One of the things I love about where I live is that I’m really close to Dodger Stadium. I can see it from my living room window, and when they have fireworks shows I can sit in my window seat and watch from there, or go up to the roof and enjoy them from a higher vantage point. I also like that I can decide at the last minute that I want to go to a game, and even if it’s sold out, I can snap up some tickets on the Dodgers Ticket Exchange, print them, and be at the stadium in under 20 minutes.
Last night, my roommate and I decided to catch a game. After a huge fiasco in getting there, which involved heavy traffic on the Bishop Street entrance, my clutch going out halfway up the hill, a lost cellphone, and a nearly sold-out game leaving us very little in the way of parking options, we sat down during the top of the 5th and settled in to watch the game. I can’t say I was really thrilled about the double-fisted Baez-Saito 7th inning meltdown, during which the Phillies scored 5 runs without a single out, but there were a few great plays that made for an interesting game.
But the best part for me happened at the top of the 9th. There are few things better than the energy and awesomeness generated by a stadium full of fans completely freaking out and cheering and losing their minds screaming, and that’s what happened when Gagne returned last night for his first appearance on the mound after coming off the DL. The moment the first notes of “Welcome to the Jungle” came on, when he’d barely made two steps onto the field, the crowd went absolutely batshit insane. Everyone jumped to their feet and cheered for his entire walk to the mound. He was too late to save the Dodgers from their “lead? We don’t need no steeenking lead” fate, so he didn’t get to make his “OH YEAH!” victory face, but it’s moments like that, when the crowd’s energy explodes, that make going to games all the better.
Now let’s just hope he stays healthy enough to throw some more 95 mph pitches right down the middle. I want to see the Gagne victory face a whole lot this summer!