Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Border Battle at Miller Park

All photos of the Border Battle available on Flickr.

On Friday, Erik, myself, and my family attended the first of a hopefully annual event.  The Border Battle was a Midwest League game between the Brewers' new low-A affiliate, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, and the dreaded Cubs' affiliate, the Peoria Chiefs.  Miller Park is starting to gain the reputation of being a courteous neutral site that will host any game when the Brewers are on the road - it has even hosted a PBA event.  In the last 2 years alone, Miller Park has hosted an entire Indians' series that was snowed out, and a hurricane-refugee game between the Astros and Cubs that produced the first no-hitter ever pitched at a neutral site.  Friday's game was the third minor league game played at the park; there were two Snappers-Rattlers games played here when the Snappers were the Brewers affiliate (1982-2004) and the Rattlers belonged to the Mariners.  This was Erik and my second Rattlers game of the season, and we are very excited to be seeing Brewers prospects so close to home.

We of course tailgated this event and were pleasantly surprised with the excitement surrounding the game.  After a few beers and brats, we headed to our 19th row seats right behind home plate, about the farthest away I'd ever care to be at a minor league game, but still some of the best Miller Park seats I've ever had.  The entire event was $10 GA and most of the lower bowl was full.  The game itself was very entertaining, and with guys on the jumbotron born in the 1990s, you'd expect an interesting game.  Unlike the game we saw on opening night, this one had much more hitting.  The T-Rats beat the Chiefs 5-3 in an evening that saw 21 total hits, three mascot cornhole contests, two mascot races, and more fans that a Marlins' weekend series.  The 1-3 hitters of Dykstra, John Delaney, and Lawrie combined to go 8-14, and Brock Kjeldgaard had the final blow for the Rattlers with a 3-run homer in the 5th.  What looked to be a great pitching matchup on paper was not, as the starters 4 and 5 innings, respectively.  There was also another "former Mallard sighting" on this night, as Tony Campana hit leadoff for the Chiefs, who also played CF at UC when I went there.

No trips planned this week, but first 2009 bobblehead on Sunday!

park & game stats:
best jumbotron feature - "two-fisted slopper" video
best between-inning feature - Most Seats in the House contest
starters - Aaron Shafer (PEO) v. Wily Peralta (WIS)
opponent - Peoria Chiefs v. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
time of game - 2:54
attendance - 17880
score - 5-3 WIS
Brewers score that day - 5-2 W

Brewers 9-10, -4.5 (3 v. Pirates, 4 v. Diamondbacks)
Reds 10-9, -3.5 (3 v. Astros, 3 @ Pirates)
Twins 9-11, -2.5 (3 v. Rays, 3 v. Royals)

Erik - 9  (+ 1 worked)
Peter - 12

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