September 2012

9-19-12 (@ Pittsburgh)

I started Wednesday by driving to the Bagel Factory, which is a mile from my host’s place. It was right around the corner from Mark’s place (where I stayed in August) and it was good then, so why not stick with what works. I got the wild berry bagel with plain cream cheese and some orange juice. They do put on an unnecessary amount of cream cheese (as you can see) and I was forced to wipe some of it off. Nonetheless it was very good.

After breakfast I went back to the apartment and finished up the post for Tuesday. When I was here in August someone on Twitter had recommended I visit The Church Brew Works. I had driven past it a bunch of times and I decided to give it a try on Wednesday. This is the sign that’s on the corner of Liberty Avenue and 36th Street.

From the sidewalk out front:

It’s an historic landmark and they have a plaque on the exterior:

The interior is pretty sweet, to say the least. Those are some brew kettles on the far wall there (I think).

To the left is the bar area and I started by ordering a wheat pale ale.

The Southwest Chicken Wrap sounded appetizing and I went with that for lunch/dinner. It consisted of chilled chicken breast, mixed greens, black beans, diced tomatoes, and jack cheese served in a jalapeno- cheddar tortilla with poblano and cilantro mayo. I had high hopes but it didn’t pack much flavor. I also had a fresh hop ale where they add hops at the end of the brewing process and I thought it worked really well.

I left The Brew Church Works at 5:15 and was parked 15 minutes later. Wednesday’s skies were much better than Tuesday’s:

I got my ticket from will call and entered the park at 5:45. The Brewers were on the field for batting practice and I spotted Yovani Gallardo in right field. I hustled over there and made my way down to the field. I asked Marcus Hanel (the Brewers bullpen catcher) if he could send Gallardo over my way. He said that it’s up to the players if they want to sign autographs. I alternated yelling “Yo!” and “Yovani!” while holding up the picture I was trying to get signed. All the players were wearing the pullovers so I couldn’t tell who was beside him, but one of the guys physically tried turning Gallardo’s head so he’d see me. Eventually Gallardo made his way over and I thanked him profusely after he signed my picture. I took this on Memorial Day in 2009 (5/25/09). Thank you Yovani!!!

I then went up to the right field corner of the upper deck. I used the self timer function to try and get game photo number 148. The shadowy field and illuminated bridges didn’t make for ideal conditions. I decided I would try and get the picture once the sun began to set. In the meantime I went over to behind home plate and tried to get an artsy shot with the side of a seat and the city landscape in the background. These two turned out pretty good. At first I didn’t like the first one because of the sun’s reflection off one of the buildings, but now I think it’s kind of cool.

I went back over to the right field corner for the start of the game. Here was my view as Kyle McPherson delivered a ball to Norichika Aoki.

On the second pitch of the ballgame Aoki sent one into the seats in right and the Brewers took a 1-0 lead.

There was no one within five sections of me so after getting the first pitch picture and the picture above I set up my camera like I did on Tuesday. I started taking pictures between pitches, being careful not to miss a pitch (I succeeded). I eventually got one that I was satisfied with. I wonder what people thought from afar as I stood there taking pictures of myself.

I worked my way down to the field level and watched the top of the second from within the out of town scoreboard. There was a lady in there who I would assume is a diehard. Awesome. Hopefully that will be me (at Miller Park) someday, with Victoria at my side.

That was the last picture that I took on Wednesday. I went over to the cross aisle between the two levels of bleachers in left and hoped for a Brewers home run to come my way. While out there I befriended a Pirates fan (Tony) who complimented me on my grey hat (that Victoria doesn’t like). He said he really likes the ball and glove logo and we talked baseball for the remainder of the game.

The Brewers grounded into four double plays on Wednesday but were able to push across solo runs in the 5th and 7th. They took the three-run lead into the 9th and Axford entered for the save. He gave up a leadoff home run to Andrew McCutchen and the Brewers 26 inning scoreless streak came to an end. They were bidding for their third straight shutout, which would have tied a franchise record. Ax worked around a one-out broken-bat single and secured the Brewers victory. Final score: Brewers 3 – Pirates 1.

The Cardinals won on Wednesday so the Brewers didn’t gain any ground on them, but a split in LA’s doubleheader allowed the Brewers to pull within a half game of the Dodgers.

Let’s keep it going! Go Brewers!

