September 2nd, 2012
On Sunday Victoria and I left her Aunt and Uncle’s house in Sussex at 11:05. We drove separately to the interstate and then she drove us to the game. We were parked at 11:40 and I walked the parking lots for about 30 minutes, telling people about Mission 162 and Be The Match.
I went inside and met Victoria by section 119 where I got game photo number 133 taken. 82% of the season is over, wow.
After getting the picture taken we went over to the team store because the sweatshirt I had picked up from Nathan on Friday was one size too big. I had tried it on in the store when he handed it over, but after wearing it for a few minutes on Saturday afternoon Victoria and I agreed I should opt for the medium.
We headed to the escalator in the left field corner and came across Bernie’s Chalet and Bernie himself. I’m giving him a corny high five even though he’s actually waving.
Up to the loge level we went. I went to the Chef’s Table behind section 216 and got “Pittsburgh’s Own Isaly’s Style Ham BBQ.” It was pretty good but I’m not quite sure it was deserving of the $9.25 price tag.
As I was walking behind the press box in the concourse towards section 216 I heard the announcer say Bill the usher was throwing out a ceremonial first pitch. I wish I would’ve known that in advance because I would’ve made sure to be in my seat in time to see him throw. I asked the usher who was standing in for him behind 216 and he said Bill threw a strike but then rubbed his shoulder afterwards as if he had some discomfort. I’ll have to talk to Bill during the next home stand to get the lowdown.
Yovani Gallardo started off the game by throwing a ball to Brock Holt.
An RBI single by Gaby Sanchez later in the 1st gave the Pirates an early 1-0 lead. The Pirates’ lead didn’t last long. An error on a potential double play grounder allowed Braun to bat with two on instead of the bases empty. He didn’t miss the first pitch from James McDonald, driving in both Aoki and Weeks with a home run to left.
A leadoff home run in the top of the 2nd cut the Brewers’ lead to 3-2. In the bottom half the Brewers answered when Jeff Bianchi hit his second home run of the season. I love how happy Aoki appears to be while giving a high five to Bianchi.
Bianchi’s blast gave the Brewers a 4-2 lead and Rickie Weeks’ two-run home run three batters later doubled the margin.
A two-run single in the top of the 3rd cut the deficit to 6-4 but Carlos Gomez hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the 3rd to return it to four runs. Gallardo led off the bottom of the 4th with a home run of his own, the fifth home run of the game. I was telling Victoria before the pitch that the Brewers were on pace for 10 or so home runs. As the pitch was delivered to Gallardo I said “well, 11 now” (hoping Gallardo would go deep). Yovani did me a solid by sending one over the wall in left to give the Crew a 9-4 lead.
Later in the inning Aramis Ramirez singled home two more runs and the Brewers had 11 runs before the 4th inning was over.
Corey Hart came to the plate after Ramirez and on the 1-2 pitch this happened. Talk about perfect timing on my part (take a look at Hart’s neck).
The 91 mile per hour fastball hit Hart at the bottom of his batting helmet. He was a little shaken up but ran down to first and stayed in the game. If it would’ve been just a little bit lower there could have been some serious problems, and a lot more pain. Maldonado grounded into an inning ending double play and the trainer came back out to make sure Hart was still OK. I’m assuming Hart is telling the trainer where he got hit. Either that or he’s giving the trainer an between innings neck massage as Rickie Weeks watches.
Gallardo couldn’t make it out of the 5th and gave up three more runs before being removed with two outs in the inning. The Brewers lead was now *only* four runs (11-7). While four runs might seem like a nice cushion with the way the season has gone you can never have enough run support. A solo home run in the top of the 6th cut the deficit to three runs but Ramirez pushed it back to four with another RBI single in the bottom half.
In the top of the 9th Manny Parra was given the chance to get the final three outs but gave up a leadoff single and a five pitch walk. Roenicke had seen enough and brought in Axford. He got the job done by getting a fly out and two strikeouts. Here is Axford delivering the final pitch of the game, a 99 MPH fastball to get Harrison swinging:
Final Score: Brewers 11 – Pirates 7. This was the linescore after it was all said and done. 10 of the first 12 half innings saw runs being scored. Crazy stuff.
With the win the Brewers swept the three game series and have now won 11 of their last 13 games. It might be a little too late but I’m not giving up hope. They’re 6.5 games back of the Cardinals for the last wild card spot which is closer than the Cardinals were last year at this time. The Brewers’ playoff chance percentage has increased from .1% to .8% over the last week or so. “So you’re saying there’s a chance….” (Dumb and Dumber).
