I have been a baseball fan for as long as I can remember. My father has taken me to about 10-15 games per season since I was five years old. Over that time period I have been privileged to see some fantastic baseball games.
On April 3rd, 2018, I attended a baseball game at Miller Park featuring the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals. I had bought three tickets for myself, brother, and dad to enjoy some early season baseball. April in Wisconsin can be a mystery box when it comes to the weather. This early April night decided to bring us a snowstorm. We were running a little late to the game so we tuned into the game on the radio. We heard the disappointed voice of Bob Uecker after Brewer pitcher, Chase Anderson, gave up a homerun to St. Louis’ Dexter Fowler on the first pitch of the game. Anderson served up another one to the next batter, Tommy Pham, who slammed one out on the next pitch. We all figured we were in for a blow out game before we had even entered the building, and began to crack jokes about how we might as well go home. Giving up back to back jacks to start a game is basically a death sentence. Milwaukee ended up going down 4-0 after the third inning (we got to our seats in the top of the 2nd). Milwaukee ended up clawing back to make it a 4-3 game going into the 9th inning. New acquisition, Christian Yelich, was up to bat with two men out for Milwaukee. Yelich blasted a game tying homerun into right-center field on a 2-2 pitch from Cardinal reliever Dominic Leone. Ryan Braun was due up next for the Brewers. On the first pitch he saw, he lined the ball way over the fence in left-center field to win the game. This was the first time in major league history that a game has started and ended with back to back homeruns. And I was there to see it.
That game inspired me to go through some of the most fascinating and epic baseball games that I have been to. They say that every time you go to a baseball game, you have a chance to see something that has never happened before. If there is anything I’ve learned in my years of watching baseball, it is just that.
5.) Brewers Destroy The Cubs at Wrigley
Date : August 27th, 2012
Location : Wrigley Field
My father and I have been traveling to new ballparks since 2005. This season we ventured Atlanta, the Chicago White Sox, and now the Cubs. The Brewers are very notorious for losing on the road when my father and I go (they are 5-15 when we have attended away games).
It was the perfect evening for baseball. It was in the low 70’s and a little breezy. We had great seats on the first level behind home plate, as the Cubs were struggling to get people into their games (this was the beginning of the Cubs rebuild). Marco Estrada was on the mound for the Crew, while Justin Germano was the starter for the Cubs. Both pitchers went five innings in very uninspiring starts, Estrada allowing three and Germano allowing four.
After the seventh inning we decided to venture around the park a little bit. We ended up walking upstairs to see the view from up there, it was great. An usher came and began talking to my father and I. He was telling us stories about the ballpark and how the Cubs were on the rise and were going to be a force to be reckoned with in a few years. He was very excited over a young man named Anthony Rizzo, who did turn out to be an All-star. We chatted with him for the rest of the game.
The Brewers added two more runs before heading into the ninth inning with a 6-4 lead. Alex Hinshaw came in relief for the Cubs in the ninth trying to keep a close gap with the Brewers to see if Chicago could mount a ninth inning comeback. He failed to do so, giving up a walk, followed by a single, followed by a Ryan Braun 3 run blast, followed by an Aramis Ramirez homerun, followed by a Corey Hart homerun. That was all for Hinshaw as he had just given up five runs in five batters faced. Milwaukee sent 15 batters up to the plate that inning and capped off their 15-4 route of the Cubs.
This game was ultimately meaningless. There was so much about this game to love however. The history of Wrigley Field is amazing. The ivy on the walls, the giant green scoreboard in centerfield (I went before the renovation), the bullpens in foul territory. You really felt like you were at an old school baseball game. The conditions were fantastic for a late August game. Chatting with my dad and the usher about baseball was fascinating. Also, seeing your team win big is always a good time!
4.) Chase Anderson Brilliance
Date : May 27, 2017
Ballpark : Miller Park
I am a big fan of a pitchers duel. I have always wanted to see a no-hitter or perfect game live at the ballpark. This game was the closest I have ever gotten (so far) to seeing one of the two.
I actually attended this game by myself, as I was bored and had absolutely nothing going on during this beautiful Saturday afternoon. Milwaukee was playing host to the red hot Diamondbacks who had former Brewer, Zack Grienke, on the mound. The Brewers had Chase Anderson going for them who was off to a great start to his season. Both pitchers breezed through the lineup the first time through (Anderson had 6 K’s already) and the game was scoreless heading into the fourth inning.
If a pitcher is through the first three innings without allowing a hit, the thought of a no-hitter always comes into your mind. Anderson had great stuff this afternoon. His pitch count was concerning however, as he did not have an ideal first inning, walking the first two batters he faced. To throw a no-hitter, you can only afford to walk a batter or two. Anderson walked another in the fourth inning, but got through it with two strikeouts to end the frame.
Greinke ran into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the fourth as he gave up a leadoff double to Eric Sogard and walked the bases loaded. Backup catcher, Jett Bandy, cleared the bases with a double giving the Brewers a 3-0 lead.
Anderson breezed through the next two innings with ease. Grienke was chased out of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning after giving up a homerun to Jesus Aguilar. The Brewers took a 5-0 lead into the seventh inning.
Anderson got through the seventh three up, three down once again. His pitch count was at 113 at this point however which can only indicate he doesn’t have much left in the tank. Not many guys can last too long after reaching the century mark in terms of pitch count. Brewer manager Craig Counsell sent Anderson out for the eighth inning anyways to see if he could pull it off. Unfortunately on the first pitch he threw, he gave up a base hit to Nick Ahmed. Anderson finished his day with 114 pitches, 3 BB’s 11 K’s, and 1 hit.