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside PNC Park: 4 hours 21 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 4 hours 27 minutes
Miles driven: 13.5
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (258/258)
Current streak of pitches seen: 365

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 76-72 (.514 winning percentage) (Highwater mark of the season so far: 4 games over .500!!!)
Time inside stadiums: 628 hours 12 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 740 hours 47 minutes
Miles driven: 18,016.0
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,214.4
Public transit miles: 469.0
Flight miles: 19,777
Total distance traveled: 40,476.3 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 162.55% (40,476.3/24,901)
Sausages: 94 (36 Hot Dogs, 31 Polish, 12 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: 98
Longest streak of pitches seen: 2,192 (8/27 – 9/3)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.78% (44,207/44,305)

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

9-18-12 (@ Pittsburgh)

Monday was an off day and I spent most of it on the road. I left my parents’ place at 9:10 AM and made a pitstop in Janesville to drop off the Be The Match donations I’ve gotten so far. When people have joined me for games they’ve either made the donation in cash or written a check to Be The Match. I did this for two reasons. 1) It saves Be The Match the credit/debit card fees for online donations, which you can make here. 2) I can actually verify that they made the donation. I trust people but it’s also easy to say you’re going to do something and then forget (I do it all the time, believe me). I included $640 of checks from other people and then wrote a check for $1,700 and sent it off. I know this doesn’t prove that I sent it, but here it is anyways. Of course I have Brewers checks…

I stopped near Amherst, Ohio to fill up and get some dinner at Panera. I was tempted to try and push my tank to 600 miles (something I haven’t done before) but I relented. My gas light had been on for about 80 miles and signs said the next service plaza wasn’t for another 33 miles. The 33 miles wouldn’t have put me over 600 anyways so I filled up when my trip read 561 miles (roughly 36 miles per gallon, awwwwwww yeah).

My friend Dustin, who went with me to the games in Arizona, Los Angeles and Denver used to be roomates with a guy from Pittsburgh (Chad). Chad still has friends that live in PIttsburgh and last month I stayed with Mark and this time I was going to be staying with Mike. I found out on Sunday that Mike’s girlfriend just moved in with him and her place is vacant. So I’m writing this from the couch of my friend’s friend’s friend’s girlfriend. Whew. I feel blessed that all these people (that I barely know) are so willing to open up their doors and let me crash for a few days. Thank you Mike and Eirwen.

On Tuesday morning I went to Pamela’s P & G Diner on Walnut Street. I searched “breakfast” in google maps and this came up, so I figured it was worth a try. This is the interior of the restaurant:

I got the “Morning After Special” with the specialty hotcakes. I ordered the Banana Walnut hotcakes to go with my awkwardly named meal of two eggs and bacon (not pictured). When the waitress came with my massive breakfast and asked if I needed anything else I replied “another stomach”. Corny, I know. The hotcakes were delicious and I was stuffed after cleaning both plates.

I went back to “my apartment” and bummed around a bit before leaving for the day. I had been craving wings since the Packers game on Thursday, so I went to Fat Head’s Saloon (again). If you recall my post from August 24th I went to Fat Head’s and got five wings as well as the Southside Slopes “Headwich”. This time I opted for 10 char-grilled wings with the Fat Head’s Original sauce. Some were more charred than others but overall they were very good, and likely much healthier than the deep fried ones (the ranch might cancel some of that out though).

I left Fat Head’s at 5:15 and was parked at the garage on 6th Street twenty minutes later. When you cross Fort Duquesne Boulevard you get a nice view of PNC park from across the river. It had been raining on and off all day and the skies didn’t look very pleasant.

I walked over the Roberto Clemente Bridge and to the player will call window in the left field corner. I picked up my ticket and headed inside. I decided on the left field corner of the upper deck for the game number photo and took the necessary three escalators to get up there. From where I was planning on getting the picture taken this was the view to my left. The structure in the lower left is a circular ramp inside PNC Park.

There were zero fans within 12 sections of me so I decided to try and use the self timer function on my camera. I wedged my drawstring bag in the folded seat and placed my camera bag on top of that. I then put my glove on top of the bag and put my camera on that. Game photo number 147 was a success, thanks in part to my stacking and balancing prowess.

I think the picture above was the 7th attempt. I had to hit the shutter release, hobble down 6 steps and over 5 seats, then step up onto the seat and pose. This following is one of the “outtakes” if you will (don’t know why I’m including it). This is the only one that I wasn’t ready for and I think I’m glancing at the camera as if to say: “Seriously? I’m not ready!” (I had trouble stepping onto the seat that time)

 

I called Adam McCalvy after getting the picture taken care of to see if he had time to ask me the questions he had wanted to for his story. He said he did and we met behind home plate in the upper deck concourse. He’s thinking the story will be up right before the final homestand. I talked with Adam for 10 minutes or so and then we parted ways. My seat was in section 108 but I could tell that there weren’t going to be too many fans at the game. I decided to go for potential home run balls in the wide aisle between the field level bleachers and upper bleachers in left field. This was my view for the first pitch of the night, a strike from A.J. Burnett to Norichika Aoki.

Between the 1st and 2nd innings the sun started setting behind PNC Park and it made for a nice picture.

There won’t be any action shots because I was too far away to get anything significant. I do have a picture of a dog though. It was the 7th of 8 Pup Nights that the the Pirates had on the slate for 2012.

