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G123: Rangers win my birthday game, 4-3 over Bosox

The Rangers passed the 2 million mark in attendance on this night, and I was part of it, because I was there. I’m always at a baseball game August 20th, as that’s my birthday (this year, my 34th). Since I was about 6 or 7, I’d always go to a game on my birthday. Back then, I was living in Philadelphia, and it was the Phillies at the Vet for me. As a kid, I loved it. I kept this tradition up all these years, I think only missing one or two along the way. Now that I’m married (that happened in 96), these seemed to mean a lot more to me. My wife and I have always loved watching the Rangers play the Red Sox, and it always seems to be good baseball when we play the Bosox. This was no exception.
We got there to a surprisingly cool night at the ballpark (well, relatively cool, it was still 99 degrees when the game started, but it did NOT feel that way. Esteban Loaiza was the starter, and given his performance the last several outings, he seemed to have been the starter we’ve been looking for him to be ever since we got him for Todd Van Poppel & Warren Morris (the Pirates’ starting second baseman all year, and a possible Rookie of the Year player) last July. Esteban looked sharp, and even managed to battle out of a jam, which has always been his undoing in the past (losing his cool when in a jam). He went 6 innings (and 1 batter in the 7th) giving up 5 hits and 3 runs, but he seemed more dominating than that, at least to me he did. Our bullpen was again excellent, allowing nothing in the final 3 innings of the game. Wetteland pitched for the first time in a save situation in some time, and came though. Even if he did back up Durwood Merrill’s remark about him being a “heart attack waiting to happen”.
Our offense was again mostly powered by Rafael Palmeiro. I think now the question (if there ever really was one) as to which first baseman we should have had from 1994-1998 has been answered. Oh man, are the Orioles kicking themselves for not signing him after last year. This guy is awesome! A few weeks back, I saw him hit a grand slam, and the two run shot tonight gave us two of our four runs. Raffy also supplied one of the others with a single. However, the four runs we had after the third inning was it. Boston’s bullpen took over and did a great job shutting us down for longer than we shut them down for.
I always like playing Boston, and this game was no different. I was there, it was a great ballgame, and they won on my birthday. I loved it so much, my wife and I decided to come back on Sunday night. They’re giving away some decent looking baseball caps, so I walked down to the ticket office around 8:30 and got a couple of seats up in Section 342 for a total price of $10. Both of us in the door for $10 plus we get two baseball caps? You can still get in the damn door for a decent price. Sure, they’ve raised the ticket prices three years in a row, but you can still get in and get a bargain if you know how to play the game.