June 2011

Crap on a spatula

It’s gonna be a busy week with Festiva, fireworks and even a wedding, so I don’t know if I’ll have too much time to write an actual post while interleague play finally wraps up.

So here’s my first ever mobile blog.

Thanks to one Leslie Knope, my favorite phrase ever has become my little way of letting the Brewers know they’ve let me down.

After sweeping the surging Twins and leaving town on a pretty high note, the Brewers were utterly embarrassed tonight in the Bronx.

It’s no secret that I loathe the Yankees. It’s no secret that everyone in the world pretty much does, except those with the misfortune of being a New Yorker, born into fandom, blah, blah, blah.

Yet tonight’s blowout loss doesn’t make me hate the Yankees even more. Nope. Tonight’s loss makes me wonder why the hell a little league team filled in for an otherwise sturdy Brewers ball club.

Zack Greinke was absolutely shelled. He gave up 7 ERs in 2 innings. He walked 3 (I think) and didn’t strike out a single batter. For the first time in his career.

Wow.

I turned it off shortly after Zach Braddock jogged to the mound. It was 9-2 at that point.

The Twitter world told me assorted relievers continued to give up more runs, Ryan Braun extended his hitting streak and that even my favorite MLB beard George Kottaras got to partake in the beating.

Final score: 12-2.

Crap on a spatula.

Thankfully interleague play ends after this weekend. Why the Brewers had the misfortune of playing both the Red Sox and Yankees, I don’t quite know.

But at least the get to play Minnesota again. Maybe they just forget about NY and roll into Minne all like, “Yeah, remember when we swept you last weekend? Remember when Carlos Gomez had 4 hits? Remember when Betancourt had an inside-the-parker? We do.” And then sweep ‘em again.

And PS, Narv Dog won Sunday. Just like I said he would.

Go Brewers!

White Trash Wednesdays

So apparently, other than my job interfering, there is a new reason for me to avoid Wednesday day games at Miller Park.

Children under the age of 14 are half-price. Cheap people take advantage. Thus, droves of barely supervised kids run amok, ruining my day.

Okay, so today, the Brewers losing their 3rd series in a row kinda ruined my day, too. But still. The kids didn’t help.

So I took my very well-behaved niece to the game instead of just having a boring day babysitting her at my house. We sat in Bernie’s Terrace (soooooo basically the last section, the most obstructions, overall terrible seats) because it wasn’t until yesterday afternoon I even decided going to the game would be a good idea.

My bad.

I realize now that the cheapest seat in the house is not a place I ever want to be again.

Call me a snob. Call me….whatever you’d like. I don’t really care. But I’m sorry, I cannot be around that many unruly children at one time.

Oh, you don’t see a problem with your kids climbing up and down the seats? It’s totally acceptable for them to throw peanuts to get each other’s attention? Is that because you’re the only adult presence for the 9 kids you brought with you? Yes, why don’t you send the 10 year old to take the three 4 year olds to the bathroom–that seems responsible. And don’t forget to have a beer or two while you’re not paying attention to the kids you probably volunteered to take.

Meanwhile, little Piper watched the game (and cheered very loudly for her favorite Brewer Ryan Braun), asked politely for a snack, WALKED to and from our seats and when I told her she may pick out a souvenir from the Team Store, she didn’t get whiny or pout or cry when I told her she had to keep it under $20. She stayed out of other people’s ways, said please and thank you when she bought her soda and held my hand when she thought I was getting too far ahead of her.

Such a good little girl.

And I’m sure there were other obedient kids at the game. But I honestly did not encounter any of them. Which is a total shame. Because after 7 years of working at the zoo (and one bad day at Miller Park), I loathe being around other people’s children. Especially on days with discounts. It’s like bad parents come out of the woodwork and bring their equally bad, if not worse, children with them. And, hell, bring the neighbor’s horrible kiddies, too! Why not?

Blurg.

Sorry, I just had to get that out.

 

 

So the game. What’s there to say, really? Shaun Marcum pitched 3 innings, Brewers and Rays were tied at 2 for awhile and Marco Estrada gave up a 3 run homer or something? I don’t know. I had to pay attention to the kid I had in tow. We were shopping at the Team Store. I honestly wasn’t paying much attention after the 5th inning. Regardless of how it happened, the Brewers eventually lost 6-3. Piper and I were at Gillie’s getting custard when the game-ending text came my way.

Milwaukee has an off-day tomorrow to regroup. Or something. I don’t know. The Twins come to town Friday and, unfortunately, after that, the Brewers still have two more interleague series. On the road. In NYC. And Minnesota.