The Brewers scored one run in the top of the 2nd and held that lead into the 6th. Segura singled home Lucroy to double the lead (2-0 Brewers). The 7th inning saw the Crew push two more across and they duplicated the effort in the 8th. The Brewers took advantage of the Pirates’ inability to throw out baserunners, and stole seven bases. Weeks, Lucroy, Aoki and Gomez each stole one while Braun stole three, bringing his yearly total to 27. If Braun can somehow steal 13 bases in the next 15 games (highly unlikely, I know) he would get to the 40/40 plateau (40 home runs & 40 steals). The seven steals is the second most the Brewers have stolen in a single game. They stole 8 in 1992 vs. the Blue Jays, and also stole 7 against the Jays that same year. Pretty cool stuff.

The two runs in the 8th were the final runs in the game, and the Brewers staff pitched a shutout for the second straight game. Towards the end of the game I moved from the left field cross aisle to a section near the Brewers dugout. I talked with some Brewers fans that were down there and they had drove to the game and met a friend who had flown in from Vermont. I mentioned who I was (one of them had heard about me!) and I gave them each a business card. I also mentioned that I was going to try and get the lineup card after the game. Veras struck out Travis Snider to end the game and I raced down to the first row right above the Brewers dugout. Final score: Brewers 6 – Pirates 0.

I took a few pictures of the post-win handshake line and this one stuck out.

What’s happening on the far left there? Someone is airborne and I think it’s Nyjer Morgan, but I’m not sure. There were a bunch of Brewers fans above the dugout voicing their support. Braun gave a peace sign to the guys I had talked to before the game ended. “And also with you.”

When the coaches starting coming off the field I started yelling “JERRY! JERRY!” and then “NARRON! NARRON!” to no avail. I think it was Kranitz who finally looked up and the guy on my right (who I had told about my plan) beat me to the punch and asked for the card. As Kranitz (I think) disappeared the guy told me he asked for it to try and get it for me. An arm emerged and the lineup card was handed over. I took a few pictures (with the lineup card) for the guys driving to Vermont and made my way to the left-centerfield exit. Before getting there I stopped to get a picture at the scoreboard, showing the impressive linescore. Over the last two games the Brewers have given up a combined 5 hits and 0 runs. Nice job, fellas!

When I got back to “my apartment” I took a closeup up the lineup card. This will be framed in the near future, and will make a nice addition to a man cave at some point. The reason I went for the card on Tuesday is because it met my two requirements: 1) Aoki was in the lineup (I knew Narron wrote his name in Japanese) and 2) The Brewers won (I wouldn’t want to hang something up if it was from a losing effort). Picky? Perhaps. Logical? You bet. I noticed that it’s not signed by Roenicke. I wonder if I should try and get him to sign it at the bottom there, or just leave it in its original state. I also just realized that if I would have gotten it in Houston I would’ve had to either fold it or carry it with me on the plane as to not bend it. I’m glad I got it on a driving trip.

With the Cardinals winning on Tuesday the Brewers weren’t able to gain any ground in the race for the second wild card spot. We all need to become huge Astros fans for the next week or so (and Cubs fans for that matter, I know it’s difficult). The next 8 games for the Cardinals are against those two teams. Come on ‘Stros!!!

Go Brewers!

I did miss ONE pitch on Tuesday, and I’m not happy about it. When the Brewers were in the field a bunch of knuckleheads in and around the bleachers in left were yelling things at Braun including “Mmmmmm, steroids. NOM NOM NOM NOM!” Right before the bottom of the 7th started a guy yelled “Hey Braun, are you happy with the singles you’ve hit tonight!?” I said to the guy “Hey, you can’t steal bases if you’re hitting home runs, he’s got a chance at a 40/40 year now.” In the process of turning and saying that I missed the first pitch of the bottom of the 7th. Darn.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside PNC Park: 4 hours 44 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 4 hours 54 minutes
Miles driven: 617.7 (602.9 on Monday’s drive to Pittsburgh)
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 1
Consecutive pitch streak ended: 1,389
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.67% (306/307)
Current streak of pitches seen: 107

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 75-72 (.510 winning percentage) (Highwater mark of the season so far: 3 games over .500!!!)
Time inside stadiums: 623 hours 51 minutes 
Time on stadium grounds: 736 hours 20 minutes
Miles driven: 18,002.5
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,214.4
Public transit miles: 469.0
Flight miles: 19,777
Total distance traveled: 40,462.8 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 162.49% (40,462.8/24,901)
Sausages: 94 (36 Hot Dogs, 31 Polish, 12 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: 98
Longest streak of pitches seen: 2,192 (8/27 – 9/3)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.78% (43,949/44,047)

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

9-16-12 (vs. New York Mets)

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.

Go Brewers!

