Friday, October 04, 2013

ALDS Game 1: Red Sox Way More Than 2, Rays 2

I went to the sweet, sweet game today. I'll post photos and videos later. About the game:

Lester wan't effing around today. Fortunately the two dongs were solo blasts. Other than those, he only allowed one hit.

The fourth inning alone made this one of the best games I've been to. What in the world was going on with Myers? He feels for the wall, has room, is camped under it, and...he left the oven on? Where was he going? I feel like he must have thought the other dude was about to come crashing into him from the side and behind, and he high-tailed it outta there. Or, he realized that he wasn't gonna catch it because he couldn't see it, and so he decided to pretend like he had something else to do. Like when the cat tries to jump up onto the counter and doesn't quite make it, then tries to play it off like it ain't no thing, even though the whole room can tell he's embarrassed about it.

Anyway, that ball made it second and third, with us down 2-zip. I was pretty confident at that point. But Napoli popped out. Fortunately, Jonny Wadd Gomes came through with a double. Salty struck out, but I kept saying "if we can only get to Middlebrooks," because he had hit a deep fly to right his first time. Drew hit a little grounder, and it looked like the inning was over, but the pitcher was kinda late getting over to first, and stepped on the back of the bag, allowing Drew to sneak in through the front door. And there's Gomes, sprinting around third! He scores easily. Right then I said to mom and Charlie, "that could be the play of the year." Sure enough, Middlebrooks comes through with a double, which was misplayed, allowing Drew to score from first.

Ellsbury struck out...but the ball got away and the inning continued. Victorino singled in another and it was 5-2 us.

An inning later, Gomes made his second baserunning awesomeness in as many innings. He was on first and Napoli was on second. Napoli takes off with the pitch, and Salty hits one toward the Wall. So he's between third and home when the left fielder pretends like he's gonna catch it. Nap is screwed royally if this happens. But the ball hits the Wall and he walks home. Meanwhile, Jonny Wad is clearly not faked out, and somehow scores all the way from first. What a team. It's 7-2 at that point, and that was your ballgame. We would tack on 5 more runs for a 12-2 victory and a 1-0 lead in the ALDS.

We had a great section. Last row of 15, and to the left of use were guys who really liked starting the rhythmic claps and cheers and stuff. The park was electrified as a motherfucker. Those guys started chanting "Matty," as one-syllable names don't work in the "Dar-yl" style. They changed is to "Matthew," which was much funnier, and we watched as Matthew became more and more unraveled. But I think it really was because he couldn't control anything that wasn't his fastball. So as the first few innings are going by, I'm saying, "we need to sit dead red on this guy, it's the only thing going over the plate." And that second time through our order and beyond, hoo-boy and whatnot. Everybody got a hit, everybody scored a run.

And of course, after Myers did his ding dong ditch, when he was introduced next time up, we gave him such a cheer, the same one we gave Mariano that time, which I knew people would end up mis-remembering as us liking him and thinking he's classy. Fun stuff. It ended up with lots of "My-ers"-ing, but I'll always be more fond of the underrated "Mat-thew"-ing.

Another thing about the crowd: yes it was amazing. But listening tot he radio on our way home, you'd think it was the first time a Fenway crowd was ever excited. They were talking about how there's been nothing like it since the "'03-'04 era." But my lord, who doesn't remember Game Seven against Cleveland in '07? Or the crazy comeback agains the Rays in '08 for the "eight-SEVENNN" win? I was at both of those games, and it's the same as today was. That's just what Fenway is like in games where every single pitch matters. Again, today was awesome, I'm not trying to take away from it, I'm trying to give credit to crowds that were just as good. Maybe when it's been a while, people forget shit. (Of course, we're dealing with a culture that doesn't remember anything but the last 24 hours.)

Did I mention how hilarious that Myers play was? We kept seeing it on the TV screens, and we cracked up every time. Funny, this article said that "without question" it was the turning point. I read that and thought, no, it was key, but we were still down 2-0. It was the Gomes mad dash play that turned things. Sure enough, later in the article, Pedroia agrees with me! YOu don't want to say something in your article and then quote someone who played in the game refuting it....

I'll have more later. My usual photo gallery shit where I talk about the parking and the weather and Russell Nua and John Travolta and stuff.

I saw you up on the concourse behind the plate pregame--actually scarcely saw you, but saw your Levangie jersey!
Yeah I was doing the "wave 'n' walk and really hope she notices or it'll look like I'm waving at nobody" since you were having a conversation with somebody. Glad you realized it was me. PS I saw you behind lefties on TV the night we clinched the East.
More proof you should work for NESN (or the Red Sox): TBS "sideline" reporter broke the news that Papi came back to the dugout after scoring in the 4th telling everyone to ignore everything else and sit on the fastball.

I'm so happy you and your mom and Charlie were there! One day I'll get to a playoff game.
Good commentary. Tho I think Gomes' double was the key.
Kat--thanks. Yeah that pitcher looked like a guy who came to a gunfight who knew he had a really nice gun but left his bullets in the kitchen. I said to my mom in the second inning, "next time Napoli comes up he'll hit a HR." Which was wrong, BUT, the larger point was that these guys are gonna start bashing and they all did.

Richard--yeah it was key but once it's 2nd and 3rd, you know you're (presumably, actually, but you know what I mean) gonna get a run with just a sac fly or something, and you should get both guys in. But if they get Drew out, or if Gomes just goes second to third on that next play, there's a chance we stay tied, their pitcher maybe gets some confidence back, we're back in nervous time, maybe Lester gives up a cheap run, and suddenly it's a WAY different game than it was.
PS Kat, I know you live far away but if you want ALCS tix, they're already on sale through the regular and automated ticket office lines, grandstand $135, but they might be obstructed.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States