I haven’t gone to a ton of games this year, but before the season started, I had marked this one, because it was the 40th Anniversary pre-game ceremony, and the annual Rangers HOF induction. This year it was Eric Nadel. I have gone to almost all of these, starting with the first one (there was NO WAY I was missing the single return of Johnny Oates in that one). It was also the “powder blue” uniform throwback as well. Ended up going with an old friend of mine, who was a big Tigers fan. So we ended up talking the whole time, it was a fun time. I actually had invited another friend, but he never showed, not sure what happened with that. Oh well..
Two big shoutouts for this game. One for my friend Jeremy, who hooked me up with decent tickets, and my wife. My wife took off work a couple of hours early, so I could be assured of getting there on time. Thanks to both of you. While I would have gone to the game without both of you, it wouldn’t have been as pleasurable, so thank you.
This was very much a pitching duel. When you’re up against Justin Verlander, you expect that. Derek Holland though – is a bit more unstable. He’s been good this year, but not rock solid. Still, on this day he matched Verlander. Here’s some pitching lines:
Verlander: 7IP, 7H, 1R, 0BB, 8K
Holland: 7.2IP, 3H, 1R, 1BB, 9K
Holland bested him. Both allowed a run. Against Verlander, it’s a triumph. This was a battle of the pens, as the starters came out pretty much even where it counts. Alexi Ogando, Robbie Ross, & Mike Adams didn’t allow any runs, which was huge. Ross, however, had officially a line of 0.0IP. He faced a single batter, and he walked him, so out he came.
The big deal came once Verlander was out of the game. Brayan Villareal replaced Verlander, and faced just three in the 8th (thanks to a double play after a walk). In the ninth, however, he was’t as good. He led off the inning with two walks, which prompted his exit from the game. He was replaced by Phil Coke. Coke got pinch hitter Graic Gentry to fly out to center, not moving anyone. OK, one out. Then Geovany Soto stuck out. Uh-oh. Two outs. Mike Olt was called off the bench to pinch hit for Mitch Moreland. You know, one of those lefty/righty things.
Olt had an at bat for the ages. Was a nine pitch at bat, which after the third pitch, had Olt in a 1-2 hole. Couple of fouls, a ball in the dirt, and a few more fouls, and Olt was still up there at 2-2 after the 8th pitch. Pitch nine, however, was hit into left field for a single, and it scored Nelson Cruz from second, giving the Rangers a walkoff win.
It was Olt’s first such career walkoff. It was great to witness live, like most everyone there, when the ball went through to left field, you stood up and cheered, and then cheered harder when Cruz scored. Walkoffs are so fun. Glad I got to see it in person.
Great pitching duel. Walkoff win, was there with a buddy and we had a great time chatting. Great game.
I did however, forget my victory Creamslush, though John. :)