I always go to doubleheaders. I love them. Unless they’re the “day night” doubleheaders, in which case, they’re really NOT double headers. Just two games played on the same date. Anyway, the park was beautiful. All the rain has seriously helped out with the green around the place. I’ve been coming to the ballpark since it was opened, and this day just looked more beautiful on the outside. I got to the park around 3PM, which was plenty of time to get to my seat, so I decided to walk around a little and take some pictures. I was just looking for a new pic of the outside of the ballpark, and I think the couple I posted did the job.
As good as that feeling was, it was matched by the pitching performance by John Rheinecker this afternoon. Usually when we call up someone to pitch one of these doubleheader starts, they’re sent right back down after stinking up the joint. Not this time. Rheinecker was brilliant. He went seven innings, and allowed NO EARNED RUNS. The one run the Mariners did get was on a rather goofy looking two base error by Michael Young in the first. Not often you see the shortstop make an error, and then the ball ends up next to the tarp over by the stands. But Rheinecker was great. Seven innings, six hits, one walk, four strikeouts, and as I mentioned just one run – none earned. One has to think that will keep him in the majors. It was seriously impressive to watch live at the park. It was followed up by Benoit’s scoreless (and hitless) inning of work. Eric Gagne came in, and allowed one hit, and then struck out two, getting the save.
Offensively, we had seven hits total. Marlon Byrd tripled in the fourth, scoring Sosa to tie up the game. As I’ve said before, Byrd has been impressive, and this game just added on to that feeling. Michael Young had an RBI single in the fifth, scoring Travis Metcalf for what turned out to be the winning (and final) run of the game.
Marlon Byrd made a really great LONG running catch on a ball hit by Richie Sexon in this game. Really looked like the kind of play that Kenny Lofton would have done a decade ago when he was in his prime. Looked like the kind of play that could earn Byrd a serious look at the permanent CF job the rest of this season.
It was an absolutely beautiful afternoon. The temperature was 89 when the game started, which is very nice and very unusual for July 24th in Texas. Had a nice breeze, a nice quick game which was extremely well pitched on both sides, really. Couldn’t have asked for a better couple of hours at the ballpark. It’s games like THIS that make it worth driving out to Arlington from Garland. Although I expect the folks at USS Mariner might have a different take on this game. ;)
It was seriously nice to see a 2-1 win at home. The game was rather fast moving, concluding in two hours and twenty one minutes.
The picture at the top of this post was taken today around 3PM or so standing in the announcer’s “booth” at the Dr Pepper youth ballpark. That spot is a great place to get a nice looking picture of The Ballpark in Arlington as you can see here.