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Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 – Fenway Park, Section 43

Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 4

The Red Sox had dropped their past five games, four of those coming at home sweet home.  While I knew that the season was still young, I didn’t want them to get into a hole so big they couldn’t dig their way out.  This was another one of the games where we could get our picture taken with one of the players in the souvenir store just after the gates opened, so I left work early and got there just in time.  The player was Jackie Bradley, Jr., who had braided his hair back up again after playing two games with a big afro.  They whisk everyone through the line as quickly as possible, and use the FanFoto photographers rather than our own cameras, so we only have a few seconds to say something when we get to the front.  When it was my turn, I said, “You should have kept the ‘fro a couple more days for this.”  He laughed and said, “I would have, but it was too hard to maintain.”  I was still smirking from the exchange when they snapped the picture, and they caught me before I could officially smile.  But they did have vouchers with a promo code for a free print, so I ordered a copy as soon as I got home.

I was still laughing at my own joke when they took my picture with Jackie Bradley, Jr.

I was still laughing at my own joke when they took my picture with Jackie Bradley, Jr.

I was back in my usual Tenth Man Plan seats behind the visitors’ bullpen, and the weather was nice for a change.  With all the cold games I had been to this season, the 59° game-time temp tonight felt like 70° to me.  I didn’t even need my jacket until the sun went down a few innings in.

The Blue Jays' bullpen coach was old friend Bob Stanley, who pitched for the Sox in the 1970's and 80's.

The Blue Jays' bullpen coach was old friend Bob Stanley, who pitched for the Sox in the 1970's and 80's. Their third base coach was Luis Rivera, who played here in the 90's.

Unfortunately the game unfolded like many I had already watched earlier this year.  Clay Buchholz labored throughout the game.  He threw 34 pitches in the second inning and gave up two home runs to Edwin Encarnacion.  By the time the Red Sox got on the board it was the fourth inning, when Shane Victorino’s solo homer made it 4-1.

Clay Buchholz didn't have his best stuff tonight.

Clay Buchholz didn't have his best stuff tonight.

Buchholz didn’t make it out of the fifth.  After that we saw Chris Capuano go two innings (giving up another run in the process) and Andrew Miller go 1-1/3 to finish the eighth.  Finally, in the bottom of the eighth, the Red Sox got their bats going.  With a runner on first and one out, three straight hits by Mike Carp, Xander Bogaerts, and Brock Holt drew the Red Sox closer at 6-4.

A.J. Pierzynski had three hits, but his teammates weren't able to drive him in.

A.J. Pierzynski had three hits, but his teammates weren't able to drive him in.

The lone bright spots in the game were a couple of defensive plays.  The official Pedroia Play of the Day™ (because, let’s face it, there’s always one) was a sliding stop of a sharply-hit grounder in the third.  And in the sixth, Brock Holt, playing third despite being a natural second baseman, made a diving play and then a long throw across the diamond.  The throw was a little offline, but Carp made a nifty tag to get the out.  Later that inning, Holt made another assist on a ground ball, only this time the shift was on and he was standing where the second baseman normally would. He had really impressed since being called up in the previous week for his second stint of the year, but it wasn’t enough to snap the losing streak, which now stood at six.

May 21, 2014 • Posted in: 2014 Games • Share on Facebook

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