Brewers vs. Nationals Live Blog: A Strange Experiment

Welcome to the very first live blog here at Reviewing the Brew! Basically today is one part science experiment and one part self-indulgence, with a splash of analysis thrown in for good measure. It’s not only a minute-by-minute review of the game, but also a cry to posterity about my ever-dwindling social activity.

We’ve never tried anything like this before, so let me break down how this is going to work:

Essentially what is happening is that I am providing real-time statistics, analysis, opinion and recap as the game progresses. It’s a lot like watching the pitch-by-pitch on the Brewers website, but with more poop jokes.

As always you, the reader, are encouraged to join me in this live blog experience with your comments and questions.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

5:30 PM – 35 Minutes until 1st Pitch: Tonight’s game comes from Nationals Park in DC. The pitchers for tonight’s game couldn’t have had more different starts. Lefty Chris Narveson looks to continue his amazing start – he has yet to surrender a run. On the other hand, Nationals pitcher Tom Gorzelanny has numbers right now that would make a fan cringe more than a broadcaster trying to pronounce his last name. He is 0-1 with an ERA of 8.44. He did strike out seven batters in his first outing, but in 5 1/3 innings of play, Gorzelanny gave up five earned runs on only four hits.

The Brewers are 7-5, good for second place in the NL Central and one game behind the Reds. They come in winning four straight games.

The Nationals sit at 5-7 and sit 4 games behind the NL East leading Phillies in third place. The Nats are hoping to turn around a two game losing streak. I’m inclined to believe that won’t happen, but that may have something to do with the fact that this is a Milwaukee Brewers blog.

5:32 – 33 Minutes until 1st Pitch: Davey Nelson’s tie is crooked. Not a good start.

5:38 – 27 Minutes until 1st Pitch: Tonight’s games is part of Jackie Robinson Day, a celebration of the integration of baseball and the life of Jackie Robinson. Every player in baseball today is wearing the number 42 in his honor. It is one of the most important days in baseball’s history. If you do have a friend with you that doesn’t watch baseball, you can have a little fun with him/her by referring to players only by the jersey number and never mention anything about the circumstances. *UPDATE: If you aren’t watching the vignette on FS Wisconsin now about Jackie Robinson, it is fantastic. I can’t emphasize enough how difficult it was for these young black players to come up to the Majors in that time, and how amazing their stories are.*

5:52 – 13 Minutes until 1st Pitch: Eric Almonte (and his .077 BA)  is in right field for tonight’s game. Take that as you will. Likewise, Nieves will be catching for the Crew tonight. Only two lefties are in the lineup against Gorzelanny tonight.

5:59 – 6 Minutes until 1st Pitch: In case you’re wondering, the Columbia St. Mary’s doctor of the game is OB/GYN Carlos Rodriguez. Make sure you fill that in on your scorecards at home.

6: 06  – 1st Inning. Brewers 0, Nationals 0: Rickie weeks takes the first strike looking. Weeks pops out in foul territory on the first base side. Again, not a good start.

6:08 – 1st Inning. Brewers 0, Nationals 0: Nice cuts, Gomez. Down on strikes, two outs.

Top 1st, 2 outs: Outside fastball takes a ride courtesy of Ryan Braun, one on for Prince. Prince pops up and the inning ends with our 1st stranded baseman. Milwaukee 0, Nationals 0.

*Note to self: The time thing is dumb. Let’s stick to innings and outs from here on out.*

Bottom 1st, No outs: Narveson is on the mound against a team hitting .213. Narveson strikes out the lead off hitter with a middle fastball.

Bottom 1st, 1 out: Rick Ankiel lines out to Prince Fielder, who looks surprisingly spry tonight. 2 outs.

Bottom 1st, 2 outs: Narvy’s command looks a little off tonight. Regardless, Werth looked stupid swinging at that outside pitch. 2 strikeouts for Narveson, no hits. Milwaukee 0, Nationals 0.

Top 2nd, 1 out: Mighty Casey Lined out to Jason Werth, and Telly Hughes almost got murdered by a foul ball. Yuni got hit by a pitch. Both were probably tactical maneuvers on some level.

Top 2nd, 2 outs: After a short fly out by Eric Almonte, Wil Nieves payed his respects to his former team by going down on strikes. Brewers 0, Nationals 0.

