After a disappointing afternoon on Saturday for Game Three of the 2010 American League Division Series my father and I were prepared to head out to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Sunday in preparation of hopefully seeing the Rangers pull out a victory and to send the Rangers into their first ever ALCS.
I believe game time was set for about 1:10 or so but the gates opened around 10:30 AM that morning. It was certainly the earliest I ever remembered being at a ballpark and I was hoping for some batting practice on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. But unfortunately this was the scene as we arrived in our seats in left field.
With no batting pratice occuring it was going to make for a long day waiting for the game to start. The good thing was that it was October and that it wasn’t quite 100 degrees as is common in Texas but I still remember it being a warm day once the game started despite the wind blowing heavily throughout the ballpark during the game. To kill some time I took some pictures to show just how empty the park was and how amazing it would have been to have batting practice taking place.
For some reason I’m not sure why but I don’t have many pictures from this game. I really am not sure why as I always enjoy taking many photos at the ballpark but as I go through the folders on my laptop I don’t see many at all. Anyways, the game kicked off with Tampa Bay sending Wade Davis to the mound against Texas who countered with Tommy Hunter.
Tampa Bay took the lead early in Game Four on a Carlos Pena triple followed by Matt Joyce reaching on an error to make it 1-0. Then in the fourth inning Evan Longoria doubled followed by a Pena RBI double as it became 2-0. B.J. Upton then hit a two out double and made it 3-0 and it was beginning to look a bit bleak in Texas.
Tommy Hunter only lasted four innings after giving up three runs on six hits but perhaps most impressive was that through that he had managed to strikeout seven Rays. Derek Holland was called into the game and he ended up pitching four innings himself with not too much luck either. In his first inning Holland gave up a Ben Zobrist single, Bengie Molina allowed a passed ball allowing Zobrist to take second, and then Longoria went deep as he continued to be a pain in Texas side as the Rays now lead 5-0.
The Rangers finally scored in the sixth inning on a lead off home run by Nelson Cruz. Ian Kinsler followed suit with a single and eventually Mitch Moreland (pictured above) would hit an RBI double to score Kinsler as the game was now 5-2 Tampa Bay. Unfortunately that would be all the scoring on the evening and it made for a somewhat disappointing trip for my first time to attend a playoff game in any sports. Two games and two Rangers losses did not really add up for a “exciting” weekend but getting the chance to attend playoff baseball was more than enough for me! Game Five was set to take place two days later in St. Petersburg and little did I know that just six days later I’d find myself back at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington for the first ever Rangers game in an ALCS.