I’m gonna keep this brief. If I go into details, I may just be liable to go off the deep end.
Brewers pitching (Mike Burns notwithstanding) =
Monday night: we’re all aware of the outcome. Jorge Julio is no longer a member of the team because of it. Brewers lose to Marlins. The End.
Tuesday night: 10 runs on 11 hits in 3 innings for Manny Parra. Ken Macha makes a solo visit to the mound, Parra proceeds to give up more hits and runs, including a Cody Ross grandslam. Ouch. Brewers tack on 2 more runs. Too little, too late. The End.
Wednesday night: Brewers score 9 early, chase the starting pitcher mid-batter, take advantage of patience and errors. Braden Looper subsequently falls apart and the lead eventually falls to within 3 runs, prompting what should not have been an outing by Trevor Hoffman. Hoffman remains perfect in saves opportunities. Brewers narrowly win. The End.
And yet, somehow, after all that, Milwaukee still holds a game lead over St. Louis for first in the NL Central. Mind-boggling.
Tonight the Brewers are sending Dave Bush to the mound to face one of another inordinately tall Florida pitcher. I don’t care which one. They’re all monstrous, and none are particularly outstanding. I’m hoping they can salvage a split, but if the game ends up going downhill again, at least there’s always the Stanley Cup Finals.
Before I start in on the game that completely fell apart last night, let me fill you in on the trip to Vegas.
We stayed at the Luxor. This was our second night out. It took nearly 2 full days before someone took a great picture of us in front of the Sphinx. (I love how Vegas-y and sparkly I am!)
We found a fellow Brewers fan! This guy loved us. His wife however…
We met this Canadian “hawkey” player at LAX the first night because we thought he looked like Ryan Braun. He had no idea who Ryan Braun even was.
But, the real Ryan did show up. Personal TV at ESPN Zone. We all bet on the Brewers to win Friday’s game. And we all won a huge sum of $6.25. Awesome.
On our last night, we discovered a 24-hour TGI Friday’s. It was no Front Row grill, but there were half-price appetizers and that was easily the best deal we found the entire time.
It was kind of sad to leave and have to come back to crappy Wisconsin weather, but at the same time, 4 days was enough. The flight home was horrible, we were all hungover from being at the Palms until 4 am and only getting 3 hours of sleep, we had an hour layover and our flight was late getting in. Ugh. All I wanted was my bed and to not have to stand anymore.
But the whole time we were there, the Brewers hung on to first place and kept it on Sunday when Trevor Hoffman (on Trevor Hoffman bobblehead day) saved his 13th game, keeping his save streak alive. I watched mostly from the comfort of my own bed and anxiously awaited my parents arrival home from the game with a tiny Trevor of my own.
Sooooooo, on to last night’s should-have-been win.
One might have thought that Jeff Suppan had stepped in for Marlins pitcher Andrew Miller, what with all his walks and hits allowed early on. Not only did he walk Jason Kendall for a run, but he followed walking pitcher Suppan for another in the second inning. The third is where some sloppy baserunning most likely cost the Brewers a couple runs. First Prince Fielder suddenly thinks he’s a base stealer and tried to steal 3rd with no clear lead or signal to even do so. Of course, the big man is thrown out by the entire length of his body. Nice job. Mike Cameron advanced to 2nd on the throw but was quickly tagged out on a poor decision to run on a JJ Hardy grounder to short. He literally walked right into that out. At least Casey McGehee tacked on another run in the 5th, but the top of the 6th was truely the downfall for Milwaukee last night.
Former Milwaukee Brewers reliever Jorge Julio was called on to pitch and I’m not quite sure I’d call what he did “pitching.” Throwing seems like a more apt word. He hit 2 batters, walked another and all in all was charged with all 5 of the Marlins runs that scored that inning. Oh yeah, and didn’t record a single out. Not that it was all Julio’s fault. There was a Prince Fielder error in there at some point. Todd Coffey came in after that and it wasn’t all roses for him, either. He surrendered a single and a walk, both for runs, before striking out the side to finally end that horrific sixth inning. After that, the bullpen held the Marlins scoreless, but the Marlins’ bullpen did the same to the Brewers.
So, now Julio is out and Mike Burns is in. With the way Ken Macha is trying to preserve his bullpen, I hope Burns will be able to come in and be effective, taking some heat off Coffey and the slightly injured Mark DiFelice. I’m not saying I don’t trust Manny Parra to win tonight’s game on his own, but he does have the worst record for Milwaukee starters so it’s nice to see a new arm out in the bullpen that could help out if Parra gets himself in a jam.
