Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Brewers Fan at Target Field Night 2: There was nothing small-ey about this comeback

For most of the past year, I worked on one huge transaction at work. It was a horrible project involving lots of lawyers, lots of money, and lots of contention. For whatever reason, a lot of the nastiness was directed at me. I ended up working a lot of hours. During one conference call with others from my company, the higher ups joked about how much I was working. They commented that they didn't know how they would make it up to my husband for making me be gone so much.

Umm, wait. What? I'm working a bazillion hours a week and you're worried about Seth?? Seth is perfectly happy sitting at home playing video games and drinking beer while I'm working. In fact, I think he would prefer this to spending time with me.

So, while THUs discussed how they could make it up to Seth with beer, I mentioned that Seth would really like Brewers-Twins tickets (even though Seth would have preferred the beer).

My boss's boss said, "Done."

So, on Saturday night, as we entered Target Field and tried to locate Section H in the Legend's Club, Seth commented, "I don't think you're going to be disappointed with these seats." I nodded and smiled. My voice was gone. The only sound that I could produce was something that sounded like a cross between a whisper and a high pitched whistle. Our seats were in the second row of the second level directly behind home plate. We had our own private food and beverage section and our own waiter to bring drinks to our seats.
Target Field with view of Minneapolis.

Just before the game started, a camera guy came and stood next to us to capture the cute kids in the section next to ours. The camera guy commented to the family in front of us that Bert Blyleven was throwing grapes at him. It was at this point that I realized that we were sitting directly in front of the announcer boxes. I turned around and made eye contact with BA. He waved. Seth then said, "I think the guy sitting in front of you is Roy Smalley." My eyes darted to the woman to Smalley's left. I mouthed, "And that's his wife."

"You need to text Chris. Now." I squeaked.

Years ago Chris (see previous blog about Yankees series) told us a story about attending a game as a 12-year old. I forget the specifics but the just of the story is that a heckler at a near empty Yankee Stadium, in pretty good seats, yelled at Roy Smalley, "Hey Roy, does your wife call you smalley?" It was the kind of thing that would make a 12-year old giggle. Since Chris shared that story with us years ago, it's been a long running joke.

Seth, who was taking advantage of the fact that I was sick and acting as the designated driver, had had a few. He started threatening to tap Mrs. Smalley on the shoulder and say, "Excuse me. There's a question that I have always wanted to ask you." "Noooooo...." I mouthed. "Do not do that. Please do not do that."

View from my seat.
Ok, yes, the game. The game sucked. At one point, a bird shit on my nose. Literally. And I was going to use that as the metaphor for the game--that's how bad it was going. Minnesota scored one run in the first inning, two in the third and four in the fourth inning, all off of starter Chris Narveson. Meanwhile, the Brewers managed just two hits in the first four innings. Ryan Braun extended his hitting streak with a double and Prince singled but was erased on a double play. I felt like crying. Partly because the game was frustrating and partly because I couldn't even complain about Yuni because I lost my voice. 7-0 after four innings. That's bird shit on your nose bad.

In the top of the fifth, Yuni hit a seemingly meaningless one out single. For reasons that will never be fully explainable to me, Yuni tagged up on a Kotsay fly ball to center that didn't even make it to the warning track and attempted to advance to second with two outs. The throw beat him but Alexi Casilla caught the ball on the shortstop side of second and when he dived toward Betancourt to make the tag, Betancourt dove over Casilla and was called safe. A very disgusted Roy Smalley turned around, got Blyleven's attention, made the out sign with his fist, nodded and then told his wife that the left field camera had showed that Betancourt was out. Jon Lucroy followed with a single that scored Betancourt. 7-1.

Marco Estrada relieved Narveson and stopped the carnage in the fifth after the Narv-Dog allowed two more base runners that inning. The Twins would score no more runs. In the top of the sixth inning Rickie Weeks reached on an error and TPlush crushed one out in right. I stood up and threw up a "T" just because it's fun to do, not because I was really believing in the comeback yet. Some Brewers fans behind us inquired as to my actions. "Is that for Tony Plush?" they asked. I just nodded. 7-3.

Tony Plush rescued The Crew. He had a 2B, 3B and HR.
The score would stay that way until the top of the eighth inning, when Morgan came through with a one-out triple. He scored on a Braun ground out. (This ground out would be significant later on as Braun injured his calf running out the ground ball.) 7-4.

Takashi Saito pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Welcome back, Takashi.

Now, what I'm about to write is going to seem crazy and improbable, but it really happened. The Twins brought in Matt Capps to shut 'em down and send Milwaukee to its fifth straight loss. Instead, Yuni lined one up the middle to start the inning. Kotsay followed with a hot grounder that got under the glove of Casilla. Next, Lucroy took an outside pitch and dumped it in right field. Three straight singles. 7-5.

Braun would injure his calf running to 1B.
Craig Counsell followed with a popout to Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Weeks flew out to right field. Brewers fans were on their feet but The Crew was down to its last out. TPlush didn't keep us in suspense for long. He unleashed a deep fly ball that Michael Cuddyer (possibly) should have caught but when he didn't, both runs scored and Morgan stood at second. 7-7.

George Kottaras got down 0-2 but hung in there and finally drove one up the middle that scored Morgan. Somehow, the Brewers were now leading this game, 8-7. I was jumping up and down. I was throwing up the T. Silently. I couldn't even produce a sound anymore. John Axford took the Twins down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth, striking out Jim Thome to end the game. Holy shit. What a comeback. What a win. Holy shit. Holy shit.

I jumped around some more. Continued to throw up Ts. Some Twins fans found me amusing and took my picture throwing up the T. Later I got BA's attention and I threw up a T for him, too, and he laughed and pointed at me.

George Kottaras gets ready to win the game.

So flipping awesome.

Ax shuttin' the door.

Brewers 8, Twins 7
Game played 7-2-11

I've been told that my "T" looks more like a "Z" in this photo.

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