Please pardon the absence. I’ve been on vacation all week and there was no way I was gonna sit down and post when I had every opportunity to go out during the week, be lazy during the days and watch my Boys start to turn it around.
Finally, a week later, here’s the Minnesoooooota recap.
The weekend began by taking a short jaunt to Madison Thursday night so we could cut off an hour and leave later for Minneapolis the next morning. After making spicy jalapeno mac and cheese and chili lime chicken burgers, we settled in to watch my Hubby, the Narv Dog, lead the Crew to it’s first win in their last 10 games. Not an amazing win by a long shot, but it was nice to go to bed knowing the Brewers weren’t total losers.
So, smoothies in hand, we set out for Minnesota in the pouring rain and Madge, our GPS, was leading the way to The Nook in St. Paul. Three starving ladies just wanted burgers and beer (and in Nik’s case, a malt) to kick off our mini-vacay and let me tell you, this thing was worth the wait.
Behold, The Molitor. Two burger patties filled with pepperjack cheese goodness, paired with the best fries I’ve ever had the pleasure of stuffing my face with. It should be an actual crime for all restaurants to NOT soak their handcut fries in vinegar before frying them. I will forever be disappointed with anything else.
If you’re heading to the Twin Cities anytime soon, it is an absolute MUST that you stop at The Nook.
From there, we drove the arduous 15 minutes to Minneapolis and once we arrived, it was really hard not to notice the one eyesore of an otherwise gorgeous city: The Metrodome. And, naturally, since Mol and I were wearing Packers shirts (because why wouldn’t you wear Packers shirts when in Viqueens State?), we got out to find Mr. Arnold himself…
…to take some pics of our disdain for him.
The only mean Minnesotans we encountered all weekend was a drive-by insult at this point, telling us to go back to Wisconsin. I mean, gladly. We have Aaron Rodgers there.
Anyway, after that quick stop, we got to our super-cute downtown hotel and got ready for the quick walk to beautiful Target Field. We put on our best Brewers gear and, of course, prepped with a couple Sausage Shots…
…and the Triplets were off. We made a quick stop at Brothers for Happy Hour in the adorable alley bar…
…then joined the droves of fellow Brewers fans (and super, super attractive Twins fans) and went to the field.
So the game…
First of all, gorgeous, gorgeous stadium. Thank god the Twins don’t have to play at the Eyesore anymore, is all I have to say. Look at this view!
Soooo, top of the 1st, eh, who cares? No runs, NBD. Bottom? Holy eff.
Normally, you know, I’m all about Dave Bush. Love the high socks, love the sometimes beard. But on this particular night, I wanted to punch him in the throat. Six runs in 1/3 of an inning and who does Manager of the Year Ken Macha send out to replace DB? Oh, of course. Logical choice. Jeff freaking Suppan. Cue the Triplets leaving their seats and finding the nearest bar (thankfully, Target Field has LOTS of full bars scattered throughout).
Luckily for us, Twins fans are super nice and no one gloated when their score kept climbing and the Crew’s sat at zero. Although, you have to enjoy Carlos Gomez hitting a 3-run bomb and toooootally rubbing it in his former team’s face.
After the game, the ladies and I went back to Brothers to drink away our sorrows, play a bit of darts (of course, me and a dude in a Denard Span jersey won in a total beat-down) and dance our little Brewers-loving booties off.
The next day, Nik and I took to the skywalks while Mol slept off her headache. It was pouring yet again, and as nothing was open in the buildings, we had to hoof it on the actual cold, wet streets if we wanted to find food. By the time we were done eating, the skies had cleared and it was getting warmer by the minute so we walked towards the field to check out how unreasonably priced tickets were for that afternoon’s game. Too rich for our blood, so we wandered around a bit longer, went back to the hotel to pick up Mol and go to Brit’s Pub…
…to catch the rest of what turned out to be a 12-inning debacle of a game. Not surprising, the Brewers were now down 0-2 in interleague play.
After that, we got all dolled up and headed out for a night on the town, which is a totally different beast at night. We don’t like clubs, we don’t like covers and we most definitely don’t like girls that wear underwear as clothes. Needless to say, we called it an early night and went back to the hotel to finish our bottle of reisling in bed.
Sunday rolls around and we pack and get ready to hit the road. It was only after we crossed the border back into Wisconsin and finish our KFC Buffet that we finally stumble upon a radio station that carries the game. And only after we are comfortably finished with our Norske’s Nook pies do the Brewers induce near-heart attacks and actually pull off a series finale win. Halle-effing-luja.
