If you thought that I’d wait til I get back to Milwaukee tomorrow to write about George Kottaras and the first cycle of the Major League season, you’d be wrong.
Maybe I shouldn’t be writing this post while sitting in on the boyfriend’s radio show, but hey, why not?
We’re laying on the couch, watching the Brewers in NON-HD (ugh!) and George’s 4th inning laser of a homer was quite exciting. I almost didn’t think it was going over the wall. Not only did it go over but it went over in, like, a split-second. It was awesome.
When he tripled in his next at-bat (a stand up triple, at that), I was happy. Wasn’t thinking ‘cycle’ just yet, but happy. When Craig Counsell homers on the next pitch, well, happier. No doubt. Completely unexpected out of the old man. But of course, I will take it.
So the single came next. After the easy HR and 3B, this had to have been the hardest one for Georgie to get. All the sudden, the cycle was in my head.
I tweeted about it. I was getting texts left and right from all the people that know about my unhealthy Kottaras obsession.
I honestly wasn’t thinking with the lead they had that the Brewers would bat enough in the 8th to get George another AB, but since the Astros sent in the same horrible bullpen that blew the lead Friday night, obviously I thought wrong.
George steps up to the plate one last time and swings. The ball sails out to nearly dead center, takes a hop off the hill and bounces over the fence. Ground rule double. Awesomely awesome awesomeness.
Phone blowing up. Twitter blowing up. Facebook blowing up. Insane.
The lefty-stacked lineup for Ron Roenicke paid off. For sure. The fact that George bats LH was the only reason he was playing last night and he made RR look like a genius.
My only criticism for my bearded, not-so-secret love?
Georgie, your beast needs a little help!
It wasn’t as horrible and timid as Taylor Green’s but it wasn’t good, either.
So since the Crew has once again found their swagger (against Houston. Whatever) after being swept at home by STL, I think they’ll be remarkably fine from here on out. Still, the only team I’m sort of worried about in the final stretch is the Phillies but, eh. That’s only 4 games.
My Boys got this. And since I have like, a million games lined up in September, there’s a good chance I could be present when they clinch the NL Central. I haven’t done that since, well, 2008. I’ll be the good luck charm. Obviously.
Go Reds! (haha)
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!
While I am absolutely LOVING that my Boys are finally figuring out how to win on the road, I’m not gonna spend too much time writing about that.
Yes, they finally mustered a win at Great American Ballpark and are currently 4-2 on this 2-city roadtrip, but it hasn’t been easy. I actually only watched one game in Florida so far but all the box scores and recaps I’ve read have led me to believe the Brewers really are just squeaking by. But hey, I’ll take it. A road win is a road win and lord knows Milwaukee will take them any way they can. The Crew has one game left against the Marlins and they’re sending Zack Greinke (4-1, 5.29ERA) to the mound opposite Javier Vasquez (3-4, 6.02ERA). If they pull off a win tonight, it will be the Brewers first official sweep on the road. (I say official because the rainout in Pittsburgh shortened the series.) They’ve been playing relatively smart ball and are somehow managing to get out of jams left and right. Let’s hope tonight is a cake walk compared to what they’ve done in FLA so far and that the Crew can come back home on a hot streak.
What I’ve been DYING to talk about since the season began are batting songs.
My friends and I have an Opening Day tradition to choose the song that best has the ability to pump us up, whether it’s at a tailgate party right before we start to walk to the ballpark or getting ready for a girls’ night out or grilling in our backyards. Most of us change it up year to year, but sometimes those tried and true songs remain on the playlist because they never fail to get us going.
Even for me, someone who would never actually step into a Major League batter’s box, choosing the perfect song is a process. Yes, sometimes I hear a song and think, “That’s it!” Like last year. Who wouldn’t want to step to the plate to “Danger Zone,” Kenny Loggins’ theme to “Top Gun”? Yeah. You’d better be careful with your pitches. Because I’m on a highway to the danger zone!
This year was a little more involved. I had it narrowed down to 3, after Nik had already chosen Usher’s “More.” (Damn her!)
I thought soooooo hard. I listened to each song over and over and over. And finally, when I couldn’t fight the urge to get up and dance around my room every time I heard it, I knew Spencer Davis was the way to go.
And it was a hit on Opening Day. And it still pumps me up every time I hear it.
I mean, we really have some good ones. Our starting line-up is pretty much guaranteed to hit homeruns. Every time.
Club Can’t Handle Me. Homerun.
All I Do is Win. Homerun. (And it plays at MP when the Brewers win.)
How could you not hit one with songs like that?
So, since I often wonder how players come up with their songs, I’m also pretty intrigued to find out what kind of songs would get you in the mood to swing away.
So my question to you, dear readers, is if you ever got the chance to step up the plate at Miller Park (or any other Major League ballpark, for that matter), what would you want to hear blasting over the sound system?
The Brewers own the Pirates. Everyone in the world knows this.
But how does that law of physics go? For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?
The Reds subsequently own the Brewers.
I, for one, will no longer stand for it. Because, obviously, I’ll be able to do something about it.
