September 11th, 2012
Monday was the first day of a six game home stand, and I was looking forward to heading back to Miller Park. I left my parents’ place at 3:20 and was parked 62 minutes later. I started walking to the will call windows to drop off my extra ticket for my twitter follower. While doing so the Miller Park sign caught my eye. I know I’ve taken a bunch of pictures of the home plate entrance but I thought the angle and sky were “pretty neat” on Monday.
I had almost three hours until first pitch and I spent about an hour and 45 minutes of that walking the parking lots and telling people about my mission and Be The Match. I always start by asking if they’ve “heard of the guy going to all 162 Brewers games this year.” A lot of times there’s at least one person in every tailgate that has heard about what I’m doing. Out of the 100 or so people I talked to on Monday only 5 or 6 had heard about it. I guess it makes since because if they haven’t watched every game on FSN this season, or happened to visit ESPN.com or MLB.com for the short window that there was an article, they wouldn’t have seen me. Long story longer I’m glad I decided to print business cards and walk around, it’s probably one of the better decisions I’ve made this season.
Back to Monday, I went inside at 6:20 and headed to section 120 for game photo number 141. My friend Jason has been to a bunch of games this year, including the June 1st with me, and he did the honors on Monday. Thanks Jason!
After getting the game number picture taken I went up to the loge level and got what the Chef’s Table had to offer. For the Braves series they have Atlanta’s Famous Chicken & Waffles. It probably doesn’t need a description but the menu read “Fried Chicken Drizzled With a Sriracha Honey Sauce Served Over Thyme Scented Waffles.” It was magtacular.
Joel was my twitter follower who joined me at Monday’s game, and this was his first trip to Miller Park since opening day. He had been in Connecticut for an internship but was now back in Milwaukee to finish up school. Joel was waiting in our seats by the time I got there at 6:55. He made a $40 donation to Be The Match for his ticket. Thanks Joel!
The game started with a fastball from Wily Peralta to Michael Bourn that was inside for a ball.
The game was scoreless as it entered the 5th but the Braves opened the frame with back-to-back singles. With runners on 1st and 3rd and nobody out Andrelton Simmons grounded to Jeff Bianchi at short who stepped on 2nd and threw to 1st to get the twin killing. Dan Uggla scored on the play but I’ll trade a run for two outs most days, especially with the possibility of a big inning looming. After the bottom of the sixth I had a woman two rows in front of us take a picture of Joel and me. It doesn’t need saying but it’s pretty obvious that Joel can actually grow facial hair and I cannot.
In the bottom of the 7th Maldonado singled and was pinch run for by Eric Farris. Segura, who was pinch hitting for Travis Ishikawa, walked, putting two on and nobody out. Jeff Bianchi attempted to sacrifice them over to 2nd and 3rd but Braves reliever Jonny Venters tried getting the force out at 3rd base. He failed miserably (threw it past Chipper Jones) and Maldonado was able to score. Segura and Bianchi moved up to 2nd and 3rd, respectively, AND there were still no outs. Thank you Jonny!
Pinch hitting Jonathon Lucroy walked on seven pitches and the bases were now loaded. Norichika Aoki came to the plate in the tie ballgame and hit one to left that was about two feet short of being a grand slam. It wound up as a double and he drove in Segura and Farris on the play. Atta boy! Finger Mustache!
Gomez was next up and despite getting down 0-2 in the count he was able work it full and hit the 7th pitch of the at bat to centerfield for a sacrifice fly.
When Bianchi touched home plate the Brewers had a three run advantage and still had a runner on third with only one out. Then this happened. BOOOOOOOO!
The Braves intentionally walked Ryan Braun because he’s the man and they’re scared of him (and to set up a potential inning-ending double play). Ramirez tried to make them pay but hit a chopper to third and Aoki was thrown out at the plate. Weeks walked to load the bases again but Taylor Green ended the frame by grounding out. I was hoping the walking of Braun would have backfired but the Braves got away with it this time.
Axford came in for the save in the 9th and worked a 1-2-3 inning. Here’s the final pitch of the game, which resulted in a weak groundout to Rickie Weeks.
Brewers win! Brewers win! Final Score: Brewers 4 – Braves 1. They look somber here but I think they’re just focused because they realize that they’re going to need to do this about 18 more times if they want a shot at the postseason. Let’s get it!
I didn’t mention this above but the Brewers threw out 4, yes F-O-U-R, (quatro) Braves on the basepaths Monday. That is a lot. Maldonado nabbed Jason Heyward trying to steal second base in the 1st inning. In the 2nd inning Maldonado picked off Freddie Freeman after the first pitch of Uggla’s at bat. In the top of the 4th Aoki fielded a single from Heyward and threw out Martin Prado trying to go first to third. And in the 8th inning Carlos Gomez threw out Prado again, who was trying to go first to third on a Freeman single. It was a great showing of defense and helped keep the Braves at one in the run column.
It’s past 12:30 on Tuesday afternoon and I’ll be leaving in less than three hours for game two of the series. Go Brewers!
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