Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The El Slacker



It started like a tiny pin prick. I would just take one series off. I was sick as a dog. I lost my voice. My cold moved into my eyes—yes, my EYES—which caused them to crust shut over night. I could open them in the morning only after I splashed hot water on them. I just kept getting sicker. I finally went to the doctor on July 5. I had a cold that turned into bronchitis, a sinus infection and pink eye. Instead of taking time off from work, I convinced the doctor that I’d wash my hands a lot and not infect the rest of my office.

July 4 – After Shaun Marcum’s grand slam, the Brewers led 6-1. Yet, somehow, they managed to squander the lead and lose 8-6 to Arizona. It was the second day in a row that the Brewers gave away a five-run lead.

July 5 – Randy Wolf gave up four first-inning runs and Milwaukee failed to mount much of a comeback in a 7-3 loss to the D'backs.

July 6 – Yovani Gallardo gave up a leadoff home run to Kelly Johnson but then put the clamps on the D’backs offense. Despite Gallardo’s pitching, the Brewers trailed going into the seventh inning. A benched Casey McGehee to the rescue. After back-to-back singles by Kotsay and Lucroy, McGehee hit a pinch-hit, three-run homer to salvage the finale, 3-1.

And then the flood gates started to open. My company was in the midst of a huge project that necessitated me working nights and weekends. I was sick and working a ton. I would take one more day off. Or maybe I’d just take the entire Cincinnati series off.  I’d come back strong after the All-Star break, like Ryan Braun. Maybe I’d even write something about the first half of the season or the All-Star game.

July 7 – Milwaukee used a four-run fifth inning that included a three-run homer by Rickie Weeks, to erase a 2-1 deficit, and take the opener against Cincinnati 5-4.

July 8 – This game was all about Mark Kotsay. He went from hero, to goat, to hero again in the course of four innings. Kotsay hit a homer in the sixth inning to give Milwaukee the lead but then let one through his legs in left field that led to three Cincinnati runs. But the Brewers rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth to take the game 8-7. Kotsay produced the game winning single that scored the tying and winning runs. “Continue to run, Carlos Gomez.”

July 9 – The Reds broke open a 3-3 ball game with five runs in the top of the tenth inning to win 8-4.

July 10—Craig Counsell hit a sac fly to left field that scored George Kottaras from third base and earned the Brewers a walk-off victory in the final game before the All-Star break. Trailing 3-2 entering the ninth inning, Nyjer Morgan hit a one-out single and stole second base. Kottaras followed with a walk. Morgan scored on a single from Kotsay and the game-winner came on Counsell’s pinch hit fly ball, 4-3. Three out of four against the Reds feels pretty good.

July 12 – Prince Fielder hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning to lead the NL All-Stars to a 5-1 victory over the AL. Fielder was named the All-Star game MVP. His kids are really cute.

The All-Star break was over and I was committed to blogging again. Sort of.  The problem was I had a family vacation looming (at a very lovely Wisconsin lake). I caught the Thursday night Rockies game but then had to listen to Friday and Saturday’s games on the radio. I had no internet access and little time to sit down and write so I didn’t blog. I watched Sunday’s game when I got home on Tivo. I was tired. I had nothing to say. Does anyone even read my blog anymore?

July 14 – Yikes, this one got ugly. Ryan Spilborghs went 4 for 6 and the Rockies exploded for a 12-3 win.

July 15 – This was not a bad Chris Narveson outing. It was a bad offensive outing. Milwaukee was shut out 4-0.

July 16 – This was a crazy game that I had to finish listening to in my hotel room with a really fuzzy little alarm clock radio. Milwaukee fell behind 3-0 after four innings. Corey Hart finally got the Crew on the board with a two-run homer in the fifth inning. Milwaukee took the lead in the top of the seventh inning, 5-3, after a squeeze play, a sac fly, some ejections, and a HBP. Colorado took the lead back in the bottom of the seventh inning on a Todd Helton double and a Troy Tulowitzki single. Milwaukee tied the game in the eighth inning and took the lead in the ninth on a Rickie Weeks two-run blast. Axford got the save and K-Rod the win, 8-7.

July 17 – Milwaukee got a series split with a 4-3 win on Sunday.

Enough with the self-pity. I could do this. I could write something for my blog. But, by this point, I’d been away for almost two weeks. It had been so long, I was starting to have a mental block about writing again. I’d convinced myself that I had nothing interesting to say, that blogging was a huge waste of time, that I would never be able to finish the season.

El Super Monday.  I could do it. Or not.

July 18—Josh Collmenter confounded the Brewers for the second time in the past two weeks and Milwaukee was shut out again on the road, 3-0. 

What in the hell is El Super about this game? I’m tired. I need to sleep.

Only I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking that I should be up blogging. Internal conflict is stupid, especially about something like blogging about the Brewers. What is wrong with me? Just sit down and compare Mark Kotsay to grilling scallops or swimming through algae infested lake water. I’ll get up early and do it before work. [This is laughable to anyone who knows me. I don’t do mornings.] I got to work feeling distraught and overwhelmed. What if I never write again?

And then, with one sentence in his morning email to me, Seth got me to snap out of it. At the end of his email about items he should purchase at Target, came the following: “You need to do El Super, slacker.”

I hate it when he’s right.

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