Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sometimes You Just Tip Your Hat

Prepare yourself.

You're going to hear a lot of chatter and overall negativity on the radio tomorrow concerning the Brewers getting no-hit tonight. They're going to complain that Graffanino was in the line-up instead of Braun. They're going to complain that Gross was the designated hitter and that Counsel was batting lead-off. The dooms-day speakers are going to say that the Crew has finally hit rock bottom and that we should all prepare for the continuing free fall--right into last place. Some are going to call for Yost's head. Others are just going to call him an idiot.

But you know something? None of it matters.

Because Justin Verlander was flat out filthy tonight. And there was nothing Ryan Braun, Ned Yost or Tony Gwynn Jr, could have done about it.
(Although, it would have been nice to see Gwynn start this game. I'm still baffled by the Gross as DH decision, and can't understand why Yost is so reluctant to get Gwynn's bat at the top of the order, especially in Rickie's absence. He's the guy with the best chance to beat out the infield single after all...)
Verlander was getting his no-no no matter what. And you could feel that it was going to be the case as early as the fourth inning. He was electric. And he was changing speeds as well as any pitcher that can throw the ball 101 mph ever has. He was locating his curve, his changeup and the fastball, which never registered lower than 96 all night. And he craftily used sea gulls to his all advantage all night long.

I'm not claiming that I predicted this no hitter ahead of time, but let me walk you through my night so you can see why I became sure that it was on it's way. After all, the Brewers have been no hit through four or five innings half a dozen times this season--even a couple times during the 24-10 start. But this night was different, here's my take on the series of "lowlights"

5:45 p.m.--I'm at the Ford dealer, getting some work done to my brakes (Or at least I went in for brakes; turns out I needed these tie rod thingy-ma-bobs replaced too. Apparently they're pretty important to the front end of your car or the tires fall right off the axle. Who knew? I sang a lot in high school.)
I'm told the car isn't going to be ready until 7, so I call Sonia and she picks me up. During the ride home, I panic that I haven't changed my fantasy baseball line-up for the night. I get home just before the 6 p.m. deadline and insert one Justin Verlander into the starting pitcher slot for my team, Harvey's Wallbangers. Hope that move works out...

Brewers 1st--After a Counsell strike-out Grafanino puts together the worst Brewer at-bat, since Chuckie Carr hacked 3-0. When Hardy lines out to center, I actually stand up and clap, yelling "Way to put it in play, J.J." I probably should have taken that as an omen.

Brewers 2nd--I warmed up some food in the microwave. I swear I ran it for 1 minute and 11 seconds (I'm lazy, so I always press "1, 1, 1" or "2, 2, 2" whenever I use the microwave.), but somehow, by the time I get back to the couch, the Brewers are already out. What the--?

Brewers 3rd--Billy Hall draws a walk. The perfect game has ended. Eat that, Tigers.

Bottom of the third--We're in route to pick up my car, which still isn't done when I arrive. By the time I make it to the waiting room and get their tv turned on to the game, the Tigers have a run. These Brewers really need me.

Brewers 4th--After another Graffanino strike out, JJ draws a walk. Verlander then delivers the filthiest curveball I have seen, at least since Sheets 18 strike-outs versus the Braves, to Prince Fielder. I don't have proof, but it may have broke a full 6 feet. On the next pitch Verlander throws another nasty curve, but instead of making it bite into the dirt, he paints the corner. Nothing Prince could have done. I swear on all things Brewers that at this moment, I realize the no-hitter is more than just a possibility...Hart strikes out to end the inning. But there's good news, Brewers fans; if my count is right, we forced Verlander to throw 20 pitches that inning (turns out it was 19).

Bottom of the 6th--I get home with my car just in time to see Curtis Granderson's triple. (I have to say, the triple is a pretty exciting play.) When he scores on a sac fly, I look to my wife and inform her that the Brewers just lost and she might want to stick around and see a little history...she goes to the bedroom and falls asleep. 'Cause that's the kind of pull I have around the house.

Brewers 7th--Prince Fielder hits one back through the box, but Verlander grabs it and throws him out at first. Hart then sends a line drive to right field that Magglio makes a nice diving catch on...I immediately flash back to the unnecessary dive Robin made on the final out of Nieves no-no in '87. It takes the pain away, but only momentarily...

