Call me a glutton for punishment, but I’m back again doing another Live Blog tonight as the Brewers take on the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. As is the norm with this format, you can expect a few things:
- Real-time (or close to it) updates, insights, analysis, and stats.
- A violent swing of emotions as I grapple to understand why I am not allowed to manage the Brewers
- Frequent asides that involve pop culture references, self-deprecating humor, and a cornucopia of punctuation
Sounds fun, right? Let’s get this started.
The Brewers begin the weekend series in Houston as part of a long road trip for the team, including another stop in Atlanta and a trip into St. Louis to see the Cardinals next week. Ten games in ten days = a complete drop off in my productivity.
First pitch is 7:05, and the roof is open at Minute Maid Park for tonight’s game.
In tonight’s contest, Shaun Marcum looks to keep his game moving forward in a rematch against Houston righty Brett Myers.Myers got battered pretty good the last time he was on the mound – a full five days ago – but he feels very comfortable in Minute Maid Park, where he only has one loss in his last 19 starts there. In contrast, Shaun Marcum has a 1.53 ERA when he’s pitching on the road, so I expect this game to be a bit of a pitching duel even though Myers’ numbers thus far in 2011 do not show it.
6:35PM – 30 Minutes to 1st Pitch – Eric Almonte has made Brewers history by being the first player in the MLB to be put on the new 7-Day Disabled List for recovering from concussions. He got it during a ‘batting practice accident’ – I welcome your ideas of how that played out.
6:39PM – Corey Hart will be hitting 6th tonight, and Jonathan Lucroy will be catching Marcum. I officially do not have anything to complain about so far. This is starting out to be quite the Red Letter Day.
*Commerical Note: That Just for Men commerical was on where the guy jumps off his balcony, runs down the street and gets Milk and Just for Men to impress his lady-neighbor and eventually eat pancakes with her. How did he get back into his apartment?*
6:57PM – Davey Nelson (again sporting a crooked tie, by the way) has just informed me that Ryan Braun and Casey McGehee both have active hitting streaks against Houston, and in no less words said that we will see an offensive beatdown from Milwaukee tonight, in special pieces titled “Streakin’ vs ‘Stros” and “Streaking with Strikes” during Nellie’s Nuggets. Also Davey Nelson loves alliteration.
7:03PM – One last note, there is word that Hart may replace Gomez in the 2 spot in the order later in the season. I like this idea, if only because it delays my disappointment until at least the 3rd inning.
Top 1st – Rickie Weeks up to the plate. Rickie strikes out with a big cut. One out.
*Eric Almonte BP concussion hypothesis: He hit a high pop up that landed directly on his head.*
Top 1st, One Out – Myers works faster than just about any pitcher I have ever seen. This is going to be hard to keep up with. He threw 5 pitches in about 3 minutes. Carlos Gomez is up and is actually playing better than my cynical attitude would have you believe (he has 7 hits and 7 runs in the last 9 games). He fouled off about 43 pitches before grounding out to short. Two Outs.
Top 1st, Two Outs – Ryan Braun, patron saint of Milwaukee baseball and loud t-shirts is up with a 24 game on-base streak still going strong. Ryan Braun hit a fastball about two miles high and 400-plus feet into center. They just give you a run when you hit it that far. Not to be outdone, Prince Fielder hits one 785 feet. Brewers 2, Astros 0.
*Note: Prince Fielder may have killed whoever tried to catch that*
*Stat time: Ryan Braun has an NL leading 10 Homers, and his on-base streak is extended to 25. Prince Fielder now has 5 Home Runs.*
Mid 1st – Casey McGehee flies out to center, but nobody’s going to hold it against him. Brewers 2, Astros 0.
*Eric Almonte BP Concussion Hypothesis: Almonte hits himself in the head with the bat. In the clubhouse. Further details are unknown*
Bottom 1st – Michael Bourn walks on five pitches. One on, no out and nothing more to say there.
