August 2012

8-19-12 (vs. Philadelphia)

On Sunday Victoria and I left her aunt and uncle’s house at 11:20 AM. We drove separately to the interstate and then rode together to the game. She had met me at her aunt’s Friday night, thus the reason for us having two cars. We went over to the Miller parking lot to try and find a tailgate. An usher had asked me on Friday if I wanted to stop by but I had no way of contacting them. We were unable to find the tailgate but in the meantime my aunt called and happened to be tailgating in the same parking lot. We stopped by, said hi, and then headed inside at 12:20.

I got the game number picture taken in section 111.

Victoria and I went to the upper deck to try and find a chorizo taco that someone had recommended. We asked around and no one seemed to know what we were talking about. I went back and found the tweet from the end of July and they HADN’T said a chorizo taco, but simply “ask for a chorizo in a tortilla with pico de gallo.” I asked the concession stand near home plate in the upper deck and he said they should have the tortillas but didn’t. They also didn’t have pico de gallo so maybe it was a limited time offering. We were both a little disappointed and wound up getting some nachos before going to our seats.

When the first pitch was delivered from Randy Wolf to Jimmy Rollins the skies didn’t look very ominous.

Nyjer Morgan tripled to open the bottom of the first and it had started to rain. They didn’t close the roof and it appeared like the game would continue. I got a picture of the rain after the count went to 2-0 on Rickie Weeks.

Weeks bounced the 2-1 pitch in front of the plate.

It went right to the pitcher as Morgan broke for home. He was tagged out by Kendricks and slipped in the progress. I wish I would’ve gotten a picture but failed to do so. Since Nyjer didn’t get hurt it would’ve been funny to see him hugging Kendricks to stop himself from falling. A short 7-minute rain delay followed the play. The roof was closed and then a drying agent was spread around the infield. I like the facial expression of the grounds crew member as he runs off the mound.

There wasn’t too much to talk about from a Brewers fan’s perspective. Kendricks pitched extremely well for the Phillies, only allowing four men on base in eight innings of work. The Phillies scored 2 in the 2nd, 3 in the 3rd, 2 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th. Final Score: Phillies 8 – Brewers 0. The series started out great, with the Brewers winning the first two games but it ended with a 2-2 series split. There was a Japanese contingent in the Dew Deck and when Aoki got an at bat in the 8th inning they all stood and cheered for their countryman.

Victoria dropped me off at my car and we drove separately back to Madison. Sometimes we’ll let Prince (our cat) out on the patio and he squeezes through the railing bars and out onto the roof of the building’s entryway.

It makes us a little nervous when he gets curious about the windowsills of other tenants’ apartments.

I got another 10 hours of sleep and I still have the cold. I’ll try 12 hours tonight and see what happens. I’m leaving Madison in under two hours for the first game of the Cubs series. I’ll be doing an interview with Trenni Kusnierek on 620 WTMJ in their tailgater that’s located at Miller Park. I’m getting there at 6:00 PM but I might not be on until 6:15 or so. No one has claimed my two tickets for tomorrow’s game yet (8/21). I’m sitting in Front Row Amy’s seat and am looking to get $100 for my two seats in section 221 so I can donate the money to Be the Match. Leave a comment if you’re interested or if you’re on twitter send me a tweet (@Brew_Mission162).

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Miller Park: 3 hours 42 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 4 hours 20 minutes
Miles driven: 82.6
Miles riding in car but not driving: 25.1
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 1 (Missed the 0-1 pitch to Rollins in the 4th, I was looking at Victoria)
Consecutive pitch streak ended at: 478
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.64% (275/276)
Current streak of pitches seen: 152

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 54-66 (.450 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 505 hours 6 minutes (Over three whole weeks inside stadiums!)
Time on stadium grounds: 593 hours 12 minutes
Miles driven: 14,128.3
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,135.2
Public transit miles: 413.8
Flight miles: 17,637
Total distance traveled: 34,314.2 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 137.80% (34,314.2/24,901)
Sausages: 83 (33 Hot Dogs, 28 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% (35,787/35,874)

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

8-18-12 (vs. Philadelphia)

I woke up at 8:25 on Saturday and did a 15 minute interview with Shane Sparks and Josh Smith on my hometown radio station, 940 WFAW. I went back to bed and slept until noon. I was hoping some extra rest might help with the cold but I woke up just as sick and just as tired. I worked on the post for Friday and Victoria and I left her aunt and uncle’s house at 3:30. We were parked in the Coooooooper Lot 30 minutes later. Victoria headed inside and I walked around for a bit, telling people about Be The Match and why it’s important to grow the registry.

I went inside at 5:10 and met Victoria in section 110. It took a few tries but we got game photo number 119 taken care of.

We went over to the team store and then met up with someone Victoria used to work with. Frank has been following along and he gave me a $50 check made out to Be The Match. Thank you Frank! If any of you would like to make a donation, you can click here.

Victoria and I went up to the loge level and got some dinner before the game. She got the Food Network sloppy joe by section 222 and I got the Chef’s Table Philly cheesesteak. I would’ve preferred provolone instead of cheese sauce and there seemed to be too much bread. It wasn’t Ken & Betty’s good, but it was still a pretty good cheesesteak. I was eating when the first pitch was thrown, so this picture will have to do. Imagine the spoon is Mike Fiers and the bottom right potato chip is Jimmy Rollins taking a called strike.

In the top of the 2nd I was trying to get a good picture of Fiers pitching. I accidentally took two pictures, the first one is of his 87 MPH fastball heading towards home plate. The second is of the ball coming back at 99 MPH, it eventually went over the wall in left to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.

The very next batter also went deep, increasing the Phillies lead to three runs. In the bottom of the second the Brewers got one back when Aramis Ramirez hit a solo home run to left, ending Cole Hamels’ scoreless innings streak at 23.

A 3rd inning double by Ryan Howard gave the Phillies a 4-1 lead. In the bottom of the 3rd Jonathan Lucroy connected for a two-out single. Braun stepped to the plate and sent the 1-1 offering deep to left field…

I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a home run but then I swore I saw it disappear into the Brewers bullpen. I think everyone around me also thought it was a home run. Domonic Brown threw the ball back into the infield as Braun was nearing second base. Lucroy was at second and this is what resulted:

I think one of two things happened; either Lucroy thought there were less than two outs and wasn’t sure if the ball was going to be caught, or he thought it was a home run and was just trotting around the bases. I’m guessing it was the former. With two outs he should’ve been on the move right after Braun made contact. At the very least he should’ve been at third base, if not at home with the Brewers second run. Braun wound up in a pickle and instead of stopping at second he just kept running into the outfield. That’s why he’s in shallow left field in the picture above. I found out later that Braun had missed a home run by mere inches and the ball bounced high off the wall.

