It’s a game I was actually rooting for both teams. I was there wearing the Rangers colors for this game, though. I had a Rangers shirt and my Rangers World Series hat on. I flew up to Philly to visit family, and my brother and I went to a couple of games this weekend. This was the first of the two.
It’s been awhile since I had been to a game in Philly. I’ve been to Citizens Bank Park a few times since it had opened, the first time being the first year in 2004. It’s a great park, I like it a lot. Their attempt to mimic Eutaw Street in Baltimore with the center field area called “Ashburn Alley” is kind of cool, except it is always, and I mean ALWAYS jam packed with people. You can’t casually stroll around there, it’s packed with people, and it’s a lot of close quarters stuff, so if you dawdle, the crowd will force you to keep moving. Or they’ll say something about it. :)
My brother though had gotten some really nice seats, in what amounts to the Lexus Club level at Rangers ballpark. Where we were helped a bit, as we were mostly covered when it started raining in the middle of the game. You can see from the couple of pictures what the view was like. Only the far corner of right field was obscured, and I enjoyed the view from where we were. Especially with the new scoreboard they put in there. It’s pretty massive as you can see from my couple of pictures, and really dominates the view out there. Anyone who reads my site knows I’m a fan of scoreboards, and with the way the park is laid out, you can see the entire scoreboard from places around the park before you even get into the place. Also from the highway that runs not too far from there (closer than I30 is to Rangers ballpark). So I enjoyed that a lot.
Anyway, on the way into the place, I went to check in on Facebook, and saw that my niece Rose was in the park. I told that to my brother, and he called her. She was in town with some friends who had never been to a game before, and my brother went over to where she was to say hi. It had started raining during this time, so I felt bad for him, but he did something nice for me. He gave Rose his ticket, and told her to come over and see me and say hi. Given I live in Texas, I don’t get to see some parts of my family all that much, so it was nice to say hi to her. She’s a bit sports nut, huge Philly sports fan girl, and if I was 20 years younger, and not related to her, yeah, she’d be a cool one to hang out with. :) Anyway, it was really nice to see her, and it took us about five tries to get the picture you see here, we couldn’t get the self portrait thing going right. :)
The game though was Roy Halladay vs CJ Wilson. The result was what you’d expect from a battle of two teams’ #1 guys. Wilson went seven, and Halladay weight eight. The Rangers had a shot to get to Halladay in the first inning. The first two batters of the game (Andrus & Moreland) both singled to start the game. We had first and third and nobody out in the top of the first. Told my brother at the time that the Rangers had better capitalize on that, because if we didn’t, Halladay would shut us down.
After the singles, Capt Uppercut struck out, and on the play Elvis Andrus broke home, and Moreland broke to second. Ruiz threw to second, and Valdez threw home, and probably would have had Andrus trying to steal home, if Ruiz didn’t drop the ball, so the Rangers scored. Michael Young then grounded out, and Beltre struck out. That was it, we didn’t really capitalize. Yeah, we got a run, and that was good, but not against someone like Halladay. He clamped down after that. The Rangers didn’t score again until the 8th inning when Endy Chavez had a pinch hit double, and was later brought home on a groundout by Mitch Moreland. Ryan Madsen came in for the ninth and got the save rather handily. The game itself ended oddly though as David Murphy was called out stealing second.
Pitching wise, Wilson matched Halladay in almost all respects. The one big thing that cost him the game was a pitch thrown to Ben Francisco in the fifth, and another to Raul Ibanez in the fourth. Both of those were hit over the wall, and accounted for all three runs (Francisco’s was a two run shot). That’s pretty much the game in a nutshell. Wilson had ten strikeouts, and overall looked pretty darned good. He just got beat with the home run ball. Shame, as I thought he deserved the win, but against someone like Roy Halladay, you have no margin for error, really.
The Rangers let Halladay off the hook in the first inning, and that proved to be their undoing. Still, I enjoyed the company, and enjoyed the park and the game, so no complaints either way since I like both teams.
Had a great time.