Monday, May 25, 2009

It's been a long time I left Fenway Park as disappointed in the result of a Sox game as I was on Saturday night. J., R. and I went to Fenway to see the Sox take on the New York Mets in an interleague game. It looked to be a good pitching matchup as well, with Josh Beckett taking on the Mets Mike Pelfrey.

Since I started taking the kids to night games, we have been driving in to Fenway and parking into one of the nearby, very expensive parking garages. However, the last two times we have driven in, getting there and back has been something of a traffic nightmare. So, I decided to take the T this time. We parked in Newton Center, took the Green Line to Kenmore, got off and had dinner at the amazing UBurger, then walked over to the ballpark. We also got back on the T at Fenway after the game with a reasonable wait. Since I have a T pass and the kids ride for free, my total out-of-pocket cost to get to Fenway was 25 cents (1 hour parking in Newton before the meters turned off). This compares to $35 for the garage, plus additional gas and tolls to drive all the way into Boston.

There were a LOT of Mets fans in the stands. Between the New York transplants and people who had made the trip up for the holiday weekend, I sometimes felt outnumbered in the right field grandstand. There was, of course, one thing everyone agreed on, and that is "Yankees Suck!"

We settled into our seats and the game starts. The Mets scored a run in the first off Beckett, then the Red Sox got two in the bottom of an inning, as Youk drove in Ellsbury and Pedroia. Then the score stayed 2-1 until the top of the 9th.

Before I get into the 9th, let me talk about Josh Beckett. He had a brilliant outing, going 8 innings, giving up only the one unearned run (although since Beckett made the error, should it really be unearned?). This is the ace we need to see if we are going to have a great shot of bringing home another World Series trophy this October. Beckett and Lester both pitched well in their last starts, which is very encouraging.

OK, so now the 9th. Papelbon comes in to protect the one-run lead. He walks the leadoff batter, Gary Sheffield, but strikes out David Wright and Jeremy Reed. Up comes the Mets backup catcher, Omir Santos. I'm thinking there's no way Paps isn't going to strike this guy out and I'm thinking they're cueing up "Dirty Water" in the press box. Well, Paps leaves his first pitch, a fastball, out over the plate and Santos hits the top of the Monster with it. After some discussion and a review of the replay, the umpires correctly ruled it a home run and the Mets went up 3-2.

I still held out hope in the bottom of the inning. The Sox had the heart of the order coming up: Youk, Bay, Drew and Lowell. Youk walked and I had visions of Jason Bay sending us home, but it was not to be.

The last time I was that disappointed walking out of Fenway Park after a Red Sox loss? Game 4 of the 1998 ALDS, when the Sox lost to Cleveland 2-1 to be eliminated from the playoffs.

It was a great, well played game. I just wasn't crazy about the ending.


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