I’ll see you soon, Martin! Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
September 30, 2013 was the last time I was at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. That was SIX MONTHS ago. Six whole months since I’ve seen live Texas Rangers baseball. It’s been so long, the name of the park has even changed!
To make matters worse, that was game 163. The play-in game against the Rays. And we lost! I’ve been needing a do-over on that since the end of September. And tonight I will finally get my wish.
Game 2 of the 2014 season will feature young Martin Perez against 36-year old veteran AJ Burnett. After the disaster the Rangers experienced on the mound yesterday, I know we’re all hoping for good stuff from Perez. Even Perez himself noticed the trouble that walks got the team into yesterday.
He told ESPN Dallas regarding yesterday’s game:
"I have to attack the zone,” Perez said. “That’s what didn’t happen today. I need to go out and pitch with conviction and hit my spots. That means attacking hitters."
Yes Martin, that’s what we were thinking too! The six walks Rangers pitchers allowed yesterday, most certainly did nothing to help the Rangers’ cause. So what will Perez do tonight? Here is what Nolan Writin’s Ben Dieter thinks.
As for Burnett, even after struggling this spring, some would say his career has been revitalized the last couple of seasons; posting ERAs lower than he’s had in at least the previous five years. Of course others would tell you that his ERA is the product of moving into the National “No DH” League. And by “others”, I mean me.
Not that Burnett should be taken lightly. The offensive display the Rangers put on yesterday,while impressive, was only one game of evidence. Just like the pitching was. Let’s keep reminding ourselves of that for at least a few weeks. At least.
There are a couple of changes to the Rangers’ lineup up tonight; namely at 2nd base and catcher vs. the righty Burnett:
1. Choo LF
2. Andrus, SS
3. Fielder, 1B
4. Beltre, 3B
5. Rios, RF
6. Moreland, DH
7. Murphy (Donnie, not David) replaces Wilson (Josh, not Russell), 2B
8. Martin, CF
9. Chirinos replaces JPA, C
So what do I expect from my first trip of the year to the Globe/The Temple/RBiA?
I expect a visit to the revamped Grand Slam Gift Shop pre-game. I expect Rossome Nachos in the first inning. I expect a refreshing, frozen beer in the second or third inning. Deep in the Heart of Texas in the 5th inning, a competitive, but predictable Dot Race in the 6th, and, of course, Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the stretch. Most of all, I expect “I like Texas” by Pat Green to blare from the big speakers and “Hello Win Column” to flash from the outfield around 10PM.
I can’t wait to drive to Arlington; even in rush hour traffic. There’s just something about a live baseball game that sparks up nostalgia. And it’s an experience like no other. Not even pro football or basketball can replicate the feeling.
What’s your favorite part of the ballpark experience? When are you planning your first trip of the year to the ballpark? There are some awesome giveaways you can plan your trip around this year and some awesome new food items to enjoy while you’re there.
Who knows? You might even get to sing “Hi-De-Ho” along with Cab Calloway when you go.
1 down, 161 to go.
Your Texas Rangers are 0-1. (for now)