Saturday, May 2, 2015


Since our son Josh moved to Madison, we take a trip up to see him very few months. With the Milwaukee Brewers being a little over an hour away and the Cardinals playing there three times a year, we usually time trips such that we can go see them play there. They had a weekend series in April in Miller Park, so we bought tickets. I got tickets for Donna and Josh's girlfriend Shelby as well. I got 5th row seats right behind home plate for about 1/3 of what I'd pay at Busch Stadium. We were all looking forward to going. However, a couple of bad things happened with the Cardinals that weekend.

On Friday night, I was keeping up with the game with the four of us played Scrabble at Josh's apartment. I saw where Yadier Molina had to leave the game. Turned out he'd had a ball fouled off of his knee and it was hurting him. I figured he wouldn't play the next game and indeed when the lineups came out for the game we'd attend, he wasn't in it. Yadi is Donna's favorite player so she was pretty disappointed that she wouldn't get to see him especially since we'd be so close to the field. But this was nothing compared to what would happen at the game.

We drove to the game with little incident. They had raised their parking rates considerably from 10.00 to 15.00 for the furthermost lot. Miller Park has several lots around it named for famous Brewer and old Milwaukee Braves players. We were in the "Molitor" lot. There were several Brewers fans tailgating but no one hassled us. We got into the game no problem and the seats were indeed wonderful. I got my usual bratwurst and settled in to watch the game. Adam Wainwright pitched for the Cardinals and pitched well the first four innings. The Cardinals scored two in the 2nd when Kolten Wong tripled in a run and scored when the throw to third went into the Cardinals dugout. Then it happened.

Adam came up to bat in the 5th. I watched as he lifted a high popup in front of home plate. As I followed the flight of the ball, I heard Donna gasp and looked to see Adam limping around. He had to be helped off the field. My hope was it was just a sprain but alas they found out on Monday it was a season ending Achilles tendon tear. So, the Cardinals had bring in a new pitcher and it was Mitch Harris. He's a very interesting story, he's a 29 year old rookie who had served an almost five year stint in the Navy before he got to the Cardinals. This was his major league debut and he struck out the first guy he faced. He pitched an inning and a third followed by Matt Belisle. The Cardinals finally scored again when Matt Holliday hit reliever Jeremy Jeffres first pitch over the center field fence for a three run home and a 5-0 lead.

That held up til the 8th. The Brewers scored to make it 5-1 and the Cardinals went through three pitchers before Seth Maness faced Aramis Ramirez with the bases loaded. My heart sank as he hit a long drive to left. I thought it would be a game tying grand slam but fortunately it just short hopped the fence. It was 5-3 but Maness got the final out in the 8th and set the side down in order in the 9th for the save. This was despite the protest of a woman in front of me who couldn't understand why the Cardinals were celebrating on the field when the last out of the game had been challenged. She had totally missed the umpire taking off the headphones and signaling out - my guess is she was a bit intoxicated - she had made an obscene gesture to Matt Holliday after he hit his home run.

When we got out of Miller Park, it was cold and windy. We ended up running back to our car and once we manuevered around an initial traffic jam, got back to Josh's apartment with no problem. We had a great time (the Cardinals are 5-0 in games I've been to in Miller Park) but I'm sure wondering how the season will go with no Adam Wainwright.