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Tuesday, June 25, 2013 – Fenway Park, Section 34

Red Sox 11, Rockies 4

After taking two of three from the Rays, the Red Sox dropped three of four in a brief road trip to Detroit.  As they returned to Fenway, so did I, for the start of a two game series against the Colorado Rockies.  It was 90° at game time, but being a night game helped, because even during the daylight I was never in the direct sun.  My seat was in the far corner of Section 34, right next to the center field camera well.

The view from straightaway center field.

The view from straightaway center field.

Ryan Dempster was helped out of the first inning thanks to a double play, and the Red Sox went right to work against Juan Nicasio.  Hits by Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia plated one run, and after two walks loaded the bases, Daniel Nava’s hit drove in another.  They sent eight men to the plate, and in the second, eight more batted.  This time it was three straight doubles by Shane Victorino, Pedroia, and David Ortiz, and then a single by Napoli, and they piled on three more runs.

The Pedroia Play of the Day (and let’s face it, there’s always one) came in the top of the third, when he leapt impossibly high to snare a line drive.  And by the time the bottom of the third was done, two more Red Sox runs had crossed the plate, and Pedey had picked up his third hit of the day.

The center field camera guy points at the spot where Stephen Drew's hit landed.

The center field camera guy focuses on the spot where Stephen Drew's hit landed.

In the fourth, my seat became one of the best in the house.  A light rain was falling (my trip to Fenway wouldn’t be complete without it after all) and there were two outs with the bases empty.  Stephen Drew hit a drive to deep left center, where it hit off the wall right in front of one of the camera men.  It hit the top face of the wall, not the side, and it bounced straight up and back onto the field.  Drew made it as far as third as the ball was thrown back to the infield, but it was obvious to me that he’d soon be awarded the plate.  For some reason, the umpires seemed to have missed the whole thing, including the telltale bounce.  When John Farrell came out to protest, the umps finally went off to review the play.  (I’ve never noticed this before, but three of the umps go off and one stays on the field.  Are they afraid the players are going to try to get away with something – like everybody moving up a base, or switching the batting order around – if they’re not there to keep a stern eye on things?)  They were gone a long time – we clapped and chanted to pass the time – before coming back out and continuing to get it completely wrong*.  They ruled it a triple and we all booed.  Bums!  At least Jose Iglesias followed with a double that drove in Drew with the Sox’ eighth run of the game, but it was the principle of it all that bugged me.

* This is all under the assumption that anything hitting the top face of the wall, rather than the side, is a home run.  That’s how it is over the Green Monster (beyond the red line) and with all the wires and equipment above the wall in center, I believe that’s the ruling there, too.  But the walls in front of the bullpens and into right field are thinner, and a ball hitting that wall would be in or out depending on whether it lands on the field or in the stands.  Checking the “official” Fenway Park ground rules is no help, because they still refer to the screen over the left field wall, which was removed in 2003.  I think we need a new red line in front of the cameras so hits into this area will be more obvious in the future.

You can see me on TV when Stephen Drew's controversial hit went out to center field.  I'm in the white jcket with my arms in the air, right next to the camera well, a couple of row back. The ball landed just to the blue-shirted camera guy's right.

You can see me on TV when Stephen Drew's controversial hit went out to center field. I'm in the white jacket with my arms in the air, right next to the camera well, a couple of row back.

Here I am again, a couple of minutes later (the umps delibrated for about 7 minutes), in the white shirt and hat behind the guys in green. I'm taking advantage of the break in action to email my parents: "Was I on TV just now?"

Here I am again, a couple of minutes later (the umps deliberated for about 7 minutes) in the white shirt and hat behind the guys in green. I'm taking advantage of the break in action to email my parents: "Was I on TV just now?"

At the end of the sixth, I needed to make a restroom run, and when I came out I decided to find a seat in the infield rather than go all the way back out to the center field corner.  My strategy when walking around from the bleachers during the game is to come out the first ramp in Section 1, go up behind the back row of seats, and head around that way so I can see the field as I walk.  I had missed the first batter of the inning singling, but when I came up the ramp between Sections 1 and 2, the second batter of the inning had hit one out toward the short right field wall in front of me.  Victorino raced back, held up his glove, and disappeared from my view.  The cheer indicated he had caught it so I turned to start walking up the steps.  But as I glanced back over my shoulder, I saw the ball bounce away and the runners circling the bases, and realized that Victorino hadn’t stood back up yet.  I slipped into an empty row as the trainers came out to check on him.  It turned out he had hit his head on one of the bolts that holds up an ad on the wall, and (to literally add insult to injury) got charged with a three-base error as a run scored.  He was apparently OK, because he stayed in the game, and even ended up getting two more at-bats.

Big Papi went 1-for-2 with an RBI, and he also walked 3 times, including this intentional one in the seventh.

Big Papi went 1-for-2 with an RBI, and he also walked 3 times, including this intentional one in the seventh.

I wound up in Section 12, in an area with a lot of empty seats, and stayed there for the rest of the game because I didn’t want to miss anything else by moving again.  The Rockies were all done scoring for the day, but the Sox’ bats hadn’t cooled off yet.  They scored two more in the seventh, and a final run in the eighth.  By the end of the night, they had 11 runs and an impressive total of 20 hits, their high for the season.

Pedro Beato pitched the ninth.

Pedro Beato pitched the ninth.

Random thought of the day:  The Rockies’ second pitcher of the night, Adam Ottovino, wears uniform #0.  (The baseball purist in me was appalled because in my opinion that’s “not a baseball number”.  Even worse, their bat boy was #00.  That’s not any kind of number!)  Later Josh Outman, who wears #88, came in.  That got the numbers geek in me thinking what a large difference they had between their highest and lowest uniform numbers, but then I realized that we can beat that any time Alfredo Aceves (#91) and Jacoby Ellsbury (#2) play in the same game.

June 25, 2013 • Posted in: 2013 Games • Share on Facebook

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