I had always wanted to attend an Opening Day game and still to this date have yet to do so. I had prior obligations on Opening Weekend 2011 having to work for the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs as an intern that weekend. It was the Opening Round for the CHL Playoffs for us that weekend but I was able to get off work that weekend and schedule a trip up to Arlington for a Sunday afternoon game against the visiting Boston Red Sox.
With it being a Sunday game as you can imagine there was no batting practice so I didn’t have a chance to try and get a baseball. I don’t ask for toss ups as I only want to try and catch a baseball off the bat. But still there was lots of fun to come. I had receive a brand new Canon camera the year before for graduation and I had yet to test it out at a ballpark. So I brought my camera along with me and was prepared to shoot some great photos such as this one of Nelson Cruz warming up (please ignore the railing):
Our pitching match up for the day would be Clay Buchholz going up against Matt Harrison for Texas. The recurring theme for the day though would be power as the Rangers would end up hitting four homers in the game with each one being a solo shot. The Red Sox meanwhile couldn’t get much going on the day as they would score only one run with five hits – two coming from “Big Papi” David Ortiz.
David Murphy of the Rangers got things started in the second inning with the first of the four homers to come on the evening to give Texas the 1-0 lead. Ian Kinsler would go deep in the third inning which would be his third homer of the season already (he homered in each of the first three games of Opening Weekend). Mike Napoli followed up with his own solo homer in the fifth inning before Nelson Cruz would hit a homer in the eighth joining Kinsler as the other Ranger to hit a home run in each game of the Opening Series. Michael Young added an RBI double in the eighth inning to make it 5-1 Texas.
Matt Harrison would pitch a great game for the Rangers as he went seven innings striking out eight Red Sox and allowing only one run plus five hits. Harrison would allow the Rangers to be able to sweep Boston in the Opening Series and ruin their first series with their newly acquired players from the 2010 off-season (Adrian Gonzalez & Carl Crawford).
With not else much to mention I’ll add some bonus photos for you guys. Enjoy!
Nelson Cruz taking a moment to look down the first base line before he would go deep later in the at bat.
Reigning 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton
Newly apointed super utility infielder Michael Young at second base and Andres Blanco at short stop.
Jacoby Ellsbury patiently waiting in the outfield.
Former AL MVP Dustin Pedroia
And finally your final score.
Texas Rangers 5, Boston Red Sox 1
W – Matt Harrison (1-0)
L – Clay Buchholz (0-1)
HR – David Murphy (1), Ian Kinsler (3), Mike Napoli (2), & Nelson Cruz (3)