A guy two rows in front of me and on the other side of the aisle was playing some sort of shooting game DURING the game. “Come on, Man!” I know I miss pitches occasionally while tweeting or something, but I make a concerted effort to pay attention when there’s action on the field.

The game remained 4-1 as the Brewers took their turn at bat in the bottom of the 8th. A two out single by Lucroy brought Braun to the plate once again. This time Braun DID sneak one over the wall (in right field), driving in Lucroy and cutting the deficit to one run.

Hamels was removed and the Phillies closer entered. Jonathan Papelbon retired all 4 batters he faced (while striking out 3) and picked up the save. Final Score: Phillies 4 – Brewers 3. The loss halted the Crew’s home winning streak at 8 games.

It’s 10:20 on Sunday morning and we’ll be leaving shortly for the finale of the four game series. I’ll be heading to Madison after the game but will be right back in Milwaukee for the first game of the Cubs series on Monday evening.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Miller Park: 4 hours 12 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 5 hours 31 minutes
Miles riding in car but not driving: 38.8
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (288/288)
Current streak of pitches seen: 355

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 54-65 (.454 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 501 hours 24 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 588 hours 52 minutes
Miles driven: 14,045.7
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,110.1
Public transit miles: 413.8
Flight miles: 17,637
Total distance traveled: 34,206.5 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 137.37% (34,206.5/24,901)
Sausages: 83 (33 Hot Dogs, 28 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: 86
Longest streak of pitches seen: 1,965 (6/30 – 7/6)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.76% (35,512/35,598)

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

8-17-12 (vs. Philadelphia)

Friday was a lazy day and I laid low trying to get better. I’m convinced it’s just a cold but I still feel pretty crappy. I left my parents’ house at 4:40 (probably the latest I’ve ever left for a home game). I hit some traffic but was parked in the Money Lot just before 6:00 PM. I stopped at a few tailgates on my way inside to tell people about Be The Match and my mission. I met Dani, a twitter follower, outside of the home plate entrance and we headed inside.

Dani took game photo number 118 for me in section 109. Only 21 home games left!

We went upstairs and we both utilized our designated driver vouchers while I went with a Polish and Dani a Bratwurst. I will admit that the pace of the sausage tally is starting to slow. I might make it to 100 sausages, I might not. I never really had a goal in mind, I just thought it would be fun to keep track of.

The game started shortly after we got to our seats and Yovani started things off with strike one to Jimmy Rollins.

The game was going by pretty quickly and there were only three hits between the two teams going into the top of the 4th inning. Back-to-back doubles from Utley and Howard gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead. In the bottom half Vance Worley retired Braun and Ramirez in succession but the Brewers rallied with two outs. Hart followed Ramirez with a single and Maldonado walked. Nyjer Morgan was up next and he hit one to right center that glanced off Domonic Brown’s glove (I thought it should’ve been an error). The scorekeeper ruled it a triple and Nyjer Morgan pulled into 3rd after giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead:

The Phillies elected to intentionally walk Jean Segura to get to Gallardo. I missed the 2-0 pitch of the intentional walk because I was talking to the woman behind us. This has happened four or five times now, and you’d think I would learn. Segura stole second with Gallardo at the plate and Yovani took advantage, singling to right and driving in both men on base. Segura must’ve wanted to practice his sliding because Nyjer Morgan is clearly giving him the stand up sign.

At halftime (between the top and bottom of the 5th) I had the lady behind us take a picture of me and Dani. Dani went to school at UW-Oshkosh and played on the softball team. Small world: Dani was a catcher on the team while Annie, who hosted me in Houston, was a pitcher during her year at Oshkosh. Dani donated $40 to Be The Match for her seat, and I’m very grateful. Over $1,000 of the funds raised has come from people joining me at games and donating to the cause. Thanks Dani! And thanks to everyone who has joined the registry or made a donation, everything helps!

In the bottom of the 6th inning Aoki walked with one out. The very next pitch (which was to Braun) wound up over the centerfield fence, increasing the Brewers lead to 6-1. I’ll take (partial) credit for Braun’s home run. Before his first at bat I mentioned to Dani that he had four home runs in four games against the Phillies this year, so he was due.

This isn’t newsworthy, but I’ll include the picture I got of Segura breaking his bat in the bottom of the 7th inning. It resulted in a groundout to the second basemen, but I thought it was cool.

This sign made the jumbotron so I figured it I would include it as well. Awwwwww…

Livan Hernandez pitched the 9th and he made things a little interesting. Since I witnessed all three terrible losses to the Phillies in person back in July, I was a little nervous that the Brewers were sitting on six runs. They lost each game in that series by a final score of 7-6. And then I had 320 miles of Interstate 76 and I-76 signs to remind me of the sweep. With two outs the Phillies doubled and singled to cut the deficit to four runs. Hernandez got Brian Schneider to fly out to Gomez, and the Brewers hung on. Final Score: Brewers 6 – Phillies 2. It was group hug time for Braun, Gomez and Aoki after the win.

Since the Brewers had been up by five runs, a lot of people left early, something that bugs the heck out of me. Not only are you not getting your money’s worth, you might also miss something historic. Selfishly I also don’t like it because it makes getting out of the parking lot in a timely matter almost impossible. I could tell that when I got to my car it was going to be a while. I waited in line for 7 minutes, moved one car length in that time, and then called it quits. I pulled into a spot, turned off my car, and waited until most people had left. It probably would’ve taken me 30 minutes to get out of the lot anyways, so I might as well not waste my gasoline. I listened to the Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption podcasts while I waited, so it wasn’t too frustrating. I met Victoria in Sussex at her aunt and uncle’s house, and she’s joining me for Saturday and Sunday’s games.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Miller Park: 3 hours 39 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 4 hours 54 minutes
Driving miles: 81.3
Sausages: 1 (Polish)
Pitches missed: 2 (I also missed Frandsen’s groundout in the 7th)
Consecutive pitch streak ended at: 1,143
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.34% (301/303)
Current streak of pitches seen: 67

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 54-64 (.458 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 497 hours 12 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 583 hours 21 minutes
Miles driven: 14,045.7
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,071.3
Public transit miles: 413.8
Flight miles: 17,637
Total distance traveled: 34,167.7 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 137.21% (34,167.7/24,901)
Sausages: 83 (33 Hot Dogs, 28 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: 86
Longest streak of pitches seen: 1,965 (6/30 – 7/6)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.76% (35,224/35,310)

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

8-16-12 (vs. Philadelphia)

Thursday started with a 7:30 alarm and a 30 minute ride to the Denver Airport. As you enter the Airport’s grounds a blue bronco statue catches your eye. Dustin said that most people don’t like it and think it should be taken down. In an ironic and unfortunate twist, the sculptor who was working on the horse in his studio was killed when a section of the bronco fell and severed an artery in his leg.

