G20: Yankees squeak past Texas, 7-6

In the middle of the first inning, I was thinking – Where was this in October? Then at the end of the game, I was thinking Nevermind, had the same result as October.
I went to this game last night, and one the way to the game I mentioned to my wife that I was expecting a loss, but I thought it’d be a good game. I got both. The Rangers lost, but damn, this was a great game, if you’re a fan of baseball. It had a bit of evertyhing. Big bang inning, several comebacks, a couple of long balls, some small ball, it was a great damn game. The place was packed – an attendance of 42,600. I’ve been to larger crowds, but never for a weekday night game. Those usually are in the low 30’s. This was also Tuesday night which meant Tom Thumb half price ticket night, and I’m sure the Yankee fans were in attendance. It really seemed like there were a lot more Yankee fans out last night than there were at the playoff game last October (which I also went to – and sat through the whole 3.5 hr rain delay all the way to the end of the game).
Now, as a Ranger fan, this game both sucked and was great. Boy did Roger Clemens get booed when they announced his name in the lineup, and when he took the field. What was interesting is that the Yankee fans were also cheering him, of course. Was an interesting reaction, but the boos were bigger. The Rangers jumped all over the Rocket in the first inning. We batted around, scored 5 runs, and generally made Clemens seem like oh, I don’t know Bobby Witt did last year. :) Clemens settled down in the second inning, but that was it for him. He came out after the second, which seemed like a surprise at the park – later on I found out it was a hamstring thing. He was replaced by Hidecki Irabu, who dominated the Rangers. Several of his innings were 1-2-3. In fact, the only thing we managed to break through against him with was a wild pitch that we scored on. That’s it. :( The rest of the Yankee pitchers also closed us down, so the Rangers got a big first inning, one small gift, but it wasn’t enough.
Ranger pitching was fair. I thought Aaron Sele was crusining along well, until the 5th when Sele gave up a couple. Still, he didn’t look that bad, and then in the 6th, it fell apart. Jeff Zimmerman came in (to a big ovation from the crowd), and one run scored on him but that was charged to Sele. But he gave up his own first run, a solo shot to Paul O’Neill. Still, I thought Zimmerman pitched pretty great. Wetteland came in and blew his first save opportunity – he looked really weak from the first pitch. Never got it going, and gave up two runs.
Overall, even though we lost, I can say that I enjoyed the game. The Yankee fans were rather well behaved as Yankee fans go. This is now my fifth game at the Ballpark this season, and they added something new since the last game I attended. The large scoreboard over the left field wall, which used to show the current player’s batting average now shows the pitcher’s pitch count – total as well as balls/strikes. It’s a great help for people who score at the park. The info that used to be here has been displaced to the large Coke scoreboard out in center field. This pitch count scoreboard is in addition to the new scoreboard they added at the start of this season that shows ball speed and type. These things are a great addition for scorers, and if anyone at the Rangers reads this (yeah, right) and has something to do with these changes – way to go! I like them!
Commentary by Jim Meeks:
No wonder Roger Clemens chose the Yankees in the off-season over the Rangers.
Clemens was battered in the first inning Tuesday, pulled his hamstring and left the game after just two innings, trailing 5-0 to the Rangers.
As I listened to the game, I had this odd feeling – even as the Rangers were up 5-0, that they would somehow manage to lose the game. My feelings didn’t lie.
The Almighty Yankees pecked their way back into the game. Aaron Sele, held the 5-run cushion for 5.1 innings and Jeff Zimmerman pitched 2.2 and only surrendered a solo homer. By the time the 9th inning came around it was 6-5.
The surest thing the Rangers have is John Wetteland. And as any manager would have done, Manager Johnny Oates sent the dominating right hander to the mound to nail down the victory for Sele in the 9th – and finally put Clemens’ 18 game win streak – and the Yankees – to rest.
It wasn’t to be. Wetteland’s ex-mates scored twice in the frame.
He began the inning ominously with a walk. Two batters and 2 singles later, the game was tied 6 to 6. Two batters later, the Yankees went ahead, 7-6.
The Rangers went quietly in the bottom of the ninth and the Yankees gleefully recorded yet another victory over the Rangers – who just can’t seem to beat the Yankees.