G144: Rangers beat O’s in Game 1 of DH, 9-1

Well, my wife and I got to the doubleheader right as the game started. We figured we’d be there for like 6 or 7 hours anyway, so there was no point in sitting around for an hour before the game started – it’s not like we don’t know the Ballpark pretty well, anyway. :)
It’s been awhile since I went to a doubleheader, and while my wife likes going to games with me, I thought a doubleheader would be pushing it with her. She didn’t seem to have the dreaded “Wife/Girlfriend totally bored look” that I’ve seen on several women in the stands on TV. That is good. Anyway, my main reason for wanting to go was not really the doubleheader, it was the appearance of Cal Ripken. Sure, I knew just about no one else (except Brady Anderson) on the Orioles, but I wanted to see Cal one last time. Sure, the papers say that he probably will play next year, and he very well may do so. However, I wanted to make sure we saw him if this does turn out to be his final season. We got to see Cal last year in Baltimore, which was great, and now we saw him here.
Anyway, it was a nice game. Rick Helling had a bit of the long ball scare early, with a leadoff home run, but that was the only run he gave up, and the only hit till the seventh inning. He pitched wonderfully, and I felt should have pitched a complete game, as his pitch count was way down, leaving after eight innings. Tim Crabtree came on, and didn’t give up anything for a change, and preserved the 9-1 win.
Offensively, we had a lot – we tied the game in the bottom of the first to match the longball by Baltimore. We then busted it open with a four spot in the second inning against rookie pitcher John Parrish, two coming on a double by Raffy. Bill Haselman added a solo home run later in the game to cap off a really nice game on both sides of the coin. Too bad we couldn’t do this more often this year. :(