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Miller Park: 3 hours 34 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 4 hours 4 minutes
Miles driven: 70.1
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (242/242)
Current streak of pitches seen: 1,191

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 74-72 (.507 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 619 hours 7 minutes 
Time on stadium grounds: 731 hours 26 minutes
Miles driven: 17,384.8
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,214.4
Public transit miles: 469.0
Flight miles: 19,777
Total distance traveled: 39,845.1 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 160.01% (39,845.1/24,901)
Sausages: 94 (36 Hot Dogs, 31 Polish, 12 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: 97
Longest streak of pitches seen: 2,192 (8/27 – 9/3)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.78% (43,643/43,740)

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

9-15-12 (vs. New York Mets)

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.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Miller Park: 4 hours 23 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 7 hours 3 minutes
Miles driven: 56.3
Miles riding in car but not driving: 15.7
Sausages: 2 (Brat and a hot dog)
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (336/336)
Current streak of pitches seen: 949

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 73-72 (.503 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 615 hours 33 minutes 
Time on stadium grounds: 727 hours 22 minutes
Miles driven: 17,314.7
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,214.4
Public transit miles: 469.0
Flight miles: 19,777
Total distance traveled: 39,775.0 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 159.73% (39,775.0/24,901)
Sausages: 94 (36 Hot Dogs, 31 Polish, 12 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: 97
Longest streak of pitches seen: 2,192 (8/27 – 9/3)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.78% (43,401/43,498)

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

9-14-12 (vs. New York Mets)

I spent the off day in Madison and I was able to watch the Thursday Packer game at a bar with Victoria. I would have preferred to watch it at our apartment but with it being on the NFL network I didn’t really have a choice. I left Madison at 2:55 on Friday afternoon and was parked in the Miller 1 parking lot by 4:30. I walked the parking lots and told people about my mission and Be The Match. I don’t *need* the thank you’s I get for helping spread the message but it definitely makes me feel good about what I’m doing. Thanks to everyone for the support! I ran into a few familiar faces in the general parking lot including a twitter follower that joined me earlier in the year (Eric on 7/2) as well as the younger brother of my friend Jess. I stayed with Alex and Jess in Chicago 12 nights this season. Thanks again you two!

I entered Miller Park at 6:25 on Friday and met my twitter follower (Jay) in section 124 for game photo “gross.” A gross is 144 if you didn’t get the corny joke of mine.

After getting the picture taken Jay and I went up to our seats in the loge level. A different twitter follower (Erin) asked if I could stop by for a picture so I went over to section 214 before the game started. I got a picture taken with Erin and her friend and then returned to my seat in section 221. Mike Fiers got the start for the Crew and delivered a ball to Ruben Tejada to open the game.

It was a rough first two innings for Fiers; giving up 4 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks while recording six outs. In the bottom of the second the Brewers got back in it when Travis Ishikawa hit a ground-rule double to drive in Lucroy. Gomez had been on first and he raced around the bases, touching home and then entering the dugout. That’s when he learned that it was a ground-rule double and had to return to 3rd base.

Segura followed Ishikawa and hit a come-backer to the pitcher, who got Gomez in a pickle and David Wright wound up tagging him out. The runners were able to advance to 2nd and 3rd on the play, and there was still only one out. Fiers was up, however, and he’s not the best batter. I was telling Jay that Fiers had been 0-22 with 12 strikeouts before getting his first hit (a bunt). He got the job done on Friday though, singling on an 0-1 pitch, driving in Ishikawa in the process. Atta boy, Mike! Fiers’ RBI-single reduced the Mets lead to 4-2.

After the 3rd inning they showed Packers linebacker Clay Mathews on the jumbotron. Everyone cheered and it was cool to see him in the stands. I read somewhere that a bunch of Packers were at the game on Friday. Go Pack Go!

Fiers was removed for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fifth and then Parra started the 6th. Parra gave up three runs while only recording one out but two of the runs were unearned due to errors. 7-2 Mets. After the 6th inning I had Kathy, a 20-game pack holder that sits behind me, take a picture of me and Jay. He’s a great guy and he said he’s been to over 400 Brewers games, something that we have in common. He made a $40 donation to Be The Match for his ticket. Thanks Jay!

The Brewers scored a run in the bottom of the 9th but that was all they could muster. Final score: Mets 7 – Brewers 3. The loss didn’t hurt as bad as some of the late inning collapses earlier in the year, but it still hurt. Since the Cardinals lost the Brewers could have cut the wild card deficit to just 2.5 games. As is the lead is still 3.5.

I stopped at the McDonald’s in Johnson Creek on my way back to my parents’ house. With lawsuits and whatnot I guess this might be necessary…. But really?

