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Wake’s 11th Win

Wednesday, July 8, 2009 – Fenway Park, Section 43

Red Sox 5, A’s 4

The Oakland A’s were the next team into town.  The Sox split the first two games, and welcomed back former franchise icon Nomar Garciaparra, who hadn’t played in Fenway since his 2004 trade, but had now returned to the American League as a backup first baseman.  On Wednesday night, I was back in my Tenth Man Plan seats.  After having a nice, warm, summerlike game on Sunday, it had reverted to a cool, damp, windy night again.  We had been to a lot of rainy games, and every time my friend and I would wipe off our seats with napkins and paper towel scraps, she’d say, “I bet a Shamwow would be great for this.”  So tonight when we arrived at our seats to find them wet again, she said, “Guess what I bought,” and pulled one out of her bag.  It was quite a hit in our section.  A guy a couple of rows behind us said, “Oh, is that a Shamwow? Hold it up – I want to take a picture!”  It was right before gametime, and a lot of people around us were coming out to their seats, too.  She loaned the Shamwow to the couple on the end of our row and to the people behind us, and it did the trick well.

The weather was cool and windy, but the rain held off during the game. It was actually a nice night... for October. The only problem was that it was July.

The weather was cool and windy, but the rain held off during the game. It was actually a nice night... for a playoff game. The only problem was that it was July.

Tim Wakefield was on the mound, so it was another fast-paced game.  The A’s grabbed a quick run on a couple of hits in the second, and the Red Sox went down quickly at the plate.  Dustin Pedroia’s double was the only hit through the first five innings.  (Even that hit looked foul from my perspective – there was the collective gasp as the ball was hit down the right field line, then when it looked like it hit on the wrong side of the foul line an “Awww” from the bleachers as we sat back down.  But as soon as we noticed everyone else in the other sections of the park still cheering, we jumped back up and played along.  When I got home and watched it on tape, I saw that it kicked up some chalk when it landed, so it was truly fair.)

Big Papi came through with 4 RBI.

Big Papi came through with 4 RBI.

Wake hung in there, and even though the A’s had their share of baserunners, he kept them from getting any more runs.  The Sox offense finally kicked in in the sixth.  J.D. Drew started the inning by homering into the visitors’ bullpen, right in front of us, to tie the game 1-1.  After a single and a walk, Big Papi launched one out toward us.  It was deep, and it ended up landing in Section 1, one section over from our seats.  The three-run homer put the Sox up 4-1 and put Wake in line for his league-leading 11th win.

Later in the sixth inning, jacoby Ellsbury stole his 37th base of the year.

Later in the sixth inning, Jacoby Ellsbury stole his 37th base of the year.

Trouble came in the seventh, when Wake allowed the first two batters to reach and gave way to Manny Delcarmen.  Delcarmen struck out the first batter he faced, and got the next hitter to line out to first.  Mark Kotsay quickly threw to Nick Green at short to double off the runner at second, which would end the inning.  It looked like the ball was there in plenty of time, but he was called safe.  I saw later that Green had the ball in time but couldn’t find the bag with his foot.  It was costly, because two more runs scored later in the inning, making the game a lot closer.

Big Papi knocked in his fourth run of the game in the eighth, extending the Sox’ lead to 5-3.  Hideki Okajima was on in the eighth when we got another treat.  Nomar entered as a pinch-hitter with two outs in the inning.  He had gotten a two-minute ovation before his first at-bat on Monday, but he hadn’t played in Tuesday’s game.  Apparently, no matter what the media may have tried to tell us at the end of his tenure, people chose to remember the records, the clutch hits, the playoff performances, and the way he always made sure to thank the fans at the end of each season.  We gave him another standing ovation as he came to the plate tonight.  I didn’t have time to switch my camera to movie mode to record the once-familiar toe-tapping routine, because, true to form, he swung at the first pitch.  And luckily for the current Red Sox team, he popped up to second to end the inning.

Nomah pinch-hit in the eighth inning and played first base in the ninth.

Old friend Nomah pinch-hit in the eighth inning and played first base in the ninth.

Jonathan Papelbon came in to close it out in the ninth.  He walked a batter and gave up two hits to make it only a one-run lead.  But then, with the whole crowd on its feet, he blew strike three past Jack Cust for the final out.

July 8, 2009 • Posted in: 2009 Games • Share on Facebook

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