Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Brewers Home Opener 2016

All photos of Brewers Home Opener 2016 available on Flickr.

The Brewers got their asses handed to them for the 2nd straight opening day this past week, this time by a score of 12-3 to the San Francisco Giants.  In all fairness, this is an even year, so there's no shame in saying we lost to the team that will probably win the World Series.  The Brewers front office is not hiding the fact that this a rebuilding a year so I'm sure there will be many more games like this (Exhibit A: Monday's game), but I am by and large still excited to see all of these young kids play and hopefully improve over the course of the season.

While Opening Day is always special, this year was one of the more forgettable ones.  The day started with me waking up still in Canada from the Montreal trip, as I eluded to in my last post.  I had a flight through Toronto that eventually got cancelled after several planes broke and some bad weather.  I was put on a noon flight on Monday and didn't make it to the ballpark until the 2nd inning.  As if that weren't bad enough, by the time I got there it was snowing.  It was probably the coldest opening day I can remember that I've been to - I don't even think it touched the freezing mark.  My parents had already been inside for a long time to escape the elements and were warming up at the comforts of the club level bar, so I guess the silver lining is at least I didn't miss much tailgating.  Once inside, I was made suddenly very aware of how sober I was.  It's always awkward to be that one sober guy at a bar full of drunk people and that was the case here today.  Because I had not had a drop of alcohol I was more keen to all of the inebriated Brewers fans around me.  The stadium was humming with slurred words and yelling, crowds were stumbling and swaying like zombies, and I even saw two girls having a legit fist fight.  And this fight was in line for a Long Island at Friday's of all places, which is like the happiest place in town.  Megan even got called to help fix a homerun derby game her company had set up because a drunk fat guy threw the bat into the TV screen.  When I finally got up to the club level, the lines were packed at the bar because of the cold - you can only heat up a retractable roof stadium so much.  Between getting there late and spending most of my time in line for drinks, I probably only watched 2 innings of the actual game.  It was definitely one to forget in more ways than one, but I try to keep in perspective that that any day at the ballpark is better than a day at work.

One of the early takeaways so far this year is that the bullpen is really going to have a rough time.  Jeremy Jeffress looks good in the closer role, and Chris Capuano back with the team is a really great story.  But the Brewers lost five(!) relievers in the last week of camp and have been scrambling to sign guys off of the scrap heap just to fill the roster.  Coupled with Matt "The Count" Garza already injured, and this depth we keep hearing about in the minors is going to get tested early.  On the other side, the hitting has so far looked better than I expected.  We haven't had any breakout lopsided offensive games yet, but the heart of our order has been consistently getting on base.  Chris Carter is a beast and looks like he could easily hit 35-40 homeruns if he stays healthy.  Braun is looking alright, and so far Scooter looks like he is on a mission to rebound from last season, and to get out of the record books as the worst statistical lefty batter vs. lefty pitching in Major League history (seriously, that's a thing, look it up).  Our new additions have all played solid defense so far as well.  The biggest question is not if, but when, some of our other young talent is going to get called up.  We're about one week off from that magical date when rookies can gain an extra year of service time, and it will be interesting to see if the Crew starts the clock of guys like Arcia or Hader or Phillips sooner rather than later.

Another home opener in the books and my final as a single man.  I get married on Saturday and cannot wait to continue my baseball adventures with my wife Megan at my side.

Brewers 3-4, -3.0 (3 @ Pirates, 2 @ Twins, 2 v. Twins)
Reds 5-2, -1.0 (3 @ Cardinals, 3 v. Rockies
Twins 0-7, -5.0 (3 v. Angels, 2 v. Brewers, 2 @ Brewers)

Erik - 3 (+0 worked)

Peter - 5

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