The last visit and game of our tour...is it really almost over?
I haven't been to Milwaukee since I was a kid, didn't really see much as we approached Miller Park...it was ALL we could see from several miles back!
Miller Park is HUGE, no question about it. The dome and its supporting mechanical features lend greatly to the impression of its size. The dome was open when we arrived; both Mark and I noted that Dallas could play their games here while they move their video display board.
These guys know how to TAILGATE...probably because its Friday, but maybe because we are in Wisconsin!
Robin Yount statue in front of the Home Plate gate (there is also a statue of Hank Aaron)
Our seats were just fine, one section closer to the plate would have been ideal. We were in the Loge outfield box, on the 3rd base side. Great vantage point for infield and outfield plays, and a great POV to enjoy the barrage of homers we watched this evening. Milwaukee fans are definitely another breed; the folks around us got up to pee and/or drink at least once per inning - I don't think the group directly in front of us could have told you what the final score was!
Unlike St. Louis, I wore a Cubs hat and shirt to the game - I had to, as a gesture to show my support for my team and to stare in the face of our defeat the day before. The Brewers are further behind in the NL Central and Wild Card race this year than the Cubs are...I suppose that hurts for a few Brewers fans, but hey...baseball is baseball.
The park staff and most fans were courteous, but as I was warned by several folks, Cubs gear in Miller Park isn't kool according to some. We almost made it through the entire game, when during the 8th inning a sobriety challenged fan walking up the stairs wanted to know what we were doing there, and I told him...we're here to see a game. He then let us know in so many pleasantries how we would never win, and returned his sentiment politely. SAME TO YOU, BUDDY. A lady behind me reached over for some 'fan chat' right after this (probably due to her embarrassment for Brewers fans), I told her I thought it was odd how there seemed to be many Robin Yount T-shirts, but no Paul Molitor shirts! I probably would have bought one...
I wanted a Sausage Race hat, but we only found ONE in the gift shop and I didn't like the hat style or the price that much, so...maybe some other time!
Winner of the Sausage Race, my favorite CHORIZO ("by a casing")!!! (The picture is a bit blurry, but I was a bit excited!)
PIRATES 6 10 0
BREWERS 8 12 1
A dual-edged offensive strike by both teams, the Brewers had the edge with 3 homers during the game (Fielder, Bourgeois, and Braun). The big obvious difference was the Pirates left more runners stranded than the Brewers, almost 2:1.
Mike Cameron and Alcides Escobar also hit well. Manny Parra had a couple of rough innings, but the Pirates' Zack Duke was much rougher, facing 10 batters in a 5-run, 7-hit 1st inning (that included Fielder's 3 run HR). Chris Bootcheck allowed only one run after Duke's 3 innings of work. Andrew McCutchen belted a big HR in the 6th, but the Pirates were unable to reverse the early inning stomping they received.
As I had hoped, since the Brewers were up, we got to experience "TREVOR TIME" in Miller Park, kind of exciting!
Trevor threw 21 pitches, that's the most I've ever see him handle. Garret Jones reached first base on an unusual error by Hoffman (he outran Jones to 1st on a softly hit ground ball but dropped the ball as he hit the bag after the relay), and the next batter Andy LaRoche worked Hoffman a little before swinging to sundown. 4 up, 3 down on K (2 swinging, one called).
The dome was open at the start of the game, but was closed by the time we noticed it was so during the 7th inning. In case you were wondering, Todd Coffey's time from the pen to the mound was 13.24 (his record this season is 11.61).
Official Scorecard - I also scanned one of the inside panels, featuring a very nicely done 'How to Score' section, one of the best I've ever seen. The intro paragraph is some of the best 'buy in' prose at this level ever.
Official GAMEDAY mag - instead of a xeroxed one-sheet with lineup and stats, this was given away free and is a nice magazine for both scorers and spectators in general.
This great 2-page article appeared in the Gameday mag, a nice writeup about Brewers' Official Scorer Tim O'Driscoll.