It’s 1:40 AM on Saturday morning and I’ll be leaving in under 12 hours. I’ll be going to Saturday’s game with Victoria and 17 of her family members. I’ll be sitting in section 407 on Saturday and not my normal seat. I’ll let you know how I feel about this after the game. The sausage count should be a few closer to the century mark after the tailgate on Saturday.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Miller Park: 3 hours 57 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 6 hours 2 minutes
Miles driven: 157.1
Miles riding in car but not driving: 6.9 (Thursday)
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (329/329)
Current streak of pitches seen: 613

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 72-72 (.500 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 611 hours 10 minutes 
Time on stadium grounds: 720 hours 19 minutes
Miles driven: 17,258.4
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,198.7
Public transit miles: 469.0
Flight miles: 19,777
Total distance traveled: 39,703.0 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 159.44% (39,703.0/24,901)
Sausages: 92 (35 Hot Dogs, 31 Polish, 11 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: 97
Longest streak of pitches seen: 2,192 (8/27 – 9/3)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.78% (43,065/43,162)

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

9-12-11 (vs. Atlanta)

Wednesday was a rare 7:10 PM series finale. Since the Braves also had Thursday off I’m guessing the Brewers asked if they’d be alright with playing a night game, because night games typically get more people in the park. I’m not sure what an afternoon finale would have drawn, but Miller Park was 90.3% based on full capacity. Thank you, Braves.

About a month ago a twitter follower asked if my extra ticket was available for the 12th of September. I said it was but he had also asked if I could possibly get two more so his brother and father could join. It was a month before the game and I thought with it being a Braves series the two tickets next to mine would be taken but luckily they weren’t. They always come down for at least one Braves game. They’re from Menasha which happens to be where Braves utility man Eric Hinske is from. Casey graduated with Hinske’s younger brother Ryan, so Casey and Eric are on speaking terms.

I met the three of them in the Thomas parking lot right after the parking lots opened at 4:10. I parked 3 spots from them so it worked out pretty well. We had a few brats and a few beers, and it was a perfect day to tailgate.

Before we went inside I had a nearby tailgater get a picture of the three of us. From left to right you have Josh, Casey, myself, and Marty (who was celebrating his birthday).

At about 6:15 we went inside and over to section 123 to get game photo number 143. Casey did the honors and this was the first picture he took; nice work!

We went down towards the field and waited for Hinske come out and stretch, but he never did so. Josh and I went up to the seats in time to see Chipper Jones get presented with a gas grill and a year’s supply of Klement’s sausages. It was a little strange, but cool as well. Chipper Jones is in his 20th season with the Atlanta Braves and he is retiring after the season. He’s a first ballot hall of famer and is a great guy (from what I can tell). The picture is a little blurry because my camera was focusing on the giant sausages and not on the center of the frame. Ryan Braun was out there along with Craig Counsell, who now works as a special assistant to general manager Doug Melvin.

After the brief presentation of gifts it was time for the national anthem. Casey and Marty had stayed down on the field level for a bit, Casey wound up seeing Hinske and they exchanged pleasantries. Someone from Fort Atkinson (my hometown) informed me that the former pastor of the church I went to would be singing the national anthem and asked if I could record it. Josh and I stood up for the anthem and they announced Pastor John Wells, who is now the Pastor at the Methodist Church in Elm Grove. I had forgotten about it but quickly got my phone out and did the best I could to record the anthem. This audio doesn’t do his voice justice and his annual Christmas Eve singing of “Oh Holy Night” would give me chills on a yearly basis.

Yovani Gallardo delivered a ball inside to Michael Bourn to kick off the series finale.

Jason Heyward, who was batting 3rd for the Braves, hit a solo home run owith two outs in the top of the 1st. In the top of the 4th the Braves added another run but it could’ve been a bigger inning. They had runners on first and third with nobody out but Dan Uggla grounded into a double play. The runner on third scored to give the Braves a 2-0 lead but the double play greatly reduced the chances of a big inning.

Jeff Bianchi led off the bottom of the 5th inning and reached when Chipper Jones committed a fielding error on a grounder. With one out Aoki singled and Rickie Weeks sent one to right center and deep:

BOOOOOOOM!!! The ball bounced off the top of the wall and into the visitor’s bullpen to give the Brewers a 3-2 lead. Braun singled and Ramirez did the same. I thought the single from Ramirez was actually an error on Chipper Jones. It was a slow roller but Ramirez isn’t the fastest of runners and I thought he should’ve made the play. I am not the official scorer so I have no basis, but that was my opinion. My thoughts were somewhat backed up by Chipper’s reaction after the play, I think it’s pretty obvious he thought he should’ve made the play.

Lucroy singled on the very next pitch to drive in Braun and increase the lead to 4-2.

Logan Schafer walked to load the bases and Travis Ishikawa helped add some insurance. He cranked the 0-1 pitch into the gap in right center and all three baserunners came around to score.

Two batters later Gallardo got in on the action and drove in Ishikawa with a double of his own. In all, the Brewers scored 8 (yes, EIGHT) runs in the bottom of the 5th. Eight-run innings are always exhilarating (more so when it’s your team who’s “putting up a snowman”).

In the top of the 9th Chipper Jones came to the plate for likely the last time in Milwaukee. Most fans (me included) gave him a nice ovation, as we had done before his first at bat in each of the three games. I got the picture a little late but Chipper had just taken his batting helmet off and waved it to show his appreciation.