Bottom 1st – Though Marcum is determined to make up for his mistake, he is unable to pick off Bourn. He does, however, get Barmes to pop out to Fielder. One on, one out.
Bottom 1st, one out – Bourn steals second for his 10th of the year. Ironic, isn’t it? One on, one out. Pence is up.
End 1st – Pence grounds out to Yuni, and El Caballo is up to the plate. Lucroy catches it in a style that I feel is a bit overdramatic. Brewers 2, Astros 0.
Top 2nd – Corey Hart is leading off, and this is the first time I’ve been able to see him. I think he grew about 4 inches. regardless, all 8 1/2 feet of him are sent back to the dugout with a K. One out.
Top 2nd, one out – Betancourt manages to save a ground out from the jaws of a fielding error. Two outs.
Top 2nd, two outs – Lucroy gets one in the ribs and goes to first. Marcum up to the plate.
Mid 2nd – Marcum down on strikes – like that wasn’t expected. Brewers 2, Astros 0.
*Eric Almonte BP Concussion Hypothesis: BP Pitcher drills Almonte in the head with a high fastball, and collects on his $5 bet*
Bottom 2nd – Brett Wallace leads of with a nice center field single. One on, no outs.
*Broadcast note: They are officially talking about Lance Berkman too much. But when in Houston, do as the Astros fans do: talk about former players*
Bottom 2nd – Speaking of former players, Bill Hall does his best late-Brewers career impression by hitting a deep, fly ball out to Gomez. One on, One out.
Bottom 2nd, one out – 3B Chris Johnson continues his 0 for Milwaukee streak with a K, but Wallace steals second on another high throw. They can steal all they want I guess, it’s not like they can drive runs in. One on, two out.
End 2nd – Quintero rolls one out to Yuni, and the Astros have 1 hit and 2 LOB tonight. Brewers 2, Astros 0.
Top 3rd – Rickie knocks a single past Bill Hall and the Houston Comedy of Errors continues. One on, no out.
Top 3rd, one out – Bill Hall flips a grounder behind his back to get Rickie out, but Gomez reaches safely. Somewhere Houston’s management knows that one play is all they have with Hall until June. One on, one out.
Top 3rd, one out – Gomez steals second for his 7th of the season. One on, one out and Brauny is up. I don’t think that one has the distance…Bill Hall catches a pop out for out number two. Still one on.
Top 3rd, two outs – Prince gets a stand up double as Hunter Pence twirls in circles instead of catching the ball. Gomez Scores. Brewers 3, Astros 0. One on, two outs.
Mid 3rd – Faster than I can type, Casey grounds out and the inning is over. Brewers 3, Astros 0.
Bottom 3rd, one out – Myers flies out to Gomez, and we’re back to the top of the order with Bourn who lines out to Prince. I’m already out of jokes about the Astros mediocrity. Two outs.
End 3rd – Efficient inning for Marcum as we go 3 up and 3 down. Brewers 3, Astros 0.
Top 4th – Hart steps up to the plate again after striking out in his last at-bat. He struck out again. One out.
Top 4th, one out – Yuniesky Betancourt makes good on every offense he has ever done to me by hitting a home run off the left field balcony. Brewers 4, Astros 0.
*Stat Time: Betancourt’s Brewer HR Tally: 1. 3 Home runs for the Brewers today, all of them over 400ft.*
*Broadcast note: Brian Anderson is investigating a deep-seeded conspiracy about Home Run length estimations. For the first time in history, Rock is the voice of reason*
Mid 4th – Lucroy goes down swinging followed by Marcum. Myers has 6 K’s on the night, but I have a feeling those three Home Runs are going to bite him in the ass sometime soon. Brewers 4, Astros 0.
