Sunday, April 7, 2013

Brewers Opening Week 2013

All photos of Brewers Home Opener available on Flickr.

My favorite day of the year has once again come and gone - OPENING DAY!  For the 6th consecutive year, I was fortunate to be present at the Brewers' home opener at Miller Park, and I attended two games in the opening homestand.  No matter how the Brewers are projected to do, I always anxiously await the day and lose sleep the night before, just like waiting for Christmas when I was a kid.  I wish it was a national holiday like Christmas, but until Congress makes that happen I will have to settle for taking a vacation day.  Even if I wasn't going to the game, there's no way I would be productive that day at work.  I still vividly remember an Opening Day in grad school in which I snuck out after a pin-up to watch the game up in studio, which the professor did not look to kindly on.

There are a few new areas at Miller Park this year, which I talk about in my previous post, but other than that it was business as usual.  The parking lots were packed 3 hours before first pitch, and tufts of grill smoke could be seen far and wide in the cold air.  We've been fortunate the last three years with pretty reasonable temperatures on Opening Day, but hey it's Wisconsin, it wasn't going to last forever.  Whether it's 30º or 80º, the tailgate doesn't stop.  Inside the park, the bunting was hung, the energy was palpable, and the smell of fresh Klement's sausage wafted throughout the concourses.  Brewers' owner Mark Attanasio's father Joe took the mike for another wonderful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner, preceded by the customary script of his acting accomplishments read verbatum each year.  Yovani Gallardo took the ball for his 4th consecutive Opening Day start.

The Brewers came back to win 5-4 in the 10th on a walk-off sac fly by Jonathan Lucroy, but after Opening Day dropped five straight to finish their opening homestand a disappointing 1-5.  Untimely injuries have been the theme thus far, and the team does not look very good.  The Brewers had their 3-4-5 hitters out for the entire Diamondbacks series, which on top of their terrible pitching, would pretty much relegate any team to the Cubs' level of talent.  I went to the game today, which despite the loss was an encouraging performance for the offense.  They managed to pound out 7 runs on 16 hits and made three separate comebacks, all with half of their everyday lineup out of the game.  The bright spots so far are that Rickie Weeks and Jean Segura are killing the ball, and free-agent Kyle Lohse's debut on Friday was a gritty 6-inning gem.  If Roenicke gets some sense and takes Axford out of the closer role for awhile, and the team can stumble to a 9 or 10 win month until everybody is healthy, I think they should be ok.  The lineup that led the NL in runs, steals, and homeruns is in tact on the roster, and the pitching at least on paper is better, so one can deduce that the Brewers should at least remain competitive this year.

Minor League home openers in Appleton and Beloit this week!  Also of note: Erik will be employed by the Twins this year for the first time since he last lived in Minneapolis in 2007, so maybe this means he will actually have a chance of beating me in 2013 Games Attended.

Brewers 1-5 (3 @ Cubs, 3 @ Cardinals)
Reds 4-2 (3 @ Cardinals, 3 @ Pirates)
Twins 4-2 (3 @ Royals, 3 v. Mets)

Erik - 3
Peter - 2

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