Grapefruit League Opener
Friday, February 24, 2017 – JetBlue Park, Ft. Myers
Mets 3, Red Sox 2
On Friday the Grapefruit League games got underway with a contest against the Mets. We again arrived well before the gates opened, and walked around to the practice fields in the back of the complex. On one field, most of the major league team was practicing calling for and catching pop-ups. On another field, the PawSox-caliber guys were doing their drills. When the major leaguers went in (those players who were in the game today would be taking their batting practice in the stadium) the minor leaguers stayed out to take several rounds of B.P.
As the players went in at the end of batting practice, we got autographs from John Farrell, Bryce Brentz, and Allen Craig, then headed into the stadium ourselves for the game.
After Owens was done, Kyle Kendrick pitched the next two innings, giving up a solo homer that put the Sox down 3-0. And through the first six innings, three Mets pitchers combined to hold the Red Sox hitless. That finally changed when Hanley Ramirez doubled to lead off the seventh.
The best part was that after Hanley’s double, Brian Bogusevic followed with a homer. That made the score 3-2 and put the Sox back in it.
After the first few innings, all the starters were replaced. There are always a couple of subs that aren’t even in major league camp, who are just brought in for the day. While all the players in major league camp have a unique number, the guys brought over from minor league camp don’t. Some years they give them a number in the 80s or 90s to wear for that one day, but other years (like this one) they let them wear whatever number they would wear with the team they’re on. That means that sometimes there are repeat numbers in a game. (And for those like me who like to keep score, it can make things tricky!) Yesterday there were two number 5s (Allen Craig and Mike Miller) and today there were two 17s.
Aside from Ramirez and Bogusevic, no one else did much of anything offensively for the Red Sox, and they ended up losing 3-2. But we left the house at 9 am and got back at 5, which makes for a very full day of baseball, and any day like that is a good day in my book.