Rangers 5, Blue Jays 4: My Top 10 Observations
9. Typical Scott Feldman, huh? Made a couple of mistakes, but for the most part he threw strikes, didn't get hit hard and kept his team in the game.
8. Fitting that catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia got the game-winning hit. He was underwhelming in the spring, handed the job over Taylor Teagarden just because, really. Salty's 9th-inning hit to deep right-center was Texas' first Opening Day, walk-off winner at home since the wonderful Mickey Rivers in 1980.
7. Why oh why do women wear dressy high heels to a baseball game? Saw tons of 'em yesterday. Just hammers home the fact that Opening Day isn't a baseball game, it's a social event. (Editorial aside: Cowboy boots with a denim skirt is highly encouraged. Yowza.)
6. Neftali Feliz was popping the mit at around 97-98 during his 8th inning appearance in a tie game, but 0-2 to Vernon Wells seemed the perfect time to show off his devastating curve ball that features a 20mph drop. Instead, Feliz tried to climb the ladder with more heat and Wells got on top of it for a run-scoring single. When Feliz' head catches up to his arm, he'll be nasty.
5. When manager Ron Washington was introduced I figured it would be about 80/20 cheers to boos. In reality, it was 100/0. If anyone booed Washington in the wake of his shocking cocaine admission, I didn't hear it.
4. Arlington resident Corey Juarez was the Rangers' 40 millionth fan. Think about that: 39 seasons. 40 million fans. 1 playoff game victory.
3. Post-game celebrations included Elvis Andrus giving Nelson Cruz a shaving-cream pie in the face, Saltalamacchia receiving a beer shower in the locker room and three guys in Rangers' gear circling the stadium shouting "We're No. 1!" I guess technically they're right. For now.
2. I realize the wind was whipping out toward right field, but Nelson Cruz' 7th-inning, three-run homer was still amazing. Totally flat-footed. Three-quarter swing. Pitch was way low and way outside. Yet Cruz smoked it a good 410 feet. On a swing that said can of corn to shallow right, the ball said back of the Rangers' bullpen.
1. Absolutely perfect day at the ballpark. Packed house. Comeback win. And, most significantly, the last Opening Day in the regime of Tom Hicks.