3.) Hurricane Game
Date : September 15, 2017
Location : Miller Park
Every once in awhile, I enjoy seeing my Brewers beat the pulp out of the opposing team. On this night, they did just that to the Miami Marlins. This game was originally supposed to be an away game for the Brewers. But due to Miami being affected by a hurricane, the game was relocated to Miller Park. This made Cubs fans quite angry as the Brewers were in a race for first place with the Cubs and the Brewers now had three extra home games. I attended this game with my lovely girlfriend, Natalie. We got tickets in the 100’s section for just $10 a piece due to the short notice of the game. We could not have had a better time.
I am a huge baseball nerd and keep a scorecard for a majority of the games that I go to. This game was a nightmare for anyone who keeps a scorecard, which can be a blast. To start things off, Milwaukee decided to have a “bullpen day” to give their starters a rest. Milwaukee used eight pitchers in this game. The first one to go was Jeremy Jeffress who went two innings and allowed two runs. That would be the only two runs Milwaukee would allow all night.
It was a fairly uneventful game up until the the top of the eighth inning. Keep in mind, the Brewers were technically the away team, so they had to hit first in their own stadium. Milwaukee put a 6 spot on the board after Eric Thames hit a blast over the right field fence. Manny Pina ripped a single which was followed by back to back walks to load the bases. Neil Walker stepped up to the plate for the Crew and belted a grand slam to make it a 7-2 ball game. The crowd of just under 20 thousand erupted as this was a huge game for Milwaukee. The Brewers were not done yet as Ryan Braun and Travis Shaw singled to put two runners on for Domingo Santana. Santana crushed another homerun to make it a 10-2 game. That proved to be the final score in a massive win in terms of the division race. Despite a smaller crowd, the game had a playoff type atmosphere with how excited the crowd was during and after the game.
2.) Youth Baseball Team Witnesses the CC Show
Date : August 18th, 2008
Location : Miller Park
I was very lucky to see quite a few CC Sabathia games during his short but dominant tenure in Milwaukee. This game stood out from all of the rest however. My dad took my whole youth baseball team to a Brewer game for our end of the year party. He had bought this tickets way in advance and it turned out that we were lucky enough to get a Sabathia game. Keep in mind, this is right in the thick of the Brewers push for a wild card spot.
Sabathia was facing off against future Brewer, Randy Wolf. Sabathia was absolutely dominant on this night (when wasn’t he when he was a brewer?). His final line? 9 innings, 130 pitches, 2 earned runs, 2 BB’s, and 9 K’s. That’s not the only way Sabathia made an impact however. This mutant went 2-3 with 2 RBI’s as well. (If you haven’t read it, check out my article on Sabathia I wrote last year on just how amazing his performance in 2008 was.)
Other than this being an exciting game, it was a blast for a bunch of ten year old kids. My friend Marvin and I always have a great time at the ballgame. In the fourth inning, Ray Durham came up to bat with runners on first and second. Durham got a 2-1 count and I turned to Marvin and said “he’s about to hit a double down the left field line right here.” Sure enough, my boy Ray Durham did. It was the greatest/luckiest call I have ever preformed, I don’t think anything will be able to top that.
1.) NL Division Champs
Date : September 23rd, 2011
Location : Miller Park
Nothing will ever top this sporting event I’ve seen unless I see the Brewers win the World Series or see the Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup. Every Brewer fan remembers this game. I was lucky enough that someone my mom worked with had three tickets they couldn’t use for this game. My dad and brother got to witness one of the biggest games in franchise history.
We all knew it could happen on the car ride there. But we knew better than to say a word about it. As far as we were concerned, it was just like any other game. But we both knew with a Brewer win and Cardinal loss, we were the division champions. Yovani Gallardo was on the mound for Milwaukee and oh boy, was he dominant. 7-1/3 innings, 112 pitches, 1 earned run, 0 walks, 7 hits, and 11 K’s.
The Brewers were the first to put a run up on a Prince Fielder blast to centerfield. Florida evened the game up in the fourth inning on a Bryan Peterson RBI single. It was a fairly decent pitchers duel between Chris Volstad and Gallardo. Each pitcher had only allowed one run in their 7+ innings of work. K-rod came in with one out in the eighth inning after Gallardo got into a bit of a jam after an error by Rickie Weeks. K-rod got two huge strikeouts to keep the score tied heading into the bottom of the frame.
Clay Hensley came into the game in relief for Florida. He retired Jerry Hairston with a strikeout to begin his assignment. Corey Hart came up next and ripped a double off Hensley, and Nyjer Morgan followed that up with a walk. Ryan Braun, the eventual 2011 MVP, was up to the plate next. My dad turns to me and says : “There is no way he doesn’t hit this ball out over the centerfield fence.” On a 3-1 count, Braun sent the ball out to Miller Park way to give us a 4-1 lead. I was so filled with joy that my eyes began to fill with tears. I had never heard Miller Park so loud in my entire life. The crowd erupted with “MVP!” chants and Braun came out for a curtain call. John Axford came in for the save in his record breaking season. He put the Marlins down in order, ending them with a strikeout to capture his 44th save of the season and more importantly, a Brewers victory.
It wasn’t secure yet however, as the Cubs still had to beat the Cardinals. Each and every fan in Miller Park stayed as they played the game on the scoreboard. It was a 1-1 game in the top of the eighth, much like the Milwaukee vs. Florida game. Alfonso Soriano came up to the plate for the Cubs and blasted a 3 run homerun to give the Cubs the lead. I have never heard Miller Park so loud after Alfonso Soriano hit a homerun. The Cubs held on to win 5-1 and the 44 thousand fans inside Miller Park erupted once again. The Brewers were NL Central champions for the first time ever.