As we pulled in to the Miller Park parking lot last night (Mom, Dad, Sister,Snick, and myself), I could not help but giggle like a little kid. All I could think about for the past three days was going to this game. It had been so long since I set foot inside the greatest ballpark in all the land, that my heart was skipping beats. Yovani Gallaro was on the mound, and the team was on an emotional high from Nyjer Morgan’s walk-off single the night before. Then as we were pulling in, Tom Haudricort tweeted that Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers was throwing out the first pitch!!! Truly this was destined to be the greatest evening of my life, right?
I watched Casey McGehee make his second consecutive error at third base and listened to the boo’s ring out through Miller Park, then it hit me. This team will only go as far as Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder can take them. Carlos Gomez and Jon Lucroy struck out 3 times a piece, McGehee and Betancourt went 0 for 4, and Rickie Weeks continued his 0 for the series streak. These are the guys we need to step up and it seems like none of them are willing to accept that responsibility. Prince Fielder drove in the only run of the game. You know who scored on that play? Ryan Braun. Our lineup made Jon Niese look like Roy Halladay (who we made look like Jon Niese earlier in the season).
Naturally, last nights 4-1 loss was disappointing. However, I was able to enjoy some of the little things that make Brewers games and fans the best in professional baseball. When Aaron Rodgers stepped onto the field, every last person in the stadium got on their feet and I could hear my ear drums rattle inside my head. It was exhilarating. The electricity in the air was like nothing I have experienced in many many moons. Seattle Mariners games are funerals by comparison, so to be around fans who truly love and care about their team was very gratifying. Then the game started.
Gallardo just did not look right from the on-set. After 3 innings he had already thrown 70 pitches, while his counterpart, Jon Niese, had only thrown 27. The Miller Park scoreboard did not register a fastball over 93 mph for Yo all night. His velocity was not where it needed to be and the Mets capitalized on that. Over the first four innings, it seemed as if he took every batter he faced to a full count. Then he gave up 5 straight hits to start the 5th inning and as he left the mound, you couldd hear 4 people clapping. It was actually sort of nice. I am of the belief the we should never clap for crap, it only encourages crappy play going forward. Easily his worst outing of the season, against the worst lineup he has faced all year. Guys named Pridie, Thole, and Turner made Yo look like a Triple-A prospect. Jose Reyes already batted three times by the 4th inning, while our lead-off man had only batted once. To finally get to see Yo pitch in person and have him only get through 4 innings was very disappointing.
Driving home in Snick’s car, it was hard to discuss what we had all seen. Watching a team go out there and flop around like a delicious bass in the bottom of a fishing boat, is a hard pill to swallow. There were a few things we could all agree on; My sister really enjoyed the soft pretzel she had in the 5th inning. The field looked absolutely beautiful, those landscapers do a terrific job. We could see Bob Uecker in his AM 620 booth, so that was pretty sweet. But, the moment we will all remember the most was watching some idiot, in skinny jeans, run onto the field and lay down on 2nd base. While none of us could pinpoint his motive, we could all agree that it was the only moment (after Rodgers’ first pitch) that made us all smile. Plus, we noticed that most of the Brewers player info on the big screen in center field is either inaccurate or based on some sort of curve. If Carlos Gomez is 6′ 4″, then I am Diana Ross. The only baseball related thing that we all agreed on, none of us want to see McGehee out there any more. Mat Gamel time might be upon us, because you can only let your #5 hitter struggle like this for so long Roenicke. Now it is just getting embarassing for the poor guy. Who gets a standing ovation for getting a hit after going o for 27 ? A guy who needs to grab some pine, that’s who.
The game was regrettable, but the memories I shared with my family will never be forgotten. All of the jokes about how “good” Casey McGehee is. Laughing at Angel Pagan, while trying to figure out how you can be both an angel and a pagan. Mocking the first base umpire, who made horrible call after horrible call. Picking the winning sausages together(Polish won, which was my pick), singing ‘Roll out the Barrell’, and enjoying some good old fashioned family time at the ball park. Those are the things that I will remember about this game, not Carlos Gomez letting pitches go right down the middle of the plate and then swinging at every single pitch thrown in the dirt.
I will leave you all with this one final thought. Brewers fans are the best on earth. Not because they cheer the loudest, or have the highest attendance in baseball. Brewers fans are the best because they never give up. Even last night when the game looked like it was out of reach, most of the seats stayed full. Part of being a fan is always believing in your team. Deep down you have to always hope that some miracle will occur, even when your brain tells you it won’t happen. Thank you Brewers fans for making last night more fun than the box score would indicate. It is the fans that make the team. Sometimes living in a fickle sports city, I forget that. For these reasons, I am more proud than ever to call myself a Brewers fan and you should all be proud too…even after a loss.
If you have a few minutes today, go over and check out the Hall of Very Good. I put together a little something for them about Sam Fuld (which he later re-Tweeted) and it is worth a read. Have a wonderful weekend everybody. Let’s do what we do best and cheer our boys to a sweep against the Cardinals. Thanks for another great time Wisconsin, I will miss you.