August 22nd, 2012

8-22-12 (vs. Chicago Cubs)

I finished up Tuesday’s post before going to bed so I was able to sleep in on Wednesday morning. I got up at 10:20 and left about an hour later. I pulled into the Cooper lot at 12:20 and headed inside. A little backstory on who joined me for Wednesday’s game. Back in June I was searching for an interview that I had done for a Cincinnati news station. While searching I came across an article titled “Ben Rouse, The Apology Letter.” I found out that the guy had originally called me a dillweed because he thought I was trying to get people to donate money to ME and not Be The Match. I sent an email to the “contact us” email address and found out it was Joel who was the guilty party. He said he would like to join me at a game, make a donation, and write an article about me for the website he contributes to: losersbracket.com.

Wednesday was the day and I left my extra ticket at will call. I went inside and got the game number picture taken in section 115.

If you’re new to the blog I’m doing a slow progression around the field level seating bowl. I did the same in the terrace level and the loge level. I’m taking suggestions for where to take the final game number photo. The second to last game of the year, October 2nd, I’m throwing out a ceremonial first pitch, and will be getting game photo number 161 from the pitcher’s mound. What can top that for game photo number 162?

I went up to the loge level, said hi to the Ice Man, and learned that Bill (the friendly usher behind section 216) has a home in Maryland and left a day early. His replacement said that Bill will be back for the next home stand. I got to my seat and Joel joined me shortly thereafter. I still had my 18-55 mm lens on my camera so I couldn’t zoom in very much for the following photo. Dylan Postl (AKA Hornswoggle) is a WWE wrestler and threw out the first pitch. Hornswoggle is four feet four inches tall. Here he is walking next to Joe Crawford, who has become the designated ceremonial-first-pitch catcher.

Yovani Gallardo got Wednesday’s game started by delivering a called strike to David DeJesus.

What a perfect time to show a picture I took of Gallardo back on Memorial Day in 2009 (thus the red hat). I used GIMP, a free photo editing program for the effects. I had an 8×10 printed and I’m hoping to get it signed someday. Wait, I WILL get it signed, and it WILL be on this road trip, mark my words….

Ok, back to Wednesday. DeJesus sent the fifth pitch of that opening at bat into the right field loge bleachers and the Cubs took an early 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the 1st Aoki led off with a double and two batters later Braun followed suit:

After a Ramirez pop-out Corey Hart hit the third double of the inning for the Brewers, driving in Braun and giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead. Here’s Hart at second giving a long distance high five to Ed Sedar.

In the middle of the 4th inning I had a woman next to Joel take a picture of the two of us. Her name is Vivianna, she’s from Los Angeles, and she wants to get to the all the MLB stadiums as well (another goal of mine). She said her and her mom take a vacation every year and hit up a few parks. Thanks Vivianna! And thank you Joel, who made a $100 donation to Be The Match.

In the bottom of the 5th inning Aoki fouled a pitch back that was heading almost right towards me. I had my glove on, stepped into the aisle and reached forward a bit to make the catch. The guy across the aisle from me thought he would try and catch it as well, bumping my glove in the process. Instead of the ball smacking the webbing of my glove it hit the heel. Bouncing down the steps it went where it was picked up by another fan. If I would have been a spectator of the event I would have given me a hard time. I may have booed because if you bring a glove to a game you HAVE to make the catch, otherwise you’re subject to ridicule. I probably still should have made the catch despite the contact from the other fan, so I will take full responsibility for the error. If I hadn’t already caught two foul balls this year I would be a little upset, but I have, so I’m over Wednesday’s shortcomings.

The middle of the sixth is when the sausage race takes place, and for some reason they did a relay race on a Wednesday. I thought they only had the little weenies race on Sundays. I like that Braun is just minding his own business, getting ready for his at bat.

Braun deposited the 1-1 pitch into the Toyota Territory in right centerfield, increasing the Brewers’ lead to 3-1.

In the top of the 7th the Cubs got that run right back when Bryan LaHair took Gallardo deep on the first pitch of the inning. Henderson pitched a scoreless 8th and Axford the 9th, striking out the side to pick up his 20th save. Here’s the final pitch of the game, which resulted in a swinging strike from Brett Jackson.

SWEEEEEP! The Brewers wrapped up a 5-2 home stand after taking all three from the Cubs. Final Score: Brewers 3 – Cubs 2. I leave for Pittsburgh tomorrow morning and should be pulling into the Steel City at around 9:00 PM Eastern Time. Google Maps tells me it’s going to take 10 hours and 38 minutes to traverse the 594 miles. Ha, I think not. I’m shooting for less than 9.5 hours. My mouth is already starting to water thinking about Fat Heads and their “Southside Slopes” Headwich, which has kielbasa topped with fried pierogies, American cheese, grilled onions,
and horseradish sauce. Oohhhhh baby. There will be pictures, so check back in on Saturday for Friday’s post.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Miller Park: 3 hours 21 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 3 hours 41 minutes
Miles driven: 123.3
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (266/266)
Current streak of pitches seen: 998

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 57-66 (.463 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 516 hours 28 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 608 hours 28 minutes
Miles driven: 14,526.3
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,135.2
Public transit miles: 413.8
Flight miles: 17,637
Total distance traveled: 34,712.2miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 139.40% (34,712.2/24,901)
Sausages: 84 (33 Hot Dogs, 29 Polish, 8 Bratwurst, 5 Corndogs, 2 Italian, 2 Cheddarwurst, Bison Dog, Chicken Apple Sausage, Blueberry & Merlot Venison Sausage, Sausage Race on a Stick, Elk Jalapeño Cheddar Sausage)
Pitches missed: 87
Longest streak of pitches seen: 1,965 (6/30 – 7/6)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.76% (36,633/36,720)

