Category: Milwaukee Brewers

Where has the time gone? #UKBrewCrew #baseball

I can’t believe it has been over 3 years since the notion of following a sport I knew nothing about came to fruition and look where I am now!

This year I will be playing my second season in the British Baseball League. I now have it confirmed that I will also be attending my first ever MLB game at Miller Park. To say I’m excited is an understatement!

We’ve (Kent Marinerss) done 7 weeks of a 10 week indoor training regime. It’s been really good. We’ve done loads of drills and running and even had a go at pitching for the first time. My new glove is breaking in nicely too. The team spirit is good and we all can’t wait to get outside and play on the diamond.

Off the field, I am fully booked up with flights and accommodation to visit Milwaukee. I also sorted tickets to 3 games at Miller Park. I’ll be there in the 4th June for game 3 of the Dodgers series as well as game 1 and 4 of the Giants series. I may get to go to game 2 or 3 as well but I want to go visit some places with some friends who are coming up from North Carolina to see me. 

So this year promises to be a big year. Let’s hope Craig’s rebuilding of the Brewers gives us an improved season and last years. I mean if the Cubs can win a World Series then surely anything can happen right?

Go Brewers!

Wow it has been ages…..

So its actually been 9 months since I last posted and to be honest, I have been massively busy and not been able to keep up this blog. That is going to change though.

Since I last posted, my Fiancee and me have finally bought a house. We moved in last weekend. We are only 6 weeks away from our wedding and now Baseball is just around the corner again. Can’t wait.

To top it off, I have finally got a sports channel to watch baseball, so this season I will be watching as many of the games as is possible (without upsetting my soon to be wife too much).

So as we eagerly await the opening of baseball season and yes i know the Cactus League has started already, I wanted to share with you the very first celebratory drink I had in my new home. A Bottle of London Pride, in my finally christened Brewers beer glass.

IMG_1759

UK Brewcrew on tour

The Baseball Talk….

So the stress of exams and stuff is over for a while and now I have a little more time to keep up with the baseball. Boy am I glad about that!

What has been going on then? I’ll start with what you already know! The Brewers are still topping the National League Central, 5 games clear of St. Louis. Another series win against our rivals the Cubs and taking the first game against the Twins 6-2 with Gallardo stepping up to start tonight and try to win the series. Of course you all know that…..

So I went on tour…

I spent from Wednesday until the weekend on a road trip through Wales. The big news was that I think I got a step nearer to being able to get to Milwaukee. Whilst away I proposed to my lovely girlfriend and she said yes. With that she has kind of  agreed that our honeymoon can be in the US. She’s agreed to a trip to Milwaukee, provided I take her to Niagra Falls and New York. So who am I to argue with that?

Anyway, other than that monumental news, I took my Brewers top with me on our trip, and I managed to get some very British pictures of myself in our team colours. So here are a few…

Firstly, every British Seaside resort has a pier…

Brewers 4

What trip to a British Seaside resort is complete without a Punch and Judy show?

Brewers 2

Then of course, you have to visit a British Pub….

Brewers 9

There was also some pretty spectacular scenery in central Wales…

Brewers 8

…but can you get a more British picture than this?

Brewers 6

A red telephone box, with a royal mail post box in front of a castle (and note the Welsh Flag flying)!!!

So it’s back to Concentrate on the Twins….

…come on you Brewers.

Cheerio from the UK Brewcrew for now.

 

Another win, but i lost an eBay auction…..

So over night we had another good result with a 5-2 win over the Padres taking our record to 16-6. We are now 4 games in front of the St. Louis Cardinals in our Division. Things are looking good.

So the only disappoinment today has been the fact I didn’t win an eBay auction on a Rawlings 12″ Baseball Mitt. I really want one now, but i didn’t quite realise how expensive they are! So has anyone got any recommendations on a nice starter one? Remember I live in England so I don’t have a massive choice over here! I’d quite like a bat too….

