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They Should All Be Like This

Tuesday, June 9, 2009 – Fenway Park, Section 37

Red Sox 7, Yankees 0

After an off-day Monday, I was back for the next game on Tuesday. And while the weather had been hot and I was tanning in the bleachers over the weekend, it couldn’t have been more different by Tuesday night. It had rained all day, and the tarp was on the field when I arrived (just in time to get the half-price food, which I was happy to see had been extended into June). I was bundled up, wearing the Red Sox coat I thought I wasn’t going to need again until October plus a long-sleeved shirt, with a sweatshirt in my bag for later. A light rain was still falling, and it was cold enough that I could see my breath. I waited under cover in the grandstand until just before gametime to walk up to our upper bleacher seats. Our seats tonight were almost under the scoreboard in center field, one row in front of the seats we had been in for the rainy Mets game a couple of weeks earlier.

Josh Beckett dominated the Yankees and kept Derek Jeter hitless in three at-bats.

Josh Beckett dominated the Yankees, including keeping Derek Jeter hitless in three at-bats.

Josh Beckett came out dealing. He had taken a no-hitter into the seventh in his last start, and since then Jon Lester had taken a perfect game into the seventh. So as Beckett blew through the Yankees lineup, everyone was aware that a walk to Mark Teixeira in the first accounted for the only baserunner through the first three innings. He was matched up against A.J. Burnett, his former Marlins teammate who had signed a ridiculously large contract with New York in the off-season. These two had squared off earlier in the year, in a game that ended up a 16-11 Red Sox win. While Beckett had turned his season around since then, Burnett imploded against the Red Sox for the second time. It started in the second when he walked Mike Lowell. Big Papi came to the plate and reverted to his old form, socking one out to straightaway center for his third homer of the year, and his second in the last three games. (I didn’t think he’d get a curtain call now that homering was back to being a regular occurrence for him, but everyone chanted “Papi, Papi” until he did come back out of the dugout. And I agree with Terry Francona, who said after the game, “I hope he gets 40 more of them.”)

Big Papi is congratulated after his home run.

Big Papi is congratulated after his home run.

That was sweet, but the fun didn’t stop there. After Mark Kotsay walked and Nick Green reached on A-Rod’s fielding error (tee-hee!), J.D. Drew banged a double off the Monster to drive in two more runs. In the third, Green’s double knocked in the Red Sox’ fifth run and knocked Burnett from the game.

Beckett, however, continued to overpower the Yankees. He struck out Johnny Damon to open the fourth. He walked Teixeira again, for just the second Yankees baserunner of the night, but then came back to strike out A-Rod. Robinson Cano followed with a smash between first and second. Dustin Pedroia ranged deep onto the soggy grass and dove, knocking the ball down. As he jumped up to throw to first, the wet ball slipped out of his hand momentarily, and Cano reached safely. It was the first – and only – hit that Beckett allowed. There was nothing that could have been done; as it was, it was impressive that Pedey had even been able to get to it. (But I do wonder if he would have been able to make the play if it hadn’t rained throughout the game.) Beckett didn’t stop to ponder that; he promptly struck out Jorge Posada to get out of the inning.

It was a rainy night at the Fens.

It was a rainy night at the Fens.

Beckett had a 6-pitch sixth inning and was still under 100 pitches for the game, but with the rain and cold, they decided not to send him back out for the seventh. Instead, Manny Delcarmen did the honors. He gave up a harmless walk in the seventh, and allowed the Yankees just their second hit of the night with one out in the eighth. That brought on Ramon Ramirez, who worked his magic, needing only four pitches to induce an inning-ending double play.

J-Bay reached base 3 times, on a walk, a suspicious HBP, and a triple.

Jason Bay reached base 3 times, on a walk, a suspicious HBP, and a triple.

Nick Green gave the Sox their 7th run with a towering blast high over The Wall in the seventh. I was in a similar seat to the one I had a couple of weeks ago when I was able to look over the back wall onto Lansdowne St. and see people chasing down Youkilis’s home run. But tonight there were a couple of people standing at the end of the aisle, so I wasn’t able to get over there and see where it went.

Daniel Bard came on to pitch the ninth. He threw a 1-2-3 inning, and I saw him hit 100 mph on three different pitches. But my favorite was the 83-mph slider he dropped in for strike three on Cano to end the game.

Despite the cold, rainy weather that was more suited to April or October than to June, the game was fantastic on every level: a dominating pitching performance, an overpaid Yankee proving to be a bust, a Big Papi homer, an A-Rod error, plenty of offense up and down the Red Sox lineup, and complete silence from the Yankees fans in attendance. Every game should be like this!

June 9, 2009 • Posted in: 2009 Games • Share on Facebook

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