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

8-21-12 (vs. Chicago Cubs)

I left the house at 3:30 PM on Tuesday and was parked in the Brewers 1 parking lot 64 minutes later. After about 45 minutes I started to get nervous, but I was able to sell my two seats for $80. I had front row Amy’s ticket for the game, and a friend had backed out on using my two tickets, so I had to scalp them. There are always 10-15 scalpers in front of the stadium and I was sure one of them was going to swoop in and steal the sale from me. A grown-up brother and sister bought the two tickets from me and I thanked them for their donation and gave them one of my cards. I also stopped by the seats about an hour later and thanked them again.

After selling my tickets I walked around for about an hour and handed out my cards and talked about Be The Match. On my way inside at 6:15 I stopped and got a picture of the 620 WTMJ tailgater that I had done my interview in the day before. I meant to get a picture of it on Monday but I forgot.

I went to section 114 for game photo number 122. A nearby fan, Derrick, did the honors and it only took him two tries. His first attempt was very good, so I didn’t feel bad asking him to pan up just a little. Thanks Derrick!

Even though I was sitting in section 117 for the game I went up to the loge level to get a Polish sausage. I wanted to say hi to the Ice Man and Bill, and assure the latter that I was at the game. I didn’t stop by on Sunday and on Monday he asked if I was there the day before. After eating I went back down to the field level and got ready for the game. As the national anthem was sung I could hear their voices before the sound came through the speakers, that’s how close I was. Thanks again Amy!

Soon thereafter the bench coaches came out to exchange the lineup cards. I didn’t plan on getting the Harley Davidson in the shot but that’s what went down. Someone riding a Harley Davidson delivers the game ball from one of the outfield corners, and it’s (at the very least) used by the starter as a warm up ball.

Marco Estrada threw a called strike to David DeJesus to get the game underway. The ball is between the shortstop and the batter in the picture below.

I knew that I would be on TV throughout the game and I took advantage of the opportunity. I have to thank my wonderful girlfriend (of 2 years on Tuesday) for taking the picture and sending it to me. Thanks Victoria!

The Cubs starter, Chris Rusin, was making his major league debut and he retired the first nine batters he faced. Norichika Aoki came to the plate in the bottom of the 4th and did his sumo-style stretch as he stepped in the box.

Aoki was hit by the 1-1 pitch and let out an “AYE!!!” that made me and most everyone around me chuckle. It was OK to laugh because Aoki was fine. I would not have been laughing if there was a chance that he was seriously injured. Weeks struck out, Braun was walked, and Aramis Ramirez was also hit by a pitch. Corey Hart had a chance to break the scoreless tie and he didn’t disappoint. Hart lined one off of Rusin (he too was fine) for an infield single and the Brewers had a 1-0 lead.

In the middle of the 6th I got to see the sausage race from a different perspective; Sausage stampede!!!

In the bottom of the 6th three walks loaded the bases with only one out. Lucroy was at the plate and quickly went down 0-2 in the count. I considered telling the lady on my left that I would take a past ball at this point. The very next pitch got past the catcher and Rickie raced home. The catcher had retrieved the ball and it’s on its way back to the plate (albeit a little late) in the picture below.

On the very next pitch Lucroy sent one to left for a two-run double and the Brewers had a 4-0 lead.

In the bottom of the 8th I took a panned out picture from my seat in section 117. It’s a great seat to take in a game as long as you can block out the screen that’s right in front of your face. I know it’s a necessity and there would be concussions and knocked out teeth at every game without it, but it just takes some getting used to.

Carlos Gomez singled in a run during the bottom of the 8th and the Brewers had a 5-0 lead going to the 9th. Manny Parra gave up a double and a walk and was pulled in favor of Jim Henderson. He allowed both inherited runners to score via a single and an RBI groundout and was pulled as well. Axford entered and threw a 1-2 pitch to Welington Castillo:

If you can’t tell I had moved up into the concourse for the final half inning. The pitch resulted in a groundout and the Brewers clinched the series. Final Score: Brewers 5 – Cubs 2. Here’s the final linescore as it appeared on the scoreboard:

The Brewers were able to score 5 runs despite only mustering 3 hits. 6 walks and 3 hit batsmen might be to blame… Thanks Cubs! It’s almost 1:00 AM now and the first pitch of the finale is in about 12 hours. Goodnight.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Miller Park: 4 hours 4 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 5 hours 51 minutes
Miles driven: 123.7
Sausages: 1 (Polish)
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (274/274)
Current streak of pitches seen: 732

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 56-66 (.459 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 513 hours 7 minutes (Over three whole weeks inside stadiums!)
Time on stadium grounds: 604 hours 47 minutes
Miles driven: 14,403.0
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,135.2
Public transit miles: 413.8
Flight miles: 17,637
Total distance traveled: 34,588.9 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 138.91% (34,588.9/24,901)
Sausages: 84 (33 Hot Dogs, 29 Polish, 8 Bratwurst, 5 Corndogs, 2 Italian, 2 Cheddarwurst, Bison Dog, Chicken Apple Sausage, Blueberry & Merlot Venison Sausage, Sausage Race on a Stick, Elk Jalapeño Cheddar Sausage)
Pitches missed: 87
Longest streak of pitches seen: 1,965 (6/30 – 7/6)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.76% (36,367/36,454)

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