Tonight it’s Brewers, Marlins. Manny Parra (3-6, 5.7 ERA) vs. Anibal Sanchez (1-4, 5.79 ERA)
Sorry for the hiatus. I promised a Monday post and, as it’s now Wednesday, this one is going to be a bit longer than I had anticipated. (Good thing I was taking notes all weekend!)
Friday. Brewers 3, Cubs 2
Danny Gokey Day here in Milwaukee proved to be eventful. The poor guy looked crazy tired, but he managed to belt out a pretty amazing National Anthem.
The first pitch? That didn’t go as well. A bit high, but at least it crossed the plate.
Gah, how annoying to have that American Idol camera that close to your face since 5am!
On to the game. Dave Bush, my favorite high-socks wearing pitcher, gave up a couple of runs early on, but then settled into a nice (eh) pitcher’s duel with Randy Wells (?). We all know I’d rather see some action. I guess I did when Aramis Ramirez separated his shoulder diving to stop a Ryan Braun liner to third. And, sorry that he got hurt and all, but the ball was still in play. Run to second, RB. Granted, there wasn’t really any more offense that inning, but still. JJ Hardy smacked a homerun in the sixth for the first Brewers run and Braun blasted one after a wild pitch advanced Corey Hart in the bottom of the eighth to take the lead and prompt a nice 1-2-3 visit to the mound by Trevor Hoffman.
Ah, Hell’s Bells. Can’t get enough! (Love the leg kick!)
Saturday. Brewers 12, Cubs 6
As we were unable to skydive due to low cloud cover (boo!), we all pretty much just sat around and drank until it was time for the game. Then we watched and drank some more. Since it was the longest baseball game known to man (not including a 20-ish minute delay due to the lights going out at Miller Park), you can imagine how much that might have been.
This is the kind of game I love. I’m not much for favoring pitchers and defense in a game. Give me the bats and the long ball. That’s what I live for. The Brewers got an early lead, and held on to it. Yovani Gallardo may have only pitched 5 innings, but he managed to hold the Cubs to 2 runs. The score stood at 3-2 in favor of the Crew until the bottom of the seventh, when Milwaukee batted around and then some, scoring 6 runs along the way, including back-to-back homers by Craig Counsell (haha!) and Ryan Braun. Braun’s came after a pitch by Ryan Dempster in the fifth grazed the top of his helmet. Maybe. Either way, he stared Dempster down before trotting off to first.
The top of the eighth wasn’t so lucky for the Brewers. Jorge Julio and Todd Coffey combined for 4 runs, bringing the Cubs within 3 and prompting Hoffman to warm-up in the bullpen. He could relax, though, as another outbust by Milwaukee bats let him sit back down and watch the rest of the game.
Sunday. Brewers 2, Cubs 4
Ugh. Happy Mother’s Day. Right.
The pink bats usually help, but I guess they only helped the Cubs this year. An early 2-0 lead for the Brewers was quickly erased by a 2-run homer from Alfonso Soriano off of starter Jeff Suppan. They scored 2 more and Milwaukee’s bats were silent the rest of the game. I did have a good time with my mom though, so that’s good. And it was nice to not have any Cubs fans rubbing a win in our faces afterwards. Afterall, the Cubs lost the series and Sunday’s win was nothing to gloat about.
As Monday was an off-day, I anticipated seeing some players at work. Although, of all the guys that have been spotted, I’ve managed to miss them all so far. Lo and behold, I get a text from Mol about 20 minutes too late. Yovani Gallardo was shopping in men’s dress shirts. I was already on my way out the door. Damn!
But I swear I saw Mark DiFelice. No one else did, so it probably wasn’t him. And he wasn’t as tall as I remembered. Maybe I’ll still tell people I saw him to sound a teeny bit cooler.
And last night was definitely my kind of game! While I was at my dad’s softball game and checking the Brewers game on my phone, the score never changed from a 3-2 Marlins lead.
As I walked in to Leff’s afterwards, the whole place erupted. A Rickie Weeks homerun tied it up. This was quickly followed by Prince Fielder’s second HR of the night. (His first was responsible for the Crew’s first 2 runs.) Mike Cameron tacked on a bit of insurance in the 8th with a solo shot of his own and then, Hell’s Bells yet again! It was impressive, of course, but I think that Leff’s needs to blast the AC/DC just as loud as Miller Park does. I just like pretending to have that experience.
