September 16th, 2012
On Sunday morning Victoria and I ate breakfast with her family at the hotel and then I finished up Saturday’s post. We left the Brookfield Sheraton at 11:22 and were parked by 11:40. I stopped by a few tailgates on my way inside to tell them about my mission and Be The Match. I met Victoria behind section 126 and we got game photo number 146 taken care of.
After getting the picture taken I met with a twitter follower (Mike S.) who picked up two tickets that I had left at will call. Jeff Glab, who joined me in the Doorman’s seats on May 22nd, had given me his two season tickets to try and get a donation. Mike made an $80 donation to Be The Match for the two seats in section 109. Thanks Jeff and Mike! I also met up with another twitter follower, Mike M., who made a $20 donation to Be the Match just because. Thanks Mike!
After getting a wrap and some pizza (not pictured for a change) Victoria and I went to our seats in 221. Wily Peralta was on the hill for the Crew, and he was making just his 3rd big league start. Here’s the first pitch of the game, a 95 MPH called strike to Ruben Tejada. He threw it so fast that I could barely keep it in the frame (it’s on the right edge).
Peralta needed 14 pitches to get through the top of the 1st. He threw 13 fastballs (all between 95 and 98 MPH) and one slider; three up, three down. In the top of the 2nd inning Peralta struck out Ike Davis to open the frame. It was only Peralta’s 13th strikeout of the season but as a pitching staff it was the Brewers’ 1,259th, which set a new franchise record. Awesome.
The game was knotted at zero as it entered the bottom of the 4th. Braun led off and luckily he waited a few pitches because I didn’t have my camera ready. On the 4th pitch of the at bat Braun sent one into the Toyota Territory in right centerfield for the 200th home run of his career. I wonder how many of them I’ve been in the park for…
The scoreboard team had been ready for it and when Braun was rounding the bases this was displayed:
As Ramirez was starting his at bat the crowd was still cheering for Braun and he climbed the dugout steps to wave his helmet and show his appreciation.
Ramirez didn’t want to be outdone and he hit one to left center and deep. Back-to-back jimmy jacks!!!
The Brewers held the 2-0 lead until they batted in the bottom of the 6th. Ryan Braun led off the frame again and matched his 4th inning performance, this time sending it into the bleachers down the line in left.
The home run was Braun’s 40th of the season, and he continues to extend his personal best for a single season (silencing many critics in the process).
Peralta batted for himself in the bottom of the 7th. If it wasn’t for Segura getting picked off at first base he may have had his first major league RBI to go along with his first hit.
The ball went down the left field line and all the way to the wall. Peralta must not have seen that part because he was basically jogging to first base until he saw first base coach Garth Iorg point to second to let him know he should “Go 2! Go 2!” I’m guessing the dugout was giving him some grief but he was all smiles at second base.
The ball got thrown in and the 3rd base umpire inspected it before letting David Wright throw it towards the Brewers dugout.
I was kind of hoping Peralta would’ve gotten the chance to finish what he started but Axford came in for the save in the top of the 9th. I believe the Brewers are one of only two teams who haven’t thrown a complete game yet this season. I’m guessing the other team is the Rockies (yep, I just checked). There have been 120 complete games thrown this year and the Brewers don’t have a single one. Peralta had thrown 104 pitches and he is only 23 years old, so they probably don’t want to tax his arm too much. The Brewers also have an off day on Monday so using the bullpen wouldn’t cause problems down the road. Peralta’s final line was extremely impressive: 8 innings pitched, 2 hits, 1 walk, 0 runs, 5 strikeouts, and 66.3% of his pitches were strikes. He struggled with his command throughout the season (in the minors) so it was nice to see him at his best. He should have a great shot at making the starting rotation next spring.
Axford worked around a one-out walk and picked up the 100th save of his career. Here’s the final pitch of the ballgame, which was popped up foul and Ramirez made a nice play to end the game.
Brewers win! Brewers win! Final score: Brewers 3 – Mets 0. With the win the Brewers briefly moved to within 2 games of the second wild card spot. With the Cardinals playing the Dodgers (who both had the same record) there was no way to gain ground on both of them. The Cardinals won so the Brewers trail the Cardinals by 2.5 games and the Dodgers by 1.5 games. This is getting very interesting. I had told Victoria that the best thing that could’ve happened is the two teams playing a 27 inning game on Sunday to really put a hurtin’ on their bullpens. They did play 12 innings and threw a combined 413 pitches. I should predict the extreme situations more often!
It was Aramis Ramirez bobblehead day and he celebrated by hitting that home run in the 4th inning. Victoria’s bobblehead had Ramirez in the gold Cerveceros jersey. The odds of getting one are about 1 in 8 (the rest are of him in a normal Brewers jersey). I put it next to my 1998 Little League trophy (14 YEARS AGO!!! I’m old). I did so because the shiny gold in Ramirez’s jersey reminded me of the trophy. I remember that our team had a man-child for a pitcher and he dominated the league. But hey; it’s a team sport and we all got trophies!