And, since it’s been so long, just a quick few things about the Brewers lately. First off, Narv Dog, no longer my hubby. From now on, ‘hubby’ will refer to George Kottaras. Second, Chris Capuano is back with the club and will likely be inserted into the starting rotation and as a result of his addition, Claudio Vargas was DFA’d. Thirdly, Macha’s been playing with the line-up and as of right now, it’s been paying off. (Although, Braun bats second today. Weird) Fourth, and probably most important, Yovani Gallardo outdueled Johan Santana Friday night. He went to distance with a complete game shutout. Fifth, Corey Hart is the talk of the town, walking off Yo’s insane game with a 2-run homer Friday, grand slamming in the 1st last night and 2-run homering in the 3rd, accouting for 6 of the Brewers 8 runs.
It may be a short trip, but thank god they’re on the road again.
It’s been 16 years since the Brewers lost 9 in a row at home. They may only be at 8 losses right now, but that’s not to say they won’t lose again when Houston comes to town next week. The Astros may be the only team in the NL Central with a worse record than the Crew, but the way those boys play at home, anything’s possible.
The Brewers were at Miller Park for a short 6 games, but were outscored by the Braves and Phillies 51-20. Add being swept twice in a row to their already dismal home record, and Milwaukee sits at just 4-14 — ouch.
The Crew now faces the first place Cincinnati Reds for 2 games, then head to PNC Park for 2 against the Pirates before their first bout of interleague play in Minnesota.
The Reds have been on fire and their starting rotation has dominated, going 7-1 in their last 8. Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s first trip to Pittsburgh was an all-out annihilation, outscoring the Bucs 36-1, so here’s hoping they can come alive again.
Adding to the Brewers woes is a new member of the DL in Doug Davis, who was admitted to the hospital Saturday with a minor chest condition. His health issues pushed up the rotation, prompting a trip to the mound a day early (but still on 5 days rest) for Dave Bush. Now, I’d like to think of this as a blessing in disguise, given the poor performances Davis has shown us thus far. I mean, one less bad pitcher in the rotation is a good thing, right?
Looking at the probables for the next 3 games, the Brewers seemingly have the advantage. Despite the Reds’ recent efforts to push the Cardinals out of the top spot, the numbers their starters have posted aren’t much to brag about and hopefully, Milwaukee will be able to take advantage.
Yovani Gallardo (4-1, 3.06 ERA) v. Johnny Cueto (2-1, 4.07 ERA)
Manny Parra (0-2, 3.98 ERA) v. Homer Bailey (1-2, 5.66 ERA)
Wednesday (@ Pitts):
Randy Wolf (3-3, 4.66 ERA) v. Brian Burres (2-1, 5.00 ERA)
Thursday’s starter is TBD for the Brewers, but the Pirates are looking to send Paul Maholm (3-3, 4.40 ERA) to the mound.
Seeing as the road has been kind to my boys so far, I’m hoping it will be kind to me and my ladies, too. Our roadie is finally upon us and if we can’t see wins at home, hopefully (pretty please?) we can see one in Minneapolis.
I know, I know. The Brewers are notoriously bad facing the Twins, but I’m thinking that playing outdoors on actual grass will be advantageous. And, if not, we’re only going to Friday night’s game, so we’re fully prepared to just go out and drink the rest of the weekend. We’re open to suggestions on cute, trendy places to go out (and maybe run into some players? Maybe?), so if any of you Minnesota folks know anywhere good, let me know.
And this girl also has next week off, so I may just venture to Miller Park and torture myse–ahem–prove what a loyal fan I am.
So this will probably be it until the Triplets return from Minneapolis. I’ve gotta plan cute outfits for the near 80 degree weather we’re expecting and bribe the FSN cameramen to put us on TV just like they did in St. Louie.
I somehow feel the Packers attire would be more appropriate in Minnesota…
Most people, in everyday life, wouldn’t get to take a day or two off work for performing poorly and still get paid. Most people wouldn’t get to sit out the day (unless they’re needed in a pinch) because a certain bigwig is coming and they do a better job working with a right-handed bigwig. Most people don’t do an amazing job 3 or 4 days in a row and then fall off as if they’ve never set foot in their office before.
