Sunday, June 26, 2011
Last weekend, the Boston Red Sox won a three game series against the Milwaukee Brewers by winning the Friday and Sunday games. Zeb and I had talked earlier in the year about him getting tickets and me going up and finally attending a game at Fenway Park. I've been to Boston a couple of times over the years for work, but they were either out of town, playing in a tight pennant race, or it was not conducive to my schedule. This time though, we were going to make it work. As an incentive, Zeb told me that this was the first time the both teams were in first place while facing each other since 1982, which meant they were tied in the AL Eastern Division. 1982, as any Brewer fan knows is the year the Brewers made their only World Series appearance losing to St. Louis in seven games.
Well, it didn't work out. On the first day that tickets went on sale, Zeb was able to score some standing room only tickets for the game. As the day got closer and closer, my schedule seemed to get unbearable. With one week remaining before the game, I phoned Zeb and told him I wasn't going to be able to attend because I was being sent to Chicago for work, and every time I get the chance to go back to the mid-West, I try to make it home to Wisconsin and visit my dad for a couple of days. Zeb understood and wasn't saddled with an extra ticket since he had a back-up plan to attend the game with his cousin. As things worked out, the Bruins won the Stanley Cup and the city held its victory parade the same day, so it was fortuitous for Zeb and his cousin to attend that too. (See Zeb's post.)
So going back to the games. Going into the game, the Brewer's were in first place but had lost three of four in a series against the Cubs. In game one on Friday, Brewer's pitcher, Sean Marcum, gets a hip flexor in the first inning and is pulled from the game in the first inning. Probably the play of the game was in the third inning. The Brewers began to rally by hitting four consecutive singles to lead off the inning before Dustin Pedroia made a diving stab at a hard-hit grounder from McGehee. Pedroia quickly tossed it to second, starting a double play that scored one run, to tie the game at 4-4, but he killed the rally and kept Milwaukee from regaining the lead. Boston then scores six unanswered runs to win 10-4.
In game two, left-hander Randy Wolf came out on Saturday and stymied Red Sox batters scattering nine hits and two runs through seven innings, while the Brewers won 4-2. The Brewers were able to score two runs in both the first and third innings off Jon Lester. In this game, what was probably most notable was Rickie Weeks leading off the game with a high fly ball into foul territory on the first-base side, but Adrian Gonzalez couldn't handle it, dropping the ball while avoiding contact with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. It was ruled an error, and the mistake was costly because on the next pitch, Weeks homered over the Monster, and then Corey Hart follows with a homer on the first pitch he saw into right field as Milwaukee took a 2-0 lead. Boston's bottom half of the inning saw them tie the score, but in the third, George Kottaras leads off the inning with a solo shot; and then Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder gets back-to-back walks and Casey McGehee hits a single to finish up the scoring for the game.
In Sunday's rubber match-up saw Yovanni Gallardo and Tim Wakefield face-off, but it never was the duel one hoped for. Let's put it this way, the Sox celebrated the Bruin's Cup championship before the game, and the Brewer's never showed up to play. The Brewers played so bad, I couldn't find any press release on their website and had to go the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel to refresh my memory. To say Gallardo struggled in the first inning would be an understatement. It took him 46 pitches to get through the first inning and the Brewers were down 6-0. Wakefield ends up working eight innings and gives up only three hits. Final score 12-3.
It would be nice to see if these two teams can meet again in the World Series; but the Brewers will have to forget how terrible they played in this series if they wish to prevail in that one.