My flight left a little late but was OK despite the child vomiting in the row behind me. I was able to tune it out and work on my post for Wednesday. We landed in Milwaukee at 1:45 PM and I stayed at the Airport for an hour and a half to finish up the post. I got to my car at 3:45 and was parked in the Brewers 1 lot at 4:15. This is when I really started to feel miserable (sore throat, aches, etc.). I wanted to drive back to Fort and hibernate for a few days. I listened to a few podcasts in my car and decided that I should walk the parking lots and spread the word, despite my exhaustion. I probably talked to about 60-70 people and even though it didn’t cure my likely cold, it made me feel a little better. There are free donor drives (where they take a cheek swab to collect some saliva) coming up in and around Milwaukee. I chose a 100 mile radius so if you click that link you’ll also see a few in Beloit and Rockford. There is one in Racine tomorrow, Saturday the 18th, then two in Milwaukee next weekend. The first is on Friday the 24th and the other on Saturday the 25th.

I was inside Miller Park at 6:25 and went to section 108 to get game photo number 117. A gentlemen agreed to take the picture for me but after a few attempts (with coaching after each one) he gave up and said I would need to hire a photographer. I give pretty specific instructions but it’s also not rocket science. Another fan took over and got the job done.

After getting the picture I went to the loge level and got a Polish sausage with caramelized onions and a lemonade. That’s the cure-all for colds, isn’t it? Dustin’s dad, Luke, was joining me at the game and I met him in our seats. I had a fan a few rows back get a picture of the two of us before the game got underway.

Marco Estrada got the start for the Brewers and I think this is the first pitch of the game. I vaguely remember a cotton candy vendor being in the way for the first pitch so maybe this was the second. When I say the vendor was in the way I mean for a picture, I’m still able to stand up or move side to side as to not miss a pitch.

The Brewers wasted no time getting an early lead, as Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez went back-to-back in the bottom of the 1st. I’ll take credit for Braun’s home run because as Cliff Lee was about to deliver the first pitch of the at bat I was telling Luke that “Braun hasn’t homered since” and then said “TODAY!” as the first pitch neared home plate (it resulted in a called strike). On the 0-2 pitch Braun listened, though, and gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead that would grow to 2-0 five pitches later.

Ryan Howard drove in a run in the top of the 3rd on a ground ball that could’ve ended the inning. Rickie threw to Segura at second and he tried to turn a quick double play but didn’t catch the ball first. Estrada got out of the inning without allowing another run. In the bottom of the 4th Braun homered again, giving the Brewers a 3-1 lead.

In the top of the 5th Estrada recorded two quick outs but then gave up a single, a walk, and another single. Kevin Frandsen had a good at bat and lined the full count offering to left centerfield, clearing the bases and putting the Phillies in front 4-3. The Phillies maintained that lead going into the bottom of the 8th and it wasn’t looking promising for the Brewers. The Crew was down to their final four outs when Rickie Weeks reached on a throwing error by Frandsen. Braun and Ramirez were walked, and the stage was set for Corey Hart, who up to that point had struck out in all three of his plate appearances.

Hart lifted it to right and deep and it *barely* cleared the fence in right centerfield. Domonic Brown tried to rob Hart of the salami (grand slam) but he narrowly missed it.

Manny Parra came into the game for the 9th inning and struck out Chase Utley before giving up back-to-back singles. Jim Henderson entered and struck out Ty Wiggington before giving up a single of his own. The bases were loaded with Phillies and Erik Kratz stepped to the plate representing the go-ahead run. The 0-1 slider from Henderson…

The pitch resulted in a groundout to Aramis Ramirez and the Brewers hung on for the win. Final Score: Brewers 7 – Phillies 4. I had a good time with Luke and I very much appreciate his $40 donation to Be The Match. We’ve now raised over $3,000 for the Be The Match Foundation.

It’s 1:40 on Friday afternoon and I feel just as bad as I did yesterday, maybe a little worse. I got 10 hours of sleep last night but that didn’t cure whatever I’ve got. It’s probably just a cold but whenever I get sick I always think the worst case scenario; relapse. A cold can be a sign because a relapse would result in my body not producing enough white blood cells, which fight colds and infections. No one should be worried but it’s what goes through my mind whenever I get sick, so I thought I would share. This is why I’m so adamant about washing my hands and using hand sanitizer. If I don’t get sick I won’t have any reason to suspect something is wrong. I’ll be taking a nap and I’m hoping I feel better before I leave for game number 118.

Before I forget; if anyone is interested in going to the game on Tuesday, August 21st, let me know. Front Row Amy gave me her ticket so I’ll be sitting right behind home plate. My two tickets are in 221 so you would not be sitting with me but you and a friend could have a great time in the seats that I call home. A friend had agreed to donate $100 for the tickets, which is face value, but he coaches football and he realized they have a scrimmage on Tuesday. Leave a comment if you’re interested and we’ll work something out. The money goes to the Be The Match and would cover the costs associated with an individual joining the registry.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Miller Park: 4 hours 12 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 6 hours 29 minutes
Miles riding in car but not driving: 31.8
Flight miles: 907
Driving miles: 72.7
Sausages: 1 (Polish)
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (312/312)
Current streak of pitches seen: 1,006

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 53-64 (.453 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 493 hours 33 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 578 hours 27 minutes
Miles driven: 13,964.4
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,071.3
Public transit miles: 413.8
Flight miles: 17,637
Total distance traveled: 34,086.4 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 136.89% (34,086.4/24,901)
Sausages: 82 (33 Hot Dogs, 27 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: 84
Longest streak of pitches seen: 1,965 (6/30 – 7/6)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.76% (34,923/35,007)

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

8-15-12 (@ Colorado)

Wednesday’s game was at 1:10 PM and I was up until two in the morning working on Tuesday’s post. Dustin and I left his place at 11:40 AM on Wednesday and caught the 11:52 train to Union Station. We took the free 16th street mall ride and walked to Deli Zone for a late breakfast/lunch.

We got our food to go and made our way to Coors Field. Outside of the home plate entrance there is a statue. It’s not of a particular player, but rather “The Player”:

I picked up my ticket from will call and then we bought the seat next to mine so Dustin and I could sit together. We got inside at 12:35 and went to the upper deck for game photo number 116. Dustin has the same camera as I do so it’s nice when he joins me for games (and because he’s a good friend).

We ate in the upper deck and I took a few pictures. This first one is looking south from the top row of the upper deck.

Coors field has a row of seats in the upper deck that are one mile above sea level and are painted purple to stand out.

“I’m king of the world!”

We returned to the field level and got situated for the game. Guillermo Moscoso delivered a strike to Norichika Aoki to get the finale underway. Here’s what it looked like from our seats in section 140.

The Brewers had the bases loaded with two outs in the 1st but came away empty handed. Mark Rogers got the start for the Brewers and here he is about to let go of the second pitch of his outing (a ball to Eric Young Jr.).

