G50: Rangers win great game, 4-3 over Detroit

Oh man, what a game! What’s really interesting (about the game) is that there wasn’t much to talk about until the 8th inning. Before that, Ryan Glynn was a bit wild, walking five batters in the first three innings (actually, that’s all he walked), with two of those coming across for runs. Take away those walks, and Glynn pitched a decent ballgame. He went six innings (one batter into the 7th), and allowed 6 hits, and three runs – the third coming on a solo home run in the 6th off former Ranger Chad Kreuter. On the flip side, Royal pitcher Jeff Suppan was masterful, allowing only two hits through 7 and 2/3 innings. Unfortunately, the third and final hit he gave up was costly (to him), as it was a smash from Goodwin that hit him in the shin, forcing him to leave. I felt bad for the kid, as he pitched a spectacular game, and it was a shame he had to leave like that. He was relieved for the rest of that inning by Matt Whisenant, who kept it a shutout. One of the two hits was a double by Pudge which extended his hitting streak to 19 games – tying his career high.
And then the ninth… The Royals brought in their closer Jeff Montgomery, and I figured that was it. A three hit shutout. If you’re gonna get shutout, it might as well be one of these types, where you’re totally shut down. Well, it started off that way when Gonzo struck out, and then Raffy walked. He was forced out at second when Pudge grounded out, but he himself was safe at first – there almost was a double play to end it. Todd Zeile singled, and then Lee Stevens came up. I had just said to my wife, “A home run here would be really nice to tie the game”. Well, we got one. A line home run that bounced off the wall in front of the Ranger bullpen and into the pen. Man, did that place go friggin nuts! Due to where I was sitting (more on that in a minute), I couldn’t see the scoreboard or anything, but I could see virtually everywhere in the ballpark at once. It was rockful! What a rush!
Tim Crabtree, who continues to be one of our best pitchers this year pitched 1 1/3 innings of perfect ball in relief including the 10th. In the bottom of the tenth, Tom Goodwin got onbase with an infield single. I saw #24 standing at first, and I figured that was it. A decent hit, and he’d just fly around the bases. Mac sacrifiiced him to second with just one out, and it was looking even better. Rusty Greer was walked intentionally (I figured to force a double play), and then Juan came up and smacked a single to short left field. With Goodwin’s speed, it was more than enough to score from second, and we won the game quite dramatically. It was great – the game was dead even down to two outs in the bottom of the ninth – and it all came alive there. The only thing better is to win the game with two outs, a 3-2 count, and someone hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 9th to win. *THAT* is the most exciting way to win a ballgame in the 9th. However, this was DAMN close. This was two games in a row I went to (I was also at Sunday’s game), and two games in a row were dramatically won by one run. Totally exciting baseball.
This was one of the cooler games I’ve ever been to. My wife were at the game yesterday, and we didn’t have anything planned for Memorial Day, so we said why not grab tickets for Monday’s game? There’s a few places in the stadium that I’d never sat in, and so we decided to try somewhere else. I intentionally went for what’s called “the worst seat in the house”, which was Section 345 (see seating chart). These tickets are $5 for an adult, and you know what? They’re not all that bad. Now, I’d be lying if I said they were was a good as the seats I had a few weeks back in section 32 on April 11th, or even my regular season tickets in Section 39, but for the bad rap these seats got, they weren’t so bad. I actually had the first row in this section, the last two seats to the right. I was sitting in Sec 345, Row 1, Seat 9, which is the last seat in the first row of this section. My wife felt weird sitting there, and I kept feeling like I was going to drop everything off the ledge, so we moved up two rows (hell, there’s very few seats actually used up here), and we felt much more comfortable. The foul pole is right in front of you, but it doesn’t actually block any of the bases, and you can see through it, so it’s not that bad. You can’t see the Jumbotron, but you can see all the other scoreboards. The big one out in center field is viewable from these seats (but I suspect if you went up too many rows, you wouldn’t be able to see it), as is the out of town scoreboard, and all the small scoreboards around the park. This may sound stupid, but I’ve been to many games here, and whenever I sit in a new section, I love looking around checking out all the other vantage points these new seats offer, and seeing what new things I can see. We even got beer, peanut, & Lemon Chill vendors up here, which surprised me. When we walked in to our seats, we looked off the ledge that overhangs the small triangle section in left field. It’s quite a ways down from there. What’s funny is if you walk up to the last row in Section 345, you’re actually higher than the walkway and the Jumbotron. I took a picture pointing straight down from there, it’s quite a view – so long as you don’t get Vertigo from these things. :) I took a few pictures from this section, but I used a conventional camera, so I won’t have those online for a few days, as I get them developed.
There were also a few cool pre-game things. The first I figured would happen as it was Memorial Day. They honored two gentelmen who had served in the Korean War and were given the congressional medal of honor by President Eisenhower. There were also some folks representing each branch of the military on the field for the national anthem, and there was a 21 gun salute after a moment of silence for the holiday’s real purpose. That’s the first time in awhile I teared up at the national anthem. The pregame ceremony was quite moving. There also was a fairly cool parachute thing which I didn’t know was going to happen. There something like 4-6 parachuters that jumped into the stadium. I hadn’t seen that live since I was a kid – it was quite cool. I grew up in Philadelphia, and the Phillies used to have something similar they called “Kiteman”, and they’d also have a parachuter drop the first pitch into the park from above the stadium. This whole thing was quite moving and brought me many memories of my childhood.
All that, plus a totally great baseball game, and the usual awesome Rangers fireworks show afterwards.. One thing that was really cool about the fireworks show.. In the 20 minutes or so after the game before the fireworks, my wife and I spotted a few players on the field with their kids in front of the dugout. Lee Stevens and Tim Crabtree were out there with their children, and there were a bunch of other kids as well as some wives we could see too. From where we were sitting, we couldn’t see in the dugout to see if any Ranger players were there or not, but it was quite nice to see the baseball players out there with their kids sitting on the ground watching the fireworks. Tim Crabtree looked really cute with his infant daughter between his legs playing pattycake. Quite cool.
It was an awesome night, and both my wife and I got in the door for $10. If you count the $8 it cost for parking (grumble, grumble), how can you beat a night like this for $18? I’ve been to many many baseball games, and this one ranked up there as one of my all time favourites, and I was sitting in the cheap seats. I loved it. I know these commentaries of mine don’t get read all that often, but if you’re a real fan of the game, and ever just want to go to a game, these $5 aren’t all that bad. It’s a great value, and I saw many families with small kids up here.
Go Rangers!
Commentary by Jim Meeks:
Not available. I haven’t heard from Jim in a few days. Jim, if you see this, drop me a line – you OK?