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Unlucky 7

Thursday, May 22, 2014 – Fenway Park

Sections 4, 3, 16, and Field Box 35

Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 2

The next day I was on my way back in to Fenway again.  I always like going on back-to-back days (in fact this made three out of the last four games for me) because it makes me feel like a real season ticket holder, like no matter what happens, good or bad, I’m going to be there for all of it.  In this case, yesterday’s game was in my 10th Man Plan package, and today’s was part of a 4-game Sox Pax that had included Opening Day.  But I’d prefer to have a bunch of games at a time when the team’s doing well and playing good baseball.  Now the whole team was slumping, and they had just lost six games in a row.

Xander Bogaerts homered in the second inning.

Xander Bogaerts provided one of the lone bright spots with a homer in the second inning.

This game also had a rather inconvenient start time of 4:05, meaning I had to take the day off from work.  Since I had the whole day off, I planned to use my Red Sox Nation card for early entrance at 1:35 to watch batting practice.  Most of the times that I can get in there early enough for the RSN line are Sundays, when they traditionally don’t take B.P.  But with this being a weekday afternoon, I was looking forward to it.  It was yet another day that was colder than it should have been for May, and there was rain in the forecast.  A light, misty rain was falling as I walked up from the Kenmore T station, but as soon as I got inside the park it started pouring.  The tarp was on the field, and there was no batting practice.  There was also no way I was going to go all the way up to my seat, five rows from the back of the bleachers, where the wind whips in and it takes forever to get downstairs if it starts to rain.  The game wasn’t going to be a sellout; the only trick was finding an empty seat.

Junichi Tazawa pauses on the mound, while the scoreboard behind him tells the sad tale of the game.

Junichi Tazawa pauses on the mound, while the scoreboard behind him tells the sad tale of the game.

I started in the Section 4 grandstand, where there were several rows that were still unoccupied.  Jon Lester retired the first batter on a groundout, but then gave up a homer to the second batter, followed by another homer to the third batter.  Not an encouraging start, but at least there was plenty of time left.  Dustin Pedroia led off the first with a double, and later in the inning Jonny Gomes knocked him in.  The second inning is when it got painful.  Lester labored, and the Blue Jays batted around.  Even the outs did damage: the inning went single, single, sacrifice bunt, single, stolen base, walk, single, single, run-scoring fielder’s choice, and then finally an impressive diving catch by Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field.  By the time the inning was over, the Jays had scored 5 runs and led 7-1.

Brock Holt had two hits and played a solid third base.

Brock Holt had two hits and played a solid third base.

Xander Bogaerts homered in the second, making it 7-2, and then strangely the scoring stopped.  Lester had 1-2-3 innings in the third, fourth, and fifth.  He gave up a couple of hits in the sixth, but one of the baserunners was caught stealing in a play that was challenged by the Blue Jays but ultimately upheld after a lengthy review.  I had slid across the aisle to Section 4 when some people came for my original seat in the bottom of the second.  (The joke’s on them – they ended up missing all the scoring in the game.)  It did rain while I was there, so I was glad I didn’t go all the way back in the bleachers.  That would have made the whole thing even less bearable.  At the end of the sixth I figured people would be bailing early, so I walked along behind the back row of grandstand toward the infield.  The top of the seventh had two pitching changes (Lester leaving in favor of Burke Badenhop, and then Craig Breslow coming in to get out of it) so I actually had time to walk to the concession stand behind home plate and buy a hotdog without missing any action.  I waited in the standing room behind Section 16 for the bottom of the seventh, and then when people started leaving, I found a really nice seat in Field Box 35 for the rest of the game.

As Junichi Tazawa pitched to Melky Cabrera in the top of the ninth, a girl ran onto the field.  They must have tightened security in recent years, because I used to see it happen a lot, but it had been several years since I last saw a trespasser, and I got my camera to the video setting just in time.  Security tackled her and led her away as the organist played “What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor.”  I know they never show these on TV, so the video is provided here as a public service to anyone who missed it.

After that little burst of excitement, the rest of the game went out with a whimper.  The Sox went down in order in the bottom of the ninth, and the losing streak now stood at seven.

May 22, 2014 • Posted in: 2014 Games • Share on Facebook

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