The fact that the Reds are the thorn in their sides has to have something to do with the fact that the Brewers basically fall to pieces every time the two match up. I mean, look at the Pirates. (Well, it’s not exactly the same because the Pirates suck.) They used to dominate Milwaukee at PNC. Then the Crew won like, 18 in a row? And suddenly PNC isn’t so threatening.
Milwaukee started the season on the road in Cinci and were swept. The Reds came to town 3 weeks later and took 2 of 3. Considering the Brewers have either won or swept all of their home series, to lose that one was pretty telling. The season so far is 6-1 in favor of Cincinnati and there are 6 games left to play.
Though, the road is a bleak place for the Brewers, no matter who the opponent.
The Reds had sunk in the standings after losing 6 in a row earlier in the month and had a dismal roadie, going just 2-8 in Cleveland, Philly and Atlanta. So you’d think the now second place Brewers would be able to ride another stellar string of games and cruise through Cincinnati pretty easily.
But you’d think wrong.
Last night, Christopher Narveson (Narv Dog is tabled. Again.) let one bad pitch get too far into his head. After Jay Bruce’s 3-run homer in the 4th, Paul Janish pushed the Reds even further ahead with a single and Christopher was done for, with a 5-0 deficit to his name.
Back-to-back homeruns for Carlos Gomez and pinch hitter Josh Wilson (new guy, kinda cute) in the 5th were a welcome sight, but definitely not enough of a rally as the Brewers eventually fell 7-3.
Tonight Zack Greinke (3-1, 5.79) looks to put an end to the road woes as he goes up against Chad Reineke (0-0, -.–), a fill-in from the minor leagues.
Dusty Baker’s pitching staff looks a bit different than usual since struggling starter Edinson Volquez was sent to Triple-A and Homer Bailey added to the DL. Lucky for the Brewers, hot-handed reliever Aroldis Chapman probably won’t be activated during this series, either.
If Milwaukee can capitalize on facing a pitcher who hasn’t seen Major League action in nearly 2 years and get into Baker’s bullpen early, they could have a strong chance to pull off a much-needed win. (Of course, they need to keep the errors to a minimum, too.)
The Brewers line-up tonight really has no surprises but hopefully Corey Hart is back at 100%. Ryan Braun has also been on an offensive tear lately, hitting in 18 of his last 19 (that early ejection against Washington halted his latest streak) and if Nyjer Morgan can get himself on base, I’m gonna need everyone to start using the term “scoring position” when he’s standing on first, too. ‘Cause that dude is fast.
So, seriously, Boys. I like that you dominate the Pirates. It’s kinda comical to be on this end of it because it’s like, why even try, Pittsburgh? But it’s not cool to be on the losing end. Please stop this now before it turns into a 20-something game losing streak. Thanks.
The Brewers just completed a 3-game sweep of the Rockies, after a strange 4-game roadie on the West Coast that left them with a win apiece against San Diego and LA.
Friday, I was up drinking at a bonfire anyway so I mostly caught game one. I say “mostly” because I can’t get AM radio at my house so we had the TV audio coming through the outdoor speakers. Um, Bill Schroeder? I’d kinda like to know what’s happening with the game. I understand you’re not broadcasting for audio-only purposes, but still. I little more info, please. So anyway, I ran to the window just in time to see Yuniesky Betancourt’s blast tie up the game for the second time. (Casey McGehee did it first.) Needless to say, when the game was in the 14th and Colorado was in the lead, yet again, I made it a point to settle in for the bottom of the frame. Soooooooo glad I did!
I love Prince Fielder! I love that he just watched that ball sail. I love that he had a classy celebration at home plate. I (sort of) love that Felipe Paulino was almost immediately DFA’d after giving up that homerun.
So Saturday’s game…..
What is the flipping deal with FOX? Sorry, but the Cubs-Red Sox is not my market. I do not want to watch the effing scrubs. I want to watch the Brewers and your stupid deal will make my Saturdays miserable for the next 6 seasons of baseball. Major League Baseball, why did you have to make this deal? Why did you have to make me so angry? As I said before, I can’t for the life of me get a radio to get AM at my house. I don’t enjoy using GameDay on my phone. I want to watch the Brewers play. I don’t want to watch whoever it is you think is closest to my team’s market that day. This deal sucks and I want to physically hurt someone because of it.
Grr. Sorry. So Milwaukee won 3-2. Jonathan Lucroy hit his 4th homer. John Axford got the save. I saw none of it.
Though, I saw none of it today, either.
I didn’t even check the score til the 6th inning because I was at a baby shower. But I did wear a yellow and white dress and had on a Brewers necklace, so I was still supporting my boys.
The Brewers closed it out with another win today, 3-1. They’re finally over .500 but just can’t seem to close the gap with Cinci and St. Louis.
