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A Turn for the Worse

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 – Fenway Park, Section 38

Orioles 9, Red Sox 1

As the number of days left in the season started to dwindle, I knew I’d have to make the most of my remaining games.  I had games on consecutive nights – Tuesday’s was in the 4-pack that had included Opening Day, and Wednesday’s was in my Tenth Man Plan.  Since I had some vacation days to use at work, I decided to take Wednesday off.  That way I could sleep in after Tuesday night’s game and go in early for batting practice Wednesday.  It was a fine plan until Monday night when I saw that Tuesday was one of the days where fans arriving early could have their picture taken with a player before the game.  I always enjoy when they do that, and there was a day about a month ago that I had taken off from work for the same purpose that ended getting rained out.  Suddenly I wished I had chosen to take Tuesday off instead of Wednesday.  I ended up working it out that I was able to leave work a little early on Tuesday.  Everything went perfectly, as I lucked out with light traffic and a quick train and made it to Fenway at 5:25, with just enough time to get to Yawkey Way for 5:30.

I got to meet Michael Bowden before the game.

I got to meet Michael Bowden before the game.

Waiting in line, I recognized Cyn from Toeing the Rubber and Kelly from Sitting Still.  They’re both always writing about the same games and events I go to, so it’s funny I don’t bump into them more.  Shortly after I got in the line, we found out today’s player was Michael Bowden, and it wasn’t long till I was able to get a picture with him.

I went back into the park through Gate A, where the Red Sox had the trophies from the 2004 and 2007 World Series on display.  I don’t know how many Red Sox fans are left who haven’t had their picture taken with them yet, but I do know it’s something that never goes out of style.

On the penultimate homestand, the Red Sox had a bunch of fan appreciation activities going on, including the chance to see the '04 and '07 World Series trophies.

On the penultimate homestand, the Red Sox had a bunch of fan appreciation activities going on, including the chance to see the '04 and '07 World Series trophies.

After that it was time to grab something to eat, and then I went around to the bleachers to meet up with my friends.  The game started well, with the Sox scoring first on Jed Lowrie’s double followed by Daniel Nava’s single.  Clay Buchholz shut the Orioles down through the first five, but he did have a baserunner in every inning and an unusually high pitch count.

Victor Martinez gets ready to warm up before the game. He reached base 3 times, with 2 walks and a single.

Victor Martinez gets ready to warm up before the game. During the game he reached base 3 times, with 2 walks and a single.

There was a runner on base with two outs in the sixth and Buchholz’s pitch count already over 100, when a popup looked like it would end the inning.  But Marco Scutaro, who was playing second base instead of shortstop because his shoulder was so sore that he had trouble making throws to first base from the far side of the infield, dropped it.  The runner was able to come all the way around from first and tie the game.

Gary Tuck watches as Paps warms up.

Gary Tuck watches as Paps warms up.

When the seventh started, the game was in the hands of the bullpen, and lately getting three innings out of the relievers had been too much to ask.  Scott Atchison was first, and he put two runners on before allowing Ty Wigginton to wrap a three-run homer around Pesky’s Pole.  Hideki Okajima actually struck out two to get out of the inning, but Matt Fox gave up another run in the eighth, and Jonathan Papelbon, in a non-save situation, had a miserable ninth.  A throwing error by Adrian Beltre didn’t help, but Papelbon gave up five hits and threw a wild pitch, and the Orioles piled on four more runs.  By the time it was done, a day that had started off so nicely ended as a complete debacle.

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