Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Angels 6; Indians 7

My second trip to Milwaukee and my first trip to Miller Park. You've really got to hand it to Milwaukee. On basically one day's notice, for two teams that aren't even in their league, they drew more people than the A's drew for a home game against the 2005 World Champions. But I don't need to remind any of you that A's "fans" suck.

I'm very glad that I had purchased and printed my tickets out earlier in the day. As it was, it took us a while to get into the parking lot, and we missed most of the first inning. Had we stood in the walk-up line, we wouldn't have gotten into the game until the third or fourth inning.

As we were walking to our seats, we were interviewed by Erin Toner of Milwaukee's NPR station for a national story. Unfortunately, it sounds like we ended up on the cutting room floor. They played the story on Morning Edition and they only used interviews with Indians fans. My friend was right. We should have told them we had flown in that day from LA. A lot more compelling than an interview with someone who drove up from Chicago.

We had seats (as you can see from the pictures in the post below) down the third base line. Started in row 25, but met up with Josh from Pearly Gates who was in the same section in row 9, and we sat with him for pretty much the entire game. All tickets were $10, and parking was only $8. The stadium was nice and warm. I hear the concessions lines were pretty long, but I never left my seat, so I can't give a first hand account. Still, on short notice, the Brewers did a pretty good job of throwing this together. I was pretty sure I was going to try to get to tonight's game as well, but with the snow (they're supposed to get 4 inches or so up there), it's not worth the four hour drive that it will become.

Santana clearly didn't have it. He couldn't throw strikes, and the ones he did throw got tagged for two long home runs. The Angels had Darren Oliver up in the fourth before Santana got out of the inning, and followed that up with two runs to get back into the game. At that point I mentioned to someone that they probably ought to take Santana out, because he was likely to give those runs back, and sure enough, he conspired with Pipo to do just that, with Pipo giving up a sac fly and a two out, two run double before getting out of the inning.

Still, the Angels worked their way back into the game, with two runs in the eighth and a run in the ninth. They had the tying run on first base, and Howie Kendrick coming to the plate. Speculating from the stands, Erick Aybar never even entered my mind. I thought for sure they would use Willits or Murphy to pinch run in that spot, but I'm assuming the idea was to move Kendrick to first and Aybar to second if they had tied the game. And seriously, standing there, Jose and I went back and forth over how bad of a baserunner Aybar was. He's fast, but he's not a good baserunner, and he's not a good base stealer by any means.

So what happens with a fast guy on first and a hot hitter at the plate? Aybar goes and gets thrown out to end the game for the second time in a week. It was quite possibly one of the dumbest ways to end a game I've ever seen. At least when Frankie dropped the ball a couple of years ago, it was lazy, but it was a mistake. This, on the other hand, was simply an awful, awful decision, and the blame is shared equally between Aybar and Scioscia. Scioscia should have been smart enough to give Aybar the red light, and Aybar should have been smart enough to just say no to the green light.

Other than Howie's 4-4 night and GA's 3-5, the other bright spot was Chris Bootcheck. 1.2 IP, no hits, a walk, and a strikeout. I'll take that from the fifth or sixth reliever every time. Props to Darren Oliver who got Travis Hafner looking in a tough spot as well.

It really was a fun evening, despite the douchebags sitting in front of us for the last few innings. I enjoyed Miller Park, and it was kind of neat to finally attend a game indoors. First time I've ever been in a dome, or at least a retractable roof stadium with it's roof closed. Sight lines could be a tiny bit better, but otherwise it was a really nice park, and it was super easy to get out of the parking lot after the game ended. I wouldn't mind getting up there for another game sometime this season.

In other news, Brendan Donnelly is still kind of a bad ass, and Jose Guillen is still a cocksucker. Donnelly struck out the piece of shit on three pitches, then grabbed his crotch, which set Guillen off. Guillen got run, and Donnelly plunked the next batter. I love baseball.

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