Attention Brewer fans" There WILL be beer at Miller Park this season...because the Brewers WON the home opener! Yes, I know it's one of the oldest, juvenile jokes in sports, but that's how I'm feeling today, like a kid who is full of energy and ready for this season to get its legs!
On a beautiful 60 plus degree Monday afternoon on the last day of March the Brewers were able to erase the long drab cold days of winter that we've been having here in the Brew City, with their solid win on the first day of the 2014 MLB Season.
Yovani Gallardo got his first win on Opening Day on his fifth try, which might I add was his fifth consecutive start, a franchise record. Gallardo went 6 shut out innings giving up only 4 hits, 2 walks and striking out 4, while throwing 92 pitches, 57 for strikes. Three other Brewer pitchers came in relief to hold on to the shut out, with K-rod (Francisco Rodriguez) shutting the door in the ninth.
According to Ron Roenicke, Jim Henderson and K-Rod were told the day earlier who would get the ball in the ninth, which was a surprise to Brewer Fans as well as most of the players. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez, and Right Fielder Ryan Braun had this to say after the game:
As for Braun and Ramirez, who were both key in Monday's victory, Braun was greeted with a standing ovation by fans. It was his first time in a uniform at Miller Park since last July when he was suspended for the remainder of the 2013 season. Braun went 1 for 4, stole a base, and scored the teams' second run in the 4th on Aramis' double down the left field line. Ramirez also had a great defensive stop in the 7th on a diving stab at a ball laced down the third base line by Andrelton Simmons which he caught and promptly threw to first for the out.
The Brewers attendance of 45,691, which by the way was the 6th largest in Miller Park history not only saw a win, but also saw their first challenge play. In the bottom of the 6th when Ryan Braun was called "safe" on a close play at first, it took only :58 seconds and the call was overturned, resulting in the first out of the inning.
All in all it was a fun game (they all are when your team wins), and with their 2-0 defeat of the Braves, the Brewers are now only 90 wins from my prediction, and a return to the post-season.
Oh, and by the way, the Hot Dog won the sausage race and Hank the Dog made an appearance with Bernie Brewer before the start of the game...
(photo courtesy of Jen Szczepanski)