Brewers 8th--Bill Hall walks for the third time in the game. (Here's my chance to find a bright side to being no-hit. Bill Hall showed patience at the plate and didn't flail at pitches off the corner. Mark this down: Billy is about to get hot. And remember you read it here first.) Gross hits a ball up the middle that Neifi Perez turns into a nice 6-4-3 double play. He was a Cub last year. Enough said.

Brewers 9th--The ump calls a pitch that was obviously a ball a strike and Counsell pouts...

I'm sorry, I have to interrupt my own typing a second to comment on the NBA game tonight. With 11 seconds left, Varejao just threw up some God-awful spin move on Duncan. That was the ugliest crunch time play the NBA Finals has ever seen. I really wish I had completely tuned out of this tournament as soon as Golden State was eliminated...

Anyhow, as Counsell pouts, you can actually see the third base ump laughing in the background. The Brewers fan in me wants to believe that the ump is laughing because he realizes it was a bad call and that the home plate ump has gotten carried away in the moment. Truth is, he's laughing at Counsell for not understanding that the home plate ump is going to give Verlander that call as he gets carried away in the moment.

Next, Graffanino accomplishes the rare feat of striking out for the fourth time, all swinging. Well, kind of swinging. If, that is, you consider a half-ass check swing strike an actual swing. Actually, someone should call Elias, he may have just set a record for check-swing strikes in a game. Of the 12 strikes, at least 9 are check-swing half-assers...

Finally, JJ send a soft liner to right. The Tigers celebrate, and all I can do...

...is tip my hat.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

nice little write up. brewer fan or not, anyone who witnessed the entire game--or the recap on espn, which is probably the most airtime the brewers have received since starting 24-10--should be tipping their hats to mr verlander. the man was a complete stud last night.

mr rosenthal, i truly enjoy your articles. as the brewers nosedive, you seem to be grasping at the unreachable hope of the playoffs, almost as if the sweet fruit that your palate suckled on w/the great start of the season has, little by little, been pulled away from your lips. you're reaching for it only to realize your hands are tied behind your back. american beauty and about schmidt come to mind. beautiful trajedy at its finest. the air slowly being sucked from your sail, only to leave you aimlessly drifting in the waterways to mediocracy. lecter slowly feasting on your brains while you're still alive. hopelessly hoping for that which will no longer be w/in arm's reach by mid september.

as a cubs fan, we go through this every year. the one thing that has eased the pain these last three years is hearing all you brewer fans ramble about "our great young home grown talent that has risen through the minor leagues and now is our future". in years past, i would find all of you already talking about how green bay is the team to beat....right around mid may, which is when you realized the brewers were out of contention. at least for the last 3yrs, you've gotten a taste of false hope which we experience every year since i was born. hopefully, with more uprising prospects to replace your young stars that you'll lose to free agency w/in the next 3-4yrs, you will continue to experience longer and longer periods of false hope each summer. instead of mid may, stretch the agony to mid july. and last year to mid august. maybe, as horrible as the central is this year, it'll strech to the beginning of september. close. close. close. but not quite.

and all i can do....is tip my hat.

Anonymous said...

After Graffanino struck out (for the first time... not the other three times) I turned to Alyssa and said, "This is about to get really ugly for the Brewers."

That said - Gabe Gross? Seriously? I can only hope they're giving him a look as trade bait. It's not working.

Anonymous said...

great call on bill hall. he single-handedly won yesterday's game. however, one game doesn't erase the slow start he's gotten off to; hopefully he can keep the momentum going to help get them into the all-star break above .500

Anonymous said...

[url=http://buydrugsonline.megabyet.net]free online order viagra[/url]

