Scouting Zack Greinke

Trips to Milwaukee don’t come around too often unless it’s for a specific purpose, which is to scout potential pitchers whom the Blue Jays might acquire.  While mindful of the fact that I have no idea how to scout any sort of player let alone a pitcher, you might ask what business do I have for being in a small mid-west town like Milwaukee.  Aside from sampling some cheeses and taking in the tastes and smells of a couple brewery tours, the answer my friends is simply to enjoy a baseball game.  A group of us have traditionally ventured out every summer to the U.S. of A. to see some ballparks.  In the past it’s been old Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Comerica Park, PNC Park, etc., but this year we decided to go see Miller Park and visit Wrigley Field once more because, personally, I think it is the best place to see a ball game.

Miller Park, as you can see, is quite a beautiful park by itself with it’s brick & glass façade and beautifully crafted retractable roof. Fans were decked out in their Brewer wear, but mostly I noticed a lot of fan appeal for the retro jersey which I have to admit is quite an attractive look.

Our seats were quite spectacular 11 rows behind home plate. Being the first game back from the All-Star break, we watched Greinke (in his 3rd straight start for the Brewers) take on James McDonald and the Pirates.  The Brewers came back in this one with a Cody Ransom grand slam after the Pirates took the lead.    Greinke received a no-decision that day, but did get 6 K’s in 5 IP which really highlights the electric stuff he still has.  Let me tell you his pitches MOVE despite also giving up 7 hits including 2 home runs to Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez, which kinda sucks.  Greinke is usually not prone to giving up the long ball as dictated by his 0.5 HR/9 this year or even his 0.9 HR/9 overall in his career.

We were also fortunate to see fellow Canadian John Axford pitch the ninth which was a special treat. Fellow Brewers’ fans told us that Axford hasn’t been the same since the birth of his second child on May 11th this year where he blew his first save in 49 chances…he has since gone on to blow 6 saves in 2 months…OUCH.

James McDonald delivering a pitch.

Ransom’s grand salami below.  You can also see a lot of the retro jersey’s in the stands after he crosses the plate.

Another one of the main appeals of going to Milwaukee is to devour the “Grand Slam of Sausages” which consists of a bratwurst,  hot dog, Polish sausage and Italian sausage.  In our case we substituted the hot dog with a chorizo sausage. This was actually a big disappointment because the size of each sausage looked like just a regular hot dog. I was expecting this ‘grand slam’ to be a daunting task, something that would require inner fortitude and an unwillingness to surrender to your stomach’s messages of fullness. I mean, think about it. Four sausages to be eaten in 3 hours – give or take. I was determined to do it…and sadly, it was nothing to shake a stick at. Either way, I did rank my preferences of sausage that day.  They were 1. Chorizo, 2. Polish, 3. Italian, and 4. Brat. I tended to like the spiciest ones first.

If you want, you can buy sausage t-shirts…??

The infamous sausage race at Miller Park!! In this particular race, the Chorizo led the whole way which lacked some excitement. I was disappointed we didn’t see any sausage smash-ups.

Overall, I thought Milwaukee was a nice enough town.  If you ever have to visit for work or pleasure, there’s plenty of pubs and eateries downtown.  Fans love their Brewers and Miller Park is a good place to see and watch a game.  The biggest downfall in my mind are the concessions available inside. There’s just no variety and all concessions offer the same thing.

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