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G4: Rangers win home opener, 12-4

What a game. I don’t know where to start with this. I could write about what everyone writes about. The atmosphere, the smells and sounds of being back at the ballpark. The sunburn on opening day. But everyone writes about those kinds of “artistic things”, so I’ll skip that stuff.

I did get a bit of sunburn, though. Some sunburn is always an acceptable thing when it comes to opening day. Always. My wife is now shaking her head while reading this. OK, I’ll talk about something my wife did like. There was an awful lot of tailgating going on at the Ballpark. Now I know tailgating is not a new thing at the Ballpark. I’ve seen it before. But I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen THIS MUCH of it. There were tons of it in the parking lot I was in. I mean LOTS. WAY WAY more than I’d ever seen. Makes me wish I was in Milwaukee where that happens every game. ;)

The bad. Mike Young had two errors on two consecutive plays. It seemed quite out of character, and I wondered if it was just jitters. I would expect so, he’s a much better player than that. Thing is, that’s about all the bad there was in this game. It really was that great!

Defensively, Laynce Nix in center sparkled, making not one, but two fabulous running, leaping up against the wall catches. It was the kind of “Hello” defense that really gets a crowd (and hopefully team decision makers) pointing in the right direction towards Laynce. Alfonso Soriano didn’t commit a fourth error in the first four games. Amazing!

Pitching wise, I thought RA Dickey was great. He gave up three runs, but it was in the inning that Young had the two errors, so even though Dickey gave up a home run (a TBIA wind helped HR, though), he had zero earned runs on his book. That’s sweet to see. Another amazing thing is that over the 9 innings pitched yesterday (7 by Dickey, 1 each by Almanzar & Callaway), we gave up NO walks. None. That needs to hold up in a big way. This start makes four out of four for great starting pitching performances this season. I’m no fool, it won’t last, but it’s really REALLY damn nice to see that out of “Your Texas Rangers”. It’s almost shocking. Of the four games started this season, our starting staff has now given up 7 earned runs over 27 innings pitched. That’s an ERA of 2.59 I believe. It’s also an average of 6+ innings pitched per game. Absolutely amazing for the Texas Rangers.

Offensively, we had numbers all over the place. 12 runs, 18 hits. Everyone had at least one hit except for Brad Fullmer, who pulled an ofer. Fullmer did have a walk though. It could have been a lot worse too, as we had quite a few left on base. The box score below says 18, but I don’t think that’s right; we did have a lot though. The best day had to the The Hammer, who went 3 for 5, driving in 4, including a three run homer to cap the 5 spot we had in the third inning. Laynce Nix had a home run as well, which cleared the far seats in Section 51 of the ballpark. Mench also had a home run in the 8th inning over the left field scoreboard. Plenty of power, plenty of hits, and just a ton of great feeling. We beat up on nemesis Ramon Ortiz (9H, 7ER, 2.2 IP) as well as former Ranger Aaron Sele (8H, 5ER, 3.1IP).

There was no Arod. It was different, that’s for sure, but yesterday’s game certainly went a long way to wiping Arod from a lot of fans minds. It was a great game which showed a hell of a lot of promise and excitement for the future. And after four straight last place finishes, a bright future is the only thing that would be acceptable here, I think. Although the guy whose picture I saw in the DMN had a good stance on it. He was wearing his Ranger Arod jersey, with duct tape making a big black X on the back over his name/number. I wish I would have seen that guy in person.

One cool thing that wasn’t totally game related. I met up with a few friends I knew from last season, and my wife ran into a co-worker. That was nice to have some folks recognize me. :) As for my seats, I started off in Section 327 Row 6. That’s not my season ticket location this year, but that’s where I was to start the game. However, after the fourth inning, my boss and the owner of my company called me on my cel to tell me to come down to my company’s lawyers seats, so after the fourth, we headed downstairs, and sat in Sec 32 Row 5. That’s the second row right behind the camera well and the Ranger dugout. Had some really wonderful seats for the back end of the game. :)