Well, most people aren’t members of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Yes, it’s only the second week of May, but we all know that I’m not one to sit idly by and wait for actions. I openly air my greivances. And maybe I should’ve been more diligent with my blog and been posting during the last leg of that NL West roadie because then I would’ve been more apt to talk about things like the Narv Dog’s combined 11 Ks in his 2 wins against LA and Arizona. Or Yovani Gallardo’s 10 strikeouts over the Dbacks bringing him his 4th win and put him at 50 Ks on the season. I would be much happier to be talking about Prince’s birthday homer and the Mom’s Day 8th inning offensive outburst.
But, apparently I’m a glutton for punishment and choose not to post until all that positivity came to a crashing halt last night against Atlanta.
Now, I could just say to myself, “Calm down. It was only one game.” But the thing is, with the Brewers, that one game tends to lead to another and then another. They go through obnoxiously waivering spurts of insane offense coupled with sturdy pitching to lead to win after win and that eventually makes way for a few terrible, short starts, poor relief and a lack of bats. Fortunately for the Crew, they’re only 2 games under .500, but are 5 games behind the Cardinals.
So what exactly do I have a problem with. Really, it’s only 2 things.
One, this team seemingly relies on massive offense to pick up average pitching. “But what else is new?” you might ask. Sure, Milwaukee leads the league in runs scored, and that’s great, but then look at the amount of shut-outs they’ve been on the wrong end of (4). Or the number of games they’ve won when scoring less than 3 runs (2). Gah. Very rarely does the entire team, pitchers and batters, work seamlessly for normal wins (and by ‘normal’ I mean scoring single-digit runs and still winning).
My second problem might just be because of the hype I created in my own head, but I think I had waaaaaay too high of expectations for pitching coach Rick Peterson. Here’s a guy that created a system for finding a guy’s ideal pitching conditions. His biomechanic approach to pitching is designed to show exactly where a pitcher’s flaws are, what his strengths and weaknesses are, and then is able to work with each individual on how to improve his pitching game while avoiding any major injury or overexertion. Yet, the Brewers pitching staff is having it’s same old problems with inconsistency. I understand that Peterson isn’t a godsend or anything, but it seems like the amount of money spent to improve the staff and bringing him on board as coach are all for naught, seeing as the 2010 pitching staff is basically the same as the staff from years past–troubled and temperamental.
So that’s all.
If Milwaukee could somehow get their bats to speak up every game (when it counts, Casey. I mean, thanks for avoiding the shutout last night, but still) and their pitchers, both from the get-go and out of the bullpen, to get a little less erratic, they could really get themselves closer to the top. Yeah, yeah, it’s all easier said than done. But come on, I don’t get rewarded for not doing my job correctly. I mean, Jeff Suppan’s making $12 mil just to sit in the ‘pen for days at a time. Seriously, I know it’s not just me thinking it. It’s about time these guys get out there and do what they’re paid to do.
Yovani Gallardo has done it again.
I’m not gonna get all gung-ho about last night’s win over the Padres just yet, though. Gallardo definitely has been on point in his last 2 starts and his bat has been doing just as much work as his arm. Last night’s season-high 11 K’s (granted, it was a generous strike zone) held San Diego at just 1 run in 7 innings of work and it was Yo’s solo homerun (he’s now at 5 in his short career) that put the Brewers on top in the 3rd.
After Rickie Weeks added the only insurance with a solo homer of his own in the 5th, I’ll admit, I almost wanted to throw up knowing Trevor Hoffman would be coming out for the save. That feeling was quelled a bit watching LaTroy Hawkins pitch in the 8th. I mean, if he could pitch well again, well, then why couldn’t Hoffman?
And Hoffman did. Thankfully. So now, only 5 away from 600 saves, one would have to think that Trevor may be turning over a new leaf in this second month of play.
So with this new month, we Brewers fans have to hope that April is, although not forgotten, at least behind us. Prince Fielder will notoriously leave his season-opening slump behind him and become the home run machine once again, the rotation will start going deeper into ballgames and the offense will learn that, while we love the power, small ball wins games.
April is gone and May started with a (small) bang. So here’s to moving on. Here’s to beating those fluke-ily good teams. Here’s to getting back on board with Trevor Time and 600 saves. Here’s to the Prince of Power getting his swing back. Here’s to offense and pitching working together. Here’s to pushing above .500. Here’s to becoming the team I know and love again.