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Memorial Night

Monday, May 27, 2013 – Fenway Park, Section 32

Red Sox 9, Phillies 3

The Red Sox won their next three games, making it three of four over the Indians.  They came into a Memorial Day matchup with the Phillies tied with the Yankees for first place in the East.  But my luck this year had been terrible.  Despite their good start to the season, my record stood at 3-4, with all three wins coming in games started by Clay Buchholz.  So I was happy when I noticed that he was lined up to pitch on Memorial Day, the day of my next game.  When I read the night before that Buchholz had been scratched from his start with neck soreness, I was horrified, even more so when I found out that the start would be going to Alfredo Aceves, who had lost any respect I had for him in Spring Training, when he signed autographs for Red Sox fans with “Yankees 2009″.  (What a bum!)

My two all-time favorite players show off their outfield skills during batting practice.

My two all-time favorite players show off their outfield skills during batting practice.

The weather was gorgeous, and with the game at night it gave me plenty of time to get in there early.  Parking is free at meters in Boston on holidays, so I drove all the way in and found a spot on Comm. Ave. right in Kenmore Square.  I was finally able to get there early enough on a day when there was batting practice (most of my games are on Sundays when they skip B.P., or days when it gets canceled by late afternoon rain) and I used my Red Sox Nation card to go in early and watch from atop the Green Monster.  As the Sox batted, and I tried to identify all the pitchers who were in the outfield shagging flies.  In right field, I saw David Ortiz and a kid who I assumed was his, but who was the player he was talking to?  I was far away, but it didn’t look like any of our current players; in fact, in stature and hairstyle, he reminded me of Pedro Martinez.  I know Pedro’s now a special consultant with the team, but he wouldn’t be suited up and shagging flies during B.P…. or would he?  I moved down from the Green Monster and over to the right field bleachers, behind the bullpen.  Sure enough, it was the Best Pitcher on the Planet, who apparently couldn’t resist being on a big league field again.  A closer look at the kid revealed that it wasn’t Papi’s son, so I assume he was Pedro’s kid.  (No, I didn’t ask him “Who’s your daddy?”)  The only thing that would have made me happier than seeing my two all-time favorite players kidding around together would have been if they announced that Petey was starting the game instead of Aceves.

Pedro Martinez and his son walk in after batting practice.  With Shane Victorino on the D.L., either one of them would be welcome to suit up and play right field.

Pedro Martinez and his son walk in after batting practice. With Shane Victorino on the D.L., either one of them would be welcome to suit up and play right field.

Aceves has had some good games over the years, but he’s also had some damaging mental lapses that have cost them games, and I’m never really sure which version of him I’m going to see in any given game.  Luckily for me, this was one of his focused, solid starts.  He worked quickly through the first, and the Red Sox got on the board early.  After Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a hit, Dustin Pedroia followed with a laser that hooked around Pesky’s Pole for a 2-run homer.  Later in the inning, Mike Napoli added a solo shot that gave the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Mike Napoli is congratulated by his teammates after his first-inning home run.

Mike Napoli is congratulated by his teammates after his first-inning home run.

Aceves was helped by some good defense.  In the second, Pedroia made his usual sparkling play of the game on a quick grounder up the middle, diving to make the stop and start an inning-ending double play.  In the third, Ellsbury caught a line drive to center and then doubled the unsuspecting baserunner off first to end that inning.  Aceves himself snared a liner back to the mound to end the fifth, and Ellsbury was back at it again in the sixth, running deep into the triangle to take a potential extra base hit away with the bases loaded.  That ended the sixth inning, and put the finishing touches on a nice outing for Aceves, who allowed only one run over that span.

Jacoby Ellsbury squares to bunt. But luckily he ended up swinging away, because he wound up with 3 hits and an RBI.

Jacoby Ellsbury squares to bunt. But luckily he ended up swinging away, because he wound up with 3 hits and an RBI.

Almost all of the Red Sox got in on the fun at the plate.  Daniel Nava was the only one who didn’t reach base.  Stephen Drew, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Napoli, and Ellsbury added RBI hits as the Sox built a comfortable lead.  I was checking the out-of-town scores on my phone, and was happy to see the Mets beating the Yankees.  That meant that once our game went final, we’d be alone in first place.  Clayton Mortensen and Andrew Miller finished it up, and with a win in the books, my personal record evened back up to .500.

May 27, 2013 • Posted in: 2013 Games • Share on Facebook

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