It’s past 10:00 PM on Sunday night and I’ll be leaving in less than 12 hours for Pittsburgh. Monday is an off day but it’s a nine and half hour drive, so I figured I should make the trek tomorrow.
If you want to learn more about Be The Match and how you can help, CLICK HERE
On Saturday I met Victoria and 17 members of her family at the Sheraton in Brookfield. She has an aunt and uncle that live in Sussex but the rest of them came down from central Wisconsin, where Victoria is from. We checked into the hotel, consolidated the tailgate essentials into four vehicles and then led a convoy to Miller Park. We were parked in the Braves 2 lot at 3:04 and set up shop. I threw the pigskin around and played a few games of Bags before it was time to eat. There was brats and hot dogs, potato salad, beer dip, pasta salad, and fresh fruit.
Not pictured above are the baseball cupcakes that Victoria made (she’s awesome).
Before we all headed inside I had a neighboring tailgater take a picture of our group. Five dollars goes to anyone that can name everyone pictured (offer not valid if you’re pictured or related to anyone pictured).
My friend Josh had given me his two tickets to try and sell for a donation and I was able to find someone on Twitter. I met with Emily and Evan (who happens to be my good friend Dustin’s cousin). They made a $40 donation for the two seats. Thanks guys! After entering the stadium Victoria, her mom and I went to section 125 to get game photo number 145.
The rest of the group had gone up to our seats in section 407 and I think they can actually be seen just above my head in the picture above. After getting the game number picture we went up to say hi to my parents who sat in my seats for Saturday’s game. I said hi to Bill and the Ice Man and we took the escalator up to the terrace level. When we got to our seats they were distributing the minor league player and pitcher of the year awards. Hunter Morris got the former and Hiram Burgos the latter. Nice job, fellas! Hopefully we’ll be seeing them on the field at Miller Park soon.
Shortly thereafter Marcum threw a ball to Tejada to start the game. It’s a lot different than my other first pitch pictures, no? This picture makes it seem like the action was farther away than it was due to my camera’s ability to zoom out.
The Mets took an early 1-0 lead in the 1st on a Lucas Duda RBI single. The Brewers tied it up in the bottom of the 1st when Braun doubled home Rickie Weeks.
The 4th inning was a long one and the Mets got it started by scoring three runs in their half of the frame. In the bottom half Nyjer Morgan walked and Jean Segura singled. Roenicke opted to pinch hit for Marcum despite the fact he had only pitched four innings (he had thrown 87 pitches though). It paid off big time when pinch hitter Logan Schafer tripled down the right field line, driving in both Morgan and Segura.
Aoki walked and then a wild pitch while Rickie Weeks was batting allowed Schafer to score from third. Two pitches later Rickie drove one to left field that landed in the netting above the back of the Brewers bullpen. The ball is a blur and below and to the right of the on deck circle.
The home run concluded the 4th-inning scoring which saw 8 runs cross the plate. When it was over the Brewers had a 6-4 lead. In the bottom of the 5th the Brewers tacked on two more runs to take an 8-4 lead. Between the top and bottom of the 6th the sausages did their thing, and it was a relay race with the little guys. I picked the hot dog because that kid’s legs looked the most conducive to running with a sausage costume on. Hot dog won, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be boasting about my sausage race picking ability.
Braun was called out on strikes to open the bottom of the sixth. During Aramis Ramirez’s at bat we saw something fly out of one of the sections to our left. It worked its way down to the field…
After second baseman Daniel Murphy handed the poster-board airplane to the grounds crew member he clapped his hands in a show of amusement. I actually think he was impressed with the craftsmanship of the plane and the ability of the thrower to get it all the way to second base. Over the next inning or so we witnessed a witch hunt. There was also two uniformed police officers below the section. I’m not sure if they ever found the culprit but I don’t think they would’ve applauded him/her like Murphy did.
Rickie Weeks doubled in the 7th to drive in Segura and the Brewers took a 9-4 lead. After the top of the 8th I headed down to the loge level. I barely made it to above section 222 to see the first pitch in the bottom of the 8th. After the bottom of the 8th I went down to behind section 118 to (hopefully) see the last three outs of the game. Axford gave up a two-run home run but then struck out the final two batters. Here’s the final pitch of the game to Jordany Valdespin.
The rest of the group had made it’s way down separately (because they didn’t mind missing pitches) and I met them in the parking lot right after the game. It was an enjoyable day and the third longest that I’ve been on Miller Park grounds this season. I had a great time with Victoria and her family, and the win coupled with the Cardinals loss means that the Brewers are only 2.5 games back of the second wild card spot. Go Brewers!
It’s almost 11:00 AM on Sunday morning and I’ll be leaving shortly with Victoria to catch the finale of the series.
If you want to learn more about Be The Match and how you can help, CLICK HERE