Wayne Campbell: So, do you come to Milwaukee often? Alice Cooper: Well, I’m a regular visitor here, but Milwaukee has certainly had its share of visitors. The French missionaries and explorers were coming here as early as the late 1600s to trade with the Native Americans. Pete: In fact, isn’t ‘Milwaukee’ an Indian name? Alice Cooper: Yes, Pete, it is. Actually, it’s pronounced ‘Mill-e-wah-que’ which is Algonquin for “the good land.”
The second time I ever saw the Braves at Miller Park was in the spring of 2010, as Troy Glaus and Brooks Conrad led us to a win. Milwaukee seemed like a pretty genuine baseball town. It’s hard to knock a ballpark with a statue of Hammerin’ Hank outside.
After the game, we went looking for a bar. We briefly stopped by the Esquire-approved Milwaukee Ale House as it was closing, I got turned away from a piano bar for improper footwear, and then wandered around Water Street for another drinking establishment. I located a dimly-lit bar that looked reputable. It took approximately thirty seconds to realize every individual in the bar was drinking a pounder can of PBR. It was at this precise moment I realized I would never understand Milwaukee.
On this Andrelton Simmons Bobblehead Night, the Mill-e-wah-que Brewers were looking for a series split in Atlanta against Aaron Harang. Due to work and travel commitments, I’ve spent the last few weeks listening to Jim, Don, and Grandma on the Braves Radio Network. It’s a cold reality when you tune into Fox Sports and remember Chip Caray is paid to say words on television.
The Brewers started the scoring in the top of the first. After a bunt single and steal from leadoff man Mean Jean Segura, Certified Braves Killer Jonathan Lucroy knocked a two out double to right field to make it 1-0. Segura added a double of his own in the top of the third, and advanced to third base on a bunt by Scooter Gennett, who is somehow not a country singer. Segura would eventually score on a Lucroy single to make it 2-0 Brewers. I’m sure Lucroy is a fine human being, but I’m thrilled he’s leaving town.
Things stayed quiet in the first few innings for the Braves offense against Matt Garza. According to Chip, B.J. Upton was not pleased with hitting sixth in the lineup and was slotted in the two-hole today. The starting lineup remained Bear-less.
After working a good at-bat in the bottom of the third, Uggla (!) advanced to second on a Harang bunt (!!) and got the Braves on the board after a Heyward single. For those of you playing the classic Joe Simpson Drinking Game, Heyward’s single went to the opposite field.
The inability to put together a shut down inning after mustering some offense continued for the Braves, as the Brewers quickly struck back with an Overbay double, Khris Davis ground out, and a Logan Schafer squeeze to make it 3-1 Milwaukee.
The game stayed at 3-1 until Davis drove in Overbay in the top of the sixth to make it 4-1 Brewers. The Davis single was the end of the night for Harang, who gave up nine hits (including four doubles) without getting through the sixth inning.
Bossman, batting second, knocked a wall-scraping solo shot in the bottom of the sixth to make it 4-2. Things got interesting in the seventh, as the Braves added to their score total with a Chris Johnson single, an Uggla single (!!!), and a defensive misplay by the Brewers defense on a sharp ground ball which resulted in a Laird RBI double.
In a piece of performance art, following the departure of Garza (three walks, one strikeout) and Kintzler, the Brewers proceeded to trot out random, confused relief pitchers when absolutely no one was warming up in their bullpen. If you get a chance to watch a petrified Zach Duke enter the field, it’s worth your time. Reliever Rob Wooten started posing like Willem Dafoe in Platoon. The confusion spread, and required a ten-minute review to figure out what was supposed to happen. Like an old ECW crowd, the fans at Turner Field chanted “PLAY BALL” to get the game moving. I imagine this footage will be analyzed like the Zapruder Film. Eventually, Will Smith took the hill and promptly gave up a single to pinch-hitting Ryan Doumit, putting the Braves ahead 5-4.
It should be noted that Jeff Bianchi put together an unbelievable defensive play at second base on a Jason Heyward ground ball up the middle after being double-switched into the game for defense in the bottom of the seventh. It was questionable whether Segura was on the bag for Bianchi’s backhanded glove flip, but from the crack of the bat it seemed there was no way a defender would be near the ball. The call was overturned on review after another umpire meeting (the third review out of four in the game). It was a long inning – about fifty minutes worth. Wooten was eventually brought in by the Brewers to put out the fire.
Ian Thomas, Alex Wood, David Carpenter, and Landmark Dodge Spokesman Craig Kimbrel were scoreless in relief, continuing the bullpen’s great work. It was Kimbrel’s twelfth save of the year. In the end, the final was 5-4 Braves. Harang’s squad took the rematch with Garza, winning the series 3-1.
Apart from Wednesday, it was a great series for Atlanta. The Braves took three out of four games from the leaders of the NL Central, including a great comeback win this evening and the offensive EXPLOSIONS on Monday and Tuesday. Even better, Chris Johnson added three solid singles to hopefully get his season moving in the right direction. And somehow, Uggla looked great at the plate against Garza.