Probables for the weekend are Randy Wolf (5-4, 3.15) v. Scott Baker (5-4, 3.24), Yovani Gallardo (8-4, 4.11) v. Francisco Liriano (4-6, 4.59) and Chris “Narv Dog” Narveson (4-5, 4.55) v. Carl Pavano (5-5, 4.05). I’ll be going to Sunday’s game and as luck would have it, Narv Dog has won every game I’ve seen him start going back to September of 2009. At least I can’t remember him losing any. I could be totally glamorizing that statistic. (And I probably am.)

And, totally unrelated, but Albert Pujols is out for at least 4-6 weeks.

*GASP*

You mean…no! Prince Albert? Broken bones?? It can’t be! He’s infallible! Whatever will the Cardinals do? They can’t possibly have a replacement first baseman!

Oh. Wait. They have Lance Berkman. All-Star first baseman. Not too shabby of a hitter, either.

Yeah, great. Pujols got hurt. Can we PLEASE sto talking about it already???

 

So, anyway…

Go Brewers!

 

 

That series was wicked bad

Why does it seem, every season, the Brewers have to face the oft-dominating teams of the AL in interleague play?

Two months ago, I wouldn’t have been to bothered to face Boston. They started the season 0-6 and slid uncomfortably into last place in the AL East, all the while the Brewers held themselves up towards the top of the standings in the NL Central. And, despite a bit of a tailspin, Milwaukee has finally begun to establish themselves as a team to be reckoned with, but they were thrust into their first interleague series after a dismal showing at Wrigley. And, as luck would have it, the first series was on the road at Fenway Park.

After finally posting a W on the third try in a 4 game series in Chicago, I thought maybe the Brewers could split the series and swoop into Boston with a little bit of momentum. Instead, Thursday’s game at the hole that is Wrigley proved to be disastrous and the Crew fell to the Cubs 12-7, handing Zack Greinke his second loss of the season. So any hope of an upswing to start the series in Boston was long gone.

It’s not that the Brewers didn’t try. They just ran into a couple of insurmountable issues from their starting pitchers.

Friday night Milwaukee held a brief 2-0 lead, but starter Shaun Marcum left the game after a 44-pitch first inning with a hip injury. Even after a 2 more RBIs, Marco Estrada took the loss after giving up 3 more ERs, but Boston kept plugging away for an eventual 10-4 win.

Game 1 = crap on a spatula.

Last night’s game handed Randy Wolf an early 2-0 lead after back-to-back homeruns for DH Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart. Ryan Braun followed with a line-drive double but was unable to cross the plate and the Red Sox tied it up at 2 in the second. My favorite (almost) MLB beard George Kottaras had a solo homer in the 3rd, followed by a Casey McGehee RBI single to give the lead back to Milwaukee. Wolf went 7 innings and Kameron Loe held the game at 4-2 for John Axford to come in for the save.

Game 2 = barely squeaking by, but I’ll take it.

So today…

Today was horrendous. Yovani Gallardo somehow managed to go 3 full innings, despite basically serving Boston a 6-0 lead on a silver freaking platter in the first. (Yo left with no outs in the 4th and an 8-2 deficit.) Nyjer Morgan hit his 2nd homerun of the season just barely over the right field wall to give the Brewers a couple runs but the bullpen failed to hold the Sox at bay. Sergio Mitre and Mark DiFelice combined for 4 innings and 4 runs. The only pitcher that didn’t allow a run to score was LaTroy Hawkins.

Game 3 = bad. Wicked bad.

The Brewers may have only been on the road for 7 games, but the home confines of Miller Park are going to be a very welcome sight. Tampa Bay comes into town first. The Rays just swept the Marlins in 3 games and if the Brewers are going to put a halt to TBs momentum, they need to shake off the horrid roadtrip. The fact that Marcum’s scheduled start for Wednesday is up in the air could put a damper on things, too. Chris “Narv Dog” Narveson (4-4, 4.48 ERA) gets the nod in game 1 tomorrow. Narv is coming off a good start in Chicago, taking home the only win of the series. He faces Jeff Niemann (1-4, 4.74 ERA), a tall righty who hasn’t won a game since April 28th.

After Tampa, the Brewers have to face the Minnesota Twins, who have been knocking so hard at the basement door, someone finally let them out. Minnesota has won their last 3 series, including a sweep of the Padres. The Twins have always been a tough opponent for Milwaukee but you have to hope with the way the Brewers have been able to play at home that they may have better luck this season. Plus, I’m going on Sunday and the Brewers have yet to lose a Sunday game that I’m at. (Knock on wood.)

So anyway, I’m gonna try to forget the last week’s worth of games and I suggest the Brewers do the same. They’re really gonna need to pick themselves up soon if they’re gonna get out of interleague play alive.

Go Brewers!

