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It’s All Relative

Thursday, June 17, 2010 – Fenway Park, Section 43

Red Sox 8, Diamondbacks 5

The Red Sox won the first two games of their series against the Diamondbacks in convincing fashion, and my next game was on Thursday as they went for the sweep.  In four straight series they had taken the first two games but had been unable to complete the sweep, so I hoped for a better outcome tonight.  I planned on taking the day off from work so that I could go in early enough to finally see batting practice.  I’ve been unlucky with that this year, because every time so far that I’ve been able to get there early, there was no B.P. due to rain or a rare day off.  I was glad I had already scheduled the vacation day, when it was announced that our game time was moved up an hour to 6:10 so that there’d be less overlap with the Celtics and Lakers, who were squaring off in Game 7 of the NBA Finals at 9:00.

I met up with my friend on the subway, and we made it to Fenway around 3:00.  My first stop was the ticket office on Yawkey Way, to see if there were any tickets available for the weekend series against the Dodgers.  The Red Sox had never put Dodgers tickets onsale for individual games, only as part of packages or through a lottery I didn’t win.  I had planned on going in on Saturday and waiting in the day-of-game ticket line, which has worked for me before, but first I figured that since I was already at Fenway, I’d give the old fashioned way a shot.  Sure enough, I had no problem getting a bleacher seat for Friday’s game.  (I picked the bleachers because they’re cheapest, but I could have had grandstand seats, or even groups of seats together if I had wanted them.)  I was impressed that the old fashioned way still worked: walk up to the park, ask for a ticket to the next day’s game, pay face value with no shipping and handling or convenience fees.  What a concept!  It’s further proof of what I say all the time – there’s no need to pay scalpers or scalping agencies.  Just wait till right before the game, then visit or call the ticket office.

The star of batting practice was Victor Martinez Jr., who threw in the bullpen and shagged flies with his father's teammates.

The star of batting practice was Victor Martinez Jr., who threw in the bullpen and shagged flies with his father's teammates.

Once I had scored my ticket for Friday, we went in to Thursday’s game with the Red Sox Nation line.  I was excited, because even though it looked like it might rain at any minute, they were actually taking B.P.  As soon as we got to the top of The Wall, we saw a young prospect throwing in the bullpen – Victor Martinez’s 5-year-old son, Victor Jr. – who was playing catch with Manny Delcarmen while the elder Martinez chatted nearby.  Little Victor had quite the arm for a 5-year-old, and he went into a windup before each pitch.  When Delcarmen tossed him a popup, he made the catch and then dove onto the ground, prompting me to say, “Look, he’s a dirt dog!”  After his bullpen session, he hung out with Ramon Ramirez as the pitchers shagged flies.  Whenever Ramirez caught one, he’d let Victor throw it back in.  We joked that maybe Ramon could pick up some pitching tips from him.

No, it's not Pedroia in the #41 shirt - it's the youngest Red Sox prospect, Victor Jr.

No, that's not Pedroia in the #41 shirt - it's the youngest Red Sox prospect, V-Mart Jr.

The Diamondbacks had some familiar (and familial) faces.  First baseman Adam LaRoche had played six games with the Red Sox last July in between trades.  Shortstop Stephen Drew is the younger brother of our own J.D.  And starter Dan Haren pitched for the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series and then spent three years in Oakland, so we had seen plenty of him.

Two Drews: J.D. in right field and younger brother Stephen on second base.

Two Drews: J.D. in right field and younger brother Stephen on second base.

John Lackey had what is becoming a typical start for him.  He wasn’t sharp, but he hung in there longer than Haren.  The Diamondbacks and Red Sox traded runs in the first inning.  Arizona scored again in the third, but Big Papi hit a big blast into the centerfield bleachers to give the Sox a 3-2 lead.  The Diamondbacks scored single runs in the fourth and fifth to go back on top, but the Red Sox answered in the home half of the fifth to tie it back up again.  Finally, two runs in the sixth put the Sox ahead to stay, and knocked Haren from the game in the process.

The moon rises over Fenway Park.

The moon rises over Fenway Park.

The Red Sox sealed it with two more runs in the eighth, thanks to Daniel Nava’s third hit and Marco Scutaro’s third RBI.  Dustin Richardson and Manny Delcarmen combined to load the bases in the seventh, but Delcarmen managed to get out of the mess without allowing any runs (perhaps using some of the tips he had learned from Victor Martinez Jr. during batting practice).  Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon finished off the win.

As we walked back to the T station, we peeked in the windows of a restaurant in Kenmore Square and saw that the Celtics had a small lead over the Lakers in the second quarter.  By the time we got back to our cars, it was halftime and they were leading by 6.  The lead increased to 13 in the third quarter, but by the time I got home the game was tied, and it ended up a disappointing loss.  I personally don’t have much interest in basketball, but I certainly know enough about it to know I hate the Lakers, and I wanted the Celtics to win out of pride for my city and for my friends and family members who are big fans, but I didn’t lose any sleep over it.  After all, a different L.A. team was headed to Boston for the weekend, and I was going to be back at Fenway the next night for that.

June 17, 2010 • Posted in: 2010 Games • Share on Facebook

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