21 May 2007

On Assignment: Brewers 6, Twins 5

As I lounged about this weekend, an urgent message suddenly appeared in my inbox from the headquarters of the Minnesota Sports Guys conglomerate. I was chosen to attend a Twins game this weekend at Miller Park. Despite the fact that Ramon Ortiz would be pitching, and that I would be wading into hostile territory with which I was not familiar (my first visit to Miller Park), I felt duty-bound to do my best. Following is my report. (Keep in mind, I am not a professional picture taker, I'm barely an amateur, so there's not much and it may not be high quality, but I'll try to fill in with witty commentary where appropriate)

Yep, that's the place. We (me and my wife) exited off the freeway and were pretty much right by the front gate, which we thought boded well. After another 20 minutes of driving we reached our parking spot and made the long trek back toward the field (which is essentially in the middle of an enormous parking lot).
Also, you may notice that the roof was closed. No outdoor baseball for us.

We found our seats pretty easily (after procuring some cheesy fries in a helmet). This was the view from section 430 (the MNSG budget apparently isn't all that large). The place was pretty well packed with a reasonable representation of Twins fans. And I should point out that the Brewers fans that I met were very well behaved, before and after the game (I probably would have ranted about them if they weren't, so I have to give them credit).
In the above picture, the Brewers had just walked Jason Bartlett to get to Ramon Ortiz in the big 4-run fourth.

At this point my wife pointed out that TC, the Twins mascot, was in attendance, hanging out with Bernie Brewer on the infamous slide. (Emphasis mine, there were no giant purple arrows at the game). Shortly after this half inning finished, Bernie and TC disappeared from the slide and TC wasn't seen again. In an interesting parallel, the Brewers outscored the Twins 6 to 1 for the remainder of the game. Perhaps Bernie took matters into his own hands? I know the Twins policy is not to negotiate for hostages, but it had to be weighing on their minds.
Ramon Ortiz plots his next big inning (alternatively, he frets about the plight of TC).
It wouldn't be Milwaukee without a Sausage Race. Here they come, around the homeplate area, I had the bratwurst in a friendly wager with my wife (that's him in the green hat at the back of the pack. grrrrrrr)
It was Sunday, so it was a relay (as anyone who's witnessed a sausage race knows). The "little weenies" ran the last leg and the bratwurst made a valiant comeback to finish second. Unfortunately the wife's pick, the polish, won easily, so I lost that bet (and no, I won't tell you what the wager was, it's not important).
I had a picture of Ramon Ortiz, and here's a picture of Pat Neshek. I didn't get a picture of Dennys Reyes because I was covering my eyes in horror the whole time he was on the field. He trotted in from the bullpen and I was desperately trying to convince myself that Juan Rincon had become a lefty. But Dennys laughed at my pitiful attempts to deny him as he coughed up a run to give the Brewers the lead.
Neshek was awesome, after getting two outs on two pitches in the 7th, my wife predicted three strikeouts on 9 pitches in the 8th. She was pretty close, Neshek got two strikeouts and a pop-up on 10 pitches. Between this and the polish sausage thing (plus she got the attendance game right, too) I was getting a little freaked out.

I had a good time, I always enjoy a baseball game, and this one was close enough to be entertaining throughout. I got to give Cuddyer a standing ovation for his home run, and I got to curse the offense for failing to capitalize on a leadoff double in a tie game. The whole range of emotions in one afternoon. I really felt the Twins should have pulled this one out, but I can be content with 2 of 3 on the road in a series. That's it from me, I'm off to sharpen my photojournalism skills, thanks for reading!

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