|I was taking pictures with the iPhone for my Twitter page and happened to shoot Papi just as he swung for the home run! (Click the photo to see it full-sized.)
At around 6:45 last night I had the thought that, if for no other reason, I was happy to be at Fenway so I didn’t have to hear all the Sox v Yanks hype that would be all over the airwaves. At around 7:45 last night I was really happy to be at Fenway for many other reasons.
I don’t know that I’ve ever been at Fenway in June when it was 50 degrees. I won’t lie, it was a bit chilly. Luckily I was, somewhat, under cover and didn’t get too wet nor too cold (as I keep saying, 50 degrees in June at Fenway was a little more pleasant than 50 degrees in April at Fenway).
As an aside, I’m writing this at 9am on Wednesday. I’ve now watched 3 variations of last night’s game. I saw it live; I watched the two-hour replay on NESN at midnight and I just watched the one-hour replay this morning on NESN. It is safe to say I’m very fond of this game.
Maybe in the bigger scheme of things this game won’t mean much. Who knows? What I DO know is that Josh Beckett put in yet ANOTHER totally dominating start, this time against a red-hot Yankees team. One game out of first place and winning the first game of the series is big in the smaller picture, right? Both teams really wanted this win and only one team seemed to show up. Beckett made the bats of the Yankees look ridiculous and the Red Sox bats humiliated AJ Burnett. Regardless of what context you put the game in, this one was fantastic for the Red Sox.
It was also a tremendous thrill to be there to see Papi hit another home run. Again, say what you want, but for Papi to hit such a homer off of the Yankees was pure poetry. Papi has a 7-game hitting streak. It’s small (given that in those 7 games he’s only had one multi-hit game) but it’s definitely something to hook some hope upon. Seeing him take advantage so early in the game…being present to witness the fans just smothering him with support…definitely worth the price of admission.
Another digression: I know some people don’t like the curtain calls. I’m not one of them. (At least, not in the case of Papi.) All over the park last night, even before the game, people were talking about how they had never seen Red Sox fans go so out of their way to support a struggling player. The cheers at Fenway seem to get louder for Papi with every at-bat he takes. I look at Papi’s curtain calls not as a player being lauded for being spectacular but as fans telling David Ortiz that we have his back. Papi coming out and waving or tipping his cap – to me that’s Papi thanking us for the support. And I won’t lie…a curtain call against the Yankees is sweet, sweet schadenfreude, no matter what the reason.
Back to the game, it seems I have to rethink my irrational dislike of Mark Kotsay on this team, eh? Between Kotsay and Nick Green it was like the universe was telling me to get with the program. Okay, okay, I’m there!
Not having really paid attention to pitch count (odd for me!), I couldn’t figure out why Beckett was pulled when he was. After the game, one of my friends suggested it was because the game was well in hand and Tito didn’t want to risk Beckett retaliating for Jason Bay getting hit. I’ll admit, when Wilton Veras hit Bay my first thought was “Please don’t retaliate, Josh!”, so maybe there is something to that theory? I realized, when I read the game wrap-up, the Josh was over 90 pitches made me happy that the decision seemed to be based more on rational thinking.
Last night was beautiful. I’d like more tonight but don’t want to be greedy. Sox are tied for first place and if Wake can come through (as well as the offense again!) they could have a full game lead. Screw it, I’m greedy.
Win, Wake. Just win. (And some runs would be nice too, fellas!) <- (Hey it worked yesterday!)