….so one thing I noticed on playbacks of Segura’s 3 run Home Run last night is that Bernie has a slide at Miller Park! The big kid in me really wants to have a go on that! How do I get to have a go? Does visiting from England qualify me???

So a night off tonight before the 3 game series against our Divisional Rivals, the Chicago Cubs.

I’ve also now created an Official Sussex Brewers Baseball twitter account. Follow my ramblings here: @Sussex_Brewers

Until next time……..We’re top of the pile!!!!

 

Top of the pile!

Hello Again….

So we, (Milwaukee Brewers) find ourselves top of the standings currently. An impressive 15-6 record makes us the team to catch at this early stage in the season. Exciting times! Have we got the right blend to last the entire season and make it to the post season (is that what it is called?)?

So the big talking point this week was the bench clearing against the Pirates on Sunday. I have to say I watched the video and it was all a lot of hot air over nothing! I’m not sure what expected etiquitte is, but does this happen often? It’s good to see players fired up for games, but do we not now lose players for games because of this hot headedness? Didn’t Gomez get a 5 game ban for the ensuing fight or handbags at 10 paces? I’m not clued up enough to comment really, but something that did make me laugh was a tweet I saw this week from someone you probably know and love. Hank the Ball Park Pup (@BrewersHank on twitter if you are not following him). I quote….

“What we learned from Sunday: If you start a brawl, run away as fast as possible, then you’ll stay out of trouble. #cowardly” – with reference to Pirates Pitcher Cole who obviously commented at Gomez to start the brawl.

……and this next tweet made me laugh……

“I’ll never forget the time I started barking at another dog for no reason, then that dog got in trouble for barking back while I ran away.”

Bless you Hank.

So what else has happened?

Well my Girlfriend (she is the best btw) decided to treat me for easter. Instead of Easter Eggs (I did actually get an Easter Egg too), I got these rather cool presents.

Firstly, a trivia book! I need to do some homework though…..

Brewers Book

Then this rather cool (and I’m waiting for a special occassion to christen) Pint Glass…..

Brewers Pint Glass

and best of all, a signed Craig Counsell Baseball!!!

Brewers Baseball - Craig Counsell

So this English Brew Crew member is one happy bunny at the moment.

Hope you all had a great Easter. Until next time……Go Brewers!!!!

What a start to the Season….

Hello again,

So it’s been a while. How have you all been? I’m guessing like me you are really happy with how the season has gone so far! I’ve managed to follow most of the games via twitter and even got to watch some of the free view game against the Braves (one of the ones we lost) on mlb.com. Annoyingly for me, it was an early start so i missed the first 6 innings as i was still at work! Almost any other day and I would have been able to watch my first complete game!

I’m guessing there isn’t much I can add that hasn’t already been said but, how good have we been the last 3 series? Braun with his 3 home run game and and Lohse with 21 strike outs in his3  games pitching with Gallardo keeping the run count down against us too! A 9 game win streak is immense plus we have the best record in the league! Lets hope that it continues! Sadly for me, tonight’s game starts at 01:10 am in the UK so I’ll be asleep. Hopefully I’ll wake in the morning to find out we’ve made it 10!

So its Home to the Cardinals who stand second in our division. Lets hope we pull away from them a bit further.

Come on you Brewers!!!!

Terminology

So what happened yesterday?

There we were, just gone 4 up in after our 6th inning, and then somehow we lost 6-4! 3 runs in the last innings when we lead coming in to the final 4-3! Have to admit it think that is the first time in my fan following that I put my head in my hands!!! Still we get a chance today to redeem ourselves against A’s again today. Currently at time of writing we are 5-2 up with the A’s batting in the 6th.

So there is some terminology I need a hand with?

Some things I’ve been seeing whilst following online. Forceout, Strike Out, Flyout, lineout, walk. For pitching we have strikes and balls. So what is the difference between a strike and a ball? Anyone able to give a very basic explanation of those terms i mentioned? Thank you in advance.

Rotation.

I’m guessing the squad rotates more in the Cactus League than it does during the regular season? I haven’t seen Gallardo pitch very much on the games I’ve been following or actually seen Braun bat. Speaking of which….

