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Summer Rerun

Sunday, June 11, 2017 – Fenway Park, Section 36

Tigers 8, Red Sox 3

After all the cold games I went to all the way through May, it was a relief to have some hot summer weather finally.  But considering my seat was in the bleachers and the day was over 90 degrees, I was glad it was a night game.  I normally don’t like the 8:05 starts because of the potential to go later than public transportation can handle, but this is one time that I was happy to make that trade to avoid melting in the afternoon sun.  I drove in early to get a spot at a meter down the street, and went in the early entrance line to watch batting practice.  Until the regular gates open, we’re only allowed on the Green Monster or in the bleachers, so I chose to sit several rows back in Section 34, up against the wall, the only spot in those areas that was in the shade.  I wound up with the perfect souvenir when a Tigers batter hit a ball into my section, but admittedly only because I was the only one sitting that far back.

This ball landed a couple of rows behind me in batting practice.

This ball landed a couple of rows behind me in batting practice.

To be fair, this seat deserves the credit for making a nice catch.

To be fair, this seat deserves the credit for making a nice catch.

While the weather (88° at the start of the game, with a nice breeze and no humidity) was a pleasant departure from the past two months, the game action unfortunately was not.  Drew Pomeranz was pitching again, which meant I had missed another Chris Sale start the day before, and he wasn’t any better than the other times I had seen him.  He allowed a single to the first batter of the game and a homer to the second.  Then a walk, a wild pitch, and two more hits combined to drive in a third run before Pomeranz finally got out of the first inning on his 30th pitch.

Christian Vazquez was busy blocking pitches in the dirt and other wild offerings.

Christian Vazquez was kept busy blocking pitches in the dirt.

The Red Sox did get one run back in the first (although Hanley Ramirez ended the inning getting thrown out trying to stretch his RBI hit to a double) and another in the third.

Dustin Pedroia hit an RBI double in the third.

Dustin Pedroia hit an RBI double in the third.

Pomeranz, who always works slowly to start with, labored all night.  He gave up three straight singles to open the fourth, then managed to escape on two strikeouts and a fly ball with no runs scoring.  Again I was having flashbacks to the Daisuke Matsuzaka era, between the pace, the Houdini act, and the fact that he had thrown 82 pitches after four innings.  He started the fifth, but left with the bases loaded and one out in favor of Heath Hembree.  The bullpen has been a real strength for the Red Sox this year, but not on this night.  The first batter Hembree faced was Justin Upton, and he smacked a grand slam off (as I call it) the Bellhorn Pole.  It just got worse from there, as the Tigers batted around and added another run later in the inning.

Hold onto your hat - Hanley Ramirez adjusts his helmet after his seventh inning single.

Hold onto your hat - Hanley Ramirez adjusts his helmet after his seventh inning single.

It really felt like I had watched this exact game before.  On Mother’s Day, Pomeranz had started a very long, cold, miserable game that lasted over four and a half hours.  I was still traumatized by that game; I certainly didn’t need to watch the rerun.  “The only difference between this game and Mother’s Day,” I tweeted grumpily, “is 40 degrees.”

By the end of the sixth, enough seats were starting to open up that I made the move over to the grandstand on the first base side in Section 11, and the next inning I moved over behind home plate.  The game was so long and so bad that I started to play with the special effects on my camera to amuse myself.  Here are a couple:

Chris Young with only red.

Chris Young with only red.

Fenway Park in only green.

View from behind home plate with only green.

Fenway Park in "painting mode."

The ninth inning in "painting mode."

As I moved behind home plate, the clock struck midnight and the warning went up that the last T train leaves Kenmore at 12:25 (which is why I was glad I had parked on the street).

I had a good view in the Section 19 grandstand behind home plate.

I had a good view in the Section 19 grandstand behind home plate.

Dustin Pedroia watches his foul pop-up in the ninth.

Dustin Pedroia watches his foul pop-up in the ninth.

Down 8-3, the Red Sox actually mounted a bit of a rally in the ninth.  Two baserunners reached on walks, and with two outs Mitch Moreland hit a grounder to second.  The play was close at first base – in fact he looked safe – and the Red Sox challenged what would have been the final out of the game.  It turned out the call was overturned.  Moreland was safe, the bases were loaded, and the game wasn’t over yet.  That was nice, but it didn’t take long for Chris Young to line out to short and end the game for real, at just about 12:15.  As I walked back to my car, even the Citgo sign, which turns its lights off at midnight, had gone to sleep.

By the time the game ended, the Citgo sign was dark.

By the time the game ended, the Citgo sign was dark.

June 11, 2017 • Posted in: 2017 Games • Share on Facebook

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