With two outs in the 1st the Rockies were able to score three runs and again the Brewers were in an early hole. In the top of the 2nd Mark Rogers got his first major league base hit; a double that rolled to the wall in right center. Here’s Rogers chilling at second base. It looks like the second base umpire is laughing about something. Maybe he was giving Rogers a hard time that he didn’t try to stretch it into a triple.

Since it was his first major league hit the ball was thrown towards the Brewers dugout and Ed Sedar acted as the relay man, flipping Rogers’ keepsake into the dugout.

Rogers was stranded at second and an Eric Young home run in the bottom of the 2nd increased the Rockies lead to 4-0. In the 5th inning the Brewers offense got going. The first six batters reached base, the last of those being Nyjer Morgan, who drove in two runs with this single to center field.

Segura followed Morgan with a sacrifice fly, wrapping up the scoring in the 5th and giving the Brewers a 5-4 lead (their first lead of the series). In the bottom of the 6th the Rockies tied it at five when Chris Nelson drove in Carlos Gonzalez. A half inning later the Brewers regained the lead when Nyjer Morgan drove in another run on a single to left.

At one point in the game Dustin and I noticed a gentlemen a few rows in front of us. This was not in between innings, he would occasionally look towards the field, but “Come on, Man!!!”

The Brewers held the 6-5 lead as the game entered the bottom of the 9th. Jim Henderson came on to try and close the door and salvage the series. He struck out the first batter but then gave up back-to-back singles, putting the game-winning run at first base with only one out. Tyler Colvin stepped to the plate and after a fastball was fouled off Henderson threw him an 0-1 slider:

That picture might be a little deceptive (because it almost looks like a swing and a miss). I think I took that picture after he made contact but Colvin hit it down the right field line. Rosario was at third and scored the tying run while Eric Young Jr. (who is very fast) scored from first and the Rockies completed the sweep. I didn’t stand up when I took the picture below, thus the people in the way. You can see Jonathan Lucroy airborne trying to catch the throw from Rickie Weeks. Lucroy is to the left of the girl’s hat. You can also just make out Young’s backside as he crosses the plate, which is also to the left of the same girl’s neck.

Final Score: Rockies 7 – Brewers 6. The Brewers have now lost 14 of their last 15 road games; not fun. There really isn’t much to say. The bullpen has struggled most of the season and that’s all there is to it. I know every member of the bullpen is trying their best but it just hasn’t been going their way. Henderson didn’t walk anybody in the 9th, if that’s any consolation. At least it was the Rockies winning it and not the Brewers giving it away (which they’ve also done their fair share of as well).

It was Dustin’s birthday and after the game we hung out at his place before heading back downtown around 7:00 PM. We went to Wahoo’s on Blake Street for some fish tacos. The first picture is of the interior of the restaurant and the second is of my regular and Cajun Wahoo fish tacos.

After dinner we hit up Falling Rock Tap House for a few beers and some darts. I’ve never played on a real dartboard before, and it was fun (both playing and having to keep score on a small chalkboard). During one of the games of cricket I needed a few bullseyes to win the game. This is where my second dart wound up. I did not place it here, I swear. That should be an automatic win in my book. Ok, maybe not an automatic win, but it’s still cool though.

After playing three games of darts we went to 1 Up, an arcade themed bar near the Tap House. I didn’t count how many arcade games they have, but there are a lot. One wall is dedicated to pinball machines:

Probably the best game they have is four-player Pacman. We didn’t keep track but I think Dustin got the most wins. I’ll admit that I was letting him win since it was his birthday (right….).

When it got close to midnight we called it a night and rode the light rail back to his place. It’s 2:11 PM central time as I’m writing this, and I’m about 35,000 feet in the air. The game tonight is at 7:10, and I’m actually going with Dustin’s dad, Luke, who lives in Fort Atkinson. For my sanity’s sake I’m hoping the Brewers can pick up a few wins at Miller Park.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Coors Field: 3 hours 44 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 3 hours 54 minutes
Public transit miles: 18.1
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (270/270)
Current streak of pitches seen: 694

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 52-64 (.448 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 489 hours 21 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 571 hours 58 minutes
Miles driven: 13,891.7
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,039.5
Public transit miles: 413.8
Flight miles: 16,730
Total distance traveled: 33,074.9 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 132.83% (33,074.9/24,901)
Sausages: 81 (33 Hot Dogs, 26 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: 84
Longest streak of pitches seen: 1,965 (6/30 – 7/6)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.76% (34,611/34,695)

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

8-14-12 (@ Colorado)

Dustin and I hung out at his place on Tuesday then headed out at 2:00 PM. We took the light rail downtown and the free 16th street bus up to the the Civic Center Park and the State Capitol Building. There wasn’t a clear name engraved on that statue in front, just “1861 – 1865”.

The steps on the west entrance were engraved:

We walked in on the south side of the building and after getting through the security checkpoint we came here and looked up. It’s probably my favorite picture of the day.

We went to the main entrance and turned around, this is what it looks like if you enter from the west:

We also visited the hall of U.S. Presidents, the wall opposite this one has the rest of them.

After leaving the Capitol Building we walked over to the Art Museum. The oddly shaped building in the background is the Art Museum and in the foreground lies a large piece of artwork:

You can make out the dust pan in the picture above, but here’s the whole thing:

The Denver Public Library is right across from the Art Museum:

This was outside of a building that was near the Art Museum:

On our way back to 16th street we saw a food truck parked in Civic Center Park. It’s called Ba-nom-a-nom.

It says “100% healthy – 100% treat” on the truck. There was a dry erase board sign next to where you order and it said that it’s not ice cream, it’s not a smoothie, and it doesn’t contain any dairy. It’s hard to describe and a small cup was $4, but it was really, really good. I had the Pineapple – Peach, I think. I know it had pineapple but now I’m second guessing what the second fruit was.

When we were about to leave Civic Center Park we came across this.

We took the free bus down a few stops and got off so we could eat at Yard House. It’s connected to the Sheraton and they had over 115 beers on tap when we were there. It varies, sometimes there will be more, sometimes less. These were just some of them, the bar was oval, and the taps circled the bar.

We both ordered “1/2 Yards” of the house hefeweizen. A 1/2 Yard is about a half yard tall and it holds approximately 32 fluid ounces. They’re actually kind of difficult to drink, because you have to take it to the side of the table so the top of the glass would be at mouth height.

We were there during happy hour and Yard House offers half-price appetizers. We got the Chicken nachos, which consisted of chicken, spicy pinto beans, cheddar and jack cheeses, red and green sauce, tomato, cilantro, onions, guacamole and sour cream.

The pizzas were also half off during happy hour so each of us got a Pizza (probably not the best idea). Dustin got the barbecue chicken pizza and I got the Spicy Thai Chicken pizza. Mine had chicken, firecracker sauce, mozzarella cheese, macadamia nuts, carrots, green onion and cilantro

I almost finished my Pizza, Walsh not so much. It was stupid to try and finish it. I felt miserable for a while and I curse my habit of not wanting to waste ANY food.

We hopped back on the free bus and took it to Market Street, where we got off and walked to Coors Field. We got to the park at around 5:35 and once inside we went to the Rock Pile seats way out in center field. It provided a great spot for game photo number 115.

Beyond the last row they have pennants for each National League team. This was one side of the Rock Pile seats. The only flag that was missing was the Rockies’. I’m assuming a drunk fan thought it would make a nice addition at their house, so they reached over, lowered it, and took it with them.

If you turn 90 degrees to the left in the picture above you get an idea of what’s beyond Coors Field to the North. On a normal day you’d be able to see the Rockies in the distance (thanks weather).

Once we got down to the field level concourse I got a picture of the picnic area that is behind the batter’s eye in straight away centerfield.

We walked around the field level concourse to right field and we got a good look at the scenic bullpen. This is most of the visitors’ bullpen, the Rockies’ bullpen is to the left and not pictured.

We went over to our seats in section 142. Before the game started Norichika Aokia, Carlos Gomez, and Corey Hart came out to stretch. Aoki can pull this off but if I tried it I would likely tear something.

Some school children sang the national anthem and some Boy Scouts presented the flags.

The game got underway at 6:40 PM and Aoki took a called strike from Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood:

Randy Wolf gave up four runs in the 1st inning and again the Brewers found themselves in an early hole. In the top of the 3rd the Brewers scored a run but the Rockies returned the favor in the bottom half. In the 5th Martin Maldonado homered to lead off the frame, here he is just before getting a low five from Ed Sedar:

The Rockies increased the lead back to four runs in their half of the 5th and then added two runs in the 6th, taking an 8-2 lead. The Brewers scored one in the 7th and had a golden opportunity in the 8th to cut into the lead. The bases were loaded with one out and Ryan Braun was at the plate. Braun struck out swinging and Aramis Ramirez followed him with a strikeout looking.

The top of the 9th was an interesting one and the Brewers almost did what has been done to them most of the season (late inning comebacks). Five of the first six reached for the Brewers and the lead was now just two runs. Weeks stepped to the plate representing the go-ahead run. Weeks flew out and Braun was given another chance to be the hero.

He lifted one deep to center, but not quite deep enough. Center fielder Dexter Fowler squeezed it for the final out and the Rockies assured a series win. Final Score: Rockies 8 – Brewers 6.

In the 8th inning I had a fan a few rows back take a picture of Dustin and me.

Today’s game is at 1:10 this afternoon and we’re leaving in just over an hour. It’s Dustin’s birthday and tonight we’re meeting up with some of his Colorado friends to celebrate. There’s an arcade bar where every game is 25 cents; let the games begin.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Coors Field: 4 hours 13 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 4 hours 15 minutes
Public transit miles: 9.3
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (279/279)
Current streak of pitches seen: 424

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 52-63 (.452 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 485 hours 37 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 568 hours 4 minutes
Miles driven: 13,891.7
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,039.5
Public transit miles: 395.7
Flight miles: 16,730
Total distance traveled: 33,056.8 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 132.75% (33,056.8/24,901)
Sausages: 81 (33 Hot Dogs, 26 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: 84
Longest streak of pitches seen: 1,965 (6/30 – 7/6)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.76% (34,341/34,425)

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

8-13-12 (@ Colorado)

On Monday I woke up in Houston at 8:40 AM, left Annie’s place at 9:40, and walked to the bus stop on Chenevert and Pierce Street. I rode the 88 bus to the airport and boarded my flight to Denver at noon. My friend Dustin picked me up at 2:00 PM and he drove us back to his apartment which is about 3 miles south of downtown Denver. We hung out until 4:15 then walked to the light rail and rode it to the Union Station stop. The light rail runs past the Broncos home, and I got a picture of Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

We stopped outside Coors Field on our way to dinner and got game photo number 114 out of the way.

We passed a giant set of doors, I’m not sure what the purpose is, but they are tall.

Dustin and I went to Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs for dinner, a restaurant that’s three blocks from Coors Field. The four part picture below details Biker Jim’s and goes clockwise from top left:

1) The exterior of the restaurant from across Larimer street.

2) The interior.

3) Some artwork on the wall.

4) The menu, you can click the picture below to get a closer look and there are some very interesting sausages.

I had the Elk Jalapeño Cheddar sausage. I added ketchup, mustard and onions, but took the picture before doing so. It was a little tough, but overall it was good. I had Great Divide’s Titan IPA, which was delicious as well.

Some people from our hometown came into Biker Jim’s when Dustin and I were eating and we chatted for a bit. They had told me they were going to the first two games of the series but I hadn’t told Dustin they had contacted me. He was a little more surprised than I was and it was nice to see some familiar faces. We actually wound up having tickets just two sections apart at the game, small world.

Dustin and I got to Coors Field at 5:55 and walked northwest on 21st street to get there.

We went inside, purchased tickets for Tuesday’s game, and caught up with Joe Braun. I had met Ryan’s dad in San Diego on April 30th and Dustin and I got to watch the final game of the Brewers-Dodgers series with him and Ryan’s mom in Los Angeles. It was probably the highlight of the year for me. If you weren’t reading the blog back then I’ve included the picture I had taken.

We made it up to our seats in section 216 for the first pitch and it resulted in a groundout by Norichika Aoki.

The Brewers went down 1-2-3 in the 1st and the Rockies didn’t follow suit, scoring three runs in the bottom half. In the 2nd inning the Rockies added another run and in the 3rd they tacked on four more. Mike Fiers started for the Brewers and all 8 runs were charged to him. Roenicke pulled him after the first four men reached base in the inning.

During the bottom of the 3rd Jenny Cavnar of Root Sports (the Rockies broadcast partner) stopped by for an interview. Since the half inning lasted so long she sat with us for 10-15 minutes, and I’m mad at myself for not telling her to ask about Be The Match. My job as the interviewee is to give them a question if there’s something I want to specifically talk about. We talked about me being a Leukemia survivor but I didn’t plug Be The Match at all, I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. I have to thank Root Sports for having me on, though, it wasn’t necessary but I definitely appreciate the coverage. Dustin took a picture of me during the interview. I do not know what I was doing, maybe making sure I didn’t have food on my joke of a mustache?

I missed five pitches during the interview but looked back at the field as the Brewers scored their first run of the game, cutting the deficit to 7 runs. In the top of the 6th Carlos Gomez hit a 2-run home run and raced around the bases as always.

At Coors Field they run the Comfort Dental Tooth Trot, and it ain’t no sausage race. Dinger is the Rockies mascot, and he reminds me of Barney (no offense to Barney fans). Dinger came out at the start of the race to wave the Rockies’ flag.

You may be wondering why a Dinosaur is the Rockies’ mascot. When they were constructing Coors Field they found dinosaur bones, including a 1,000 pound triceratops skull, thus the dinosaur mascot.

The “Tooth Trot” itself pits a tooth, a toothbrush, and toothpaste against each other.

Toothpaste was the eventual winner and the season stats are shown on the scoreboard afterwards. For all of you Brewers fans that don’t like the sausage race; it could be worse (even though brushing your teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste is likely better for you than brushing them with sausages and ketchup).

The Brewers gave up a run in the 7th and the Rockies led 9-3. In the 9th inning Gomez singled and Ishikawa was hit by a pitch. Weeks stepped to the plate with two outs and launched a home run to left center.

Braun struck out to end the game and the Rockies took game one. Final Score: Rockies 9 – Brewers 6. When the sun was setting earlier in the game I got a picture of it with the Rocky Mountains in the foreground. Not too shabby.

One more picture. In the 3rd inning Jeff Francis, the Rockies starter, threw a pitch behind Rickie Weeks. He appears to be doing the limbo in the picture that I got. If only he could’ve somehow been holding the bat horizontally it would have been a more accurate representation of the dance.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Coors Field: 3 hours 32 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 3 hours 37 minutes
Public transit miles: 19.5
Flight miles: 882
Miles riding in car but not driving: 29
Sausages: 1 (Elk Jalapeño Cheddar sausage)
Pitches missed: 5 (During the interview with Jenny Cavnar)
Consecutive pitch streak ended at: 598
Percentage of pitches seen: 97.96% (240/245)
Current streak of pitches seen: 145

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 52-62 (.456 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 481 hours 24 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 563 hours 49 minutes
Miles driven: 13,891.7
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,039.5
Public transit miles: 386.4
Flight miles: 16,730
Total distance traveled: 33,047.5 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 132.72% (33,047.5/24,901)
Sausages: 81 (33 Hot Dogs, 26 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: 84
Longest streak of pitches seen: 1,965 (6/30 – 7/6)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.75% (34,062/34,146)

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

8-12-12 (@ Houston)

Sunday’s game was a 1:05 PM start. I left Annie’s at 11:45 and walked to Minute Maid Park. I got my ticket and was inside by 12:15. I went to the upper deck, this time to the left field corner, to get game photo number 113. I had an Astros fan help me out and she was very patient in taking 6 pictures until I was satisfied.

When I was up in the left field corner of the stadium I noticed that it’s not sealed very well. There’s also a decent gap between the sliding glass panels that are pictured on the left in the photo above. I know you can’t seal it completely because of the moving parts but you’d think they could do a little better job, especially since they use a lot of energy to keep the place cool and comfortable.

I got my lemonade in the upper deck and made my way down to the field level for the start of the game. The Astros got off to a great start; hitting back-to-back doubles to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning. In the top of the second Yovani Gallardo helped his own cause, singling in Carlos Gomez to tie the game at one. In the 5th Rickie Weeks drove in Segura on a ground ball to the third baseman. Segura was slow getting up and I was a little nervous (he was fine).

The next hitter was Ryan Braun and he grounded out to short, allowing Aoki to score in the process. Brewers lead 3-1.

In the bottom of the 5th the Astros got one back on an RBI groundout from Marwin Gonzalez. In the top of the 6th Corey Hart got off the schneid and hit the second pitch of the inning over the wall in left center to increase the lead back to two runs, 4-2. In the series before the homer he had been 0-11 with 5 strikeouts and 2 GIDP (grounded into double play). Here he is with 3rd base coach Ed Sedar, doing whatever it is they do after one of Hart’s home runs:

During the 7th inning stretch a 94-year-old man sang “God Bless America” and did a great job. I’m not the best at judging how old people are but I wouldn’t have guessed this guy was 94 years old.

In the 8th inning Hart walked with one out and Martin Maldonado doubled to drive him in. Maldonado tried going to third on the play but wound up getting caught in a rundown between second and third:

Gallardo pitched into the 8th but after giving up an RBI single with two outs he was removed and Veras got the final out of the inning. In the 9th inning Roenicke had Kameron Loe come in to try and get the save. A leadoff single and a strikeout preceded a mound visit from pitching coach Rick Kranitz.

The next batter reached on a throwing error by Loe and the Astros were able to bring the winning run to the plate. Marwin Gonzalez was the batter and Kameron Loe let go of the 3-2 pitch:

Gonzalez grounded out to Ramirez and the Brewers avoided the sweep and stopped the 11-game road losing streak. Final Score: Brewers 5 – Astros 3.

In the 1st inning a man stopped by and asked if I was Ben. I said yes and he introduced himself as Tommy. He said he lives in Dallas and drove down to the game hoping to run into me. He said he saw my story on MLB.com and has been following along ever since. He handed over an envelope and said it was a donation for Be The Match. When I got back to Annie’s place I opened it and found a $100 check made out to Be The Match. Thank you Tommy!!!

Tommy had his right leg amputated back in 1981. His car had run out of gas and when he returned with a gas can he was pinned between his car and a hit and run artist’s. He now raises money for the Dallas Amputee Network through an event he has dubbed Legapalooza. You can click here if you want to read more about his story and his cause. I took a picture of the card he gave me and the XXXI is for the number of years since the accident and subsequent amputation.

Tommy is also an enormous baseball fan and was at the Rangers game on Saturday night before making the trip down to Houston. He brought along a couple of books that he had made which contain pictures of him at 44 of the 45 major league parks he has visited over the years. Before we parted ways I had his friend K.C. take a picture of the two of us.

After the game I was in the mood for barbecue and used google maps on my phone to find a place. I walked to where google *thinks* an Otto’s BBQ is located. Guess what? It’s not there. I looked online just now and the actual location is 20 miles southwest of downtown Houston; thanks Google! I asked a few people near the phantom Otto’s and they recommended Pappas Bar-B-Q. I walked even more out of the way to get to Pappas Bar-B-Q only to learn that they are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Awesome. I was now almost two miles from Annie’s place. On the way back I stopped at Subway, which is not quite barbecue. Ok, it’s not even close. I always get my money’s worth at Subway and have them pile on almost every vegetable they have. A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, gets ham and cheese subs when he goes, with no vegetables whatsoever. HA!