At one point in the 9th a fan came down the steps and rejoined the group he was with.

Brooms are commonplace when a sweep is possible but I thought they were illegal at Miller Park. The guy on the left asked the broom-bearer “where’d you get that?” I’m guessing the guy went up and took it from a maintenance cart, whether he asked to borrow it is beyond me. I thought it was funny mainly due to the friend’s reaction to the broom and how he asked the question.

Kameron Loe pitched the 9th and got Eric Hinske to fly out to center to end the game. This was the glorious linescore after it was all said and done. That 8-run 5th really sticks out (in a good way). Nice job fellas!

This is probably the latest I’ve posted about a game, but today (Thursday) is an off day, and I “took some time off.” I drove back to Madison on Wednesday night and Victoria and I are heading to a bar in a bit to watch the Packers take on the Bears. Despite attending 20 Brewers games in 20 days I felt ready for another today. That may have a lot to do with how well they’ve been playing. Only three games back of the second wild card spot. Let’s get it!

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Miller Park: 3 hours 50 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 6 hours 8 minutes
Driving miles: 149.8
Sausages: 2 (Bratwurst)
Pitches missed: 1 (I’m pretty sure I missed the 2nd pitch to Prado in the 1st, I was doing something with my camera)
Consecutive pitch streak ended at: 2,098
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.66% (291/292)
Current streak of pitches seen: 284

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 72-71 (.503 winning percentage!) Let’s not stop there!!!
Time inside stadiums: 607 hours 13 minutes 
Time on stadium grounds: 714 hours 17 minutes
Miles driven: 17,101.3
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,191.8
Public transit miles: 469.0
Flight miles: 19,777
Total distance traveled: 39,539.0 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 158.78% (39,539.0/24,901)
Sausages: 92 (35 Hot Dogs, 31 Polish, 11 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: 97
Longest streak of pitches seen: 2,192 (8/27 – 9/3)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.77% (42,736/42,833)

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

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)

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

9-10-12 (vs. Atlanta)

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!

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Miller Park: 4 hours 4 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 6 hours 5 minutes
Driving miles: 124.0
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (323/323)
Current streak of pitches seen: 1,835

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 70-71 (.496 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 600 hours 0 minutes (600 hours exactly!!!) 
Time on stadium grounds: 702 hours 36 minutes
Miles driven: 16,827.7
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,191.8
Public transit miles: 469.0
Flight miles: 19,777
Total distance traveled: 39,265.4 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 157.69% (39,265.4/24,901)
Sausages: 89 (35 Hot Dogs, 30 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% (42,189/42,285)

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

9-9-12 (@ St. Louis)

Sunday was a 1:15 start and I got up at 9:30 to take advantage of the hot breakfast that is offered. It’s normally a $15 breakfast but the Hilton St. Louis Downtown gave me two vouchers for the mornings I was there. Thanks again for everything! I should’ve gotten the waffles on Saturday morning as well. Delicious.

After eating breakfast I started getting everything packed for the trip home. I put my suitcase in my car and then walked to Busch Stadium. I picked up my ticket from will call at noon and was inside two minutes later. I debated where I should get the game number picture taken. I normally try to get a picture taken from the outfield seats looking in towards home plate but this is sometimes a boring picture. With the sky as blue as it was I decided on another picture from the upper deck behind home plate. I had already gotten this for game photo number 21 but as you can see the top half was all washed out due to the overcast skies.

Sunday’s game photo number 140 turned out much better:

I walked around for a bit and talked to a camera guy on the field level about getting an interview during the broadcast. He said if he mentioned it to the producer he would get shot down but said there would be a lady stopping by that could talk to the announcers. She stopped by after the game started but said that she wouldn’t be able to influence Sunday’s broadcast because they already had everything planned; darn. She also said that I should’ve stopped by on Friday and they may have been able to do something; double darn.

Joe Kelly threw a strike to Aoki to get the series finale underway. This was the view from my seat in section 153, it was a perfect day for baseball.

Aoki doubled on the 5th pitch of his at bat and had thought about trying for a triple. He returned to second base but the cutoff man couldn’t handle the throw, meaning Aoki probably would’ve made it safely (hindsight is 20/20 though).

The Brewers failed to score in the 1st despite the leadoff double which was a problem all game. As a team the Brewers were 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position. In the bottom of the 1st the Cardinals scored three runs. Two on a home run from Matt Holliday and the other on a home run from Carlos Beltrán. Marcum was on the mound and here he is after letting go of a pitch in the 1st inning:

A wild pitch from Kelly in the top of the 2nd allowed Corey Hart to score and the game was now 3-1. The bottom of the second saw the Cardinals get that run right back when Matt Carpenter doubled home Kelly. In the top of the 4th Jean Segura batted with runners on first and second and two outs. The first pitch he saw was weakly hit to center but just out of the reach of the second baseman.