*Note to Self: It’s really hard to watch a game and type when a cat is trying to eat your dinner and sit on your keyboard. We should probably put her in a cage next time*
*Broadcast note: They have officially talked about the Royal Wedding too much. I have tried to find an angle to work it in and guess what, you can’t. You just can’t. *
Botom 4th – Pence walks and Carlos Lee is up as the broadcasters will not stop talking about the Royal Wedding. They have mentioned exactly zero pieces of information about the game since the Astros came up. Lee flies out to GOmez and I am the most responsible journalist calling the game right now. Be Afraid.
Bottom 4th, one out – Lucroy gets an error because Johnson’s bat hits Lucroy’s glove. Two on, one out.
*Stat time: Milwaukee only has 8 Errors on the season, second in MLB*
Bottom 4th, two outs – Gomez catches a fly ball and then hurtled a toss at the vulnerable skull of his cut-off man Yuniesky Betancourt.
End 4th – Another quick one for Marcum, Brewers 4, Astros 0. Houston only has 1 hit so far.
Top 5th – Rickie is back up to the plate for his third appearance and grounds out for the first out.
Top 5th, one out – Carlos Gomez draws a walk. One on, one out for Ryan Braun.
Top 5th, two outs – Gomez helps to put the Kai-bosh on a double play as Ryan Braun reaches safely to first. One on, one out for Prince. Prince walks and keeps two men on base as McGehee steps up to the plate.
Mid 5th – Mighty Casey has grounded out. Brewers 4, Astros 0.
*Live Blog note: We’re at 1600+ words already. I’ve become too ambitious for my own good*
Bottom 5th, two outs – I went to the bathroom, nobody tell me what happened. My best guess: two ground outs.
*Fun Fact: Roenicke’s brother Gary is scouting the game today. He looks exactly like Ron*
Bottom 5th, two outs – Hard grounder to Yuni, and Bourn reaches for the second Astro hit of the game. One on, two outs.
Bottom 5th, two outs – Bourn steals second again. Lucroy’s throw is high. Again. I bet $5 he gets stranded. Again.
End 5th – What do you know, I’m right. Ground out for Barmes. Brewers 4, Astros 0.
*Commercial note: AirTran is blatantly ripping off Southwest with their new ad campaign, just so you know. *
Top 6th – Corey Hart is up again and down in the count almost immediately and strikes out on – surprise surprise – three breaking balls. One out.
Top 6th, one out – Betancourt always looks like he has somewhere better to be than the batter’s box to me. This time, it’s first base as he draws a walk. One on, one out.
*Lucroy has battled this at-bat really well, it went 2 strikes, 3 straight balls and about 6 foul balls*
Mid 6th – Lucroy goes down swinging, Betancourt runs and tries really hard to put his foot on second. He fails. Brewers 4, Astros 0.
Bottom 6th, one out – Pence flies out to center field on the first pitch. El Caballo comes up for his third at-bat and falls on strikes in four pitches. Marcum’s curveball is making people look stupid. Two outs.
Bottom 6th, two outs – Wallace knocks a deep one off of the left field wall, but only gets a single out of it. One on, Two outs.
*Note: Minute Maid park may have been designed by a third grader who hates baseball: the Left Field Wall, Tal’s Hill, a flag pole in play. Why Astros? Are you so upset that your team is never in contention that no one can just play a normal game?*
End 6th – Bill Hall strikes out and he is pissed. Not our fault, you swung at it. Brewers 4, Astros 0. Marcum now has 6 shutout innings, 3 hits, 2 K’s.
*Commercial note: Sadly, by the time I get to the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, the World Ping Pong Championships will be over. I have to mark that on my calendar for next year*
Top 7th – Marcum is batting, so he will be pitching at least one more – or until he surrenders a run I guess. He also grounded out to 1st. One out.
*Eric Almonte BP Concussion Hypothesis: Eric Almonte made contact and passed out from excitement, hitting his head on home plate*
Top 7th, one out – Rickie Weeks draws a walk. One on, one out for Carlos Gomez.
Top 7th, two outs – Bill Hall’s slide into depression deepens as he cannot turn two on Rickie and Gomez. Braun up with one on and two outs.
