Grasping onto the coattails of John and Cait, I’ve been thinking a lot about ballpark food lately.
I’ve eaten the most amazing Philly Cheesesteak in St. Louis (go figure) and the tacos at Busch aren’t so bad, either. The nacho bar (and the liquor-types of bars) at Target Field will be hard to rival and although I didn’t have food at Great American Ballpark, the beer selection was pretty nice.
And I have my go-to’s at Miller Park. For sure. Who doesn’t?
Cactus League Nachos and Friday’s Strawberry Long Islands are generally the way to go, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an argument from me otherwise. (Though the baked potato equivalent to the nachos are good, too.) And since my friend Chris’s chicken parm sandwiches were beat by chunks of sausage on a stick (blech!) in the concession contest prior to the start of the season, I haven’t really wanted to try too many of the new items out of spite.
However, the talk of the pulled pork parfait has piqued my interest. For sure.
The first time I tried to get it, I was so excited. I ate a minimal lunch before the 3:10 start in anticipation of meat and potato gloriousness. I was expecting a long line and instead came across just a father and son paying for their pork delectibles. I step up to the counter and place my order.
“Actually, we just ran out of mashed potatoes. I can make you a sandwich, though!”
I have LI-trally never been so disappointed about food in my life. I wanted to trip the small child that was handed the last parfait of the day, steal his and run away. (I had no intention of that sentence rhyming so much.) I kind of wanted to cry. I did’t want a sandwich! I wanted my barbeque slathered pork goodness layered in a dessert cup with mashed potatoes! A sandwich?? A sandwich??? Gah!
I turned to the loaded baked potato for comfort. It wasn’t the same. It could never match the things I’ve heard spoken of the parfait, of that I was certain.
So, friends, tomorrow is my chance. The pulled pork parfait will finally be in my belly. I’ve learned my lesson to not wait. Immediately after securing a Long Island, I’ll make my way over to Section 127 and stand in line as long as it takes.
She will be mine. Oh, yes. She will be mine.
So, um, baseball. Right.
The Brewers absolutely LIT UP Kyle Lohse and assorted Cardinals relievers, handing the Narv Dog a much-needed, and extremely well-deserved win. Ryan Braun and Corey Hart each homered in the 8-0 victory and though the strike zone was somewhat–no, very–inconsistent, Narv pitched 8 shutout innings and the Crew managed to play smart ball on all facets and are now just a game and a half behind the Red Birds.
Tonight Milwaukee sends Zack Greinke (5-1, 4.83 ERA) to face Chris Carpenter (1-5, 4.25 ERA). The Brewers offense has treated Greinke well since he joined the rotation and the team is 6-1 in games he’s started. Both starters have Cy Young Awards under their belts, but Carpenter’s still searching for win #2, despite pitching for a first place team that’s 11 games over .500.
Tomorrow’s game, which I’ll be attending and stuffing my face with yummy food, is Zack Greinke bobblehead day. It’s also a game that could potentially put the Brewers alone in first place (assuming they win tonight). The Brewers have Shaun Marcum (6-2, 2.58 ERA) lined up against Jake Westbrook (6-3, 5.01 ERA). Marcum pitched a lovely game Tuesday night against the Mets but the Brewers couldn’t provide enough offense and they lost it 2-1.
So, here’s to a team that’s finally starting to work together on a consistent basis and here’s to knocking the Cards down a bit!
Trevor Hoffman has really been showing Milwaukee fans why he’s the all-time saves leader.
Tonight’s 4-2 lead over the Astros was preserved, yet again, by Hoffman, who’s currently perfect in saves opportunities for the Brewers.
Starting pitcher Dave “Love the Socks, Trim the Beard” Bush got the win and is now 3-0. He went 6 innings, striking out 2, walking only 1 and had 2 hit batters, but both the Astros runs belonged to him. Houston’s pitching looked better on paper, and they needed one less out of the bullpen than Milwaukee, but giving up 5 walks definitely contributed to their loss.
Also announced today was the call-up of infielder Hernan Irabarren as a 3rd potential replacement for the injured Rickie Weeks. Craig Counsell got the start last night against Kyle Lohse and Casey McGehee was in tonight to face lefty Mike Hampton. Irabarren will probably be used sparingly, because, like Counsell, he bats left-handed. His only start for the Brewers so far came last September and, even though it was at second base, he’s spent some time in the outfield, too. This could come in handy for Ken Macha down the line with Chris Duffy being the only backup for the outfield.
With tonight’s win comes a 7-game winning streak and a 3-game lead over the now tied second place teams, the Cubs and Cardinals. St. Louis beat Chicago 3-0, bringing them back into second, but as long as the Brewers keep this hot streak alive, there should be no need to get too worked up about what those 2 teams are doing.
Tomorrow night’s match-up is Yovani Gallardo (4-1, 3.09 ERA) against another lefty, Wandy Rodriguez (4-2, 1.90 ERA). Gallardo got an extra day’s rest after starting a rained out game in St. Louis last Friday, so let’s hope he comes out fresh tomorrow.
Rickie Weeks is out for the season. Damnit.
Just when I was starting to like the guy, he goes and tears a sheath surrounding a tendon in his left wrist. Huh? Regardless, Weeks has been insane so far in 2009 and and the Brewers lead-off spot will be hard to fill.
As far as replacing Weeks on the everyday roster, there are a couple of key infielders down in Triple-A Nashville that are contenders. Hernan Irabarren is the most likely to make the short trip to St. Louis to join the team for tonight’s game. And the recent addition of Mat Gamel in place of the already forgotten Brad Nelson allows a bit more play on the infield for manager Ken Macha, not to mention another left-handed bat.
This injury couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Brewers stand alone in first place after knocking the Cardinals down in the first 2 games of the series. Tonight’s make-up game from Friday puts former Card’s starter Braden Looper (3-2, 4.7 ERA) on the mound against Kyle Lohse (3-2, 4.25 ERA). Hopefully the Brewers will be riding high and breeze through the next few series on this roadtrip. And, hopefully the Cardinals and Cubs will stay at bay for a bit longer.
Oh, and stop being such whiners, St. Louis. The Brewers can untuck their shirts and celebrate their wins. Or maybe you’re just upset that they’ve won the last 8 of 9 games played at your stadium and are just trying to make them look bad. Well, prepare for 9 of 10 and have fun in 3rd place!
(Sorry, Rickie! We’ll miss you!)