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An unexpected afternoon at Fenway

Posted by ashburyjohn , 14 April 2017 · 1,215 views

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I stumbled into a free ticket to the Red Sox game against the Pirates on Thursday. It was a makeup game and a guy seated near me also said he'd gotten his tickets free from someone. (He also insisted that Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City is new, so our conversation was not illuminating for me. Only USAFChief is entitled to consider Kauffman "new".)

I anticipated that attendance might be sparse - April games tend to be attended in the low 30,000s rather than the high 30,000s anyway, and a makeup game had to give many people problems. Here is a view toward the rightfield bleachers minutes before 2 pm game time:

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But here are those bleachers later in the game, so I guess people did finally show up on this sunny but seasonable (50 degree) April afternoon:

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My seats were not in the bleachers as I had been told, but rather the first base grandstand high in the lower deck, meaning it was shady, as you can tell, and therefore cold. Here's Tessie the Green Monster, said to be the little sister of Wally the Green Monster, posing with a young fan or three:

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The game itself wasn't very dramatic until the 8th - a walk and a homer in the top of the first off of starter Eduardo Rodriguez was a downer...
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... while Pirates starter Chad Kuhl pitched mostly effectively:

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The Red Sox' first run in the second was fairly routine, arising from a pair of clean doubles leading to no chance for defensive prowess - if the triple is said to be the most exciting play in baseball, doubles can be among the least interesting ways to score a run. The Pirates got an insurance run in the sixth, again started by a double but this time with a less routine end-result due to a throwing error by the catcher to third base on an ensuing strikeout-and-steal.

Still, it was a quiet game, one that had me wondering if I would stick it out for all 9 innings. However, for the 8th inning I finally moved over to the RF seats which were starting to empty again, to get some sun, and that coincided with Sweet Caroline and then the rally against the Pirates bullpen that erased the 3-1 deficit. I am not a big fan of Hanley Ramirez

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but I have to admit the guy is money at the plate and the bases were loaded for him when he (notice a trend?) doubled. (Not on the above pitch. :) ) This cleared the bases, but not in the way the fans hoped, as the runner from first, Mookie Betts, almost made it home safely but was called out via replay. So the score was only tied. But that merely meant that, after an instant walk to Mitch Moreland to try to set up a double play, Bogaerts could single home Ramirez (who had advanced on the earlier throw) for the eventual game-winner. Closer Craig Kimbrel allowed a leadoff single, but a flyout, caught-stealing, and groundout snuffed that small threat, and the Fenway Faithful went home happy.

So, this was a game with a very slow leadup, which my non-American or non-baseball friends probably would not appreciate, to a brief but highly satisfying resolution, to which I'm sure those same friends would say "that's it???" I'm glad I got to go.

  • Bark's Lounge, Oldgoat_MN and Willihammer like this