Top 7th, two outs – Gomez steals seconds as Quintero thinks about attempting to gun him down, but then just drops the ball and squats down again. One on, two outs.
*Stat Time: Gomez has 8 SB in 2011. Bourn, the Astros lead-off leads the league with 11 (2 tonight)*
Top 7th, two outs – Despite all logical thought, Braun is served up a single on a platter and Gomez scores. Brewers 5, Astros 0. Prince Fielder up.
Mid 7th – Fielder and Wallace collide at 1st base for the third out. I can only imagine the physics of what just happened. Reference: A Cow runs into a Corolla rolling down the driveway. Brewers 5, Astros 0.
*Prince is a 275lb. Vegetarian. Ham is a vegetable right?*
Bottom 7th – Marcum strikes out his 5th tonight, including two in the dirt for Johnson. One out.
Bottom 7th, two outs – Quintero flies out to Hart near the foul line, two outs.
End 7th – Houston PH Brian Bogusevic (?) strikes out on four pitches. Marcum now has 6 K’s and 3 Hits, I don’t want to say I told you so, but I did mention oncer or twice how awesome he was going to be this year. Brewers 5, Astros 0.
Top 8th – I think this is the 6th or 7th pitcher for Houston, and Wallace left the game because I imagine hitting Prince Fielder with a full head of steam nearly killed the man. McGehee Flies out for out number one.
*If a ball is called on a breaking pitch to Hart, it must be because he blinked. The man never met a breaking pitch he didn’t think he could hit*
Top 8th, two outs – Hart threatens with a deep fly ball up the hill, but Bourn catches it about 6 inches from the flag pole. Forgive me if I expected him to run into it. Two outs for Betancourt.
Top 8th, two outs – Lucroy is up, Betancourt walks and Roenicke puts Kotsay up in the on-deck circle as an act of benevolent mercy.
*Note: No one on the Brewers has a decent haircut. No one*
*Stat Time: Marcum’s Line: 95 Pitches, 7 IP, 0 ER, 0 R, 3 H, 6 K*
Bottom 8th – Stetter is in for Marcum and the top of the Houston Lineup. Stetter picks up where Marcum left off, strikes out Bourn and is taken out because when you’re up 5, match ups are important. Kintzler comes to the mound. One out.
*Stat Time: Stetters Line: .1 IP, 5 pitches, 0 ER, 0 R, 0 H, 1 K*
Bottom 8th, one out – McGehee makes a hard toss to Fielder who tags Barmes, even though it looked more like a punch. Two outs.
End 8th – Kintzler gives up a hard single to Pence, then Carlos Lee grounds out to the pitcher to end the inning. Brewers 5, Astros 0.
Top 9th – Kintzler leads off the 9th. This ought to be good. Strike out.
*Broadcast note: Rock has, and I quote: “Boxes of balls in his pants”. Discuss*
Top 9th, two outs – Rickie Weeks grounds out to short, Gomez is up and has yet to record a hit tonight, despite reaching base three times.
Mid 9th – Gomez grounds out to third, but you have to love that effort trying to leg it out. Brewers 5, Astros 0 with last outs coming up.
Bottom 9th, two outs – Bourgeios and Hall fall with a fly out and ground out respectively. Johnson is up for hero time.
End 9th – Kintzler gets the K and the game is over, Brewers 5, Astros 0.
WP – Shaun Marcum (3-1)
LP – Brett Myers (1-1)
HR – Prince Fielder (5), Ryan Braun (10), Yuniesky Betancourt (1)
Attendance – 25, 734
Live Blog Line – (1-1) Chicken Quesadilla, Mountain Dew, and only one bathroom break.
Well that’s it from Colin’s living room tonight, Marcum Dominates the Astros and the road trip is off to a great start. Thanks for the comments, and for reading, and thank you to my girlfriend for falling asleep through the 4th inning.
Have a good weekend and Go Brewers!