Thursday, August 11, 2005

Quite an evening at Fenway Park last night, as I went with my friend Bismo to see the Sox take on the Texas Rangers. The big pre-game event was the return of Kenny Rogers from his suspension for assaulting two cameramen a few weeks ago. Inexplicably, an arbitrator shortened Rogers suspension from the 20 games imposed by Bud Selig to 13 games. Most of the rest of us on the planet would be fired if we assaulted someone in our workplace, but this arbitrator somehow thinks that a 13 game suspension was sufficent. Go figure.

With that backdrop, Rogers (who was booed every time he walked out of the dugout) took on Bronson Arroyo in the final game of a three game series. It was a warm night at Fenway, with the game time temperature at 84 degrees. We were seated in the grandstand under the roof in section 24, so there wasn't much of a breeze and it was pretty hot, but the seats themselves were great.

The first few innings went very quickly as both Arroyo and Rogers pitched well. Then in the 4th the Sox broke out for five runs, including Manny's 32nd home run, a three run bomb over the Monster and out onto Lansdowne St. Arroyo continued to pitch well until he tired in the 8th, and he and Mike Myers combined to give up four runs to bring the Rangers to within 7-5.

The Sox then proceeded to score nine runs in the bottom half of the 8th against a succession of ineffective Texas relievers. The worst of the bunch was Kevin Gryboski, who managed to give up six runs (three earned) on two hits, three walks and a questionable error by Gary Matthews Jr. Rookie Manny Delcarmen and his 95 MPH fastball pitched a scoreless inning to mop up in the 9th to give the Sox their 11th straight home win.

Former First Lady Barbara Bush threw out the first pitch to her husband. It was kind of cool - how often do you get to see a former President in person?

So it was a good win and a fun night at the ballpark. The Sox are now 5 and 1/2 games up on the Yankees, and how can you not love that?


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