Game 29: Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ
San Francisco Giants vs Arizona Diamondbacks – Friday, August 30, 2o13
We flew out of Portland early yesterday morning and after a brief layover in Philly, arrived in Phoenix just after 12 Noon. We took the shuttle to the hotel, checked in, hopped on the light rail, and headed downtown. We stopped to eat and take a few pictures at the Hard Rock Café that is located close to Chase Field. We then walked over to the Arizona Science Center where we spent two wonderful hours. They had so many really cool interactive exhibits and we also saw a short 3D documentary in the IMAX Theater called “Space Junk 3D (narrated by Tom Wilkinson).” Pretty sobering! It looks like our space explorations have had some unintended negative consequences as we tend to leave our space trash (disabled or nonfunctioning satellites, for example) up there, and they tend to collide with one another or worse, with functioning systems, to spew debris everywhere. Not good, according to the projected model which warns of dire consequences if we keep doing what we have been doing up there. Fortunately, scientists are beginning to recognize the problem, and trying to figure out ways to clean up the mess. We’ll see. If you are an astronaut up there, just make sure you don’t get smacked in the head with a flying door knob from a broken up shuttle. Ouch!
It was a short walk from the Science Center to Chase Field and we got to the ballpark nearly an hour and a half before game time. The retractable roof was closed because of the weather (it was very hot and there was also a threat of rain) and the building reminded us of other indoor fields like those in Milwaukee, Miami, and Houston. We first walked outside Chase Field and took plenty of pictures before making our way in. We stopped in at the team store to buy our usual souvenirs, a cap and ball, and then strolled around the concourse on the first level and took pictures. Chase Field is a beautiful park and fairly new as the Arizona Diamondbacks franchise has only been around since 1998. As it turned out, the Diamondbacks were celebrating the 80’s and the entire evening was geared to that theme. We saw costumed characters from the 80’s like Storm Troopers, Robocop, Spiderman, and there were vehicles like KIT from Knight Rider, the Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1, Robocop’s Patrol Car, and the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard that were driven around the outfield tracks before the game. Cool!
We were also able to walk around the second level concourse before heading to our seats that were located on the third level right behind home plate. The view was fantastic. We could follow the action closely on the field and see all the cool things that was being shown on the large centerfield scoreboard. Whenever a new Diamondback player came to bat, he was portrayed as a character from an 80’s movie, TV show, or song. It was nicely done and very funny. We got to see Randall Delgado as Michael Jackson, Didi Gregorius as Mr. T, Gerardo Parra in Top Gun, A.J. Pollock in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Martin Prado hunting ghosts, Paul Goldschmidt chasing a gopher in Caddyshack, and E.T. riding in Adam Eaton’s bike basket, among others.
The game, too, was a gem. Starting for the Giants was Tim Lincecum, a four-time all-star, back-to-back Cy Young winner (2008 and 2009), and a member of the 2010 and 2012 World Series-winning Giants. He also won the Babe Ruth Award for being the MVP of the 2010 postseason. Although Lincecum has had a rough season this year, he pitched six scoreless innings in this one, scattering six hits, walking two, and striking out two. In fact, the Diamondbacks were blanked 1-0. Interestingly, the only run of the game was scored in the first inning by the very first batter, Angel Pagan, who was playing in his first game after an 84-game stint on the disabled list. And the Giants, with good pitching and spectacular defensive plays, made it stand up the rest of the way. Pagan, hit a double over the head of the right fielder, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Marco “Blockbuster” Scutaro, and scored on Brandon “The Baby Giraffe” Belt’s sacrifice fly to shallow center. The snakes, who are still in the hunt for a wild card spot, had so many opportunities, but they couldn’t get the clutch hit or were plagued by bad luck. In the bottom of the first, they had Eaton on second with just one out, but the next two hitters, Goldschmidt and Prado, both grounded out to end the threat. In the sixth inning, a bases-loaded-one-out opportunity was quenched by a three-pitch strike out of Miguel “Microwave” Montero and an amazing defensive play by Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval, who threw out the next hitter Pollock. Overall, the home team went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
Within a few minutes following the conclusion of the game, the roof was retracted and the Diamondbacks put on a spectacular display of fireworks set to 80’s music. It was awesome! We had a great view of the show as it was staged behind the center field scoreboard.
During the middle innings, we walked around the stadium some more and took pictures from different angles. The Diamondbacks have a really nice ballpark. Lucky fans!
We walked over to the light rail station after the game and returned to our hotel around 11 PM. We stayed up for a little, downloaded the pictures, and called it a night. We had to be on our way in the morning for our 30th and final game
We’ll catch up with you soon from our last stop on what has been, for us, an amazing baseball journey. So long!