Sunday, April 19, 2009

Had a fun evening with the kids for my second visit to Fenway for the season. The Sox took on the Orioles in the second game of a four game set, and it was the first of our four SoxPak games for the season. The game itself was good; getting to and from Fenway Park was the problem.

Whenever possible, I take the T to Fenway. Although it might take more time, the stress level is generally lower. However, when I take the kids to a night game, I usually drive and spend the money to park in the garage on Ipswich St. across from right field entrance to the ballpark.

J. had baseball practice until 5, so R. and I picked him up and we headed into town. Nearly as soon as we hit the turnpike, traffic slowed to a crawl. Turns out there was an accident about 4 miles ahead that took the Pike down to one lane. We finally cleared that and traffic opened up until we got off at the Prudential Center/Copley Square exit. The Pru ramp was backed up into the tunnel. Fortuately, I know the area pretty well, so I got off at Copley instead, took a couple of back streets and was about to cross onto Ipswich St. for a quick drive to the parking garage...

...only to find out Ipswich St. was closed.

Switching gears again, I finally found a parking garage on Comm Ave., just past Kenmore Square. We took a short walk to the ballpark, grabbed some hot dogs for dinner and settled in our seats just as Josh Beckett was about to throw his first pitch.

The seats, where we'll be spending all four of our SoxPak games this year, weren't bad. They're in deep right field, but there are no poles obstructing our view and we face toward the infield. The Sox were also thoughtful enough to suspend a few widescreen TVs from the roof, so we're able to catch NESN replays and such during the game.

The game itself was all about Youk. Kevin Youkilis was 4-for-5 with a double and a three-run bomb into the Monster Seats. Youk had four RBI total and raised his average to .467 on the young season. Everyone else in the lineup had hits except for Jason Bay and Nick Green, with Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek adding the other two RBI in the 6-4 win.

Josh Beckett started for the Sox and, while he wasn't as sharp as he was on Opening Day, he kept the O's off the board for the first 4 innings. Things blew up in the 5th, though, as Baltimore scored four runs. The inning was highlighted by Aubrey Huff's two run double (doesn't he sound like a character in Clue? Aubrey Huff did it with the candlestick in the library). Beckett did come out for the 6th with no further damage, before turning it over to the bullpen.

Yet again, the bullpen saved the day with scoreless innings from Hideki Okajima, Takashi Saito and Jonathan Papelbon. Other than Youk and Tim Wakefield's brilliant start the other day, the bullpen has been the standout feature for the Sox on the young season.

My favorite moment? The kids and I have started a tradition. They get up on their chairs and we put our arms around each other to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame and Sweet Caroline. It doesn't get much better than that.

We left the ballpark happy with the Sox win, only to get caught in more traffic on Comm Ave leaving the ballpark. I learned a few things that will likely save us a few minutes next time, but it was still tough going until we got past the BU Bridge. I'll need to rethink the whole driving thing before our next trip.


At 10:39 PM, Blogger The Hey said...

I actually saw you in your seats where I was seeing. Sorry I missed you but I had to catch the train.

BTW, good call avoiding the green line - there was many many delays trying to handle the Sox and Bruins crowds.


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