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Home » May 2009 Game CommentsMay 2009 » Memories


Game 39: May 19, 2009
Blue Jays
L: Brian Tallet (2-2)
27-15, 1 game losing streak
WinRed Sox2
W: Tim Wakefield (5-2)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (11)
23-16, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: I went to my first game of the 2009 season last night. My office moved from Waltham to Billerica, so now instead of parking at Wellington and riding the T in I park at a stop along the Blue Line. I’ll miss the parking attendant at Wellington with whom I chatted with about the Celtics and Red Sox.

I’ll also miss the old prices for T parking. All stations have increased their fees by $2, so I have to drop a five-spot at my station. I think the additional revenue went towards adding hand straps for the vertically challenged. Now I don’t have to hover around the back of someone’s chair on Green Line trains or affix myself to vertical posts in Blue Line cars. I do have to get used to the feeling of lack of circulation to my continually upraised arm.

Kenmore Square station and its environs are in the process of being renovated, and the changes so far look nice if a bit touristy. An airy glass structure divides Beacon and Commonwealth and the walls of the station have historic pictures of Fenway and Boston Red Sox players.

I got to Fenway in time to see the last set of home hitters take their hacks. David Ortiz was amongst them. He didn’t have a shot that reached me in Section 4, Row 3 of the Monster seats nor did he give any souvenirs to the fans in the bleachers, but several promising line drives peppered center and right fields.

Adam Lind was determined to send as many balls as possible over the left field wall. A couple ricocheted off the Sports Authority sign right above me, one hit off the light stanchion, and another zigzagged between the table-walls between the rows of Section 5.

Although the weather was perfect, the flags both on the field and hoisted around the park whipped wildly. I was fine with withstanding the gusts knowing that Tim Wakefield gets a boost of confidence when he feels the wind in his face.

The possibility of a perfect game or no-hitter for the knuckleballer was quickly dispatched by Alex Rios in the first. His ground ball died in the infield shag in front of third and curved away from foul territory while doing so. I imagine the grass is longer there by design to aid Jacoby Ellsbury, Nick Green, or Julio Lugo when bunting, but that feature can also help out a visiting batter who happens to find the right grain in the grass.

The only Red Sox runs came in the second inning. Mike Lowell led off with a seeing-eye single through the hole and J.D. Drew followed up with a nine-pitch at bat that yielded a walk. Julio Lugo didn’t exhibit the same patience as Drew and he popped out first with the infield fly rule in effect.

It was the bottom of the order that made the difference in the game. Eight-hole hitter Jeff Bailey inched closer to the Mendoza line with an RBI single to center. George Kottaras lofted a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Drew, but Lind entertained the notion that his arm was as strong as his bat and attempted to hose the runner at home. His throw was galley-west, so off target that Bailey advanced to second base.

Toronto’s only run came off the bat of Kevin Millar, whom I’ve taken to calling the herpes of the AL East. In the fifth inning the sound booth provided the visiting DH with his own at bat music. Lowell seems to have opted for a different song and was fine with “Iron Man” serenading Millar. Instead of yanking the ball high into the State Street Pavilion he blasted it into the Monster seats.

So close yet so far. It hit the last table-wall and bounced into the second row... of the section to my right.

As it seems at bat tunes can inspire one to homer, we ardently hoped our cheers would help Ortiz break out of his slump. In the eighth inning with Dustin Pedroia on first and B.J. Ryan on the mound Papi came to the plate.

There was little cheering from the fans in the Monster seats. Last night the constant wind chilled our enthusiasm and ability to cheer somewhat. The two-beer limit may also have something to do with that. From my position I could hear an almost avant-garde sonic bricolage of sound: from the right field grandstand came “Let’s go Papi,” from the left field seats the tempo and volume increasing mantra of “Papi! Papi! Papi!” He struck out in five pitches and didn’t look good doing so. He only faced southpaws after being idle a few days, so the conditions for a triumphant comeback were not ideal.

After “Dirty Water,” “Tessie,” and the requisite touristy photos on the Green Monster I made my way to the concourse near Gate A and finally saw the old brick ticket windows converted into museum exhibits. It was odd to see things in my living memory thus enshrined, but 2004 and 2007 were historic. Along with these World Champion teams stands 1986, 1975, and 1967. Yankee Stadium can boast its billion-dollar edifice of artifice, but I’ll take the honest, ancient bricks of 4 Yawkey Way, every day.

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