*Commercial Note: Nolan Ryan has aged terribly*

Bottom 2nd: Adam LaRoche leads off against Narveson, who now has 14 shutout innings. LaRoche takes a walk to 1st base. No outs.

Bottom 2nd, no outs: Ramos singles with a grounder between first and second. Two on, no outs.

Bottom 2nd, no outs: Wil Nieves comically hobbles after a ball thrown in the dirt. Nobody advances. Base hit by Morse to exactly the same spot as Ramos. Bases loaded, no outs.

Bottom 2nd, no outs: Narvy is going right after the bottom of the order with fastballs. Strike out on Desmond with a beautiful change up. 1 out.

Bottom 2nd, 1 out: Narveson ends his scoreless streak by walking in a run. Yes, he did. bases loaded, 1 out.

Bottom 2nd, 1 out: 3 Earned runs for Narveson, with 2 walk-ins. Morse tagged up on a left field fly and Morse jogged in. 2 on, 2 outs.

End 2nd: The inning from Hell is over as Ankiel mercifully strikes out. Nationals 3, Brewers 0.

*In the course of two hitters Narveson managed to unravel. In truth, the base hits should never have happened, but an infield shift was on that gave Washington a nice big hole to drop in some remarkably average ground balls. How quickly things can change*

Top 3rd: Sweet Irony. Chris Narveson leads off. He flies out to deep right. 1 out.

Top 3rd, 1 out: Rickie Weeks legs out a chopper to second base. I really wish I could see more of that from Rickie. The Brewers have a runner!

Top 3rd, 2 outs: Didn’t miss much, Gomez flies out about 60 feet from home plate. Brauny comes up to the plate. He hits .339 against lefties. Not this time, though. Braun Pops out to shallow right, and strands the third Brewer in as many innings. Nationals 3, Brewers 0.

Bottom 3rd, 1 out: Fly out to Gomez for Jason Werth, and it looks like Narveson is relaxed again. Luckily Weeks crushed that confidence when he falls over trying to glove a hard grounder. No error for Rickie. One on, one out.

Bottom 3rd, 1 out: Ramos is batting 1.000 tonight with a solid gapper to left. Two on, one out.

*Inner Dialogue: Am I jinxing this by reporting live? Couldn’t be.*

End 3rd: 6-4-3 to end the inning. I don’t like how this is going so far. Narveson is pitching OK so far, but a less-than generous strike zone and an ineffective infield shift is killing him right now. Nationals 3, Brewers 0.

Top 4th: Prince leads off the inning, but can’t manage to run out a hard grounder into right field. He might need oxygen in the dugout. One out.

*Question to no one in particular: Has anyone noticed how outrageous Casey’s beard is getting? He looks like a white Kimbo Slice*

Top 4th, 2 outs: Casey flies out to deep center, it might have been gone if it weren’t for the wind. Betancourt follows suit and the inning ends, Nationals 3, Brewers 0.

*Note to Telly Hughes: You don’t need to say “annual anniversary”. *

Bottom 4th, 2 outs: Two quick infield pop outs, just the inning the Brewers need so far.

End 4th: Betancourt fields a grounder, inning ends in less than exciting fashion. Nationals 3, Brewers 0. Almonte leads off the 5th and let’s hope he can make some contact.

Top 5th: Eric Almonte grounds out. In other news, Oaks Golf Course is the tavern of the game. Gotta love Wisconsin. One out.

Top 5th, one out: Nieves put some serious wood on a high fastball and turns a double. One on, one out.

Top 5th, two outs: Gorzelanny K’s Narveson on an outside pitch that looked mighty similar to one that walked in a National in the second. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

Top 5th, two outs: Rickie Weeks, the lead off hitter that sort of isn’t. A huge home run to deep left field brings in Nieves. That was a serious shot. Brewers 2, Nationals 3.

*Rickie Weeks has 4 home runs now, tied with Braun for the team lead*

Top 5th, two outs: Gomez walks, Braun is up. I am laughing at Gorzelanny now.

*Ryan Braun is averaging about 4 minutes in between pitches*

Top 5th, two outs: Braun walks and Fielder is up with two on. Nationals pitching coach had a quick pep talk to Gorzelanny which I assume went something like: “Don’t F this up”

End Brewers 5th: Anti-climactic. Prince flies out to shallow center. Brewers put some offense up this time, now it’s a game. Brewers 2, Nationals 3.

