings. Estrada came in and pitched the next three innings and he only allowed one baserunner, so I don’t think Greinke could’ve done much better than that.
Braun doubled to lead off the sixth inning and Aramis Ramirez singled him home to cut the lead to 3-2. In the eighth inning Aoki led off with a walk, Morgan bunted him over and Braun drove him in, tying the game at three. Here’s Braun talking with first base coach Garth Iorg after driving in Aoki.
Braun stole second and then third and the Brewers were in a great position to score the go-ahead run. Ram-Ram struck out and so did Chart and the tying run was all the Brewers got.
In the ninth the Brewers had runners on first and second with only one out but failed to score again. After the Astros went scoreless in their half of the ninth the Brewers took control of the game. Nyjer led off the tenth with a walk and stole second on the first pitch to Braun. Here’s T-Plush sliding into second base. I like that Altuve is airborne when I took the picture, it almost looks like he’s balancing on the bottom of Nyjer’s right shoe.
Getting to second base was nice, but it resulted in the Astros intentionally walking Braun since first base was now open. The Astros were trying to induce a double play grounder from Ramirez but he battled after going down 0-2 in the count and drew a walk. The bases were now loaded with Brewers:
Chart stepped to the plate and delivered a base hit to second basemen José Altuve. The Astros had the infield in (see above) and by the time Altuve gloved the ball up the middle he had nowhere to go with it. Weeks followed Chart with a single that drove in Braun and the Crew had a two run advantage. The next three hitters all went down swinging but the Brewers went to the bottom of the tenth with the lead.
Axford came in for the save and in his first four pitches he gave up two singles. Schafer moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt and the Astros had the tying run at second base with only one out. The Axman struck out Altuve looking and then got Scott Moore on a foul tip. Here’s the final pitch of the first “half” of the season. Half is in parentheses because between the 81st and 82nd game would’ve been the real halfway point, not between the 85th and 86th.
Final Score: Brewers 5 – Astros 3. The bullpen did a great job of shutting down the Astros for nine innings and it was an all-around team effort. This is the last I’ll see of the Crew until Friday evening. I’m looking forward to the four day break but I’m also looking forward to watching the Brewers try and make a move in the division in the second half.
After the game I went to dinner with Annie, her roommate (Haley) and her roommate’s boyfriend (Derek). We went to Pappasito’s Cantina which is just a few miles from downtown Houston. Clockwise from top left:
1) The interior of the Tex-Mex restaurant.
2) Our flaming “Queso Blanco” with chicken fajita. You can see the blue flame just above the jalapeño in the middle of the dish. We of course waited until it stopped flaming to dig in.
3) My meal; the “Taco Trio” which consisted of a shrimp brochette, a pulled pork carnita and a beef brisket taco, as well as rice and beans (on the left). It was good but I wasn’t blown away by anything. Thanks to Annie and Haley for splitting the bill! Such friendly folks down here in Texas. I did notice that a lot of “ya’lls” were being thrown around. Annie is even picking it up despite the fact that she grew up in California and Wisconsin and went to college at Notre Dame.
My flight leaves at 10:30 Monday morning from Houston Hobby Airport and I’m looking forward to getting back home. I wish I could’ve scheduled a flight that got back Sunday night but they were really expensive (an additional $400 expensive) so Monday will have to do. I’m not sure if I’ll be posting anything over the All-Star break. If I do I might just combine all the days together since there won’t be too much going on.
85 down, 77 to go!
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