“It’s a lovely June night,” Seth said, which caused our section to break out in laughter. “The beer is making my hand cold,” I replied.
We had made a last-minute decision to join some friends at a St. Paul Saints game. It was about 60 degrees and raining. Not an ideal night for baseball, but being at a baseball game is never a bad thing; and being at a baseball game with a cold beer in your hand is pretty awesome, actually, even if it is raining.
The St. Paul Saints used to be a pretty big deal in the Twin Cities. They were one of the charter members of the new Northern League in 1993 and for years would sell out most games. This was back when the Twins were terrible and there was a lot of excitement for “outdoor” baseball. With fun promotions and cheap(er) tickets, Minnesotans flocked to the Saints games. My friend, Dave, had season tickets and I used to go to a lot of games with him. (Thanks, Dave.) The Saints are less of a big deal now because the Twins are good once again and they play outdoors at Target Field.
It was not cold or rainy in Southern California on Monday night; it was absolutely beautiful. As part of interleague play, the Brewers were in California to take on the (California/Anaheim /Los Angles) Angels. The Angels were in a virtual tie with the Rangers for first place in the AL West and were one of the hottest teams in baseball. The Brewers were sending Randy Wolf to the mound against Joe Saunders in hopes that he could give up less than FIVE homeruns in this outing. Say what you will about Wolf (and I probably have), but he has not made any excuses about his performance and has fully admitted he needs to be better.
It’s been said that much of baseball is mental—being mentally prepared; having mental toughness. Randy Wolf found some mental toughness on the mound on Monday night. After giving up a 2-run double in the second, Wolf took a deep breath, and pitched a gem the rest of the way. He went seven innings, holding the Angels to just the two runs on three hits and three walks (and two hit batsmen).
The Brewers scored all the runs that they would need in the third when George Kottarus doubled in Escobar and Ryan Braun hit a grand slam homerun for a 5-2 lead. But, sometimes, when it rains, it pours. Milwaukee added a single run in the sixth inning when Torii Hunter, who has made a living of robbing batters of homeruns, misplayed Casey McGhee’s long fly ball and had it pop out of his glove and over the wall. Five more runs came across the plate in the seventh and one in the ninth. Braun finished the night with 5 RBI and pushed his batting average back to .300. I’ll sit through this sort of rain any day.
Brewers 12, Angels 2
Game played 6-14-10