8-28-12 (@ Chicago Cubs)

On Tuesday I slept in a little and then worked on Monday’s blog post. I left Alex and Jess’ apartment at 12:30 for downtown Chicago. I was spending the day with my sister, Eliza, and I took the blue line from California to Clark/Lake. I walked across the bridge on N La Salle, not a bad view looking east on the Chicago River:

 

My sister is currently looking for work in the U.S. and is staying with friends/acquaintances in Chicago for the time being. She was with some friends and someone offered his place while he was in Cabo. It’s a really nice high-rise at 345 N La Salle. This is the view out of his bedroom window. The John Hancock building is the one in the center with the two large antennas.

His apartment is on the 18th floor and the pool and tennis courts are on the roof (14th floor) of a connected building. We spent some time by the pool, and I swam a few laps.

The two tennis courts were to the left of the pool, not too shabby.

We went to a late lunch at Protein Bar, who’s mission is to “provide active, on-the-go people with healthy, flavorful choices while having a positive impact on everyone we meet and in everything we do.” I have to admit that they’re doing a pretty good job from what I could see (and taste). I ordered the Buffalo Bar-rito and the Wrigley Peeled blended drink. The Bar-rito consisted of all-natural chicken, organic quinoa, blue cheese, house-made vegan buffalo sauce and the Super 6 Salad Mix (romaine, spinach, broccoli, carrots, kale, purple cabbage). Not pictured is my beverage which had chocolate protein, 2% milk, all-natural peanut butter, banana, and organic agave nectar. My total was $14.04 but I could see myself eating here a couple times a week if I lived in Chicago. Good and good for you, hard to put a price tag on that.

We hung out and watched an episode of Newsroom (an HBO series that I hadn’t heard of). We jumped on the red line at 5:10 and were outside of Wrigley 15 minutes later. I bought two tickets from a scalper because at this time they’re cheaper than the box office prices (what happens when teams aren’t playing very well). We went to the centerfield entrance and I asked if there was any way I could get a picture taken from the bleachers despite not having a bleacher seat. The answer was no because you need a bleacher ticket to get into those seats. I understand the policy but was still a little bummed out. I try to get one game number picture looking in from the outfield towards home plate. Oh well.

We entered Wrigley at 5:43 and went to the upper deck to get game photo number 128. N Sheffield Avenue is beneath my left hand and this is looking North from the very top row of the upper deck in the right field corner.

Looking south you get a nice view of downtown Chicago. Alex and I are sitting in the upper deck today (Wednesday) and it’s a great spot to take in a game at Wrigley. It’s the best on hot summer days because you’re in the shade and there’s always a breeze (or at least some air movement) in the last row (row 9).

We had plenty of time to kill and Eliza wanted a hot dog, I passed (see sausage count). I opted for a soft pretzel because I couldn’t even remember the year in which I last had one. 2006? I have no idea. Our seats were towards the back of section 222 but for $20 a piece they were hard to pass up. The game got underway at 7:05 and Travis Wood delivered a called strike to Norichika Aoki. It looks like we were farther away than we actually were. Human sight is about the equivalent of 50 mm on a camera lens (not including peripheral vision). This picture was taken at 29 mm, meaning that it was zoomed out, increasing the viewing area (but making things seem smaller/farther away).

In the second inning Jeff Bianchi came to the plate with two on and two out, looking to give the Brewers the lead. He got the green light on the 3-0 count and sent one into the left field bleachers for his first major league home run. Brewers lead 3-0.

A Cubs fan had gotten the ball and of course threw it back, making it easy for Bianchi to hold onto his keepsake. I’m not a big fan of people throwing home runs back. In this case I’m glad they did because the Brewers didn’t have to negotiate with the fan to get it back. Cubs fans started the tradition but now a lot of other home team fans throw visiting players’ home run balls back. You have a piece of history, why throw that back? In 20 years you can look at that player’s statistics and say (while holding the baseball); “this ball contributed to his home runs, his batting average, his hits, his on base percentage, his slugging percentage and his total bases.” Personally I think that would be pretty cool, but to each his own.

The Cubs cut the deficit to two runs when Travis Wood took Yovani Gallardo deep in the 3rd inning. It was only the second home run that Gallardo had given up to a pitcher in his career. Between the 3rd and 4th innings I had a fan behind us take a picture of me and Eliza.

Eliza had never been to Wrigley Field before and she said she likes it. I’m not a Wrigley Field basher as some people are and agree with her conclusion. It’s almost 100 years old, I’m not sure what people want from it. Yes, it’s lacking in some amenities and some views are obstructed from support beams, but that’s part of what makes it unique. I do wonder what’s going to happen 20 years from now when it might not pass an inspector’s test with regards to safety and structural integrity. It’s going to be a National Historic Landmark in two years, meaning you can’t tear it down. Do they build a new stadium elsewhere? Do they try and vote on possibly demolishing it out of necessity (don’t know if that’s possible), building a new stadium on the same grounds while playing a season or two at U.S. Cellular Field? It’s going to be interesting to say the least.

In the 8th inning the Brewers added an insurance run when Rickie Weeks got in a rundown on a pickoff attempt, but stayed in the pickle long enough to allow Aoki to score from 3rd base on the play. K-Rod and Axford pitched perfect innings in the 8th and 9th, respectively, and the Brewers held on for the victory. Final Score: Brewers 4 – Cubs 1. When Axford struck out Soriano for the second out in the 9th it gave the pitching staff 10 strikeouts for the game. No big deal, right? Wrong. It marked the 8th consecutive game that the Brewers pitching staff struck out at least 10 batters. This marks the longest streak in the majors since 1900. Yes, 1900, 112 years ago. That’s pretty neat.

You may have noticed that there haven’t been many pictures of game action the last two posts. The lighting is weaker at Wrigley Field and the shutter speed on my zoom lens maxes out at about 1/80 of a second. With that shutter speed you can’t freeze action very well, so most pictures will be quite blurry or at least fuzzy. Thursday’s day game should provide me with a decent photo shooting environment.

Someone posted on twitter that the Brewers playoff chances have increased from .1% to .3% over the past two nights. So you’re saying there’s a chance…

Go Brewers!

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Wrigley Field: 3 hours 59 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 4 hours 7 minutes
Transit miles: 13.4
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (250/250)
Current streak of pitches seen: 437

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 61-67 (.477 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 538 hours 44 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 631 hours 49 minutes
Miles driven: 15,648.8
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,138.1
Public transit miles: 433.0
Flight miles: 17,637
Total distance traveled: 35,856.9 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 144% (35,856.9/24,901)
Sausages: 87 (34 Hot Dogs, 30 Polish, 8 Bratwurst, 5 Corndogs, 2 Italian, 2 Cheddarwurst, 2 Bison Dogs, Chicken Apple Sausage, Blueberry & Merlot Venison Sausage, Sausage Race on a Stick, Elk Jalapeño Cheddar Sausage)
Pitches missed: 93
Longest streak of pitches seen: 1,965 (6/30 – 7/6)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.76% (38,078/38,171)

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1 Comment

Ben, in case you’re interested, the Wrigley Field tour takes you to the bleachers and you can get a shot from there. It’s something like $25 for the tour, it’s not cheap, but it’s well worth it; you learn a lot about the history of Wrigley and you can see the ballpark from all angles. I don’t know if you have a rule about your game number pics, but it’s there if you’re interested. I recommend the Wrigley tour highly!

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