Since I was at the game last night, I thought that I would share my personal experience.
My wife and I arrived at the Dell Diamond at about 5:20, and the parking lot was already filling up. We headed into the ballpark, and they were handing out a small Express program and an awesome poster. The poster has the entire Express schedule on the left side and the entire Rangers schedule on the right side. In the middle, there is a big picture of one of the ALCS homers. Sweet.
After picking up those goodies, I immediately headed to the right field line to try to get Nellie's autograph. Alas, I was too late. The gates had opened at 4:00 instead of at 5:30, which is what the website had said (D'oh!).
After missing out on getting Nellie's autograph, my wife and I headed to our seats. Our seats were about 8 rows behind the Rangers dugout, so we had good views. It was pretty chilly before the game even started, so we had to wear our jackets the whole game. I took some pictures of the Rangers warming up, including Elvis and Mitch:
Then came the introductions. Josh and Elvis got loud ovations, but MY definitely had the loudest. I took this next picture right before the national anthem:Michael Kirkman on the mound:
In the second inning, Kirkman got hit by a line drive. I missed it though because I was trying to log into LSB, but my phone was giving me an error. I eventually gave up. Kirkman walked off of the field OK, then Zach Jackson came in and pitched well.
One weird thing about the game was that Dave Anderson was not coaching 3rd base, Gary Pettis was. So in the first inning, Mike Napoli coached 1st. Then for the next few innings, this guy coached first:
Dutch settled down after the first and pitched well the rest of the game. He threw plenty of strikes, even though he did not always miss bats. I got some video of him striking out Chris Davis (Yay?) on a low breaking ball. I will try to post the video tonight. I did not have time to upload it this morning before work.
One of the coolest things about the Dell Diamond is that when players leave the game and walk back to the clubhouse, they have to walk up steps in left field and then cross one of the concourses. They put up barriers to keep fans out when players are crossing, but you can get close and get autographs. When Josh, Elvis, and Ian left the game, I scrambled over and tried to get some autographs, but I got there too late. So I waited a bit, and I got Holland's autograph. Score!
I went to get some grub from the Nolan Ryan grill where they serve 100% Nolan Ryan beef. After waiting in line for 10 minutes, I was about to get to place my order when I saw John Blake, Evan Grant, and two other guys walking by. I thought about saying hi to Evan, but I did not want to lose my place in line. I got a foot long sirloin dog (retail price $7.25), which was really good.
As the game wore on, more and more Rangers left the lineup. One of the weirdest things was watching Express starting 2B Esteban German come up to bat for the Rangers wearing his Express uniform. When Engel Beltre came up to bat, I tried to get a good shot of him in his stance, but he hit the first pitch, and my shot turned out like crap. So my only shot of Engel was this one:Chad Tracy homer to left. The wind was blowing in from rightfield pretty hard and had knocked down several potential homers earlier in the game, so it was good that Tracy hit it to left instead. The scoreboard said that it was hit 390 ft. Unfortunately, it came off of Darren O'Day. (O'D'oh?)
Then once the game was over, the Rangers decided to pitch the bottom of the ninth to give Tobin a chance to pitch. He looked a bit shaky, loading the bases, but he made it through unscathed.
My wife and I headed to the concourse area to try to get more autographs. We did not get any, but I did get one of Andres Blanco's sweatbands when he threw it up into the crowd. Score again!
All-in-all, it was a good game. I am looking forward to going to many more Express games this year, including the game vs. the Frisco RoughRiders next Tuesday. If not too many people hate this post, I may do more like these after the Express games that I go to.
(Note, this is my first FanPost, so if I screwed anything up, I apologize.)