End 5th: Hey fun fact, it’s Jaun Nieves’s no-hit anniversary. Rock was behind the plate for it. Also Narveson strikes out Ankiel again. Another efficient inning, and he may stay in for a while now if the Crew’s offense can get moving.

*Note to self: I know your fingers hurt, but stay away from the Happy Gilmore jokes*

Top 6th: McGehee strikes out. Remember when baseball authorities called him an offensive threat? One out. Betancourt flies out on the first pitch for two outs, no surprise there.

Top 6th, two outs: After Almonte’s third hit on the season, Nieves steps up to the plate. 3 pitches later he walks back to the dugout with a grounder to second. Nationals 3, Brewers 2.

Bottom 6th: Adam LaRoche grounds out to Rickie for the first out. LaRoche bears a striking resemblance to Gomer Pyle in my opinion. One out.

Bottom 6th, two outs: McGehee charges for a great play and the second out, and then Mike Morse flies for a ground rule double by the first base line, Almonte couldn’t step to it.

*Mike Morse was just seen looking dreamily off towards the field with his long hair blowing in the wind. Let that image sink in for a bit.*

Bottom 6th, two outs: Narveson walks the batter on his 100th pitch. Man on first and second and Roenicke pulls a double switch and Mitre takes to the mound. Lucroy comes in at catcher. He promptly got hit by a ball in his hand. You know, the one with the broken finger. Telly Hughes got attacked by another foul ball. Someone is trying to kill him.

*Stat Time: Narveson’s line is 5.2 Innings, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K*

End 6th: Mitre Strikes out the final batter. Nationals 3, Brewers 2.

Top 7th: Tyler Clippard in for the Nats, he has an ERA under 2 so far this season. Lucroy leads off with a 2 game hit streak going.

Top 7th, two outs: 6-4-3 puts Lucroy and Weeks on the bench and empty the bases for Gomez, who is attempting to bunt for a base hit again. Instead he strikes out trying to check his swing at a face-level fastball. Sigh. Brewers 2, Nationals 3.

*Personal note: my internet timed out for about three minutes there. I may or may not have peed my pants*

End 7th: This inning had to be Mitre’s dream world. Three quick ground ball outs and a must needed rest for my keyboard. Nationals 3, Brewers 2.

Top 8th: Six outs left for Milwaukee, and Drew Storen comes in to the game for Washington as the set up man. Ryan Braun Leads off. Braun grounds out to short, and I think he tried to throw his bat at the third baseman. One out.

Top 8th, one out: Prince Fielder hit by pitch in the back foot. He took it like a man, in case you’re wondering. One on, one out.

*Stat Time: That was Prince’s 3rd HBP*

Top 8th, one out: McGehee comes on late and knocks a good hit to right field that gets bobbled by Werth on the bounce. Good thing too, because Prince doesn’t quite have the gait to run out his throw otherwise. Two on, one out.

Top 8th, one out: Betancourt drilled one just foul early in the count, and then once again tried to put a ball in the face of Telly Hughes. I’m telling you he has to have a bounty out on him or something. Yuniesky Betancourt: Rally Killer strikes out on a ball low and away. Two on, two out for Eric Almonte.

*Pro-tip for Roenicke: You can use Nyjer Morgan. Almonte just got his third hit last time up. Just sayin’ *

End Brewers 8th: Almonte grounds to second base to end the inning. Nationals 3, Brewers 2.

*Commercial note: Prince Fielder has a charity Bowl-a-thon coming up. He looks like a bowler, doesn’t he?*

Bottom 8th: Mitre gets another inning of work as Jason Werth leads off. Werth grounds to McGehee who makes a great throw back to Prince for the first out.

Bottom 8th, one out: Mitre walks Ramos, which is the first base runner for Washington since he stepped to the mound. One on, one out.

End 8th: Lucroy guns down Ramos for a Caught Stealing that not only doesn’t make sense, but also ends the Washington 8th. Nationals 3, Brewers 2.

Top 9th: Last chance for the Crew, and the ever scrappy and 0 for 2011 Craig Counsell is leading off for Mitre.

