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It's almost like Opening Day! Brewers win!

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Okay, it's two and a half months until the season starts, and I'm getting really antsy. You can only project stats so many different ways before you want to see how things actually turn out. So, thanks to Dan Szymborski's DMB projection disk I was able to simulate opening day.

The good news is that the Brewers beat the Pirates in their home opener. The bad news is that I got really nervous for a guy piloting a simulated computer baseball team in January. It was a close one.

Zach Duke pitched brilliantly for seven innings, not racking up too many strikeouts but shutting down the Crew. Ben Sheets was shaky in the beginning, allowing all three runs in the first four innings, not retiring the side in order until the sixth. It wasn't until the 8th inning that the Brewer bats, aided by a timely error from Pirate 2B Jose Castillo, came alive, scoring two runs. Brady Clark and JJ Hardy each drove in a run before Jim Tracy brought in Damaso Marte, who quickly disposed of Jenkins and Lee.

That left the Brewers down by one, which was still the case in the bottom of the ninth after a nearly perfect top half from Matt Wise. Against Roberto Hernandez, Prince Fielder opened with a single (his first hit of the season), though Rickie Weeks flied out to follow. Billy Hall, the opening day third baseman, sent a deep single to right that advanced Fielder to third. With righty Hernandez on the mound, Gabe Gross came in to pinch-hit for Damian Miller, and struck out.

With two outs and runners on the corners, Corey Koskie pinch-hit and sent a sharp grounder to second that was booted by our good friend Jose Castillo, scoring Fielder, tying the game. Brady Clark followed with an infield single, loading the bases again. Jim Tracy, who was, uh, so excited about the rally that he forgot to change pitchers until now (oops), brought in Mike Gonzalez to face JJ Hardy, 2-for-4 entering this at-bat. Hardy singled, driving in the winning run. A good time was had by all.

I can't get the box score to format very nicely, but if you're interested, it follows the jump.

I don't know whether a team that cyber-squeaks past the Pirates on opening day is playoff-bound, but it's a heck of a lot better than getting routed by one of the worst teams in the league.

4/3/2006, PIT06-MIL06, Miller Park
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2006 Pirates           1  1  0  1  0  0  0  0  0     3 10  2     6  1
2006 Brewers           0  0  0  0  0  0  0  2  2     4  9  0     8  2
 
Pirates              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Brewers              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Duffy             cf  4  0  0  0  .000    Clark             cf  5  0  2  1  .400       
Castillo          2b  4  1  1  1  .250    Hardy             ss  5  0  3  2  .600       
Bay               lf  4  0  1  0  .250    Jenkins           rf  3  0  0  0  .000       
Burnitz           rf  4  0  2  0  .500    Lee               lf  4  0  0  0  .000       
Casey             1b  4  0  0  0  .000     Wise             p   0  0  0  0  .000       
 Marte            p   0  0  0  0  .000    Fielder           1b  4  1  1  0  .250       
 Hernandez        p   0  0  0  0  .000    Weeks             2b  4  0  0  0  .000       
 Gonzalez         p   0  0  0  0  .000    Hall              3b  3  2  1  0  .333       
Randa             3b  4  2  2  0  .500    Miller            c   3  1  2  0  .667       
Wilson            ss  4  0  3  1  .750     Gross            ph  1  0  0  0  .000       
Doumit            c   4  0  0  0  .000    Sheets            p   1  0  0  0  .000       
Duke              p   3  0  1  1  .333     Cirillo          ph  1  0  0  0  .000       
 Wilson           1b  1  0  0  0  .000     Hart             lf  0  0  0  0  .000       
                     36  3 10  3           Koskie           ph  1  0  0  0  .000       
                                                               35  4  9  3             
 
Pirates                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Duke                             7.1  5  2  2  2  2 106  68  2.45
Marte            H               0.2  0  0  0  0  1  13   8  0.00
Hernandez        BS , L          0.2  3  2  0  0  1  20  12  0.00
Gonzalez                         0.0  1  0  0  0  0   4   3  0.00
                                 8.2  9  4  2  2  4 143  91 
 
Brewers                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Sheets                           8.0  9  3  3  0  3 105  69  3.38
Wise             W               1.0  1  0  0  0  2  12  11  0.00
                                 9.0 10  3  3  0  5 117  80 
 
PIT: Wilson inserted at 1b in the 8th
MIL: Cirillo batted for Sheets in the 8th
     Hart inserted at lf in the 9th
     Gross batted for Miller in the 9th
     Koskie batted for Hart in the 9th
 
E-Castillo 2. 2B-Randa, Wilson 2, Clark. HR-Castillo(1). K-Bay, Burnitz, 
Casey, Randa, Doumit, Jenkins, Lee, Sheets, Gross. BB-Jenkins, Hall. 
SH-Sheets. 
GWRBI: Hardy
Temperature: 66, Sky: clear, Wind: right to left at 3 MPH.