G1: Rangers lose season opener in Puerto Rico, 8-1

And so it begins. I have to say, I was far more worked up this season for the first game than I was the last couple of years. I can’t pin it down to any one reason. Sure, I’m excited about the new players, the game in Puerto Rico was a lot of fun to watch, but I just can’t pin it down to one thing. I went out to the Ballpark early and checked out the scene there – had my picture taken, picked up a magnetic schedule, and some other cool free stuff they were doing. However, I did not stay and watch the game there. I was recording everything on my TiVo at home, so I could watch it at my leisure, in a more comfortable environment. I love the Ballpark, but watching an entire game on the Jumbotron is hard on my eyes. Anyway, I came back home, and it was cool, because when I left the Ballpark, the radio pre-game came on, so I was listening to that on the drive back to Garland.
I got home, watched the pre-game stuff, and then when my wife got home from work, we proceeded to watch the game. I have to say, I truly loved the lineup intros. The crowd’s reaction to Pudge was just awesome – was a “chill down the spine” moment. Really great stuff there.
We got off to a pretty good start I thought – ARod singled in his first two Ranger at bats, scoring a run. However, a problem I didn’t like last year cropped it’s head again. We went 0-10 with runners in scoring position today. This is not good. The ballpark itself played all kinds of havoc with the game (and yesterday’s, too). Rusty Greer got screwed out of a popout that was blown way out of his reach, Pudge got jipped of a home run by the wind, and the Blue Jays got a home run that probably should not have been a home run, but because of the tiny power alleys in this place, it was a home run.
Anyway, you can’t totally blame it on that – we didn’t execute with men on base – we certainly had enough runners early to have a 6-1 lead, but we were tied 1-1 most of the way through the game. Rick Helling didn’t pitch all that bad, but got burnt by his usual nemesis, the home run ball; a bigger problem here than anywhere else. Our bullpen was totally ineffective in the 7th inning, giving up 4 runs on a gob of hits – Mark Petkovsek faced four batters; all four got hits. Jeff Brantley looked good in the 8th, though.
ARod had a bit of an inauspicious start as a Ranger. He went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored, he also committed an error, and a couple of other plays that should have been errors. The one error looked like a true error, but the other two looked like turf issues – he slipped on the turf once (which happened to Caminiti, too), and tripped over his own shoelaces once. I blame the first one on first game jitters, and the others on crappy turf. Either way, ARod has already made more money than I’ll make in a couple of years salary. :(
Lookin’ forward to Tuesday afternoon for some real home Ranger baseball. :)