*Screaming towards Roenicke: MORGAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*

Top 9th, one out: Counsell flies out to left field, Lucroy to the plate. Lucroy quickly down on strikes.

*Inner Dialogue: Swear words. Lots of swear words.*

Top 9th, two outs: Rickie Weeks up with no one on and two outs. Stand up double with two outs against the right center wall.

*Inner Dialogue: Happy, happy swear words.*

End Brewers 9th: Gomez hits a deep ball to center, and Rickie Weeks scores to tie the game. Gomez then gets thrown out trying to stretch to a double, ending the inning in a fashion that only Gomez can. Still, a perfect clutch hit for Gomez if only his legs were a bit faster. Nationals 3, Brewers 3.

*Inner Dialogue: ?????????????*

Bottom 9th: Mitch Stetter on the mound against the bottom of the Nationals lineup. Former Brewer and part-time action hero Laynce Nix leads off and strikes out with a big cut. One out. Sean Green comes out to the mound to pitch.

*Personal note: I love sidearm pitchers*

Bottom 9th, one out: Desmond and his intimidating .173 Average draw a walk. One on, one out. Winning run on first.

Bottom 9th, one out: Desmond and his intimidating .173 Average have stolen second base. One on, one out. Winning run on second base.

*Stat time: Desmond has 5 SB on the season now.*

Bottom 9th, two outs: Desmond advances to third on a ground ball. Two outs, one on. Winning run on third base. Colin’s blood pressure through the roof.

Bottom 9th, two outs: Green Walks Hairston. Cora up to the plate with a .182 Batting average.

*Inner dialogue: I am beginning to hate sidearm pitchers*

End 9th: Cora Flies out to Braun, stranding his chance to be a hero to the people of Washington, DC. Nationals 3, Brewers 3.

FREE BASEBALL!

This is the last thing I expected, but the natural 9 inning course ended in 3 hours on the nose and we enter the 10th with 3 runs each, and four pitchers used by each side.

Top 10th: Braun, Fielder, McGehee up to bat. I’m not going to say anything about how awesome that is.

Top 10th, one out: Ryan Braun hit the ball as far as is legally allowed in Nationals Park without getting a home run.

*Broadcast note: I can hear lots of muffled swears from the crowd*

Top 10th, two outs: Prince Fielder knocks a deep ball caught by Nix. McGehee up to the plate.

Top 10th, two outs: McGehee hits a ground ball single that would have been caught were it not for a Three Stooges moment between the Nationals’ shortstop and third baseman. One on, two out.

End Brewers 10th: Yuniesky Betancourt pops up 90 feet down the first base line and about 6 feet right. Nationals 3, Brewers 3. Colin’s spirit slowly dwindling.

Bottom 10th, one out: There are about 7 people left at Nationals Park. Zach Braddock is pitching and Ankiel Popped out to Casey McGehee.

Bottom 10th, one out: Rock tried to explain triangulation with limited success. Jason Werth is up at the plate.

Bottom 10th, one out: Yuniesky Betancourt tries to throw a ground ball at Jason Werth’s head as he’s running. Thanks to that, the winning run is at second base. One on, one out.

*Inner Dialogue: Swear words directed at Betancourt*

Bottom 10th, one out: Werth stole third. Colin’s head is ready to explode. Ron Roenicke calls a family meeting at the mound.

*Fun Fact: Braun is in as a fifth infielder*

End 10th: Werth scores on a LaRoche single to Fielder and a poor throw. Nationals 4, Brewers 3.

Finals:

WP: Chad Gaudin – 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER

LP: Zach Braddock – .1 IP, 1 BB, 0 H, 1 ER (also nominated: Yuniesky Betancourt)

Attendance: 17,217

Colin’s Line: 2900+words, 2 cans of Wild Cherry Pepsi, 1 Lean Cuisine, 3 foreign objects thrown at the television.

Well, it was a fun ride and the Brewers kept it exciting. Unfortunately the Crew could not pull it off at Nationals Park tonight. The Nationals only had 5 hits to Milwaukee’s 10, and showed how important being able to move runners can be.

Narveson tried his best, but command issues and poor fielding took the day away from him. Overall it was a disappointing game. Tomorrow the Brewers play at 12:05 and it looks like Gallardo will take the mound.

That’s all we have from my living room, enjoy your Friday Night Brewers fans, I’m going to go ice up.

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