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The Playoffs so Far

Kyle asked me last week to put up a post comparing Shaun Marcum to other starters who made the switch from AL to NL. I decided that I have very few interesting things to say about the subject right now. Marcum's peripherals on the year were just about the same as they were last year. You'd expect them to get a little better moving to the weaker league but he still had a quality year, and I hope he throws a great game 3 and the Brewers get out of here with a sweep. And I'm in full-on fan mode, so I'm going to ramble like a fan for a while.

It's easy to tell I'm a bit excited. I was fortunate enough to be able to get down with a couple of friends to see Game 2 on Sunday. We bought tickets on Stubhub for $50 a piece to sit about 10 rows from the top in Section 433 (which was a heck of a lot better than shelling out $175 for a student ticket at the Wisconsin football game). It was something of a weird experience, I thought. I expected there to be a different crowd from a typical summer game, considering that anyone willing to pay to be there was probably a more serious fan, and that was definitely an accurate prediction. Tailgating before the game felt like something of a nervous formality. The other strange thing about the game experience was the crowd's engagement in the game. There was almost complete silence in tense anticipation before some pitches thrown by Brewers, even with a 5 run lead in the ninth, and in any possible rally situation the crowd was really loud and whipping the rally towels.

I think my favorite part of the entire game, as a fan, was this old guy in front of us throwing up the T when Plush knocked that RBI single to the outfield on the first pitch in his at-bat against Ziegler.

Arizona’s turned out more plentiful than the Brewers anticipated. Even though catcher Jonathan Lucroy had laid down so many squeeze bunts this season his teammates call him Mr. Squeeze, the Diamondbacks’ plan for fielding it fell apart because, manager Kirk Gibson said, the noise in the stadium led to a miscommunication.

That's from Yahoo sports today. And that is freaking awesome for a baseball stadium to have that kind of situation happen. I don't think I've ever heard of anything like that in this particular sport.

There was a little post on the Baseball Nation blog yesterday about how the Packers drew a 44% share of Milwaukee TV and the Brewers drew 20%. I say: who cares. Sunday football is a social event for people and the national TV broadcasts are easy for everyday fans to access, not to mention people are conditioned to know that football will be on at noon and 3 on Sunday afternoons. All I know is that Miller Park was packed with passionate baseball fans in the smallest market in baseball, and a few teams in the 2011 playoffs can't even sell out their home park.

Despite that disclaimer, it's getting really neat to see people who haven't cared about baseball in their lives start to take a bit of interest in the Brewers. This, right here, is how you build a bigger fan base-- by winning. And it doesn't hurt to win with a really, really fun team to follow. I get the feeling that I won't be the only one walking out of a midterm at school this week having a strong desire to do Beast Mode.

I remember how awesome it was to leave Miller Park way back in 2008 the night Fielder hit a walkoff against the Pirates, the night that started that incredible week of clutch performance that got the Brewers into the playoffs. It was just like that on Sunday night, when there were deafening "Let's go Brewers!" cheers echoing all the way down the stairs and ramps out of Miller Park and across the bridge to the General parking lot. And it's a great feeling knowing that no matter what happens, it's October 4th and more baseball will be played there this year.