Friday got off to slow start, and I was in bed until 11:00 am. It was my last day to try and catch up on some sleep, so I took advantage. I might sleep until 11:00 am other days as well, but that’s because I’m likely not going to bed until after 3:00 am. It’s 2:59 on Saturday morning as I proofread this post. Yikes.
I left my parents’ place around 3:30 on Friday afternoon and went into town to get a very late lunch at Ken & Betty’s. It’s a cheesesteak place that was founded by a couple of former Pennsylvania residents. I detailed the restaurant back on April 24th, so if you’re interested in learning more, you can check out that post.
I had a “Philly Works” and added hot peppers (it comes with onions, mushrooms and green peppers). For my friend Dustin I picked up a “South Philly”, which has cheese whiz in place of actual cheese. I always make fun of him for it, but he gets it every time.
After eating our late lunch we left for the game at 4:30. We pulled into the Braves 1 lot at 5:35, and I went around informing people about my mission and Be The Match. For those that are new to the blog; Be The Match is the bone marrow donor registry. It’s really easy to join the registry, and one day you could possibly help save someone’s life. If you want to know about the actual donor process you can read the About Me page, because I actually went through the donor process in 2008. It’s much easier than most people think.
I met Dustin in section 211 around 6:20, and we got game photo number 86 taken care of.
Surprise!!! I shaved my head and my face. I couldn’t take it anymore. The original plan was to go the entire season without cutting my hair or shaving, I failed. The fact that my facial hair was orange didn’t help its cause.
Dustin and I waited in a concession stand line for five minutes or so, before I realized what I was doing. When it was my turn to order I remembered that I had just had the cheesesteak two and a half hours earlier, so I walked away without ordering anything. I remember planning as I was driving that I would get something later in the game, so I have no idea know why I got in line in the first place.
The game got underway at 7:10 and I captured the first pitch of the ceremonious second half of the season.
The game got off to a great start; with the Brewers scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. After Aoki and Morgan were retired Braun came to the plate and gave the Crew an early lead with a solo home run to right field. Here’s Braun as he’s about to give a low-five to third base coach Ed Sedar.
Sometimes I purposely get the fans in the photos because it shows the emotion and energy that’s in the stadium. Ramirez walked to follow Braun, Corey Hart singled, and Weeks doubled to drive in a both of them. The hit took his batting average above .200 for the first time in a long while. If the Brewers can get him going (and keep Greinke) I think they’ll have a chance down the stretch. Rickie taking his lead after the first inning two-run double:
In the third the Brewers gave one of the runs back when Weeks botched an easy grounder that would have ended the inning. In the fourth inning the Pirates took the lead when they got a two out double from Sutton to drive in a one run, and then a three-run home run from Neil Walker. The four runs gave the Buccos (a nickname for the Pirates) a 5-3 advantage.
Braun drove in a run in the fourth with a single but the Pirates got it back in the top of the fifth with a solo home run from Pedro Alvarez. The Brewers answered in the bottom of the fifth with a run of their own. Pinch hitter Travis Ishikawa drove in Rickie Weeks and the Pirate’s lead was 6-5. In the bottom of the sixth inning Nyjer Morgan led off and was hit by pitch. It brought up Ryan Braun, who represented the go-ahead run. Then this happened:
Nyjer Morgan was thrown out trying to steal second base. I was extremely ticked off because with Braun at the plate a baserunner is already in scoring position when at first base. What’ya know, on the 3-1 offering Braun took reliever Brad Lincoln deep to right for his second homer of the game. Tie ball game.
Who knows if the same thing would’ve happened if Nyjer had stayed put at first, but it makes you wonder. Neither team scored in the seventh, and K-Rod did a good job of picking off a baserunner and getting out of the Pirate’s half of the inning without giving up a run. In the bottom of the eighth the Brewers loaded the bases with two outs. Braun and Ramirez had executed a double steal to put runners on second and third and the Pirates elected to intentionally walk Rickie Weeks. It set up a force at every plate, and I think Rickie hits lefties pretty well, but I’m sure Pirates fans are second guessing the move. In the four part picture below, going clockwise from top left, you have:
1) Ransom making contact on the 2-2 offering from Tony Watson. Salami!!! (For you non-baseball junkies, a Grand Slam is often referred to as a “Grand Salami” or simply a “Salami”)
2) In the foreground is Rickie Weeks and Ed Sedar about to give each other a forearm, and in the background is Cody Ransom after rounding second base.
3) Ransom getting some love from Ramirez and Weeks at home plate.
4) Ransom as he enters the Brewers dugout. He got a curtain call and came back out of the dugout to tip his cap, but I didn’t get a very good picture. Being a bat boy has it perks, as they get high fives from the players after huge moments in important games.
The Brewers took a 10-6 lead after the Grand Slam by Ransom. While Axford came on in the ninth and gave up a solo home run to Andrew McCutchen, he shut the door with a strikeout of Casey McGehee. Here’s the final pitch:
It was a close pitch and McGehee started walking down to first base because he thought it was ball four. The ump had a delayed strike call most of the night, and he rung up Casey to end the game. McGehee wasn’t too happy. Final Score: Brewers 10 – Pirates 7.
Earlier in the game I had a lady in front of us take a picture of me and Dustin. Dustin is on the left, I’m on the right. Dustin sometimes struggles to keep his eyes open during pictures. His eyes are open in this one but it appears he was not very happy to be there. He was happy to be there, however, and I’m glad I got to watch the game with a very good friend.
The sausage race took place in the middle of the sixth inning, as always, and I’ve got a few pictures to share. Here’s the lineup as they prepared for the race. It appeared to be an all-female race, and I chose the Chorizo (far right) because I felt she had the most muscular/fit legs. Dustin chose the Polish sausage (in the middle with the blue and red stripes).
Living in Colorado the last few years must be throwing off Dustin’s judgement. The picture below was the result of the race. Chorizo is crossing the finish line while the Polish is about 100 feet back. Prediction Score: Ben 1 – Dustin 0.
I’m going to Saturday’s game with my girlfriend Victoria and her parents. We’re meeting up with a friend of Victoria’s and attending her family’s annual tailgate party. I’m looking forward to another day at the Miller Park.
I have to give a shout out to MLB for mentioning me and my mission on their Facebook page on Thursday evening. They also had a blurb on the main MLB.com homepage on Friday that linked to my blog. It wasn’t up there long, but a lot of people clicked on it. On most days my blog will see about 300-500 views. Friday, you ask? How about 2,595. Wow! Hopefully I can keep some of them interested enough to return and perhaps make a donation to the Be The Match foundation or join the registry. Either way I’m grateful for Major League Baseball for putting those links up. Thank You!
I can see what country the people are clicking on the blog from, and the country count is up to 78! This amazes me. 47 of the countries have fewer than 10 views, but nonetheless; it’s pretty cool in my book.
If you want to learn more about Be The Match and how you can help, CLICK HERE