ARLINGTON — Opening day is one of the best sports days of the year. What makes it even better is that a loss doesn't really matter.
The Texas Rangers opened up the 2014 season with a 14-10 loss to Philadelphia. Tanner Scheppers didn't pitch well in his first career start, and the bullpen didn't, either.
But with 161 more games to go, the result of this first one doesn't matter much.
The game was a sellout; the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra sang the National Anthem; and Greg Maddux — winner of 355 career games and the current Rangers special assistant to the general manager — tossed the ceremonial first pitch.
The real first pitch of the season came from Scheppers, who threw only nine of them in the first inning and retired the side in order.
The second inning was a lot worse.
Scheppers had two outs and a runner on second, then gave up six runs, including a grand slam from Jimmy Rollins.
"You want to stop giving up runs with two outs; those are supposed to be the most difficult runs to get," said Rangers manager Ron Washington. "When you get those runs across the board, those are the runs that win you ball games."
A reporter asked Scheppers after the game what the best part of the day was. "That it's over?" he responded.
It took the Rangers two innings to come back and take a 7-6 lead. Second baseman Josh Wilson had a three-run double in the 2nd inning, and Alex Rios hit a three-run home run in the 3rd.
The Phillies came back with a run in the 4th, two in the 5th, and four in the 6th, and the Rangers couldn't catch them again. But Texas did score 10, which is a lot more than they averaged per game last year, so that's a good thing the Rangers can take away from this game.
When the Rangers and Phillies play on Tuesday, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra won't sing the National Anthem and the vintage warbirds from the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison won't fly over the Ballpark like they did before the opener.
Game 1 is easy with all the ceremony involved. Game 2 is when the grind really begins.