Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Game 27: St. Louis Cardinals 6 @ Houston Astros 11
We got to Minute Maid Park several hours early since we got done with the Nolan Ryan Museum early and did not end up in as much traffic as we had expected. This ended up being a great thing because we ended up in the Main Team Shop, which is in the old Union Station. It is really cool how they preserved the Union Station and blended it into being part of the ballpark. In here they have some exhibits of Astros memorabilia related to the recent history of the Astros now celebrating their 10th season at Minute Maid Park.
After exploring the old Union Station part of the ballpark we still had an hour before the park opened. We took care of picking up our tickets at will call. We had tickets to the game already for in the 300 section, but we had tickets for the 110 section waiting for us. Marj, who got us into the Diamond Club at Nationals Park, worked at Minute Maid Park before Nationals Park and told her old boss about us, which led to us getting closer seats. We also got a bag of goodies, which included a Pink in the Park Astros t-shirt and wristband, a cool Lone Star Series hat, and a magnet schedule. The really cool thing in the bag was a little baggie of dirt from Minute Maid Park. Yes, dirt is very exciting if it is from a ballpark in my opinion. Also, we got much needed Astro stickers in the bag. None of the souvenir places in the park had stickers, so it was great that we ended up with one to keep the car up-to-date with the ballparks we have been to.
Minute Maid Park was an enjoyable place to take in a game. It has a good atmosphere even with it being almost half Cardinals fans for this game. Some people do not like baseball being played indoors, but having gone to so many Diamondback home games it just seems natural to us. Not only does it pretty much guarantee there will not be a rain delay or rain out, but it makes the game much more enjoyable with its air conditioned comfort. Mik loved this park just for being indoors. He does not much care about the air conditioning, but growing up in Arizona has made him a fan of indoor parks.
The game was pretty exciting with lots of home runs (6), which included three hit by Astro players, so we got to see the train behind left field go back and forth down the track several times. The first hit of the game was a homer by DeRosa of the Cardinals in the second inning. In the bottom of the inning the Astros' Pence got the Astros first hit of the game in the form of a two-run homer (Blum was on base due to being walked). The Astros them kept the lead the rest of the game adding a run in both the 4th and 5th innings.
The bottom of the 7th and top of the 8th were big scoring innings with each team scoring 5 runs. The Astros got 4 of their runs with a Grand Slam by Carlos Lee. Now we have finally seen a Grand Slam on the trip. I have never seen one in person at a Major League game, although I have seen two in one game at a Tucson Sidewinders game. We have been hoping the whole trip to at least see a Grand Slam. Now if we could only witness a no-hitter.