It sounded like Segura cracked his bat on the base hit, but I wasn’t sure. I zoomed in on the picture and it does look like it’s fractured just above his hands, no? Nonetheless it was a 4-2 game.

Marcum followed Segura and had a chance to do some damage with two men aboard. He lined the first pitch towards the right field line:

I like that the ball looks like it’s almost resting on Marcum’s head. The first baseman ranged to his left and made the catch before the ball could reach the outfield. At least one run would’ve scored and with Segura’s speed at first who knows, they may have been able to tie it up.

There were no more runs scored as the game entered the top of the 9th inning. I watched the top of the 9th from above the left field bleachers so that when the game ended I could use the exit right behind me and be on my way. I was still hoping the Brewers would score two or more runs in the 9th but I didn’t want to get stuck behind people as I made my way to my car.

With one out Segura doubled off the Cardinals’ closer, Jason Motte. With two outs Aoki stepped in and the count went to 2-2. Down to his (and the Brewers’) last strike Aoki hit the 99 MPH pitch from Motte over the wall in right for a game-tying 2-run home run. It either bounced on the top of the wall and over or hit the railing beyond the wall, but it was close. It was a line drive so I wasn’t sure if it was going to “get up, get up, get out of here” or not.

The Cardinals failed to score in the 9th and the game went to extras. Travis Ishikawa singled with two outs in the 10th and was pinch run for by Eric Farris, who is a recent September call-up. Farris stole second and put himself in scoring position.

Lucroy struck out on four pitches and another scoring opportunity was squandered. In the bottom of the 10th Matt Carpenter singled off Kameron Loe with one out. Loe got Adron Chambers to swing and miss at a 2-2 slider for the strikeout. Lucroy couldn’t coral the low pitch, however, and it got by him [scorer ruled it a wild pitch]. Instead of a guy on first and two outs there were now runners on first and second with only one out. Allan Craig came to the plate for the Cards and hit the 0-1 pitch to right field. Aoki fielded it cleanly and made a nice throw to the plate. Carpenter executed a perfect head-first slide and the Cardinals were walk-off winners. Ugh. Final Score: Cardinals 5 – Brewers 4. The Brewers would have been 4 back of the Cardinals with a win but instead are 6 back, ouch.

I hustled back to my car and left the parking garage just after 4:45. I had called my Aunt and Uncle who live in Springfield earlier in the day and said I could stop by for dinner. I was parked at 6:10 and was able to watch the last quarter of the Packers game, which they wound up losing 30-22. Besides the Brewers win on Saturday it was a tough two days for Wisconsin sports fans. Badgers loss + Packers loss + Brewers loss in a crucial game = a depressing drive home. Thanks Dave for making me a few burgers and some broccoli. I pulled into my parent’s driveway at 11:18 to complete the 7-day 7-game road trip. This means I’m down to my last trip, albeit a 10-day 10-game eastward swing.

It’s past 12:30 on Monday afternoon and I’ll be leaving in a few hours for the first game of a three game set with the wild card leading Braves.

Rootsports Pittsburgh sent me two DVDs with the interview that I did with Dan Potash on August 26th. I’ve included it below. It was a little awkward at the end there when the cameraman just stuck around and got footage of me waving (and smiling). I thought it all was a little close-up, but that also prevents people from photo-bombing in the background. Thanks again to Rootsports for having me on their broadcast. I’m not a big fan of what one of the announcers says about Miller Park, but to each his own.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Busch Stadium: 4 hours 37 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 4 hours 41 minutes
Driving miles: 346.3
Sausages: 0
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (309/309)
Current streak of pitches seen: 1,512

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 69-71 (.493 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 595 hours 56 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 696 hours 31 minutes
Miles driven: 16,703.7
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,191.8
Public transit miles: 469.0
Flight miles: 19,777
Total distance traveled: 39,141.4 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 157.19% (39,141.4/24,901)
Sausages: 89 (35 Hot Dogs, 30 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% (41,866/41,962)

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

9-8-12 (@ St. Louis)

I forgot to mention one thing from the marathon of a game that was Friday-Saturday. While sitting in the stands at 1:55 AM (during the 13th inning) my phone rang. I looked down and it was my Grandpa and Grandma’s number. I answered and it was my 85-year-old Grandfather on the phone, Wally. I asked what he was doing up so late (early) and he said he tuned in during the 7th inning and got intrigued. This is significant because Wally isn’t a big baseball fan, and in the past has compared watching baseball to “watching paint dry.” I think the fact that he knows I’m at every game and have devoted so much time to attending Brewers games and cheering on my team that it has kind of rubbed off on him. I know that you’re reading Grandpa, so I just want to say thank you for your support! And Happy Grandparent’s Day to you and Rosalie!

