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Twin Killing

Thursday, May 20, 2010 – Fenway Park, Section 16

Red Sox 6, Twins 2

The Red Sox were in the midst of a tough stretch of games against playoff-contending teams.  They took two out of three in Detroit and split a wild two-game series in New York before coming back home for a whopping two-game homestand against the Twins.  Clay Buchholz had had a strong 8-inning start on Wednesday, and on Thursday it was Jon Lester’s turn to take the hill.  Since I was going to this game by myself, I decided that instead of my usual bleacher seat, I’d get a different perspective by starting in the standing room and then sneaking down to good seats later.

Since I was coming from work, it was getting close to gametime when I arrived, and I was surprised to find space in the standing room area directly behind home plate.  But a few minutes later, an usher came by to check that everyone was holding tickets that specifically said “home plate standing room”.  Were they kidding?  They’ve been selling different categories of standing room for years, but I had never heard of it being enforced before.  All I wanted to do was downgrade my seat!  So I went around to the standing room area on the first base side, where there was still a little space.

The pole in Section 15 points at #15 at the plate.

The pole in Section 15 points to #15 at the plate. Now if only Marco Scutaro could have stood on the other side of the pole...

Lester was on top of his game from the start.  He needed only 8 pitches to throw a 1-2-3 first, and added two strikeouts as he set the Twins down in order in the second.  In the home half, Adrian Beltre got the Red Sox on the board when he drilled a solo homer into the bullpen.  Lester finally gave up a hit in the third, but the runner was quickly erased on a double play.  There was another single in the fourth, but again the defense turned an inning-ending double play.

Jon Lester established himself as the Red Sox ace with a dominating complete game win.

Jon Lester established himself as the Red Sox ace with a dominating complete game win.

I had been keeping my eye on the seats in front of me, and I noticed a row in Section 16 that had a couple of seats which had been empty the whole time.  So in the fourth inning, I made my move and got a beautiful view for the rest of the game.  But not long after I found the seat I was back on my feet again, cheering when Kevin Youkilis blasted a 3-run homer beyond the centerfield camera well.

In the fifth inning, Lester allowed a leadoff double, and the runner was still in scoring position with two outs when Delmon Young hit a screaming line drive bound for right field.   Dustin Pedroia leapt up, twisted around, made a great catch to save the run, and landed with his back to home plate, earning another standing ovation.  (If I hadn’t been sitting by myself, I would have cracked, “Wow, it’s amazing he got to that.  The ball had to be 6 feet off the ground.”)

Caution: laser show in progress!  Even on nights when Pedroia goes into a slump at the plate, he makes his presence known with his excellent glovework.

Caution: Laser show in progress! Even on nights when Pedroia goes into a slump at the plate, he makes his presence known with his excellent glovework.

At the end of the sixth, Lester had thrown a ridiculously low 58 pitches.  In the seventh, he struck out the side, retiring hot hitters Orlando Hudson, Joe Mauer, and Justin Morneau in order.  It was fun to have a nice close seat on a night like this one with such a good pitching performance.  From where I was sitting, I could actually get a good look at Lester himself, instead of just his results like I would from the bleachers.  I was originally planning to move down even further as it got later in the game, but with a good, fast game it didn’t seem like people were bailing early.

I don't know how anyone could have a seat like this and not show, but I was happy to put the empty spot to good use.

I don't know how anyone could have a seat like this and not show up, but I was happy to put the empty spot to good use.

The Twins did finally squeak out a run (double, groundout, sac fly) in the eighth, but by then the Sox had piled on a couple more.  When the night was over, Victor Martinez had three doubles, and Youk and Beltre each added a double to go with their homers earlier in the game.  Lester’s pitch count was so low (84 at the end of the eighth) that he had no problem coming out for the ninth and putting his own finishing touches on a complete game win.

There were high-fives for everyone as the Red Sox wrapped up a fun win.

There were high-fives for everyone as the Red Sox wrapped up a fun win.

May 20, 2010 • Posted in: 2010 Games • Share on Facebook

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