It’s almost 10:00 PM as I write this from my parents’ dining room table. I’ll be leaving in about an hour to drive to St. Louis. A 6:30 AM flight will take me to Miami where I will get picked up by my sister’s friend’s cousin and taken to Marlins Park for the 1:10 PM eastern time Labor Day matchup. The Brewers play the Cardinals in St. Louis after the Miami series, which explains why I’m flying out of St. Louis and not Milwaukee.
If you want to learn more about Be The Match and how you can help, CLICK HERE
On Saturday Victoria and I left her Aunt and Uncle’s place at 2:20 and went to The Boneyard Pub & Grille for lunch. It’s in Sussex and they’ve got a wealth of flat screens, making it an ideal place to watch a game. I had the Cowboy chicken sandwich, which consisted of a chicken breast topped with deep fried onions, bacon, cheddar cheese and barbeque sauce. It was very good.
We watched the first quarter of the Badgers game and left at 3:30 for Miller Park. Ed, a twitter follower, had given me his two tickets in section 116 for the game so I was going to try and sell mine for a donation. I don’t know if it was the Badgers game or the Brewers’ record, but there weren’t too many people buying tickets. I was outside Miller Park for over an hour before finally getting somebody to buy my two tickets. It helps that I’ve got a good story to go along with it. The two Pirates fans I sold my tickets to had actually seen my interview on Root Sports Pittsburgh last weekend. The Pirates fan paid me $60 for the seats which will wind up as a donation to Be The Match. Thanks for the donation!
I stopped by a tailgate and then went inside at 5:30. I met Victoria in our seats and we went over to the aisle between sections 117 and 118 for game photo number 132.
After Saturday’s game there are only 13 home games left! Where has the season gone? We went back to our seats and waited for the game to start. Ben Christensen, the former MLB Fancaver with the MLB tattoos, was at Saturday’s game and he was sitting in section 113. Victoria spotted him in the cross aisle behind us and I went back to say hi. It was his first visit to Miller Park and he was impressed.
The game got started and Marco Estrado delivered a called strike to Alex Presley.
A solo home run in the top of the 2nd gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the 3rd Carlos Gomez walked to open up the half inning. As an opponent I would think walking Go-Go is a No-No. Gomez stole 2nd and stole 3rd:
While Marco Estrada was batting Pirates starter A.J. Burnett threw a wild pitch and Gomez was able to score the tying run. Burnett wound up walking Estrada on four pitches, also a no-no. The one run is all the Brewers got in the 3rd and the game remained tied. Burnett had a no-hitter going until Rickie Weeks singled with two outs in the 6th inning.
In the bottom of the 7th Corey Hart walked with one out and advanced to second base on a Lucroy groundout. Gomez batted with two outs and drove the 0-1 pitch towards the left centerfield gap:
It made it all the way to the wall and Gomez had a stand-up double that gave the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
Jim Henderson pitched the top of the 8th and walked the first guy he faced on four pitches. “Here we go again” was echoing in my head. A sacrifice bunt and a strikeout brought McCutchen up with two outs. Henderson jammed the Pirates’ All-Star center fielder and he broke his bat. Unfortunately he got enough of it and the Texas-leaguer fell between Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez in centerfield and the game was tied at two. Not much you can do about that but walking the first batter of the inning allowed a run to score on the play.
The Brewers failed to score in their half of the 8th and Axford pitched the 9th inning to try and keep it a 2-2 game. A two-out single followed by consecutive walks put Axford in a tough spot. Presley took a ball but then Axford threw three straight called strikes, getting out of the jam without allowing a run. Here he is before delivering the final pitch of the at bat.
Corey Hart was due up first in the bottom of the 9th inning and I told Victoria “How about Hart hits the first pitch for a home run?” Long story short that didn’t happen. The Pirates closer, Joel Hanrahan, was on the hill and he throws gas (pitches very fast baseballs). Hart took a 97 MPH fastball for a called strike but then Hanrahan hung an 0-1 slider. I’ll let the next 8 pictures tell the story.
That’s Hart getting interviewed after the game. We didn’t see who shaving-creamed him, but it’s funny nonetheless. Hart had hit a walk-off home run to left field and the Brewers secured another series victory. Final Score: Brewers 3 – Pirates 2.
It’s past 10:00 AM on Sunday morning and I’ve got a long day ahead of me. After going to the 1:10 game at Miller Park I’m driving back to Fort Atkinson. I’m writing the post for Sunday, packing for the 7 day 7 game road trip and then I’m going to try and take a nap. I’m leaving my parents’ house at around 10:30 PM to drive to St. Louis. My flight leaves St. Louis at 6:30 AM and arrives in Miami just after 10:00 eastern time. The game in Miami is at 1:10 PM so I’m going to be cutting it close. Fingers crossed for no delays at either airport.
If you want to learn more about Be The Match and how you can help, CLICK HERE