…Braun…

…so he hit his 2nd Home Run of spring training. Apparently he was getting some flack from a few in the crowd too. Good to see a sportsman put it too them on the field!

So fingers crossed we hold out for the win to bring our record back to 4-4 for the cactus league.

Until next time………Go Brewers!!!!

My first 2 weeks as a Brewer!

I’m now in to week 3!

I forgot to mention in my post on Tuesday that it marked the start of my 3rd week as a Brewers fan! Get me, I’ll be a veteran before you know it! Although I am rather lacking in one thing to do with writing about baseball, and that is watching a game! I will have to see if there is any way for me to watch a spring training game when they start and see how writing a match report compares to my normal ramblings! I am though, happily reading news of the players now reporting back for training.

New terminology

So I learnt this week 3 new bits of terminology that may help me get through listening to games on a radio. They are, No-Hitter, Hidden Ball and probably the more common, Stolen Base. I read another blog by DJ who is currently talking about his 5 favourite moments as a Brewers fan (his blog is called DJ’s Baseball Blog). So at number 4 is Nieves No-Hitter in 1987. I read the article but as I’m a complete noob to baseball I had trouble understanding what the achievement of a No-Hitter was. So, on I went to what is fast becoming my most used website, Wikipedia. The idea of no batsmen hitting a pitch for 9 innings is quite an achievement and very rare.

Stolen Bases

As I understand it, this is where a base runner runs from one base to the next whilst the pitcher is going through his actions. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but from clips I’ve seen on You Tube it appears the base runner sets off before the ball is pitched? There were some comedy moments of runners getting stuck between bases with the ball going between basemen to effectively tag him out. It reminded me a little of an old school game we used to play called British Bulldog. It was great fun and highly amusing seeing someone trying to get to a point before being tagged by the chasing pack.

Hidden Ball

You Tube then lead me to some of the hidden plays. Now I’m guessing this is the most frustrating way you can see one of your base runners given out. To lose concentration for a moment and not see that the infielder hasn’t actually just thrown the ball away to another of his team mates, only for him to step off the plate for a second and get tagged out. It is probably great if you are the defending team though.

Twitter

One thing about blogging is that you can be very safe with it. I can post what I like, when I like, and remain anonymous to the world. Whilst I feel this is good (particularly as I’m probably due a review of some sort from the writers guild soon and you have to be prepared for negativity before you get the awards), one thing I do love is keeping up to date through twitter and tweeting about games and other such nonsense. So a question to you out there, who is worth following on twitter? So far I have @Brewers and @AdamMcCalvy (is he someone I need to look in to? Ex-player?). Also if you are interested, my twitter handle is @redstripe78 (Mark Lewis). Twitter is a great way for me to catch up on things as being 6 hours in front of Milwaukee time (what is the time zone called btw?), generally games are going to happen whilst I’m asleep. So feel free to follow me and I’ll probably follow back.

Did my t-shirt arrive you may ask????

….well yes it did, and here’s a mug shot of me wearing my new pride and joy holding the English flag.

Mark Brewers T-Shirt

Until next time…….GO BREWERS!!!!!

The Atmosphere Plays a Part

Known Fans

Mark Simons, a Brewers Super fan. Does he still have his season ticket right behind the away dug out? I stumbled across a little news piece on this guy on you tube whilst looking through clips of games. It is legendary that a fan can have such an impact on a game. I’m a firm believer that the fans are a 12th man (I know 10th in baseball) and have witnessed on many occasions how fans help their team at games. With my seat at the Amex in the 4th row from the front, on many occasion our section has got a rise out players from the opposition just in front of us.

Be the extra player

In football (soccer) there is a yellow and red card system. The yellow card is a final warning and red card means you’re off the field and your team is down a man. On one such occasion at an away game at Leeds United in May last year (2013), us Brighton fans did everything we could to give their star striker stick (El-Hadj Diouf – known for rising to fans baiting). We did so well that after he scored against us, instead of celebrating his goal, he came running over to us and gave us a hand gesture in retaliation. The referee gave him a straight red card for trying to incite us (officially known as un-sportsmen like conduct). Hasten to say we went on to win the game with that man advantage. It is for this reason, I think attending games and supporting your team is so important. You can make a difference.

