“Laser Show…and then some!”*

Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission

Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission

Long, tiring day yesterday.  I made it wide-awake through five complete innings last night which means the score was 6-2 Red Sox when I fell asleep.  When I woke up again, Daniel Nava was at bat in the 7th inning and the Rockies were up  8-6.  I tried, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open.  I, once again, woke up, this time around 4am.  I had shut the television off in my sleep so I grabbed my Droid and tapped on the ‘At-Bat’ app to see the score.  At first glance, forgetting the Sox were on the road, I read it as 13-11 Rockies.  Then I focused my brain and realized that not only were the Sox the winning team but Papelbon the winning pitcher…in 10 innings.

In my early morning fog, my first clear thought was “Papelbon blew ANOTHER save?”.  (I then became happy for the win, especially since I had friends who traveled many miles to watch those games in person and the idea of their having to leave the park in the midst of Rockies fans chanting “sweep” was heart breaking.)

Here is, to my mind, an unbelievable number:  three.  Jonathan Papelbon only has three blown saves this season with 19 save opportunities.  Good lord, it feels like 10.  Just more proof that we all seem to react much more harshly to these types of situations than maybe they deserve, eh?  He’s also only blown back to back saves two other times in his career (one being in his rookie year) but neither of those came in back to back games (they were consecutive appearances for Paps but not games for the team).

As I write this, I’m watching “Breakfast with the Sox” on NESN (the one-hour recap of the previous game) and they skipped over showing the entire game and started up in the 8th inning.  I just watched Papelbon give up the game-tying hit.  I know it ended well (Papelbon so owes both Darnell McDonald AND Dustin Pedroia something shiny and new) but I will say this:  never have I been so happy to have fallen asleep and missed a game where the Sox ended up winning as I am this morning.  Holy cow.

Dustin Pedroia went 5-5 with a walk which included a mind-boggling 3 home runs last night.  His home runs weren’t meaningless home runs in the midst of blow outs either.  His first was in the fourth inning when the score was 2-0 and it started the 4 run rally that was the fourth inning.   His second came in the 8th, a two-run homer that turned the Sox’ one run lead into a three run lead.  Both would be important (as would his walk given he scored a run because of it) but none more important than the last homer he hit…with two outs in the 10th and Marco Scutaro on first, Pedroia hit the second pitch he saw from Huston Street into the stands to give the Sox the 13-11 lead which, thanks to Papelbon pitching a perfect 10th inning, they didn’t relinquish.  Sweep averted, on to San Francisco.

Incidentally, Pedroia waving “Hi!” to the NESN camera following him in the dugout after the homer was priceless and worth staying up for!

Back in June 2007, the Colorado Rockies came to Boston for a three-game series.  It was a midweek, Tuesday through Thursday series leading into the Sox playing the Giants over the weekend.  I was at two of those games, pitched by Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett, and both were miserable losses. The Sox only beat the Rockies in the game that Tim Wakefield pitched (and for the sake of context, the June 14th loss was Beckett’s first of that season) to begin the series.  All I’m saying is, if 2010 ends the way 2007 did – I’ll be quite all right with this particular series loss.

Wake is on the mound at 10:15 ET tonight.  I’m going to have to stock up on the Red Bull for this one (although I really can’t complain…three 8:40pm games instead of 10pm with the Rockies and only one 10pm game with the Giants…I think we can make it!).

*How Don Orsillo followed up the Pedroia homer in the 10th…Pedie would be proud!

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