September 12th, 2012

9-11-12 (vs. Atlanta)

I woke up on Tuesday and started thinking back to 2001 and what happened on that fateful day. I was a freshman at Fort Atkinson High School and was in the blue wing when I heard a teacher and a student discussing something in a nearby classroom. I remember them saying something along the lines of “They think it might have been a helicopter.” I didn’t think much of it but when I went to my next class we turned the TV on and just sat there in silence. I can’t believe it’s been 11 years, and I can’t imagine what it’s like for those who lost love ones during the attack on our country. Never forget.

I will now detail my Tuesday. I was feeling good as I prepared for the final 21 games of the season. The Brewers are playing great right now and I’m hoping that can continue. I left for the game at 3:27 and made it to the Brewers 1 parking lot in 58 minutes (which I think is a new personal best). The recently increased speed limit from 55 to 65 on a stretch of highway 26 in Jefferson County deserves most of the credit. I walked the parking lots for about an hour and 45 minutes, and it looks like I may have some business cards left over. I probably have 700 or so left and I might go to the upper deck and just throw them all over the edge to make it look like the Brewers won something big. I am completely joking because I would probably get sued by multiple people due to paper cuts to their eyes from looking up to see what was going on.

Back to reality: I got my camera from my car and walked over to the Bob Uecker statue to take a look. I like the long shadow that projects the statue’s outline on the exterior wall of Miller Park on the left there.

They had a bunch of fire trucks at the park on Tuesday to help remember the first responders who saved lives and lost their own on 9/11 (and to honor those who currently serve). There were a lot more than what are pictured below (I should’ve counted, I did not).

I went inside at 6:30 and headed to section 121 for game photo number 142. My friend Jason, who has taken a few of the game number pictures for me (including Monday) stopped by again to help me out.

I then went up to the loge level and got a Polish Sausage for the first time since August 21st (the longest such streak of the season). A twitter follower, Sabrina, joined me for Tuesday’s game and she was in her seat when I got there at 6:55. They were just starting the national anthem and I noticed that there were 5 or 6 people on the roof track above the scoreboard. Usually there is one guy up there setting up the fireworks. I thought that maybe there would be a flyover and shortly after the anthem four fighter jets flew over. Apparently they had informed people about it on the scoreboard but I was in the process of getting to my seat and didn’t see it. I would’ve liked to have gotten a picture of the fly over but I had a Polish in my hand instead of a camera, and they don’t take very good pictures.

The game started with a ball from Marco Estrada to Michael Bourn.

In the bottom of the 1st the Brewers didn’t waste any time getting an early lead. With one down Rickie Weeks sent one to center that just cleared the wall. Brewers lead 1-0.

The game went quickly after that. Between the two teams 31 of the next 36 batters were retired. That brings us to Rickie Weeks batting in the bottom of the 6th. On the 2-2 pitch Weeks sent one to right center and deep.

It didn’t quite clear the fence but bounced off the angled wall and it took Bourn a second to coral it. Rickie headed for 3rd and dove in head first. I’ve always wanted to get a good shot of a player diving into a base and this will have to do for now. It almost looks like Rickie tripped but it’s because he had just taken off.

Braun stranded Rickie at 3rd so the triple was all for naught. Between the 6th and 7th innings I had Russ, a 20-game pack holder two rows in front of us, take a picture of Sabrina and me. Sabrina lives nearby and is a huge Brewers fan. She told me that one year she went to 81 games which consisted of 70 home and 11 away games. That’s pretty darn impressive. She lives a few miles from Miller Park which helps. Sabrina made a $40 donation to Be The Match for her ticket, so thank you Sabrina!

The bottom of the 7th saw the Brewers plate three insurance runs (which I accepted with open arms). Ramirez singled to open the frame and Lucroy followed suit:

Ishikawa was up next and he bunted to get the runners over to 2nd and 3rd.

Gomez was then hit by a pitch to load the bases with only one out. Segura grounded one to second baseman Dan Uggla and the Braves attempted to turn an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. Gomez executed a nice takeout slide and with Segura’s speed he was *just* able to beat the relay throw to first. I thought he was out mainly because of how the first baseman reacted. The first baseman is probably the only guy (on the field) who knows for sure because he can feel the ball hit his glove and feel the baserunner step on the bag. People on twitter informed me that he was in fact safe and the umpire made the right call (nice job Lance Barksdale). Ramirez scored from 3rd on the play.

Taylor Green singled home Lucroy to give the Brewers a 3-0 lead. Aoki came through in the clutch once again and doubled to right. Here he is sliding into 2nd. You can see Ed Sedar (the third base coach) pointing to third to make sure Taylor Green stays put.

In the bottom of the 8th this happened:

Aramis Ramirez had homered and the fireworks guy I mentioned earlier did his thing. Here’s Ramirez about to give the Brewers a 5-run lead. That’s Russ’ head on the right there (the one who took the picture for us). He’s a great guy and is always trying to get the crowd into it during important parts of the game (sometimes to his wife’s dismay).

Brandon Kintzler, whose parents I met in St. Louis, got the 9th for the Brewers and retired three of the four batters he faced. Here’s the final pitch of the ballgame, which Dan Uggla flailed at and missed.

Brewers win! Brewers win! That will never get old. Final Score: Brewers 5 – Braves 0. Lucroy gave Kintzler knuckles for a job well done.

With the win the Brewers got to a .500 winning percentage, a place they hadn’t been since April 25th (that’s a long time). As I was writing this post I was paying close attention to the MLB scoreboard. The Brewers are behind 3 other teams for the final wild card spot, and tied with another (Philadelphia). They’re going to have to do some leapfrogging but they’ve been playing great as of late (I’m a poet). The fate of the season will likely be decided on the 10-day 10-game road trip. They play the Pirates, Nationals, and Reds, who have a combined record of 66 games over .500. Never say never.

Go Brewers!

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Miller Park: 3 hours 23 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 5 hours 33 minutes
Driving miles: 123.8
Sausages: 1 (Polish)
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (256/256)
Current streak of pitches seen: 2,091

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 71-71 (.500 winning percentage!) Let’s not stop there!!!
Time inside stadiums: 603 hours 23 minutes 
Time on stadium grounds: 708 hours 9 minutes
Miles driven: 16,951.5
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,191.8
Public transit miles: 469.0
Flight miles: 19,777
Total distance traveled: 39,389.2 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 158.18% (39,389.2/24,901)
Sausages: 90 (35 Hot Dogs, 31 Polish, 9 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: 96
Longest streak of pitches seen: 2,192 (8/27 – 9/3)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.77% (42,445/42,541)

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