Line Score
AL  FINAL
1  2  3   4  5  6   7  8  9     R  H  E
-  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -     -  -  -
ANAHEIM             0  3  0   0  0  0   0  1  0     4  9  0
TEXAS               1  3  5   0  0  3   0  0  x    12 18  3      (FINAL)
BATTERIES: ANA - RAMON ORTIZ, AARON SELE (3RD), KEVIN GREGG (7TH) AND
JOSE MOLINA, JOSH PAUL (8TH)
TEX - R.A. DICKEY, CARLOS ALMANZAR (8TH), MICKEY CALLAWAY (9TH) AND
GERALD LAIRD
WP - R.A. DICKEY (1-0)
LP - RAMON ORTIZ (0-1)
SAVE - NONE
HOME RUNS: ANA - ADAM KENNEDY (1) OFF R.A. DICKEY IN THE 2ND, 2 ON
TROY GLAUS (3) OFF CARLOS ALMANZAR IN THE 8TH, 0 ON
TEX - LAYNCE NIX (1) OFF RAMON ORTIZ IN THE 2ND, 0 ON
HANK BLALOCK (1) OFF AARON SELE IN THE 3RD, 2 ON
KEVIN MENCH (1) OFF AARON SELE IN THE 6TH, 1 ON
TIME: 2:53     ATT: 50,370
PROBABLES: ANA - JOHN LACKEY (NR)
TEX - KENNY ROGERS (0-0, 3.86)
Box Score
ANAHEIM (4) VS TEXAS (12) - FINAL
ANAHEIM                ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
D Eckstein ss           4  0  1  0   0  0   1  .350
S Halter ss            1  0  0  0   0  1   1  .000
D Erstad 1b             5  0  1  0   0  2   1  .190
V Guerrero rf           4  0  1  0   0  0   2  .294
C Figgins cf           1  0  0  0   0  0   1  .000
G Anderson cf           4  0  2  0   0  1   0  .471
J Paul c               0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
T Glaus 3b              4  1  1  1   0  1   3  .412
J Guillen lf            4  0  1  0   0  0   0  .278
T Salmon dh             4  1  0  0   0  1   1  .059
J Molina c              3  1  0  0   0  0   1  .273
a-J Davanon ph-rf      1  0  0  0   0  0   1  .000
A Kennedy 2b            4  1  2  3   0  1   1  .400
Totals                 39  4  9  4   0  7  13
a-flied out to right for J Molina in the 8th.
BATTING: 2B - J Guillen (1, C Almanzar); A Kennedy (2, M Callaway). HR -
A Kennedy (1, 2nd inning off R Dickey 2 on, 1 Out), T Glaus (3, 8th inning off
C Almanzar 0 on, 1 Out). RBI - A Kennedy 3 (6), T Glaus (5). Runners left in
scoring position, 2 out - C Figgins 1, T Glaus 1, J Davanon 1. Team LOB - 8.
TEXAS                  ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
M Young ss              4  2  2  3   0  1   1  .250
H Blalock 3b            5  1  3  4   0  0   1  .235
A Soriano 2b            5  1  2  0   0  0   2  .267
B Fullmer dh            4  0  0  0   1  0   3  .182
M Teixeira 1b           4  2  2  1   1  2   0  .333
D Dellucci lf           5  1  1  0   0  2   3  .111
K Mench rf              5  1  3  2   0  1   2  .313
L Nix cf                4  2  2  1   1  2   3  .500
G Laird c               5  2  3  1   0  1   3  .417
Totals                 41 12 18 12   3  9  18
BATTING: 2B - M Teixeira 2 (2, R Ortiz 2); G Laird (1, R Ortiz); M Young (1,
R Ortiz); K Mench (1, K Gregg). HR - L Nix (1, 2nd inning off R Ortiz 0 on,
1 Out), H Blalock (1, 3rd inning off A Sele 2 on, 2 Out), K Mench (1, 6th inning
off A Sele 1 on, 1 Out). SF - M Young. RBI - M Teixeira (4), L Nix (1), M Young 3 (4),
H Blalock 4 (4), G Laird (1), K Mench 2 (3). 2-out RBI - M Teixeira, G Laird, M Young,
H Blalock 3. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - D Dellucci 2, G Laird 2.
Team LOB - 9.
BASERUNNING: SB - A Soriano (2, 2nd base off R Ortiz/J Molina).
FIELDING: E - M Young 2 (2, throw 2); R Dickey (1, catch).
----------------------------------------------------
ANAHEIM         - 030 000 010   --   4
TEXAS           - 135 003 00x   --  12
----------------------------------------------------
ANAHEIM                      ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
R Ortiz (L, 0-1)              2 2/3   9   7   7   1   4   1  23.62
A Sele                        3 1/3   8   5   5   2   2   2  13.50
K Gregg                       2       1   0   0   0   3   0   0.00
TEXAS                        ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
R Dickey (W, 1-0)             7       6   3   0   0   5   1   0.00
C Almanzar                    1       2   1   1   0   1   1   6.75
M Callaway                    1       1   0   0   0   1   0   0.00
Pitches-strikes: R Ortiz 65-38; A Sele 87-51; K Gregg 28-20; R Dickey 108-75;
C Almanzar 14-11; M Callaway 21-13. Ground balls-fly balls: R Ortiz 3-1; A Sele 4-4;
K Gregg 1-2; R Dickey 10-7; C Almanzar 1-1; M Callaway 1-1. Batters faced: R Ortiz 18;
A Sele 20; K Gregg 7; R Dickey 30; C Almanzar 5; M Callaway 4.
UMPIRES: HP--Jim Wolf. 1B--Joe West. 2B--Terry Craft. 3B--Mike Dimuro.
T--2:53. Att--50,370.
Weather: 80 degrees, sunny. Wind: 18 mph, in from right.