Somehow, I did not have tickets for a single game this weekend and I don’t have tickets at all this week, either. I may try to make up for it with some light player stalking post-game Friday night, but the week is still young. I may make it to a game yet. I should probably try to go Saturday since I know I won’t be able to actually watch it otherwise…
But the Nationals are in town first and in order to avoid any further embarassment at the hands of Jim Riggleman and Co, the Brewers need to keep this hot streak alive. I mean, we all remember that sweep back in April. It was not pretty. Yovani Gallardo, Narv Dog and Zack Greinke are slated to face off against, well, Tom Gorzelanny so far. I’d like to think those 3 can handle the Nats, so I’m just gonna run with that.
That’s right. I’m taking away Narv Dog priveleges after last night. At least until he get’s his ERA back under 3.
I mean, I certainly wasn’t expecting him to win the Cy Young this season or anything, but come on now. He was pitching so well. I hope it really was just illness that sidelined Christopher’s ability to throw anything useful last night. Seriously. Thanks a lot, head cold. I don’t like being mad at anyone on my team but you’re not making it easy for me.
Last night’s game was so bad that I switched to Always Sunny reruns and when I switched back it was 6-0 Reds and Christopher had thrown 65 pitches and still only had 1 out in the top of the 3rd. Aaaaaaaand enter Brandon Kintzler aaaaaaaand switch back to Sunny. (Sidenote: How does The Gang never get arrested for their crazy antics??)
Now, I can’t quite explain why the Brewers have so many issues playing against the Reds. Maybe Prince Fielder’s inability to throw to homeplate has something to do with it. (Three bad throws at home already this season. That’s definitely not good.) I mean, it took them 5 innings before they plated a run last night. That’s probably got something to do with it, too. Spot Cincinnati 7 runs in the first 3 innings, you might wan’t to try a little harder. And even when they did finally score, it was on a Paul Janish throwing error so, you know, not even helping themselves.
I finally turned off the TV after Sergio Mitre (who, by the way, I like. I think it’s the way he wears his hat so low) gave up 2 more runs in the ninth. I guess I was just hoping anything good might happen if I wasn’t watching. Ryan Braun hit a too-little-too-late 2-run homer to make it 9-5 and then Casey McGehee grounded out to end the game. And not only did he end the game, but he ran into Joey Votto and sprained his thumb. Icing on the cake, I suppose.
So it’s game 2 of the series tonight. The only one in the Brewers line-up to have ever faced Reds full-time starter and part-time shoplifter Mike Leake is Wil Nieves. And he’s gone 0-fer. Having never seen Leake could go either way for the Crew. He’s 3-0 on the season but has 4.94 ERA.
Brewers starter Marco Estrada has been nothing but good since filling the 5th spot in the rotation, though he only has 1 win to show for it. This will be his 3rd start and 6th game and he’s rocking a 3.21 ERA. He’s also had 13 Ks in 14 innings. Soooo he’s got that working for him.
In other Brewers news, Corey Hart is back with the team but will not be reinstated until tomorrow, Nyjer Morgan and Takashi Saito are both headed to AAA-Nashville for rehab outings before returning from the DL and apparently Erick Almonte took a ball off the face in warm-ups today. Ouchie.
I think the headline says it all. (Sort of.)
I’m not quite sure how it happened, but the Brewers just beat Roy Halladay and the Phillies 9-0, 6 of those runs belonging to Doc. This coming off of a 12-inning, 6-3 win to open the series last night. And that coming off of a combined 17-8 sweep at the hands of the perpetually last-place Nationals.
Yeah, well, it’s too early to tell how the season will pan out, and we Brewers fans are usually optimistic until the very end, but if the streaky April start is any indication, things to come might not be so pretty for the Crew.
I mean, the 0-4 start? Meh. At least they’re not the Red Sox. Boston started 0-4 and hasn’t really improved. The basement of the AL East isn’t all that familiar to them, yet there they sit.
Winning 7 of 8 games to follow? Welllllll….. It doesn’t mean much when you then get swept by a team with one of the worst batting averages in the National League.
Until tonight, it seemed that the 2011 Brewers were a bit backwards from Brewers of recent seasons’ past. The pitching staff, with the exception of a 12-run hiccup in Cincinnati and a couple blown saves at the hands of John Axford, has been above average and holds a team ERA under 4. The bats, however, haven’t been able to muster more than 6 runs in a game. Until tonight in Philly.
As a team that is now above .500 and sits alone at 2nd in the NL Central, a mere half-game behind the Reds, are the Brewers finally starting to put their wishy-washy ways behind them? Let’s hope so.
We saw Zack Greinke pitch well in his first rehab start tonight. I mean, so what if it was Single-A? Dude can still pitch. And with a handful of starters already at a respectable 3.15 ERA and a combined 84 Ks in 20 innings, I’d say Greinke is definitely not going to hurt things joining in on that rotation. It’s always nice to have a Cy Young award winner in the mix. We all remember what CC Sabathia did for the team in a mere 3 months. Keep Greinke from breaking any more ribs for the rest of the season and I think this ballclub will be able to do what many predicted it would.
The National League Central is up for grabs and because I said we fans are always so glass-half-full, I think the Brewers legitimately have a chance to reach out and grab it.