G1: Rangers drop season opener, 11-5 to Tigers

I’m walking into the Ballpark today (I’ve been to the last three opening day games), and I was running late. I thought I was going to miss the first inning. I’m walking really fast, and my feet are hurting by the time I actually get into the park. Anyways, I see the Rangers are on the field, and are about to throw the first pitch. I stop walking to my seat, and stand next to the wall at the back of Green’s hill. There goes the first pitch.. and there goes the first pitch!! Home run on the first pitch of the season. Boy, if that wasn’t an open for things to come, I don’t know what was. I was sitting in Section 10, which is right next to the left field foul pole. That means one thing. The sun!! Ugh.. It was a nice spot, I thought, but probably would have been better if I wasn’t in the sun so much.
Who made the first error of the season? That’s right – Todd Zeile. Dammit. I want Tatis back! The other two errors were by Clayton (4th) & Stevens (7th). Actually, I didn’t think things were going all that bad until the fourth inning; I mean it was only 1-0. However, the floodgates opened in the fourth inning, the Tigers scored 7 runs, mostly on the longball (2 HR in the inning), helped by an atrocious outing by Helling & Loaiza (there’s a shocker).
Actually, I felt that innings 7-9 weren’t that bad, it’s just the 4th through 6th were so bad. We finally broke the no hitter in the 7th, as Raffy doubled in Greer, who had been hit by a pitch. Mike Morgan & Mike Munoz both pitched some shutout ball, which was nice to see, and we scored 5 runs from the 7th to the 9th, one of which was a Stevens HR to left field. Juan Gonzalez had two RBI’s, and the rest were spead out over several other players. Overall, the game stunk, and Helling better not pitch like this again much, or we’re in big trouble. One down, 161 to go. There goes the perfect season. smile.gif (93 bytes)
To summarize.. I’m sunburnt. Section 10 isn’t the best place to sit in the middle of the day. :)
Commentary by Jim Meeks:
Finally, Opening Day arrives. The smell of precious, green, spring grass. The wonderful smell of ballpark hot dogs. The nauseous fumes of bad pitching and defense. You knew there would be a sour stench all day when leadoff hitter Juan Encarnacion hit the first pitch of the game to the moon.
Rick Helling pitched as poorly as he can possibly pitch. In the first inning alone he threw 24 pitches – and it went downhill from there. He hit 2 batters. He gave up 7 runs (5 earned). He gave up 7 hard hits, including 2 homers. He stunk.
Esteban Loaiza was no better. He was actually worse. I’ll spare you the details. Trust me, he stunk.
The defense stunk too. oh sure, Ivan Rodriguez threw out a couple of would-be base thieves. Oh yeah, the infield made a couple of double plays. This only served the cause of not letting the Tigers score 15 runs.
The bright spots were few and far between. Rafael Palmeiro drove a ball to right for a double. Juan Gonzalez had 2 hits and a walk and a couple ribbies. But until the 7th inning, the Rangers couldn’t even collect a hit off Brian “Who is this guy, Nolan Ryan?” Moehler, who threw ground ball after ground ball.
It was a long, lost, smelly Opening Day. The good news is…it can only get better.