Back in the fall of 2010 I was starting my freshman year of college at Northwestern State University which is about four hours southeast of Arlington. I was not working at the time as I took my first semester off in hopes of starting off at college and getting the “true experience” minus the job part. Anyways long story short I had a lot of free time and this meant that with no job that I could make as many trips to go places as I want.
My parents and I were just in Arlington for the ALDS and I really had no plans to go to the ALCS unless I could get tickets for a reasonable price. I got lucky as I ended up winning the ALCS lottery that the Rangers were running and I got a solid set of tickets out in left field in the reserved seats for the first game on Saturday night against the New York Yankees.
This was the scene when I was dropped off by my mother at the third base gate side of Rangers Ballpark:
Playoff excitement was in the air! The Rangers were set to play for the first time ever in the Championship Series and boy was I pumped up to be there! Once the gates opened I took off towards the right center portion of the bleachers and not too long after I arrived the Rangers were still taking BP. I didn’t get lucky during the Rangers portion of BP but I did end up catching an Alex Rodriguez homer on the fly during batting practice! It was my first ever postseason ball and while it was no commemorative it was certainly exciting to be on the board. It was my sixteenth ball lifetime and tenth of the season for me. Without a doubt 2010 was a great year for me ballhawking wise by my standards at least.
Here was the scene when the National Anthem was being sung right after both teams had been introduced. The game got underway shortly afterwards and the Rangers took the lead for the first time ever in team history in the ALCS on a Josh Hamilton three run homer that scored Elvis Andrus and Michael Young. Here was Hamilton later on in the game warming up with David Murphy in left. Rangers starting pitcher C.J. Wilson was doing a good job containing the Yankees offense as he carried the 3-0 lead into the fourth inning and was given more insurance after a Michael Young double that brought in Matt Treanor and Elvis Andrus and made it 5-0. Below was Andrus at bat prior to Young’s double. Wilson didn’t give up a run until the seventh inning on a lead off Robinson Cano homer to make it 5-1. The eighth inning would be where it would fall all apart for the Rangers. Wilson gave up a single to Brett Gardner and a double to Derek Jeter that brought Gardner around to make it 5-2 Texas. Wilson was replaced by Darren Oliver who issued two consecutive walks and was replaced by Darren O’Day with the bases loaded now. O’Day gave up a single to Alex Rodriguez that brought two Yankees in and made it 5-4. O’Day was promptly replaced by Clay Rapada who gave up the game tying hit to Robinson Cano on a single. Rapada was pulled then in favor of Derek Holland. Holland did give up the game winning single on a Marcus Thames RBI single but he finally settled down and got the next three men out to mercifully end the inning where five different Rangers pitched. Ian Kinsler led off with a walk but was picked off promptly by Kerry Wood and pretty much brought any chance of coming back in the eighth to a screeching halt. The ninth inning was no better as Mitch Moreland did get a pinch hit single and advanced up to second on Elvis Andrus’ sacrifice bunt but Michael Young would strike out and Josh Hamilton would ground out to end the game.
Despite the disappointing end I was prepared to be back at it early the next afternoon as Game 2 would be taking place in the mid-evening and I was hoping that Game 2 would end a bit better than Game 1 did. It was nice to get my first ever baseball from a postseason game but it was disappointing to not get to see Texas take a 1-0 lead in the ALCS.
ALCS Game 1 Stats:
New York Yankees 6, Texas Rangers 5
W – Dustin Moseley (1-0)
L – Darren O’Day (0-1)
S – Mariano Rivera (1)