Brewing up America’s pastime: Off to a rocky start


In an image characteristic of the Brewers’ start to the season, Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies outfielder, looks at his home run in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game at Miller Park as Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers catcher, can merely gander at the shot. The Rockies would win the game 5-4 in 10 innings. Photo provided by Getty Images

The smell of the freshly made hot dogs, taste of David sunflower seeds and sights of the players warming up fill the aroma that is Miller Park during the summer as our beloved Milwaukee Brewers play an old-fashioned game dating back to 1845. But it’s more than just a game: it’s a national pastime, one that has become a staple of American culture. Since I was handed a baseball bookcase when I was eight days old, I have become infatuated with the sport, and as I have aged it has become the hallmark of my interest. With this backdrop, I decided to take to The Highlander Online to showcase my thoughts about the local bunch of guys living out thousands of children’s dreams: the Milwaukee Brewers.

I’ll be honest- the start of this season doesn’t shock me. I had the honor, or misfortune, to be in Phoenix over spring break. I thought, why not attend a spring training game and watch my beloved Brewers compete in a more relaxed environment?

After hitchhiking across the entirety of Phoenix through lower-income Hispanic neighborhoods and past open plains of desert, all of a sudden the friendly Brewers logo greeted me in front of a difficult font that read “Maryvale Baseball Park-Home of the Milwaukee Brewers Spring Training.”

After some initial devouring of the baseball foods that I had missed so much, I sat down to watch what I thought would be a great game. But, boy was I wrong.

Not only did the Brewers lose 10-4, but they gave up numerous errors. I’m not talking about some poor ball placement or small things, but this team literally looked like my fourth grade TMYBA squad, throwing the ball all over the Steffen Middle School field under the summer lights and mosquitoes.

Although that was just one afternoon, my faith was low, and so with that I’m really not incredibly surprised that the Brewers are sitting at 0-3, having been swept at home. What I am surprised at is the fact that the Colorado Rockies, the second-worst team in baseball last season with a 66-96 record, can waltz right into Miller Park and take away our hopes and dreams (at least for now).

On Monday, the prime Opening Day afternoon, Colorado cruised in and rode Kyle Kendrick‘s seven strong innings and Nolan Arenado and Corey Dickerson‘s combined eight runs batted in to a statement win of 10-0. You know, the Brewers should have understood the concept that when the season starts, it is important to score runs and play baseball.

So maybe they would have understood this by Tuesday, after a rough night of sleep? Nope. Well, they did score two runs, but Jordan Lyles, Rockies pitcher, pitched into the seventh inning and star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was one of four key batters to drill multiple hits for the Rockies, which all culminated in a 5-2 victory for those from the Centennial State.

Down two games to none in this opening series, the Brewers had one more chance to at least salvage something for their fans, city and most importantly, their own early faith, in game three on Wednesday evening. After losing the lead in the eighth inning, the Brewers came back to tie it at 4 in the bottom of the ninth on RBI’s from Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun. The crowd was roaring and everyone was ready for the big “W.”

Then came extra innings, where the Rockies reminded fans why the Brewers would be so excited about a win in the first place. Wilin Rosario‘s pinch-hit home run off Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez in the tenth inning brought out the brooms as the Rockies swept away the Brewers in our own city with a 5-4 win.

It was even record-breaking, as the Rockies tied a major league record with the amount of doubles they hit in the first two games of a season, with 12 two-baggers in those games.

With the Pittsburgh Pirates rolling into Milwaukee this weekend, hopefully the Brewers can make them walk the plank. Mike Fiers will tow the hill tonight, followed by Jimmy Nelson on Saturday and Kyle Lohse on Sunday afternoon. The Pirates are currently 0-3 as well, so the Brewers will have a great chance to get some wins.

For the 100 days leading up to Opening Day, the team posted a different, fun picture each day on Instagram with the hashtag #SeeYouApril6 as a means of generating excitement for the 2015 year. Now that it’s here, however, some fans might be wishing for the #SeeYouOctober5, when we can dream again about the possibilities of a great season start.