|Stephen Strasburg was the story of the night. Except for Bryce Harper, who was another story. And this is the view from my actual seat! Let's go back to the beginning and whatnot.
|First, I took a Fenway tour with my e-friend and now real-life friend, Richard Miller, and his wife, Ellen. You may know Richard from his multi-faceted website, Miller's Time. This guy does a lot, and says a lot about it. He also holds yearly contests, one of which I won. Tickets to tonight's game was my prize. But since he was in the area, we were able to meet up and do a tour.
|Here we are at the end of the tour. We had a fun time walking around Fenway and talking, but all three of us agreed that the tour itself was crappy. We'd been before, but this was supposed to be the "new and improved" tour. It DID disappoint. Admittedly, parts of the park were skipped since it was a game day tour, but still: you couldn't hear the guy even when his belt-speaker was working, lots of info about the park was left out, the whole "living museum" aspect with all the plaques and memorabilia was completely ignored, and to top it off, one of the staffers was incredibly rude to everyone at the end. My recommendation: unless you can do it in the off-season, skip the tour, and just go to a game and walk around the park. The plaques will tell you what the host doesn't. Google the rest, or e-mail me, I'll fill you in.
|Also at this game was Zack Hample. He was approaching 6,000 balls snagged lifetime, and actually held back at his last game at Yankee Stadium so he could reach the milestone at Fenway tonight. He even hired a videographer to capture the moment! (Zack's at left, the videographer's at right.) I knew Zack would be waiting at the RSN early entry, so I headed over there after the tour and talked to him and some other people he was with, including Fenway-snagger Mike, the guy I showed you a picture of out at the camera well a few weeks ago. I missed batting practice at this game, since Kim and I went to dinner in the 5-7 range, but it turns out there was no BP anyway, something Zack was quite pissed about.
|And shortly after Kim and I took our incredible seats (thanks again, Richard!), I spotted Zack over on the visitors' dugout. As of right now, he has yet to blog or tweet about tonight's game, so I have no idea how his snagging went, but I have to assume he reached the milestone, as he was sitting on 5,998 going in. [Update, 2:58 a.m.: Nine minutes ago, Zack tweeted that he indeed got #6,000. So he's at least 5,979 balls ahead of me.]
|Here's Paula Abdul with Wally.
|The Red Sox have been doing that thing lately where kids get to run out onto the field with the players. So, like, here's a picture of that. Pictured are Nava, Aviles, Pedroia, Billy, Jimmy, Dawn, Sebastian...aw fuck it, I'm making these up.
|Bryce Harper on deck in the first inning. More on him later because I already wrote it below and now I'm adding this picture and...just move on.
|We actually got off to a good start against Strasburg, taking a 2-0 lead. And Doubront looked okay at the beginning too. But soon we'd be down 7-2, with Strasburg striking out 13. This guy's change-up was 89-92. His fastball was 96-100. In case you haven't heard, he and The Beatles are a big deal. He had our hitters pretty baffled.
|Here we are scoring early in the game on a hit by Aviles.
|LaRoche has this angled Ichiro thing goin' on.
|Here's the 19-year old Bryce Harper on third. This dude became the third teenager since 1940 to have three hits in a game at Fenway. One was a dong. Speaking of history, Strasburg was the youngest guy to strike out 13 at Fenway since the 1986 Clemens 20 K game.
|A great night temperature-wise, but there were two major downpours before the game, and several showers during the game.
Above is a video of Youk getting ejected. We had a few squanders and would lose 7-4.
|Andrew Miller on the hill late in the game.
|One to add to my Broken Bat Collection. This ump was very proactive--on every broken bat he'd go running out to get it instead of letting the bat boy do all the work.
|That one field, on our way back to the car. It was great how this whole field was lighted but empty, with darkness around it, and then the city in the background. I attempted to capture this but I feel I kinda failed. Still an okay shot though.
|Brick of the game: These Nebraskans! As someone who is also a "NE HUSKER"--from going to school there--I was happy to see this. I looked up that name and I see the J.A. is also a Jerry! Though he spells it weird....
Updated standings in our contest are at the bottom of the original post
. Ryan looking good! Two games left....