That’s what I’m talking about. After I finished my sub I started walking back to Annie’s place. My knee was getting pretty sore so I paid the $1.25, jumped on the train that runs down main street, and rode it three stops. It only saved me .9 miles of walking, but every little bit helps. Seeing that I paid $10 for a 1.6 mile cab ride the night before it was a no-brainer. My flight leaves at 12:15 PM from Houston Hobby Airport tomorrow afternoon and I’ll be in Denver by 2:00. How about a road winning streak? I vote yes.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Minute Maid Park: 4 hrs 1 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 4 hrs 8 minutes
Miles driven: 0
Transit miles: .9
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (267/267)
Current streak of pitches seen: 503

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 52-61 (.460 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 477 hours 52 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 560 hours 12 minutes
Miles driven: 13,891.7
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,010.5
Public transit miles: 366.8
Flight miles: 15,848
Total distance traveled: 32,117.0 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 128.98% (32,117.0/24,901)
Sausages: 80 (33 Hot Dogs, 26 Polish, 8 Bratwurst, 5 Corndogs, 2 Italian, 2 Cheddarwurst, Bison Dog, Chicken Apple Sausage, Blueberry & Merlot Venison Sausage, Sausage Race on a Stick)
Pitches missed: 79
Longest streak of pitches seen: 1,965 (6/30 – 7/6)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.77% (33,822/33,901)

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

8-11-12 (@ Houston)

I was pretty lazy on Saturday and after finishing up the blog post for Friday I watched some of the PGA Championship on TV. I left Annie’s place at 4:40 and it took me about 25 minutes to walk the mile and a half to Minute Maid Park. After getting my ticket from will call I went inside and headed straight for the upper deck. I had a nearby Astros fan take game photo number 112 . Only 50 games remain! I wish it would have been cool enough to have the roof open because it would’ve made for a much better view of the Houston skyline.

I got my designated driver soda in the upper deck and also picked up a Chicago style hot dog. By the time I got down to my seat the game was about to start so I waited until after the top of the first to eat. It was quite messy and I’m amazed that I managed to not spill anything on myself.

This was the first pitch of the game from my seat in section 110 (a strike from Keuchel to Aoki):

The Astros scored twice in the bottom of the 1st but the Brewers came back with two of their own in the top of the 2nd. The second of those two runs was driven in when Lucroy hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield, scoring Hart. See if you can find the baseball in the picture below (I promise it’s there):

The Astros answered with two in the bottom of the 3rd and captured their 2-run lead right back. In the top of the 5th the Brewers had runners on 1st and 3rd with two outs. Aoki stepped to the plate and brought both Lucroy and Segura home to tie the game at four:

The Astros wasted no time and got the lead back in the bottom of the 5th when Tyler Greene led off the inning with a solo home run. In the 7th inning Kameron Loe came into the game and pitched for the Brewers. For the second out he got Altuve to ground out weakly to Segura. The pitch had jammed Altuve and Loe broke his bat, which helicoptered and embedded itself near the pitchers mound.

At one point a Chick-fil-A cow came down the aisle next to me and started throwing t-shirts into the crowd. I caught one and should have just given it away right then and there. I will be doing so tomorrow because I won’t be wearing it.

The game remained 5-4 Astros going into the top of the 9th. Rickie Weeks led off the inning and lined the 6th pitch he saw into the left centerfield gap. Here he is pulling into 2nd base:

Lucroy singled and Segura grounded out, driving in Weeks on the play. Even though Lucroy was at second base with only one out the Brewers failed to score the go-ahead run. Henderson came on to pitch the bottom of the 9th and he looked dominant, striking out all three batters he faced, using only 13 pitches in the process. The Brewers did not score in the top of the 10th and Henderson came back out for the bottom half. Altuve singled to open the frame and then Henderson walked both Gonzalez and Pearce, loading the bases with nobody out. The Astros had about an 88% chance of scoring a run in that situation, so it was looking bleak. Roenicke had Braun come in and play the infield:

This is what the whole infield looked like:

I’m always in favor of teams bringing in one of the outfielders in situations like this. If you’re going to get beat it should at least be on a ball that is well hit and not a ball that just trickles through the infield. It didn’t matter this time though because Scott Moore singled to left, and that was that.

Astros win. Final Score: Astros 6 – Brewers 5. It was another tough loss, and it’s getting old. All I can do is keep heading to the games and keep hoping for the best. Afternoon game on Sunday, then it’s off to Denver on Monday morning.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Minute Maid Park: 4 hrs 36 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 4 hrs 38 minutes
Miles driven: 0
Miles riding in car but not driving: 1.6 (cab ride home)
Sausages: 1 (Chicago style hot dog)
Pitches missed: 2
Consecutive pitch streak ended at: 84
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.37% (319/319)
Current streak of pitches seen: 236

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 51-61 (.455 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 473 hours 51 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 556 hours 4 minutes
Miles driven: 13,891.7
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,010.5
Public transit miles: 365.9
Flight miles: 15,848
Total distance traveled: 32,116.1 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 128.98% (32,116.1/24,901)
Sausages: 80 (33 Hot Dogs, 26 Polish, 8 Bratwurst, 5 Corndogs, 2 Italian, 2 Cheddarwurst, Bison Dog, Chicken Apple Sausage, Blueberry & Merlot Venison Sausage, Sausage Race on a Stick)
Pitches missed: 79
Longest streak of pitches seen: 1,965 (6/30 – 7/6)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.77% (33,555/33,634)

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

8-10-12 (@ Houston)

On Thursday I got an oil change at 9:15 then drove to General Mitchell for my 1:40 flight to Tampa. I got to the Airport at 11:45 and was through security with plenty of time to spare. I had lunch at Nonna Bortolotta’s and ordered the Ham and Cheese Panini. It was good but the bread was so crispy the roof of my mouth was raw by the time I was done.

My flight to Tampa was delayed 10 minutes but that was fine because my flight from Tampa to Houston was delayed by 30. I must have been hungry and couldn’t wait because I grabbed a Snickers and paid $1.72 at the Tampa airport. That used to be their slogan if you didn’t catch the reference.

Despite the flight being delayed I was still able to catch the 88 bus from Houston Hobby Airport to downtown Houston. I had asked Annie (who I was going to be staying with) if she thought I’d be fine walking the 3/4 of a mile to her apartment at 8:40 PM. She warned me that it wasn’t the safest area but I’m cheap (and perhaps stupid) and did it anyways. Everything was fine and I made it to her place just after 8:50. Annie was in Memphis, if you were wondering why she just wouldn’t have picked me up from the Airport or the bus stop.

On Friday I spent the first half of the day trying to get an interview on a sports talk radio show or with a news station. I tweeted at 38 different twitter accounts, including individuals accounts and the accounts for the stations/channels themselves in both Houston and Denver (where the Brewers play next). One of them “favorited” my tweet, which really doesn’t do anything, another one asked me to email her details, which I did, and that was it. A little frustrating, but also somewhat last minute, so I understand. I also emailed news stations in Houston and Denver informing them of my mission and what I’m trying to do. I don’t expect everyone to respond and be interested but I honestly think it’s a feel-good story that is newsworthy. I may be a little biased, however.

