Wednesday, October 01, 2008

9/28/08, Pesky Day, Part 4: Game Two

Went out to the car between games. WFAN was coming in clear, so I listened to the end of the Shea Stadium Farewell. I headed back to Fenway for game two. Didn't even bring the umbrella, or need a jacket. Here's the park from that Charlesgate bridge.

And now I'm right near the park. It's very weird to be entering Fenway when it's already pitch dark. This is the first of a left/right shot.

As you can tell by the bus, I took the "right" shot first. This is the "left" shot. In Righty, you can see a sax player at bottom right.

I went to the burrito place at the end of Lansdowne ($7.30 for a regular bean/cheese, come on.) Got this shot of the light tower from Ipswich Street.

Close-up of same tower.

I walked in, and went right for really great seats. While the park did eventually fill up to a degree, I was able to keep this seat the whole time, until I purposely left it very late in the game. Here, Hale and Mussina exchange lineup cards. Do you get to do this when you enter the 20-win-but-no-ring club or something? Or did Moose write the lineup himself?

Game 162 is about to begin, and Robinson Cano is posing for pictures while on deck.

Tim Wakefield started. Other than him, Coco, Casey, and Cora, the Red Sox were basically the Paw Sox.

Another Wake shot.

Alex Cora.

Chris Carter.

Coco Crisp on third.

Coco crosses the plate.

Jed Lowrie.

Sean Casey doing the horse.

Velazquez on deck. Ponson on the mound for the Yanks.

Kevin Cash in the box.

Gil again.

Jeff Bailey.

Chris Carter and Magadan in the dugout.

So this girl brought a "Hey Dusty, We're Here for the Laser Show" sign. She kept holding it up, even though Pedroia wasn't in the lineup. But she knew what she was doing. All the Sox on the field saw the sign as they ran off, and one by one the other players would peek out and laugh at the sign. Finally, Dustin himself acknowledged it, as shown here.

A sweaty Wake chats with the home plate ump after an inning. What was this ump's deal? He was all suave and stuff, winking up at the official scorer and making confident hand motions to signal changes--he was like the Don Juan umpire. I felt like I was watching a TV show about a guy who solves crimes by day, is a ladies' man by night, and calls balls and strikes to hide his identity all summer long. "Umptower. John Umptower." I also kept thinking he was gonna tell me that one of the game's engines did indeed flare out, but the odds of it losing one of the remaining three is remote. (That means he reminded me of the pilot in the final story of Twilight Zone: The Movie. Note that that same actor was also in that ridiculous Kiss Meets the Phantom movie.)

Kevin Cash moved to third base. Here, Tito's talking to Umptower and looking and pointing out at Cash, who had just been laughing, but now has a look like, "Oh my god, Tito put me in at third and I've just been hamming it up and now he's totally talking about me and thinking about making me put all that gear back on. Please look away please look away please look away."

David Ross was the new catcher, and he showed off this thing.

Justin Masterson came in to pitch.

Dr. Ross from Chicago at bat.

Tek warming up a pitcher.

Coco on deck. I'm even closer to the field now.

I almost left this game early. But I didn't. But I still said, Okay, we're up two, going bottom nine, I'll head for the exit, watch the last out, and run outta there, as I'd been at Fenway for like 11 hours. But we blew it in the top of the ninth, letting them tie it. So I went back down to the good seats, now on the third base side. Here's my last shot from the first base side, the soon-to-be hero, Jon Van Every.

Okay, seriously. When all the players in either of the Fenway dugouts go to the top step, they lean on the little fence with one leg up and the other one step down. All heads are at the same height. But even in this situation, Jeter still has to find a way to be higher than everyone else, by putting the second foot up. Or does he bring along a special stool with him to all the visiting parks in case there's no other way to be the highest?

Van about to be rockin'. Actually, this is his ninth-inning at bat. His game-winning hit would be in the tenth.

This would've been a great shot of Alex Cora diving head first into third--if the pitcher hadn't been backing up. Stupid fundamentals.

And Van Every, after two intentional walks, knocks home Cora with the winning run. And the Red Sox celebrate:

Good night, Kevin Cash. I stayed by the Yankee dugout, thinking they might give crap away since their season was done. They did, but nothing came near me. Jobber started tossing balls from right in front of me, but they all went over my head.

So that was Pesky day. All the sports radio station were playing football games on my home, so I didn't hear that Beckett wouldn't be starting game one until I got home. I really hope what they say is true, that he can pitch game three. If he does, we've still got Lester and Dice, who both had great or great-in-a-dicey-way seasons. If they're on, we don't lose. And the Angels--people say past playoff matchups don't matter. If you say that, don't you also have to say it doesn't matter that Beckett has been amazing in the playoffs? I say both things matter. Not the '86 ALCS, but the '07 ALDS is relevant. It's a lot of the same guys. Peter Brady still doesn't scare me. Playoffs start tonight, he said, as the calendar fittingly struck October. Woohooooooooo! What will the "playoff routine" be this year? One year it was constant chips and salsa. Last year it was watching The Shining before and after games and on off-nights. Now that we have HBO, I think it'll be some movie that's always on. The three Bad News Bears movies and the three Back to the Future movies are early candidates. Then again, maybe when the month changes, new movies play over and over. We'll see.

Part 3.
Part 2.
Part 1.


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Location: Rhode Island, United States