Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Another Cold Brewers Home Opener

All photos of 2018 Brewers Home Opener available on Flickr.

The Brewers started on the road for the first time since 2012 and opened the season about as hot as you can, sweeping a 3-game series from the Padres.  They won a pitchers duel in extra innings on Thursday and two comeback wins Friday and Saturday, and all three were quite impressive.  Chase Anderson and Brent Suter looked great, the bullpen looked phenomenal, and new acquisitions Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich gave Brewer Nation a glimpse of things to come, both hitting over .500 on the series.

As hot as they were over the weekend, they came back down to earth a little bit yesterday losing 8-4 to the rival Cardinals.  It sure seems like the Brewers lose every year on Opening Day at this point - in fact I checked, and they are now 4-7 on the home openers I have been to including losing the last 4.  If you take out the 6th inning, they actually didn't play that bad.  The defense and offense looked stellar once again and Eric Thames even decided to contribute today with a homerun and a double.  Maybe he will have another magical April like he did last year?  Things were going pretty smoothly for starter Zach Davies until he gave up a homerun to mustachioed journeyman pitcher Miles Mikolas, which was also his first major league hit at age 29.  Manny Pina and Lo Cain also homered for the Brewers in the loss.

For the 3rd or 4th year in row, it was just as cold outside as the team was inside.  In fact we didn't even tailgate this year, but part of that was because we had our daughter Molly there at her first Brewers game!  Unfortunately she could not bring home the win, but she did great - other than managing to poop through 4 layers of clothing, but we don't need to relive that here on the internet.  The Brewers (as I'm sure every team does) gave us a certificate for her first game and it was certainly a day and a game I'll never forget. 

Besides our daughter and families being in attendance, I was also looking forward to seeing the supposed club level renovations this year.  They were actually not as extensive as I would have hoped, as the meat and bones of the level remained unchanged.  The renovations were mostly limited to finishes and cosmetic things.  For instance, there used to be aerial photos of all the parks the Brewers have played hung on the walls outside the suites; those were replaced with a nice end-grain wood wall and some accent paint.  There was also a nacho bar and an auxiliary seating area added down the 1st base side of the level.  But the main area where we spend half our time - the team store and bar - were totally unchanged.  There is plenty of opportunity to at least double the size of that bar, and it was disappointing to see it exactly the same.  This area gets so crowded when the weather is too cold, too hot, or if the Brewers are losing by a lot, which let's be honest adds up to like 3/4ths of the season.  And the one finish I was hoping to see them replace was the awful carpeting, and as far as I could tell it was the same.  The changes made were nice but did not go far enough.  I will say that I appreciate the Brewers putting most of their money into the parts of the park accessible to everybody.  It's hard to complain too much about expensive private areas not being nicer.  One welcome addition on the main level was the mother's nursing suite.  The Brewers are now only the 2nd MLB team to have such an area and I am sure Megan will be checking out later this season.

Another exciting season is finally upon us - PLAY BALL!

Brewers 3-1 (4 v. Cubs, 3 @ Cardinals, 3 @ Mets)
Reds 1-3 (4 @ Pirates, 3 @ Phillies, 4 v. Cardinals)
Twins 2-2 (3 v. Mariners, 3 v. Astros, 3 @ White Sox)

Erik - 2
Peter - 1

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