viagra buy viagra
viagra on line uk
what is viagra for
free online viagra
viagra drug
what is viagra used for
viagra drug info
viagra drug information
effect side viagra
viagra on line canada
viagra online ordering
free viagra uk
viagra canada online
viagra drugs
viagra online prescriptions
viagra cost uk
viagra on line pharmacy
viagra cialis compared
where to buy viagra in the uk
womens viagra uk
free free pill viagra
free viagra canada
viagra drug company
free viagra pills
viagra on line sales
free viagra prescription
viagra canada price
viagra cost in canada
viagra levitra online
what is viagra made of
where to buy viagra in uk
free prescription viagra
viagra levitra and cialis
viagra on line purchase
effects viagra women
effects of viagra on women
viagra pictures
viagra levitra cialis
viagra levitra compare
viagra levitra comparison
viagra drug name
viagra like pills
viagra canada pharmacy
free pill viagra
viagra levitra cialis comparison
viagra without a prescription
viagra levitra cialis compare
viagra canada generic
viagra levitra cialis side effects
free prescription viagra without
viagra health risk
free sample viagra online
viagra health risks
viagra drug class
viagra mail order
free pill sample viagra
where to buy viagra in london
viagra levitra dosage
viagra warnings
viagra drug test
viagra other uses
viagra mail order uk
free get sample viagra
free prescription sample viagra
on line viagra
free viagra trial
effects of viagra on females
viagra heart problems
cheapest online viagra
cheap cheap viagra
viagra
cheap online order viagra
cheapest prescription viagra
the drug viagra
cheapest in uk viagra
what is viagra
to buy viagra online
to buy viagra
cheap prescription viagra
cheapest viagra prices
online viagra order
information about viagra
drug free viagra
prescription for viagra
drug effects more side viagra
drug prescription viagra
cheap drug generic generic viagra
cheapest uk viagra
cheap prescription viagra without
viagra to buy online
viagra heart attacks
use of viagra
order viagra viagra online
cialis levitra online viagra
where to buy viagra online
buy now online viagra
cheap online purchase viagra
cialis viagra levitra
drug get online viagra
buy online viagra viagra
where can i buy viagra online
viagra information
can i buy viagra
online viagra prescription
online ordering viagra
online viagra
can i buy viagra online
buy cheap online viagra
buy online viagra where
cialis viagra side effects
canadian viagra online
buy online order viagra

Anonymous said...

Do You interesting of [b]Viagra 50mg side effects[/b]? You can find below...
[size=10]>>>[url=http://listita.info/go.php?sid=1][b]Viagra 50mg side effects[/b][/url]<<<[/size]

[URL=http://imgwebsearch.com/30269/link/buy%20viagra/1_valentine3.html][IMG]http://imgwebsearch.com/30269/img0/buy%20viagra/1_valentine3.png[/IMG][/URL]
[URL=http://imgwebsearch.com/30269/link/buy%20viagra/3_headsex1.html][IMG]http://imgwebsearch.com/30269/img0/buy%20viagra/3_headsex1.png[/IMG][/URL]
[b]Bonus Policy[/b]
Order 3 or more products and get free Regular Airmail shipping!
Free Regular Airmail shipping for orders starting with $200.00!

Free insurance (guaranteed reshipment if delivery failed) for orders starting with $300.00!
[b]Description[/b]

Generic Viagra (sildenafil citrate; brand names include: Aphrodil / Edegra / Erasmo / Penegra / Revatio / Supra / Zwagra) is an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction regardless of the cause or duration of the problem or the age of the patient.
Sildenafil Citrate is the active ingredient used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men. It can help men who have erectile dysfunction get and sustain an erection when they are sexually excited.
Generic Viagra is manufactured in accordance with World Health Organization standards and guidelines (WHO-GMP). Also [url=http://twitter.com/iuyjopg]Viagra Sales Market[/url] you can find on our sites.
Generic [url=http://ojagamu.freehostia.com]Viagra and Analogs[/url] is made with thorough reverse engineering for the sildenafil citrate molecule - a totally different process of making sildenafil and its reaction. That is why it takes effect in 15 minutes compared to other drugs which take 30-40 minutes to take effect.
[b]saguaro viagra erectus
Viagra Lawyer Columbus
hearing loss with viagra
Kamagra Cheap Viagra
silagra generic viagra cialis cumwithuscom
natural viagra adam
cancun viagra
[/b]
Even in the most sexually liberated and self-satisfied of nations, many people still yearn to burn more, to feel ready for bedding no matter what the clock says and to desire their partner of 23 years as much as they did when their love was brand new.
The market is saturated with books on how to revive a flagging libido or spice up monotonous sex, and sex therapists say “lack of desire” is one of the most common complaints they hear from patients, particularly women.
[url=http://twitter.com/omcaujc]Viagra Kamagra[/url]