Brewing up America’s pastime: Having mixed successes against Chicago teams


Scooter Gennett, Brewers second baseman, turns the double play as Alexei Ramirez of the Chicago White Sox slides into second base on Wednesday. The White Sox would wing the game, 4-2, and the series, 2-1. 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.

For the first time in over a year, I actually trekked out to Miller Park for a game, as I caught last Friday’s 7-6 loss to the Chicago Cubs from the third-base side. I walked in, and the fresh smells of fat-filled pretzels and AJ Bombers started making my tongue salivate. Attending the game with a friend from Chicago, we discussed the discrepancies between modernistic Miller Park and wrought-down Wrigley Field as we enjoyed a nice night catching up and talking baseball.

As I expected going into the evening, my friend had much more to talk about in terms of on-field production than I did. Discussing the promising futures of Jorge Soler, Addison Russell, Kris Bryant, Starlin Castro, and Anthony Rizzo with me, I unfortunately had to agree with him. Bluntly, the Cubs are experiencing a premier rebuilding campaign, while the Brewers have sat complacently.

However, the Brewers are starting to embrace a new mindset under manager Craig Counsell, and success has come in mixed ways so far during his tenure. This past week, he was able to lead the Brewers in a home series against the two Chicago teams, the Cubs and the White Sox.

In the game that I attended on Friday night, Soler, Rizzo, and Castro all homered to provide offense for the Cubs, while Jason Hammel’s performance on the mound helped place them in cruise control. Hector Rondon was close to blowing the save in the bottom of the ninth, but whiffed Gerardo Parra to end the inning and leave the Cubs with a 7-6 victory.

The following day, the Brewers avenged their loss by bringing out their bats to the home crowd and winning 12-4. Parra homered and drove in four runs, which coupled with Khris Davis‘s three hits and three RBI’s led the Brewers to a 12-4 victory.

On Mother’s Day, the Brewers relied on a Martin Maldonado single in the bottom of the eleventh to carry the team to victory. With his mother watching in the stands, it was surely a special day. Further, it clinched another series win against the Cubs, which are always necessary for statistical and moral esteem in a clubhouse.

During the work week, the South Side squad of the Chicago White Sox rolled into Milwaukee and took two out of three games from the Brewers. On Monday, the Brewers’ rode Elian Herrera‘s eighth-inning home run to ensure a 10-7 win. Tuesday and Wednesday were both 4-2 White Sox wins, with Chris Sale taking care of Tuesday and Jose Quintana doing the same on Wednesday.

In general, this lead to a 3-3 record against Chicago teams on this homestand, and a 5-5 managerial record for Counsell. While this record is nothing spectacular, the fact that the team can at least achieve the minor checklists necessary to be deemed mediocre shows significant improvement for the worst-place team in baseball.

As the Brewers look to start a 10-game road trip where they are off to New York, Detroit, and Atlanta, a consistent winning approach must be developed. Either the Brewers should take advice from Homestead staff on implementing a growth mindset education or they need some serious comic relief in the clubhouse, because right now nothing is working for this team in the locker room.

When I left Miller Park, I was understanding of the situation, but disappointed that the team has the current mark of success that it does. As an avid baseball fan, I try to go to a few games each year, while on the other hand, partial and bandwagon fans will not support business until engaged. Given this performance, the fan in me would rather watch the game on the couch.