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Monday, June 12, 2017 – Section 33

Red Sox 6, Phillies 5, 11 innings

Knowing that I would be going to a Sunday night game and then heading back in the next night, I had taken Monday off from work.  Sunday’s game had gone past midnight, making it almost 2:00 by the time I got home, so I appreciated being able to sleep in, and I had plenty of time to go in early for Monday.  It was another 90-plus-degree day, 93 on the Fenway board when I went in the early entrance line, but it was a welcome relief from all the awful cold games I went to earlier in the year.  I watched batting practice from the shade, and my seat for the game was under cover in the grandstand.  My seat was actually a fun one, a single seat in a row by itself at the back of Section 33.  I had had it once before and remembered all the comments I got as people walked by before the game, like, “At least you know you’re not going to be sitting next to any jerks.”

It was nice on a hot day to have room to breathe. There was even space for my bag and a ledge where I could put my camera and beverage.

It was nice on a hot day to have room to breathe. There was even space for my bag and a ledge where I could put my camera and beverage.

The only problem with the seat was that it was on the “wrong” side on the aisle, meaning everyone who walked up and down was in my way, even if just briefly.  At least I knew I could stand up to see, if I had to, without blocking anyone myself.  While I was happy about the weather and my location, it didn’t take long to make me grumpy.  Rick Porcello had a really bad first inning, giving up four runs on five hits and throwing 31 pitches in the process.  Last night, Drew Pomeranz had given up three runs on 30 pitches in the first.  Here I was watching a rerun again!  (If I could find an all-Chris-Sale channel to watch instead, that would be nice.)

Hello, old friend!  Daniel Nava did quite a bit of damage against his old team, going 3-for-6 with a double and a run scored.

Hello, old friend! Daniel Nava did quite a bit of damage against his old team, going 3-for-6 with a double and a run scored, plus an outfield assist.

While the Red Sox stranded Mookie Betts in the first after his leadoff double, they got on the board in the second on Andrew Benintendi’s homer.  They added two more in the third, thanks in part to another Betts double.  In the fourth, a good throw by Benintendi nailed Nava at second trying to stretch his two-out hit to a double.  The play was challenged but the call was upheld (his foot came off the bag briefly while being tagged), and the inning was over.  In the bottom of the fourth, Mookie’s third double of the day drove in the tying run, and things were looking good again.

Hanley Ramirez congratulates Andrew Benintendi after his homer in the second inning.  Hanley thought it was so much fun that he homered himself later on.

Hanley Ramirez congratulates Andrew Benintendi after his homer in the second inning. Hanley thought it looked like so much fun that he homered himself later on.

With the ledge on the wall next to my seat to hold my camera still, I was able to try a time-lapse video which covers the bottom of the third, top of the fourth, and bottom of the fourth.  If you look closely, you’ll see the grounds crew raking down the infield (0:12), the umps checking replay (0:19), and the Red Sox’ game-tying run (0:31).  (Also see how annoying it can be when you’re on the “wrong” side of an aisle.  Sit down, people!)

The frustrating thing was that right after the Red Sox had tied the game up in the fourth, Porcello gave a run right back on a double and a single by the first two batters of the fifth.  That’s a real pet peeve of mine.  He did manage to get out of the inning without any further damage, and he completed the sixth, too, which at least helped spare the bullpen a bit.  Joe Kelly pitched a quick seventh, and Robby Scott handled the eighth.

Hanley bailed Porcello out with a game-tying homer in the eighth.

Hanley bailed Porcello out with a game-tying homer in the eighth.

In the eighth, Hanley Ramirez launched a huge home run over the Green Monster.  From where I was sitting, the overhang of the roof blocked my view of the area over the Wall, so while I saw the ball go up, I really didn’t see it come back down.  I’m not actually sure it has landed yet; in his next at-bat they told us it had been measured at 466 feet.  That tied the game up, and it felt winnable now.  By the top of the ninth, the crowd had thinned enough that I was able to move down to the loge boxes in front of Section 29.

My view for the end of the game.

My view for the end of the game.

Dustin Pedroia started his night 0-for-4, but he was just waiting for the right moment to make his mark on the game.

Dustin Pedroia started his night 0-for-4, but he was just waiting for the right moment to make his mark on the game.

Craig Kimbrel reached 101 mph on the radar gun as he pitched in the ninth.

Craig Kimbrel reached 101 mph on the radar gun as he pitched in the ninth.

Beni had a good night at the plate (3 H, 1 HR, 2 RBI) and in the field (an assist at second base) but his baserunning blunder ended the tenth.

Benintendi had a good night at the plate (3 H, 1 HR, 2 RBI) plus an outfield assist to nab Nava at second base. Nava would later return the favor and double Beni off second to end the tenth.

As soon as I moved down, Pablo Sandoval made a great diving play to snare a hot shot to third for the first out of the ninth.  (He made an error on a much more easily-hit ball later in the inning, but it wasn’t costly as Howie Kendrick was finally thrown out on what would have been his fourth stolen base of the game.)  In the bottom of the ninth, Pedroia almost won it with a hit high off the Wall, but it was just shy of going out, and he had to stop at first.  The Sox got the first two runners on in the tenth, but Mitch Moreland was erased on a fielder’s choice and Benintendi was doubled off second by Daniel Nava on a fly ball to left to end the threat.  Still, it felt to me like it was only a matter of time before they broke through.  Matt Barnes pitched the tenth and eleventh, striking out five in the process.

Pinch-runner Deven Marrero takes a lead off first base in the bottom of the eleventh.

Pinch-runner Deven Marrero takes a lead off first base in the bottom of the eleventh.

Finally, in the bottom of the eleventh, Sandoval led off with a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Deven Marrero.  Sandy Leon sacrificed him along, but all that did was make the Phillies choose to intentionally walk the red hot Mookie, who already had four hits.  Up came Pedroia, and he lined a hit just past the second baseman into right field.  Marrero raced around and slid in safely with the winning run as the throw was dropped.  Pedey’s teammates chased him around the infield, and Hanley finally scooped him up in a big hug.  (I waited with my camera ready to catch the moment that his teammates dumped the Gatorade bucket on him and NESN’s Guerin Austin, as is the custom for post-game interviews, but they didn’t do it.  I guess the kids are scared to mess with with the venerable dirt dog!)  Here’s how the night ended:

Deven Marrero jumps up after scoring the winning run.

Deven Marrero jumps up after scoring the winning run.

Pedey didn't get the Gatorade bucket treatment, but Christian Vazquez did get him with a smaller bucket of water as the "first responders" chased him across the infield. And look at Xander Bogaerts preparing for takeoff!

Pedey didn't get the Gatorade bucket treatment, but Christian Vazquez did get him with a smaller bucket of water as the "first responders" chased him across the infield. And look at Xander Bogaerts preparing for takeoff!

Hanley scoops Pedey up into his arms (just beyond #18 Moreland) as the rest of the team catches up.

Hanley scoops Pedey up into his arms (just beyond #18 Moreland) as the rest of the team catches up.

It ended up another late night, but this one was totally worth it.

June 12, 2017 • Posted in: 2017 Games • Share on Facebook

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