For lunch I went to Calliope’s PoBoy, a small restaurant a mile from Annie’s place. The four parter below details my visit, going clockwise from top left:

1) The exterior of Calliope’s, which is on the corner of Hutchins and Jefferson.

2) The interior of the restaurant. There are Louisiana articles on the wall including that yellow fish in the middle, which has “LSU” on it.

3) My soft shell crab po’-boy, well, half of the po’-boy, the other half is not pictured.

4) I also ordered 6 butterfly shrimp, with the spicy potato salad INSTEAD of fries. When my food was brought to me there were fries but no potato salad. I reminded them of my order and got the potato salad a few minutes later. I felt bad because I didn’t eat a single fry. I hadn’t asked for them so my guilt quickly disappeared.

I was done with lunch at 2:45 and drove back to Annie’s to get ready for the game. Annie was going to visit some family members in the suburbs for a few hours and she gave me a ride to Minute Maid Park on her way out of town. I had to wait 15 minutes for my Brewers provided ticket to be available and I was inside just before 6:00. I got game photo number 111 taken from behind home plate on the field level and I had a nearby Astros fan do the honors.

After getting the game number picture taken I went over by the Astros dugout and got the attention of a guy who was talking with the camera man. I asked him if he was with the Astros broadcast (he was) and briefly told him what I was doing and why. I asked if I could possibly get an interview during the game to help raise awareness for Be The Match. I gave him one of my cards and he wrote down my seat location on the back. I found out it was Greg Lucas and he tweeted at me informing me he gave my info to Bart Enis who might try to find me later. No one ever stopped by but it was worth a shot.

A twitter follower had told me to send a tweet Alyson Footer’s way, who is an MLB.com correspondent for the Astros. I did so before I left for the game and she said she had passed it on to someone else who would probably contact me while at the game. Rachel Frey responded and said she would stop by in the first inning and do an interview for MLB’s Cut 4, which in short is interns finding interesting stories and interviewing people and producing short videos. She came down in the first inning, asked me some questions and got some video. I’m not sure when it will be up on their website, but I imagine sometime soon. Thanks Alyson and Rachel!

The last time I was in Houston I had taken a picture of the new support structure in left field and wondered what was going on. Question answered:

Before the game the Astros had a short on-field ceremony for the Lone Star Santas. They’re an organization who help with disaster relief for children. In 2011 they delivered toys to Joplin, Missouri after a tornado struck the town in May.

Jeff Bagwell threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches on Friday. Bagwell played for the Astros from 1991 to 2005 and is the franchise leader in home runs, RBI, walks, and batting average. Apparently his shoulder is blown out, which explains why he didn’t throw from the mound.

The game started at 7:05 and the Brewers got on the board early. After a Gomez strike out Morgan did the same but the catcher couldn’t corral the pitch in the dirt. When Morgan started running towards first he accidentally clipped the ball with his foot and it didn’t roll the direction the catcher expected. Morgan was able to reach first, much to the dismay of Astros manager Brad Mills who came out to argue once again. Braun doubled on the first pitch he saw and Nyjer Morgan raced home to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead.

In the second inning Rickie Weeks scored on a wild pitch and the Crew doubled their lead. The Astros got one back in the 5th on an RBI single from Carlos Corporan. Jean Segura drove in his 2nd run of the year on a single in the 7th, returning the 2-run lead to the Brewers. Mark Rogers pitched seven strong innings and deserves a mention. He retired the first 13 batters of the game in order and gave one run on three hits and two walks, while striking out eight.

I’ve posted about Minute Maid Park five times before today and have failed to mention Tal’s Hill, I think. I didn’t read my previous five posts but doing a quick google search with my name and Tal’s Hill nothing came back. Tal’s Hill is an elevated patch of grass in centerfield at Minute Maid Park. Its entire footprint would be beyond the centerfield fence in most ballparks in the majors. The 436 centerfield fence is the deepest centerfield in the majors.

That flag pole on the left is in play, and in 2003 Richie Sexson hit one high off the pole that would’ve been a home run at every other park in the majors. He wound up with a triple, arguably the longest triple ever hit. I take that back, there were likely longer triples hit at the Polo Grounds in New York (483 feet to center).

Back to the game; in the 8th inning Francisco Rodriguez came on and tried to preserve the 3-1 lead. He gave up a solo home run to lead off the inning but was able to get out of the 8th with a one-run lead. Axford, not Henderson, emerged from the bullpen in the 9th inning to try and record the final three outs of a Brewers victory. How did it go? Leadoff walk, game-tying RBI single (advancing to second on a Gomez error), long fly out to center allowing runner on second to tag up and go to third, game-winning walk-off RBI single by Bogusevic. This is what it looked like from my seat.

Spectacular (if you’re an Astros fan). Ugh. I can’t say I’m surprised though and I’m getting used to it. Final Score: Astros 4 – Brewers 3. The highlight of the game (besides Rickie Weeks hitting three scorching doubles) was the chicken nachos I had in the 6th inning. I’m a little upset though, because one of the main reasons I got them was for the pico de gallo that they put on top. I didn’t find out that the pico was gone until after I ordered and they were in the process of adding the toppings.

Friday is fireworks night at Minute Maid Park and I stayed for the show, mainly because Annie said she was on her way back into town and could pick me up from the park. They put on a pretty good show and I’m curious how much it costs. Perhaps they should take the money from the 13 fireworks shows they put on throughout the year and sign better baseball players, but I digress. I took pictures of the fireworks, three of them are below.

It’s 1:30 PM now and the game is at 6:05 tonight. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the Brewers can snap the 10-game road losing streak that they are currently on. 10 games is too long, especially when you have to witness them all in person.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Minute Maid Park: 4 hrs 31 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 4 hrs 48 minutes
Miles driven: 101.5 (Thursday’s drive to the airport accounts for 99.4)
Miles riding in car but not driving: 4.0
Flight miles: 1,859 (Thursday’s flights)
Public transit miles: 10.8 (Thursday’s bus ride from the airport to downtown Houston)
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 1 (missed the 0-2 to Weeks in the top of the 9th, I was looking at my phone, again)
Consecutive pitch streak ended at: 386
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.63% (268/269)
Current streak of pitches seen: 28

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 51-60 (.459 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 469 hours 15 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 551 hours 26 minutes
Miles driven: 13,891.7
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,008.9
Public transit miles: 365.9
Flight miles: 15,848
Total distance traveled: 32,114.5 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 128.97% (32,114.5/24,901)
Sausages: 79 (32 Hot Dogs, 26 Polish, 8 Bratwurst, 5 Corndogs, 2 Italian, 2 Cheddarwurst, Bison Dog, Chicken Apple Sausage, Blueberry & Merlot Venison Sausage, Sausage Race on a Stick)
Pitches missed: 77
Longest streak of pitches seen: 1,965 (6/30 – 7/6)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.77% (33,238/33,315)

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