When I was trying to upload my pictures for Friday’s game onto my computer my memory card reader quit working. I knew I would need a replacement so when I woke up at 9:30 on Saturday I ate breakfast at the hotel and then drove to a Best Buy that was 9 miles away. When I returned to the hotel I worked on the blog and watched some college football. Around 4:00 PM I left for the game and stopped at Jimmy Johns for a late lunch/early dinner. I went with the Turkey Tom and it was delicious as always.

I got to the will call windows at 4:45 and was inside the park shortly thereafter. I don’t remember if I had included an image of the old scoreboard from Busch Memorial Stadium in an earlier St. Louis post but here’s another one anyways. Busch Memorial Stadium, commonly called Busch Stadium, or Busch Stadium II, was home to the Cardinals from 1966 to 2005.

On my way to the upper deck I stopped behind home plate on the second, or maybe third level. This picture is looking out from above the home plate entrance.

When I got to the upper deck I found a good spot to get game photo number 139 taken. I had asked two guys if one of them would be willing to take a picture for me. The one asked the other if they should help out a Brewers fan. Once I told him that I was going to all the games and raising awareness for Be The Match he gladly helped out (and he probably would have anyways). Afterwards I told him and his friend more about Be The Match and joining the registry.

I walked around in the upper deck for a bit and came across one of the many mini arches that are scattered throughout Busch Stadium. I believe this one is honoring all the players who have had their numbers retired by the team.

I went down to the 200 level where my seat in the Red Birds Club was. This is the (sweet) wallpaper that they have on the walls.

I got to my seat in section 253 and got situated for the game. Jake Westbrook was on the hill for the Cardinals and he got the game started by throwing a first pitch ball to Aoki.

Fiers got the start for the Brewers and he pitched a good game (albeit only 5 innings). Here he is about to unleash the first pitch of his outing.

In the top of the 2nd the Brewers struck first, taking a 1-0 lead on a bunt by Carlos Gomez that drove in Aramis Ramirez. Westbrook appeared to pitch around Bianchi and issued a four pitch walk. I was telling the guy next to me that he likely pitched around Bianchi because Fiers was not very good at the plate. Coming into the game Fiers was 1 for 25 with 15 strikeouts, and the one hit was a bunt single. Fiers quickly went down 0-2 in the count but he got a pitch to hit with the two strike offering and grounded a base hit up the middle that reached the outfield grass. Lucroy scored and Bianchi wound up at 3rd, and Fiers 2nd. Here’s Fiers after getting his first major league RBI. Nice job, Mike!

The 2-0 lead didn’t last long and the Cardinals pulled to within one in the bottom of the 2nd. In the top of the 3rd Corey Hart reached on an error and Ryan Braun scored the Brewers’ third run of the ballgame. At some point I went up into the concourse and got one of these:

It’s a big-boy pig in a blanket, if you will. They call it a “Bratzel” on the menu and it was pretty good. I’m not sure it was worthy of the $6.75 price tag but I figured I should give it a try regardless. They wanted $2 for a cheese cup so I opted for a little bit of ketchup that I just dipped the Bratzel in. FYI: I will be counting the Bratzel as a Bratwurst in the sausage stats.

In the top of the 7th inning Rickie Weeks hit a solo home run to lead off the frame. Here he is heading back to the dugout after giving the Crew a 4-1 lead.

Francisco Rodriguez pitched the 7th inning for the Brewers and gave up a run to make it a 4-2 game. In the bottom of the 8th Jim Henderson walked the leadoff man… again. Molina doubled and the Cards had runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. Henderson gave up a sacrifice fly but then got a strikeout and a pop out to end the inning without giving up the lead.

The Brewers padded the 1-run lead in the top of the 9th inning. Ramirez connected for a one-out solo home run and Gomez later singled home Hart. Here’s Ramirez rounding third after his 22nd home run of the season:

Axford entered in the bottom of the 9th and retired three of the four batters he faced. Final Score: Brewers 6 – Cardinals 3. Here’s Axford about to throw the final pitch of the game:

With the win the Brewers pulled to within 1 game of .500 and are now 5 games back of the second wild card spot. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s, errrrr, today’s finale. It’s past 1:15 AM as I write this and I need to get some sleep. After the game tomorrow I’ll be driving right back to Wisconsin to get ready for the three game series with the Braves that starts on Monday night.

Go. Brewers. Go.

Personal Stats:

Daily Stats:

Time inside Busch Stadium: 5 hours 6 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 5 hours 11 minutes
Driving miles: 18.8
Sausages: 1 (Bratzel)
Pitches missed: 0
Percentage of pitches seen: 100% (334/334)
Current streak of pitches seen: 1,203

Season Stats:

Brewers current record: 69-70 (.496 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 591 hours 19 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 691 hours 50 minutes
Miles driven: 16,357.4
Miles riding in car but not driving: 2,191.8
Public transit miles: 469.0
Flight miles: 19,777
Total distance traveled: 38,795.1 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 155.80% (38,795.1/24,901)
Sausages: 89 (35 Hot Dogs, 30 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% (41,557/41,653)

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