In other, non-game news, Milwaukee signed veteran outfielder Frank Catalanotto to a minor league contract. I’m gonna go ahead and say he won’t be in the minors for long. As a left-handed bat, he could be a good replacement for the large-headed Brad Nelson, who, by the way, struck out AGAIN in a pinch-hit situation. Poor Manny Parra kicked *** last night and then that big, dumb, oaf of a guy comes in to bat for him and sucks like always. Smooth move, Ken Macha. Don’t you know this guy is worthless?
And my favorite bit of baseball from the past week was this little quote by Macha, referring to the ball that supposedly hit Ryan Braun in the helmet Saturday night:
“The league frowns upon people throwing at people’s heads.”
…the Brewers were losing to the White Sox. I have yet to see the final score of today’s game. What I did see was that my favorite high socks-wearing pitcher Dave Bush went scoreless for 4 innings and is being quite persistent in his push to break into the Top 10 Hotties. (What can I say? I love the beard!) I also saw that Jorge Julio allowed 3 runs, and the Brewers had yet to get a homerun on the board, while the Sox had 2. I believe that was the 8th inning.
I’m going to check the final score now…
That’s it, folks. My reaction.
Mat Gamel started the game off with the Brewers first RBI (charged to former Crew member Scott Linebrink) and, quite fittingly, the only other run was batted in by a fellow named Brewer. Brent Brewer, to be precise. Good old Rickie Weeks had some solid baserunning. Oh, wait no he didn’t.
Okay, I’m over the loss. Onto bigger and better things. Like the countdown to Opening Day at Miller Park! There are 30 days until the Home Opener. 30 days, 1 month, until I will basically live at Miller Park for 3 days straight and sleep off all the excitement the following Monday. 30 days until the official Flip Cup bracket, assorted meats cooked on a grill, my crazy-awesome retro logo cupcakes, the world famous Leff’s Tailgate Party (technically not Opening Day, but I’m still way excited for it!), the first Sausage Race of the season, ladder golf, cornhole and washers. 30 days until non-stop Brewers v. Cubs debauchery with 45,000 of my closest friends and most importantly, 30 days until I get to see my boys in action after a long, cold winter!
Today’s picture is bringing you back to Opening Day 2005. It was the first Leff’s Tailgate party for us girls. We were finally of legal drinking age, and who better to serve us than my lovely mother? The next year, we took on the task of being the servers and haven’t looked back since.
Me, Mom, Nik and Mol. We’ve graduated from being the crazy drunks to serving the crazy drunks!
Ah, the first game of Spring Training! The window to the regular season has been opened and as of right now, I’m liking the view.
The Brewers hosted the Oakland A’s at Maryvale Baseball Park for the first match-up of ST and, after 10 innings, ended with a 3-3 tie.
Oakland scored first with a Bobby Crosby HR off of Jeff Suppan in the 2nd inning but Corey Hart, my current least favorite Brewer, answered with a solo shot in the 4th. (Do you think it’s possible he knows I’m not a fan and is trying to get on my good side?) But then Travis Buck had his own HR, a 2-run shot off Jorge Julio, in the 5th to put Oakland back in the lead.
The Brewers were far from out of it though. Altogether, 20 position players/pinch hitters gathered 12 hits, with the big 2-run rally coming in the 8th, tying the game at 3, where the score would sit for the next 2 innings.
Here’s what I like about Spring Training: you still get to see (or hear, or in my case, read about) baseball, yet just about everyone gets a chance to play. It’s kind of like t-ball or neighborhood baseball leagues when I was little. You know, how it’s important for everyone to play so that they get a chance to practice and learn the basics and have fun. But at the same time, what these guys do for the next 40 days or so is pretty determinate of what they’ll be doing the 180 days to follow. Now, if only Corey Hart can keep it up…
And I noticed the Cubs beat the Dodgers today. God, that must have just felt like such sweet redemption after losing 3 in a row to LA in the postseason last year. Haha!
But now, on to today’s countdown pic. Even though there is nothing representative of the Brewers, trust that this was indeed taken at Miller Park. The temperatures here in Wisconsin reached nearly 50 today, so it got me thinking about flip flops and how much I miss wearing them. Nik, Mol and I pretty much inadvertently wore the same navy flip flops to every Brewers game we went to together so, naturally, it became tradition. (Much like the Ryan Braun cut-out pic, the cupcakes and the pinas.) And, every game, we took a picture of our feet. Here’s just one of those pics, with 44 days to go.
Clockwise from left: me, Nik and Mol