Well, last night was my second and probably last visit to Fenway this season (after a random free ticket to a Rangers-Sox game), and the best I can say for it is that it was a White Sox winner. Pretty satisfying to experience the life getting sucked out of a crowd so pumped up to see Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch and seeing him with absolutely no control in the 2 innings where it mattered. The White Sox scored 3 runs on 2 hits and, more importantly, 5 walks in those innings.
But before that happened, it rained. And Laura and I got this glazed-over look:
Luckily, a $5 bag of peanuts snapped us out of our reverie. But partially because so many of the peanuts sucked. All shriveled and old. Screw you, Fenway peanuts.
And then, before we knew it, they were gone. And we realized we didn't know just how good we had had it.
Both Laura and I were a bit thirsty after the peanuts, but we resisted the temptation to "Get Jesus." Instead, we got a bottle of Coke for $4. The Jesus was more expensive.
The Coke couldn't make up for hearing the opening riff to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" approximately a dozen times in the space of an hour, though. It was part of an ingenious Red Sox documentary playing on the jumbotron that somehow linked the "magical" (get it, "Magical Mystery Tour"!?!?) 1967 season to the 2004 World Championship and set it all to the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album. (released in 1967, get it?!?!?). It culminated with the 2004 Sox going down 3-0 to the Yankees coinciding with the long dystopian chord in "Day in the Life" and then ended with, naturally, the Sox winning the Series and Joe Buck's uninspired "World Champions" call to finish the song. Obviously, Red Sox fans are morons. Laura registered her disgust thusly:
.... and then... the tarp was off! Hooray! I was not the only idiot taking pictures of the tarp coming off. It rivaled Daisuke's every freaking move for sheer number of flashbulbs (which is exhibit B that Red Sox fans are morons).
Oh yeah, and then there was baseball. Big Papi did not please the crowd. In fact, he looked pretty lost at the plate, and hung his head dejectedly after making out after out. This was before he struck out one time:
Matsuzaka was unimpressive. I had predicted he'd strike out 11 (Laura went with 9 and got closer to Dice-K's 6, but still lost according to Price Is Right rules), but instead his most notable stat line was walking 6. He obviously didn't get the memo about throwing the ball in the zone and letting White Sox hitters make outs for you. The crowd thought he was getting squeezed by the umps, but, as we've already established, Red Sox fans are morons. I think he actually just had no control. This is Dice-K on his way to walking the bases loaded in the 6th (all with no out):
Francona knew he was in trouble, but let Matsuzaka hang himself anyway. This is Fenway being rather displeased at a called ball to AJ Pierzynski with the bases loaded. The next pitch put the White Sox up 3-2 on a little dribbler between 1st and 2nd:
After that, Fenway was deflated--partially by a long rain delay, but mostly by disappointment in Matsuzaka (who still, weirdly, got a standing O as he left the mound), and a sense of impending doom (the Yanks are only 7 back! Oh no!). Vazquez wasn't impressive, but he wasn't bad either, wiggling out of some jams (and really, if he had some better defense behind him, he probably wouldn't have even given up the 2 runs that he did, as the Sox failed to turn a double play twice and let a runner beat out a throw to first on another play--all in one inning). With all the folks clearing out, we decided to head for seats in the outfield for a different vantage point:
But midnight was quickly approaching and the stupid T shuts down at 12:30, so we left right before Konerko's solo shot onto the Monster in the 8th. Bah. But I did see it at the Cask n' Flagon as we walked by. By the time we made it back to Harvard Square, Bobby Jenks was actually not blowing a save. Pretty good night. Red Sox Nation, you've got every reason to be nervous. Your team looked flat. Absolutely flat.