Let’s celebrate!

Obviously, not the way the Brewers have played the last 2 games in Chicago. That’s not worthy of anything but frustration. And to be fair, Randy Wolf pitched great Monday but fell victim to lack of offense. And Yovani Gallardo pitched great last night but fell victim to a shoddy bullpen. So there’s a little to celebrate. I guess. But that’s not why.
 
No, no. Tonight we celebrate the return of George Kottaras.
 
Yay!
 
I’ve always been a proponent of George. And his Greek-ness. And his beard. (Ohhh, the beard!)
 
And it’s funny because last season, I was George’s only fan. I had his name and number put on the back of a shirt and was literally laughed at by the guy at the sporting goods store. I didn’t care how much crap people gave me for liking George, I loved him no matter what.
 
And now it seems that his imminent return was called upon by the thousands of Wil Nieves haters out there. (And due to the fact that Nieves produced nothing offensively, hating is totally warranted.) If you’re only gonna like George because he’s not Wil, well then…no. That’s cool. I’ll take it.
 
Yay George!
 
 
 

No, I never get sick of this picture.

 
 
And who knows if the Brewers will even play tonight, but here’s the probables if the monsoon in Chicago ever lets up.
 
Narv Dog (3-4, 4.32 ERA) is coming off his best start of the season, blanking the Cardinals for 8 innings. He also pitched well the last time he faced the Cubs, going 7 scoreless innings and striking out 9 in a 6-0 shut-out. Narv will have to battle it out with Carlos Zambrano (5-3, 4.40 ERA), who likes to beat up on Milwaukee hitters. He’s 13-8 against the Brewers for his career. Boo.
 
Go Brewers!
 
 

Behold…

…The Holy Grail of ballpark food!

This is what they’d serve in heaven. If I believed in that sort of thing.
 
 
I got it. Finally. It was glorious. I shall never eat anything else at Miller Park ever again.*
 
 
 
Also, my Boys managed to sweep the Cardinals over the weekend and take sole possession of the NL Central. (Many thanks to NL Player of the Week, Prince Fielder!) Only to lose to the Cubs last night in a 1-0 heartbreaker. Thus, top honors are currently shared by Milwaukee and St. Louis. For now. I’m pretty confident last night’s loss was a fluke. Because the Cubs suck. It’s a hard-nosed fact. (Seriously. Are they ever gonna abandon that ‘W’ flag? It’s not like they ever actually win anything.)
 
Tonight Yovani Gallardo (8-3, 3.96 ERA) shoots for his 9th win against Randy Wells (1-1, 6.50 ERA). The Crew has a pretty solid line-up to face Wells and the assorted no-name players behind him. Campana? LeMaheiu? Montanez? I don’t know who you are! Are you actual players or just people plucked randomly from the dilapidated stands at Wrigley Field to fill the empty slots in Mike Quade’s line-up?
 
Regardless, the Brewers are winning tonight. And the 2 games after that. Because, again, the Cubs suck.
 
And I have on my “Worst State Ever” t-shirt. (Worst State Ever being Ill-annoys. Duh.)
 
Go Brewers!
 
 
 
 
*Total lie.

Peanuts and Crackerjack? Yeah, right.

Grasping onto the coattails of John and Cait, I’ve been thinking a lot about ballpark food lately.

I’ve eaten the most amazing Philly Cheesesteak in St. Louis (go figure) and the tacos at Busch aren’t so bad, either. The nacho bar (and the liquor-types of bars) at Target Field will be hard to rival and although I didn’t have food at Great American Ballpark, the beer selection was pretty nice.

And I have my go-to’s at Miller Park. For sure. Who doesn’t?

Cactus League Nachos and Friday’s Strawberry Long Islands are generally the way to go, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an argument from me otherwise. (Though the baked potato equivalent to the nachos are good, too.) And since my friend Chris’s chicken parm sandwiches were beat by chunks of sausage on a stick (blech!) in the concession contest prior to the start of the season, I haven’t really wanted to try too many of the new items out of spite.

However, the talk of the pulled pork parfait has piqued my interest. For sure.

The first time I tried to get it, I was so excited. I ate a minimal lunch before the 3:10 start in anticipation of meat and potato gloriousness. I was expecting a long line and instead came across just a father and son paying for their pork delectibles. I step up to the counter and place my order.

“Actually, we just ran out of mashed potatoes. I can make you a sandwich, though!”

Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have LI-trally never been so disappointed about food in my life. I wanted to trip the small child that was handed the last parfait of the day, steal his and run away. (I had no intention of that sentence rhyming so much.) I kind of wanted to cry. I did’t want a sandwich! I wanted my barbeque slathered pork goodness layered in a dessert cup with mashed potatoes! A sandwich?? A sandwich??? Gah!

