Saturday April 21st 2012
Detroit 4-10 Texas (GM1)
Detroit 3-2 Texas (GM2)
The morning started with the first game of a double header thanks to a rained out Friday night game. Justin Verlander was scheduled to start this game, but due to the delay, was pushed to the evening start coming off only 4 days rest. This pushed Rick Porcello back to the 1:00pm start, but luckily I was able to find Andrea and I tickets to “fridays game” for a discounted price off eBay. This process seemed to work perfectly, utilizing the assumption that although the game was in a rain delay, I knew the weather would not clear up, therefor purchased tickets to the game “past the start time” from an eBay vendor from out of state for a discounted price.
This was the first game of the season where the damage was done quick and early… 23-year-old Rick Porcello only gave up 3 runs in his first 14 2/3 innings of the season, but more than tripled his runs scored in one disastrous inning. Giving up 8 runs in the first inning, contributed to by a Josh Hamilton 3 run homer. This inning came from the bats of a red-hot Rangers team, who had scored 34 runs in their previous 3 games.
The Rangers went on to score a total of 10 runs throughout the 9 innings. The Tigers, unfortunately, would only put 4 on the board, thanks to a solo shot from AJax, an RBI double from Delmon and a 2 run blast from Cabrera. Porcello sadly didn’t make it past the 3 outs in the 1st, and was replaced by Duane Below in the 2nd after a lead off double followed by a single.
Although the baseball game didn’t have a happy ending, the afternoon of sunny weather in the city made for a good start to the day. We were able to meet up with several friends as well as Andrea’s cousin Matt and his girlfriend. We had dinner at Hockeytown cafe followed by drinks at Cheli’s.
With some ticket maneuvering we were able to get the whole group at Cheli’s into the stadium for the game. Andrea and I sat in the 2 lower deck seats and had a great view of the field for some ‘Must See JV’. Over the next couple of innings we were able to sneak down Sean, Derick, and a few of Seans friends. Just by chance, we also found some other friends of ours merely one section over, who also came to sit by us. So needless to say, with a full day of drinking, the late innings of a double header with JV on the mound surrounded by friends made for quite the baseball game. ( I will note that, heckling began around the 7th inning, the worst of it toward Nelson Cruz…well deserved I believe, even once sober…) This did get us on the Kiss cam, us being the entire group who did not comply with the standard reaction but rather were energetically excited to have a camera on us.
The first three innings held both teams scoreless. It wasn’t until the fourth that we saw a run scored, coming from a sac fly from Daniel Murphy putting the Rangers up 1-0 early. But this early lead would not last, as the Tigers answered with 3 runs of their own, the go ahead single coming from Ramon Santiago to bring in Fielder and Young. JV finished the day with 6IP 3H 1R 8SO.
Although the Rangers squeaked a run from Benoit in the 8th, it was Valverdes 9th innings performance that would shut the door on the Power Rangers, giving up no hits with 2 strikeouts.
I’m sure we will remember this day as one of the better days of summer baseball, an extremely active yet enjoyable day. From seeing JV pitch to talking with Chris Chelios at his own chili bar, I’d chalk the day up as a success.
“How can you not be romantic about baseball?”