'We're all excited': Fans feeling confident as Brewers head into postseason

’We’re all excited’: Fans feeling confident as Brewers head into postseason

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Excitement and confidence gave way to anxiousness for Brewers fans after the team dropped Game 1 of its National League Wild Card series at home Tuesday.

Fans slowly filed out of American Family Field after the team's 6-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, which leaves the Brewers facing elimination in the best-of-three series. 

A lone bright spot for Michael Sturm was catching Gabriel Moreno's go-ahead home run for Arizona. The Racine man said he returned the ball back to Moreno after the game in exchange for an autographed baseball.

Michael Sturm holds an autographed ball from Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Gabriel Moreno. Sturm got the souvenir in exchange for returning Moreno's home run ball.

Attending his 61st Brewers game of the season, Sturm did not exude the excitement you might expect from someone who caught a Major League home run ball. Instead, he discussed reasons to believe the Brewers could rally and win the next two games.

"It's do-or-die," Sturm said. "They're at home. [Pitchers] Freddy Peralta will do it, and so will Wade Miley."

Before the game, the energy and the air matched what you'd expect from a Brewers tailgate Tuesday, with the smell of charcoal and grilled meats everywhere you walked.

But instead of the typical crisp air you expect for October baseball, it was unseasonably warm with temperatures in the mid-80s, and the roof was open for Game 1 of the Brewers' National League Wild Card Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"The vibe is outstanding," Meg Sullivan of Milwaukee said at a tailgate near the home plate entrance. "We're here with Reagan's family over there, and we're having a great time."

Sullivan was tailgating with her roommate Raegan Tervort and Tervort's family from the Madison area.

Sullivan and Tervort said the series was personal for them because they'd recently moved to Milwaukee from Phoenix.

"So, we hate the Diamondbacks," Sullivan said. "Pretty much everyone I know in Arizona, I will be posting this on Facebook."

CBS 58 crews saw people out buying tickets at American Family Field since about 10 a.m.

Ahead of Tuesday's first pitch, fans said they were feeling good about this series. Some even traveled long distances to see their hometown team begin the postseason.

"Went to high school up here. Came back up from North Carolina for the playoffs here, and here we are," said Brewers fan Mark Medendorp.

Fans pregame were optimistic. After all, the Brewers won 90 games for the 10th time in franchise history, and this year's club finished the regular season with the lowest team earned run average (ERA) in all of Major League Baseball at 3.71.

That allowed fans to remain confident, even after the bad news that Brandon Woodruff will not be able to pitch in this series.

"That was a bummer, to hear it right before the playoffs, but I'm optimistic," Jared Miller, who traveled in from Appleton, said. "We still got a good team out there."

Other fans had their own reasons for having a postseason party before the game. Patrick Lipscomb, a Milwaukee native who now lives in the Chicago suburb of Orland Park, said he was glad the Brewers avoided a playoff matchup with their I-94 rivals to the south.

"I think we can do it. I think the place will be fired up," Lipscomb said. "We don't have to fight off Wrigley North fans."

Lipscomb was attending the game with his best friend, Brian Murphy, who said he was feeling particularly relaxed after recently retiring.
"It's kind of nice," Murphy said. "I can enjoy myself, not have to get up early in the morning."

Others were most excited about the prospect of cheering for their Brewers during a year where the team could finally break through and reach its first World Series since 1982.

"I think we've got it in us this year," Tervort said. "This year is the year!"

"The whole franchise has done a good job of being relevant and being successful, so every single one of these chances you get, you gotta appreciate it. So, we're all excited," said Brett Glaeser, who came in from Valders, a town outside of Manitowoc.

Afterward, the roller coaster ride that was postseason baseball was even more apparent. After six months of success over a 162-game season, the Brewers now cannot afford a single loss.

"I always feel like we can make it happen," Jeff Winter from Brookfield said. "We've got the people for it if they come out, and they're both [in Milwaukee.] So, I like our chances, but it's an uphill battle now."

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