Something must be wrong with me. After attending three Major League games in the first two weeks of the season I have not been to one since. Almost two months without attending a game! I have had some circled to attend, but something always came up. Last night I was able to finally get back to the Cell to see the Sox play. I found a good seat on the third base side for a great price on StubHub. The high temperature during the day meant that it would be a great night for baseball.
I got to the park early enough to see batting practice. I walked out near my normal spot in right field to watch some of the lefties hit. I basically stood behind last year’s Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez. Early in the session a line drive was hit near one of the Mariners relievers. He dropped the ball, and as he was bending over to pick it up another ball was hit right at him. One of his teammates tried to catch the ball, but missed it. The ball hit him hard right in the back. Felix in front of me was on the ground immediately laughing. The picture at the beginning of this paragraph is of Felix just cracking up. For some reason I have seen quite a bit of fun just watching batting practice. I decided to take a walk around the park in the middle of batting practice. I came across one of the Chevy girls who told me that if I punched 25 all star ballots I could get two free tickets. I jumped at the chance, and sat in the left field bleachers to punch my tickets. One player for the Mariners was still hitting the ball out of the park. I would put my glove up whenever he came up, and punch my ballots while the others were batting. The player was Carlos Peguero, and he ended up hitting one right in front of me. It was a couple of rows down, and a ballhawk had settled under it. I realized he was too far forward and put my mitt right above his. The ball settled right in my mitt, and I had my first MLB ball of the season. I gave one away on Opening Day so this is technically my first. After I caught the ball I sat back down and finished punching my way to two more games.
The wind was blowing out on a hot night so I expected to see some home runs last night. Carlos Quentin must have thought the same. He blasted one out in the first inning to put the Sox ahead 1-0. I really like to watch Carlos play. He plays the game the way I love to see it played. It also helps that he was born on the same day that I was. Of course he is six years younger than me, but we share a birthday. When Paulie and Buehrle are gone I am sure Carlos will be my favorite player. If he keeps hitting bombs that day may come sooner.
Gavin Floyd pitched a good game only allowing three runs in six innings of work. He was not given much run support though, but after he left the game he was taken off the hook. Gordon Beckham brought the Sox to within a run in the seventh, but Jesse Crain gave up a home run to Miguel Olivo in the top of the 8th to make it a two run game again. At this point many people decided to leave the stadium.
In the bottom of the 8th Alexei Ramirez hit a one out single to bring the tying run to the plate. Of course that man was Carlos Quentin. The Ramirez single chased Mariner starter Jason Vargas from the game. He pitched a very good game making a lot of Sox look bad over his seven plus innings. Jamey Wright was brought into the game to face Quentin. Carlos took one of Wright’s offerings deep to left field to tie the game. The crowd was probably the loudest it had been since the first Quentin home run in the first inning.
Both teams played even in the ninth to send the game to extra innings. I may have been one of the only people in the park who was excited to see extras. Most people in fact left after the last out of the ninth. I always wonder why that is such a sign to go. Is it that you just paid to see nine innings? Whatever the case the stadium emptied, and it was probably a good thing. They did not see Sergio Santos come out for his second inning of work and allow three runs to score. They didn’t see the White Sox go down in order in the bottom of the tenth to end the game. When they left the game was tied at four, and anything was possible. If they had stayed they would have seen the Sox lose 7-4. Unfortunately I stayed to watch the loss. The night was not a complete loss though. I saw a great game, and enjoyed a beautiful night. The ride home I had the sunroof open and the windows down enjoying the summer air. The wind really picked up the last five miles or so of my trip, and was knocking limbs down all over. About a half hour after the rain really started. In the end I just missed being in a big storm I guess. So after all the fun at the park I had a great storm to watch when I got home. I call that a perfect night.
I took a few pictures last night as usual, and had too many to fit into the body of this post. I decided to add a few more that I liked for one reason or another. Here are the bonus pictures from last night’s game: