Who’s Got (Number) Two?


As in the number two seed? We do. Tonight the Brewers ended the season in the most predictable way possible – by beating up on Pittsburgh. That win, and the current 7-0 drubbing the D-Backs are taking by the Dodgers, has secured Milwaukee as the home site for a handful of NLDS games. For those who got to witness the game in person, it was the final of 96 wins for a remarkable season and part of a year that I – and many Milwaukee fans – will cherish for a lifetime.

Did I mention that I haven’t gotten a chance to see a single game at Miller Park this year? Yes, it’s true. For months I have been parked on my couch, cutting out of work early and neglecting the last dying embers of my social life to bring Brewers ‘news’ (put in quotes here because it is mostly just bad puns and jokes about Mark Kotsay’s hot wife) to the masses. For the entirety of the summer I have been drinking pricey beer and swearing at Cardinals from my living room, because I never had the chance to do that in Miller Park.

Living up north sucks.

Anyways, tonight’s game was quite a show. The Brewers franchise managed to set a couple of records in the process, as well. By securing the win behind six strong innings from Greinke, the new all-time Brewer win record will sit at 96 for at least a season. It was Greinke’s 16th win, and his four K’s brought his strikeout total up to 201, marking the first time in Brewers history the staff had two 200 strikeout pitchers. Attendance clocked in near capacity, which helped bring the year-long total at Miller Park at a record 3,073,373 for the year.

It could’ve been 3,073,374 but my work schedule, paltry bank account and the hour-and-a-half drive down from Sloshkosh made it very difficult.

Regardless, the pitching wasn’t the only part of the game on Beast Mode tonight as the Brew Crew’s offense turned in seven runs on seven hits. Jonathan Lucroy hit his 12th dinger of the season in the third inning for the first run of the night, followed soon after by a two-out single shot by Corey Hart to put the Crew up 2-0. It was Corey’s 26th of the year, and a fitting end to his very good (if not a tad surprising) offensive season.In the very next inning, Carlos Gomez – yes, that Carlos Gomez – hit a three run shot. RBI’s by Hart and Hairston in the following innings would give Milwaukee all the insurance they needed, and they drove the the final nail in the Bucco’s coffin for 2011. I love games that feature a lot of offensive firepower – especially when I can see them at the Ballpark.

Seriously, can anyone get me playoff tickets? I’d pay face value for them (do you take post-dated checks?) I’d even let you name my first-born for a chance to see the Brewers play in the NLDS.

By the way, did I mention that the Brewers are hosting the Diamondbacks on Saturday for the first game of the playoffs? The Brewers have been shaky in two previous series against Arizona, with a record of 3-4 against them in 2011. The first game will most likely be a match-up of top tier pitching, with Yovani Gallardo taking on either Ian Kennedy or Daniel Hudson for the debut of the Divisional Series. Gibson has been quite dodgy on the subject, but it’s probably a lock for Kennedy. He finished the year with 21 wins and a 2.88 ERA and is a front-runner for the NL Cy Young. He’s only faced Milwaukee once this year but held them to seven scoreless innings while fanning five batters. But this time he will face them on the Crew’s turf and his ERA ticks up to 3.19 away. Not staggering, by any means, but it’s nice to see.

What’s really staggering is the fact that the Brewers have played so well this year, and a Wisconsin Ex-Pat in Seattle has seen more games live than me ( no offense, Lou.)

For real, if anyone can get me tickets to the playoffs I will write you a flowery love letter on this blog, buy you a wonderful Brewers gift (probably this or something equally sophisticated for under $20) and have it engraved with my thanks as a memory of the heartfelt and charitable person you are.

Speaking of charitable people, Brewers reliever LaTroy Hawkins is nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award honoring Major League players who give back to their communities in the spirit of Clemente’s unending good deeds. You can vote for him here, and see just a taste of some of the great work he’s done off the field.

The Brewers have a couple of days off, but stay tuned here for a slew of playoff hopes/doubts/speculation/celebration/ticket grubbing/complaining/cheering and fun as the Brewers begin a playoff run.

And if you come across some extra tickets, let me know. ‘Cause I haven’t been to a game yet and everything.