Here's how my Saturday went: leave Champaign with Paul at 9:30 AM, arrive at The Rate around 11:30, eat tons of free ribs and chicken until 1:00, watch baseball for seven hours, and then get back to Champaign at 11:00 PM. So much fun.
Because I'm quite tired and still have to write my daily blog post, I will simply recap each part of the previously mentioned fun day. Let's start with the trip up to Chicago. It's a short two-hour drive from Champaign—plenty of time for an episode of Pardon My Take. We didn't stop for breakfast, as we were physically and mentally preparing for the all-you-can-eat buffet included with our game ticket.
The atmosphere around the park was fantastic as we walked up; I had to ask Paul if it was 2008. Once inside, we met some friends at "The Patio" for the buffet, which was interesting. I won't go into great detail about the food in this post, but if you're interested we did a buffet livestream. The view from The Patio was unique; it's right behind the right field fence but a couple steps down.
Our seats for the actual game were right down the line in the right field bleachers. That's apparently still Kosuke Fukudome's territory.
Towards the end of the first game—a White Sox 3-0 win—our group moved to the center field patio section. I had a great view of the game, and two "fans" embracing the moment.
Game two started about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game, around 4:45. Buck Farmer (yes, that's apparently a real name) started for the Tigers against White Sox lefty Derek Holland. Control issues plagued the Sox all day (15 walks), but they really hurt in game two. The Tigers controlled the entire game up until the bottom of the 9th. A triple by Yolmer Sanchez cut the Tigers' lead to 4-3 with only one out. Todd Frazier, now hitless in his last 15 at-bats, struck out and so did rookie outfielder Adam Engel to end the game.
Speaking of Engel, our favorite moment from the two games came when he got his first major league hit in the 8th inning of game two. After the play was done the ball was thrown to the dugout, as is customary for any player's first hit. But, the Tigers bat boy didn't realize what was happening and tossed it into the crowd, about 50 feet from our seats (see above). The White Sox dugout went crazy; manager Rick Renteria came running out of the dugout to try to get the ball. Eventually, the fan that had the ball graciously gave it back (in exchange for a couple other game balls.)
Overall, we saw two good games and enjoyed great company. You know I love stats, so here's a breakdown of both games. 47 strikeouts!
|One||3-0 White Sox||2:54||19/10|
I leave you with some South Side motivation for the rest of your Memorial Day weekend. #grinderball