Never cross the line

I must point out though, there is a line with this and that downright abuse is not on. It has to be clever and these players have to accept that as professional sportsmen they will take some stick from opposing fans.

A friend of mine whom I sit with at home games is very good at giving the opposing team players stick. He will nearly always get a rise out of the players, but it’s all in a good nature (there is no foul or abusive language). At the last home game, the opposition had a player who’s surname is Husband. All my friend did throughout the game was shout “Wifey”. It got to him at first but by the end of the game he was giving him a smile and thumbs up. After the game, my friend got his autograph on a few items and chatted with him. By all accounts he was a good bloke and my friend now has a few programmes to sell on eBay!

Atmosphere

The atmosphere is part of our football culture, to be loud and boisterous, intimidate but support. Real fans will appreciate a good sportsman (even on the opposition), but they’ll want their team to have the edge. I hope this culture lives in baseball because the atmosphere is one of those things that for me, makes attending a game worthwhile. It is the only time you’ll ever get me to sing (albeit very out of tune).

So I’ll be at Miller Park for the season then…..

…I wish, but I do hope the Brewers fans are passionate, loyal and lively and I hope it’s also in good taste and good humour. Update on my t-shirt though, it has been despatched today. Hope it arrives tomorrow!

Until next time…….GO BREWERS!!!!!

Pitching

Batting seems the coolest

….as a child, whenever we played cricket on our local field or at school, everyone always wanted to be the batsman. Why is it that the appeal to playing a sport that involves bat and ball, being the big hitter is what everyone wants to aspire to? It was certainly true with me and my friends in our sleepy little town in Sussex, England. Yet when I started to go and watch cricket, I found I did most of my beer drinking during my teams batting. It was actually the bowling I was more interested in as a spectacle. I find it phenomenal that a bowler can bowl a ball at speeds of up to 90mph with that pin point accuracy or that a bowler can get a ball to turn in the air using the friction of the ball through its projection. I wonder if I will find the same to be true with baseball. It’s definitely something I’m looking forward to seeing. I found out that the fastest ever pitch recorded was by Aroldis Chapman of the San Cincinnati Reds, officially recorded at 105mph (unofficially at 106mph). Considering a Pitcher is standing and not running, it beggars belief how much power there must be in a pitchers arm. I think I’m going to have to buy a baseball, glove and bat and see if I can get some friends out for knock around. I reckon I’d be lucky to even be able to pitch at 50mph!

Different Pitches

….I understand that there is more than one way to pitch a ball too! Yovani Gallardo (whom thanks to DJ I now know to be our star pitcher) is known to throw 4 different pitches in his game, the fastball, the curveball, the slider and the changeup. His fast ball is usually between 92 and 95mph with the other pitches in the 80’s! So that gives the batsman less than a second to work out where the ball is going and swing his bat to connect with it. I need to get my head around the statistics of strike outs and giving up runs, but from what I understand Gallardo is on course for some fantastic stats by the time he finishes his career.

Still no T-Shirt yet

….my Brewers top hasn’t arrived yet. I really hope it does this week. I spent time yesterday at Lakeside shopping centre in Essex yesterday. My girlfriend willingly followed me around the sports shops whilst I looked for anything Brewers related. Sadly, there was nothing, except Yankees and Dodgers stuff and who wants to buy that stuff? Of course I jest. I did nearly buy a baseball and bat but decided against just buying a cheap set for the sake of it. I did want to know though, are baseball bats metal? The one I could have bought yesterday was wood but it really does sound like they are metal when they connect with the ball in a game.

Its 42 days to opening day

…so I can’t resist putting this picture up for my official @Brewers count down.

42

Until next time…….GO BREWERS!!!!!