I turned to the loaded baked potato for comfort. It wasn’t the same. It could never match the things I’ve heard spoken of the parfait, of that I was certain.

So, friends, tomorrow is my chance. The pulled pork parfait will finally be in my belly. I’ve learned my lesson to not wait. Immediately after securing a Long Island, I’ll make my way over to Section 127 and stand in line as long as it takes.

She will be mine. Oh, yes. She will be mine.

 

So, um, baseball. Right.

The Brewers absolutely LIT UP Kyle Lohse and assorted Cardinals relievers, handing the Narv Dog a much-needed, and extremely well-deserved win. Ryan Braun and Corey Hart each homered in the 8-0 victory and though the strike zone was somewhat–no, very–inconsistent, Narv pitched 8 shutout innings and the Crew managed to play smart ball on all facets and are now just a game and a half behind the Red Birds.

Tonight Milwaukee sends Zack Greinke (5-1, 4.83 ERA) to face Chris Carpenter (1-5, 4.25 ERA). The Brewers offense has treated Greinke well since he joined the rotation and the team is 6-1 in games he’s started. Both starters have Cy Young Awards under their belts, but Carpenter’s still searching for win #2, despite pitching for a first place team that’s 11 games over .500.

Tomorrow’s game, which I’ll be attending and stuffing my face with yummy food, is Zack Greinke bobblehead day. It’s also a game that could potentially put the Brewers alone in first place (assuming they win tonight). The Brewers have Shaun Marcum (6-2, 2.58 ERA) lined up against Jake Westbrook (6-3, 5.01 ERA). Marcum pitched a lovely game Tuesday night against the Mets but the Brewers couldn’t provide enough offense and they lost it 2-1.

So, here’s to a team that’s finally starting to work together on a consistent basis and here’s to knocking the Cards down a bit!

Go Brewers!

 

 

 

What’s your batting song?

While I am absolutely LOVING that my Boys are finally figuring out how to win on the road, I’m not gonna spend too much time writing about that.

Yes, they finally mustered a win at Great American Ballpark and are currently 4-2 on this 2-city roadtrip, but it hasn’t been easy. I actually only watched one game in Florida so far but all the box scores and recaps I’ve read have led me to believe the Brewers really are just squeaking by. But hey, I’ll take it. A road win is a road win and lord knows Milwaukee will take them any way they can. The Crew has one game left against the Marlins and they’re sending Zack Greinke (4-1, 5.29ERA) to the mound opposite Javier Vasquez (3-4, 6.02ERA). If they pull off a win tonight, it will be the Brewers first official sweep on the road. (I say official because the rainout in Pittsburgh shortened the series.) They’ve been playing relatively smart ball and are somehow managing to get out of jams left and right. Let’s hope tonight is a cake walk compared to what they’ve done in FLA so far and that the Crew can come back home on a hot streak.

What I’ve been DYING to talk about since the season began are batting songs.

My friends and I have an Opening Day tradition to choose the song that best has the ability to pump us up, whether it’s at a tailgate party right before we start to walk to the ballpark or getting ready for a girls’ night out or grilling in our backyards. Most of us change it up year to year, but sometimes those tried and true songs remain on the playlist because they never fail to get us going.

Even for me, someone who would never actually step into a Major League batter’s box, choosing the perfect song is a process. Yes, sometimes I hear a song and think, “That’s it!” Like last year. Who wouldn’t want to step to the plate to “Danger Zone,” Kenny Loggins’ theme to “Top Gun”? Yeah. You’d better be careful with your pitches. Because I’m on a highway to the danger zone!

This year was a little more involved. I had it narrowed down to 3, after Nik had already chosen Usher’s “More.” (Damn her!)

No Diggety – Blackstreet

Good Lovin – The Rascals

Gimme Some Lovin – Spencer Davis Group

I thought soooooo hard. I listened to each song over and over and over. And finally, when I couldn’t fight the urge to get up and dance around my room every time I heard it, I knew Spencer Davis was the way to go.

And it was a hit on Opening Day. And it still pumps me up every time I hear it.

I mean, we really have some good ones. Our starting line-up is pretty much guaranteed to hit homeruns. Every time.

Club Can’t Handle Me. Homerun.

All I Do is Win. Homerun. (And it plays at MP when the Brewers win.)

Dynamite. Homerun.

How could you not hit one with songs like that?

So, since I often wonder how players come up with their songs, I’m also pretty intrigued to find out what kind of songs would get you in the mood to swing away.

So my question to you, dear readers, is if you ever got the chance to step up the plate at Miller Park (or any other Major League ballpark, for that matter), what would you want to hear blasting over the sound system?

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