8-1-12 (vs. Houston)
First let me apologize for the sloppiness in some of my posts. I hate typos more than anyone and yet I can’t seem to publish a post without something being wrong. I have Victoria look them over when she gets the post in an email but by that point everyone who is subscribed has already gotten it. I think there were four in the post for Tuesday but I vow to improve. I think I’ll start reading them aloud as my last read through, instead of just reading them.
Wednesday was a day game and I left my parents’ house at 10:45. I parked in the Money lot at 11:50 and made a few phone calls before heading in. I checked to see if I could stop by an Aunt and Uncle’s place in Springfield on my way to St. Louis on Thursday. They’re leaving Thursday morning for the reunion so they won’t be around, bummer. I might stop by on my way back to Wisconsin on Sunday evening. I also confirmed with my Aunt Anne that I could stay with them over the weekend when the Brewers play the Cardinals.
The twitter follower who was joining me for the game, Marlene, had called and said she was waiting outside of the stadium near the home plate entrance. I met up with her, gave her my extra ticket, then went inside. It took me a little bit to put my stuff back in my drawstring bag after the inspection and I couldn’t find Marlene when I finally made it inside. I later learned that she had thought I left her to do my own thing once I was inside, which was not the case. I had to get the game number picture in section 102 (on the field level) and I wound up going over there while she went and sat in her seat.
After getting the picture taken I went up to the loge level and got my designated-driver beverage (lemonade) and another Polish. At this point I’m on pace to consume 121.5 sausages. That’s a lot of encased meat. I really wish I would have gotten a cholesterol test before the season, and then one after the season, for curiosity’s sake. My blood pressure hasn’t changed at all though, and it’s always right around the 110/65 range.
Since my seats are in the sun for the first few hours I asked Marlene if she wanted to stand in front of the press box for a few innings. She agreed and we set up shop behind section 218. One of the ceremonial first pitches was thrown by a kid who was a part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It was sad and heartwarming at the same time.
This was our view from behind section 218 when Mike Fiers was about to let go of the first pitch to Jordan Schafer.
Two first inning Astros errors led to a Brewers run and a 1-0 lead for the Crew. In the third the Astros tied it and in the fourth they took a 2-1 lead when Brett Wallace hit a solo home run to right centerfield. The Brewers answered right away and Izturis came through with two outs in the fourth. His infield single somehow drove in two runs, and the Brewers had a 3-2 lead. In the fifth inning Morgan and Gomez started the inning with singles, and then attempted a double steal. Here’s Morgan sliding into 3rd base:
Nyjer’s hands are in the 3rd baseman’s shadow, but they appear to be at least six inches off the base. The glove (with the ball inside) is touching his lower back. The umpire’s call? Safe. Brad Mills, the Astros manager, came out and argued for a bit then retreated to the dugout. If Major League Baseball had a better replay system this call would’ve been reversed within 20 seconds and time would’ve been saved because Mills wouldn’t have come out to argue. Next up was Ryan Braun and he took advantage of the blown call at third. He bounced a single up the middle and the Brewers had a 5-1 lead.
Gomez scored easily but I think this picture of him touching home plate is funny. I say that because Nyjer Morgan is there on the right signaling that he doesn’t need to slide. I think a good text bubble next to Morgan would be: “STOP!!! YOU’RE GOING TOO FAST, YOU MIGHT PULL SOMETHING!”
Corey Hart later doubled in Braun and Rickie Weeks followed Chart with a 2-run blast. If I can quote the arcade game NBA Jam: “He’s heating up!!!”
Two batters later Cesar Izturis hit a solo home run. Yes, you read that correctly. Izturis is not known for his power so it’s always a surprise when he puts one out. For a frame of reference he has 4,206 at bats in his career and a whopping 16 home runs, or one every 263 at bats. Seeing that he only has 155 at bats this year and already 2 home runs, you could say he’s on a tear. Later in the game he hit one over the wall down the right field line but it was 8 feet foul. He was that close to having a multi-home run game. Izturis’ homer in the fifth gave the Brewers a six-spot in the inning and a 9-2 lead. The following picture consists of a bunch of fans celebrating Izturis’ home run. In the background (between the two guys on the right) you can see Izturis and Sedar shaking hands as the former ran past.
After the 5th inning I had a fan a few rows behind us take a picture of me and Marlene.
Marlene is a diehard Brewers fan and I had a great time talking to her about the game of baseball and how much she enjoys it. She handed me an envelope before the game that had the $40 donation for Be The Match inside, and when I got home I also found a very nice note that she had written as well. If everyone was as kind as Marlene I think this world would be a better place. Thanks again, Marlene, for a great afternoon and for the donation.
Fiers deserves another mention. He pitched well once again, lasting 6 + innings (he pitched to 2 batters in the 7th), and gave up 8 hits, walked none, and allowed just the two runs. His ERA actually went up, to 1.88. He was named the Brewers pitcher of the month for July, and deservedly so, he’s been on fire. Get it? (His last name is pronounced “Fires”) for those of you who haven’t heard his last name said before. On this pitch he struck out Jose Altuve looking to start the top of the sixth inning:
In the bottom of the sixth Braun came to the plate with two outs and had a great at bat against the Astros hard throwing righty Fernando Rodriguez. The at bat resulted in this home run swing:
I was a little late on the picture but it was for good reason. I didn’t have my camera out for the beginning of his at bat but after the 13th pitch I figured I’d get a picture of whatever happened and mention the long at bat in the blog. The first pitch after that (the 14th of the at bat) he took Rodriguez deep for his 29th home run of the year. Here’s the pitch breakdown, which I took from the MLB.com Play-by-Play tab of the Brewers-Astros game:
It was crazy, seven straight foul balls on 95-96 MPH fastballs. I think if I were Rodriguez I wouldn’t have been so stubborn and after two or three foul balls I’d try to drop a curveball in there, but hindsight is 20/20. In the seventh inning Lucroy went yard and drove in Rickie Weeks in the process. Nyjer Morgan later singled home Cesar Izturis who had doubled earlier in the frame. The Astros scored two in the 8th to cut the deficit to nine, but that’s all the closer they got. Final Score: Brewers 13 – Astros 4. Braun, Gomez and Morgan came together after the win (as they normally do) for a post-game group hug.
This is the linescore after it was all said and done. 11 of the 13 runs were earned, so while 4 errors is never a good thing, I don’t think it was the deciding factor in Wednesday’s game.
It was the first sweep the Brewers have had at home this season, and while it was basically against a AAA team in the Astros, it still counts. The Astros are rebuilding and traded their veterans for prospects before the trade deadline and I can’t blame them. If you’re not very good now with the veterans you might as well try to get rid of some aging stars to build for the future.
I’m leaving tomorrow for St. Louis to protect against the uncertainty of possible car trouble. I’ll be getting to my aunt and uncle’s place around 7:00 PM so I’ll 24 hours before the first pitch of the Brewers – Cardinals game on Friday night.
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